Study in California State University, East Bay (9)
I’m Katharina and I’ve just returned from my Spring Quarter 2011 in California. The experience was definitely worth the whole organization and the sometimes stressful time and I wouldn’t want to miss it. So look forward to a great time in beautiful California: a part of the USA that impressed me above all with its diversity!
Although there is the option of living directly on campus in the International House, I have chosen to live off-campus. I lived in Hayward with another girl. Hayward is located at the foot of the mountain on which California State University was built and has a population of around 141,000. There is not much going on in the city itself, but there is a busy street with a few restaurants, supermarkets, a cinema and bars – there is also a Starbucks on the way there. So there are a few ways to keep yourself busy. I can only recommend my apartment complex because it was quiet, had laundry facilities and a pool, and was close to two bus stops whose lines went directly to the campus. If you’re interested, I’ll be happy to give you the address and landlord.
I took either the bus or the shuttle to the campus. There is a bus line that goes around the campus once and can therefore drop you off anywhere (line 60). Otherwise, there is also a shuttle for Cal State students that goes up to the campus twice an hour at the start of the lesson. The shuttle starts at the BART station in Hayward. BART is the train that circumnavigates the entire Bay Area. This mode of transport was really great for us students, because you can be in Berkeley, Oakland or Fremont in no time. There is no faster way to San Francisco and for less than $ 5 you can be there in 40 minutes. That may sound like a lot now, but once you live there you will quickly get used to the distances and an hour’s drive will become normal.
Otherwise there are of course many taxis that will take you from A to B for cheap money (compared to Germany).
The choice of course was a problem for many because of the budget cuts. Although my previously selected courses were suddenly no longer offered in the quarter, I got into other courses without any problems. The first two weeks were a bit nervous for everyone, but for my part I can say that if you go there regularly and introduce yourself to the professors, it was no problem for me to get the courses of my choice. But nobody can predict what the next quarters will look like. However, the professors advise you to report the lack of courses in order to make the management of the university aware of it and possibly to offer further courses.
In my opinion, the content of the courses was much simpler than in Germany and the whole system was very schooled. For the three months it didn’t really bother me, but in the long run it is definitely a change to go back to school. The professors look after the students a lot and, in my opinion, are sometimes too gracious and understanding.
At € 3200 in my time, Cal State East Bay is comparatively cheap. I didn’t find groceries to be much more expensive than in Germany – only the prices are a deterrent. But if you convert it to euros, the difference is no longer that serious. Shopping is of course cheap without end and the costs for trips are bearable.
Every student can use the Health Center on Cal State East Bay for free. Fortunately, I didn’t or had to try it, but I haven’t heard anything bad from other students.
According to liuxers, Hayward is a great base from which to explore California. San Francisco alone is worth a few trips, because only then do you experience the beauty and diversity of this city. Just walk aimlessly through the streets, because then you will find the most beautiful places. I can recommend Haigt Ashbury and Fillmore Street.
Otherwise, the BART allows a trip to UC Berkeley and other beautiful corners of the Bay Area. You shouldn’t miss Paolo Alto with Stanford University and Google, Sausalito on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Jose with its beautiful Santana Row to linger and enjoy.
It’s also easy to get to Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Diego from San Francisco. Definitely worth the trip!
So, enough about me. Live your own experiences. I can only recommend Cal State East Bay because it’s just the ideal starting point. If you have any questions, I am still at your disposal.