First of all, I would like to describe the application process via your website. At relatively short notice (about 1.5 months before departure) I applied for a trimester at the CSUEB in Hayward and, thanks to the agency, was able to plan my stay abroad very easily. I was able to ask questions regarding the required forms at any time and felt that I was well advised at all times. An answer and confirmation from the university in Hayward came just 5 days after my documents had been sent.
The arrival about 10 days before the beginning of the lecture period was a bit short-term but luckily everything worked out. I arrived at SFO and stayed in a hostel in downtown San Francisco for 5 days. The name of the hostel was Amsterdam and I cannot recommend it due to unfriendly staff, dirty room and window that cannot be opened.
From the hostel I took the BART 3-4 times to Hayward to look for an apartment. I was advised to do everything on site, as it would be very unlikely to find an apartment from Germany. Using the Craigslist.org website (highly recommended for everything you need to live) I tried to find shared accommodation or apartments. Unfortunately unsuccessful at first. After many unsuccessful inquiries in various campus-related apartment complexes such as Hillcrest and Sunhill Apartments, finally the redemption. On the last day in the hostel I drove to Hayward again and a room in the City View Apartments happened to be available. The apartments are pretty much the best you can find near the campus for housing. With several pools, gym, tennis and volleyball court, you get that real holiday feeling. I would go back again and again. It’s quite expensive, though, and I couldn’t have afforded it without my two roommates.
It should be added that the apartments are unfurnished, but the service in case of problems is really very good. We bought furniture from Ikea in Emeryville.
In my opinion, a car is indispensable for everyday life and so we looked for one on craigslist.org .. The Californians don’t really walk anywhere and especially in Hayward you have no chance to do anything or groceries shopping. After about 6 test drives with quite a few junk trucks, we found a Volvo Bj.2000 that was a great buy even in retrospect. At this point, I would like to warn you that the used car business is very worn out and that we were sometimes on test drives in neighborhoods that you would otherwise not dare to visit. So be careful and turn around if something strikes you as strange. I recommend a rental car to get to the individual private individuals.
When you finally have a car you can start enjoying life. You can get to the campus on foot, but everything else is better done on four wheels. Shopping, to the BART station or even to Hayward Downtown for a drink or to the cinema is fun and part of it. I would always take the BART to San Francisco during the day. One route currently costs $ 4.60 and beats the car variant by far with fuel and high parking costs in the metropolis. Travel time approx. 30-40 minutes. If you want to go over at night to party, I would drive by car due to the irregular BART times and parking spaces that are relatively easy to find. It is also worth going to Silicon Valley by car to celebrate or something similar. Oakland also has something for sports enthusiasts with its large basketball and football stadiums. I would like to recommend the student city Berkeley again as a hot tip both during the day and for nightlife. It can be reached in an easy 20 minutes by car or with the BART and is definitely worth one or more visits. In addition to the beautiful campus, the city is beautiful and yet very cozy. Students shape public life everywhere and in addition to beautiful buildings there are numerous opportunities to enjoy the cuisine of all nationalities and to hop through various bars.
In addition to the beautiful city of San Francisco, the Bay Area is also an excellent starting point for longer trips such as the Napa Valley wine region, Yosemite National Park or south along Highway One. I myself have been to Las Vegas (must do !!), San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Hawaii. There are also short trips to Santa Cruz for surfing or to Monterrey for whale watching. The weather in the Spring Quarter is consistently beautiful and mild. I only remember one rainy day. No comparison to German conditions.
After a few do’s, I personally say a few dont’s again. In San Francisco, especially at night, you shouldn’t walk around alone. It is also dangerous in Hayward, that was recommended to us from several quarters. You also have to make sure that you don’t drink alcohol in public and rather wrap your drinks in a brown bag.
American laws take getting used to.
Now we come to the study. The ALP – American Language Program Office offered adequate support for me and a very warm atmosphere for all internationals. We got a lot of tips and always help with private matters such as looking for an apartment and car or other problems.
I took the International Business Diploma program courses in the Spring Quarter. These were: International Business Finance, e-Business Supply Chain Management and International Business Law. In terms of effort, these courses were very pleasant. I had university three days a week and enough time for leisure and travel activities. With appropriate cooperation and regular attendance, it was very realistic to get an A-. Nice professors made for a pleasant and educated atmosphere and were very benevolent and helpful.
Life on campus was as colorful as one would expect from an American university and offered everything the athlete could desire, from sporting activities to a great gym with a sports hall and free rental equipment (basketball, football, volleyball, boxing gloves). There were also countless opportunities and entertainment events.
A Starbucks on campus in the library building ensured a pleasant working atmosphere and rounded off the range of offers at the campus stores and shops.
There were also plenty of food options. From the all you can eat offer in the Dining Commons for $ 9.20 via Panda Express and Subway, everyone could find something there for their needs.
You also had the opportunity to take part in the Speaking Partner Program. A great way to improve your English. You were assigned a same-sex partner with whom you could meet on average once a week. Whether drinking coffee or going on trips together, anything was possible.
Overall, it was a great experience that I wouldn’t want to miss. Many parties, club visits and activities always provided me with new impressions and opportunities to speak English. The Californian way of life is not the cheapest and I recommend anyone with a few reserves to come to the country. The many trips, admissions, etc. reduce the budget very quickly. The Bay Area is really a great place to study and San Francisco in particular is such a beautiful city that it is worthwhile to integrate it into your everyday life for a limited period of time.
The university itself is small and clear and therefore well suited for socializing and for organizing your studies. In my opinion, a worthwhile investment!