Planning and choice of university:
I started planning a little less than a year earlier, so there was always plenty of time and I wasn’t stressed at any point. There is a very wide range of options for a semester abroad, you should try to be reasonably clear what you expect and whether the focus should be more on a good university or a good location. Another point is the cost, a semester abroad is never cheap, but there are clear differences. I ended up choosing Fullerton based on a recommendation from a friend. In my opinion, the CSUF represents a good balance between teaching, location and costs. Since semesters in the USA usually start a few months earlier than the German ones, the semester before the stay abroad was very stressful for me. because I had to shorten it and brought all the exams forward. Advancing exams is always a bureaucratic act and it is worth asking the lecturer in a friendly and timely manner. Get more student review on California State University Fullerton on jibin123.
The CSUF has over 30,000 students and many different departments. The flagship of the university, however, is the area of management / marketing, this is where most of the money is invested and most of the students are involved. I have taken courses in this area. Due to the compulsory attendance and many small tests instead of the German exam at the end of the semester, it felt a bit like school. The advantage of this system is that you have to stay on the ball and not simply go underground during the semester to end up in front of a large pile of work. The lecturers (of course, depending on the size of the course) take you very by the hand and regularly inform you about the upcoming tasks. For me this, not quite so free, method of teaching was unfamiliar, but was able to come to terms with it for a semester. Most of the German students had few problems with the material, the only obstacle to a good grade seemed for many to be the relatively high workload due to the many small tests and projects.
The atmosphere between the students on campus is very relaxed and you quickly get into conversation. The campus is large and pleasantly designed; you can spend time on it very well.
I lived in the University Village, the reason for this decision was the recommendation of a friend who had been to Fullerton a year earlier. I found it very pleasant that I was able to organize everything beforehand and didn’t have to go looking for it on site. The UVs are very well located, you only have to cross the street to get to the campus and shops are close by. Every apartment is equipped with some basic furniture (kitchen, refrigerator, kitchen table + chairs, couch, bed, desk), everything else you have to buy yourself at the beginning. If you are lucky, the roommates already have some kitchen utensils, otherwise you have to go shopping. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to leave anything in the apartment after the end of the semester and you have to either throw it away or give it away.
The biggest advantage of the UV compared to most other housing offers (apart from the dorms on campus) is the cafeteria. Mo-Fr there is warm food twice a day, varied and fresh.
The UV’s are pleasant in terms of organization in advance, food, location and easy contact with other students, the disadvantage is the cost. In comparison, the costs are slightly higher than many other offers.
Life in Fullerton can be a lot of fun, depending on how you shape it. You get to know a lot of new people and you will experience a lot of new places. Even if it is often the simplest variant, I am of the opinion that one should not only try to get to know other Germans, but at least other internationals or, best of all, Americans. Since most international students are only in Fullerton for one semester, they all have the same goal at the beginning of the semester: to get to know as many people as possible as quickly as possible. It is a little more difficult to get to know local students. However, through group work, sport or roommates, you can make contact with them relatively quickly. The weekend often starts on Thursday, a good day to go for a beer or two in downtown Fullerton. Downtown Fullerton is a collection of quite a few bars, some of which will later become clubs. A surprising amount of nightlife for a relatively small town right next to LA. However, and there is no exception, you have to be 21 to get into a bar. Passport must be brought with you. Otherwise, if you have a car, you can quickly drive to the beach in the afternoon or weekend or take a trip to LA company (both depending on traffic approx. 40 minutes from Fullerton).
There are many sports options, the university’s fitness center is large, inexpensive (around $ 110 per semester) and has a variety of offers. It is also possible to take sports courses (from the sports department) instead of normal university courses. Since a normal course (e.g. marketing) usually has 3 units and sports courses only one each, you have to choose 3 sports courses if you want to replace a normal course. There is also the option of occupying more than 12 units, but costs around $ 360 per extra unit. I took surfing, which was a very good introduction to surfing. I got to know a lot of surfers there and went to various beaches several times a week outside of the course.
Anyone who goes to Fullerton plans to travel. There are too many well-known places in California and the surrounding area that can be reached on a day or weekend trip. Be it San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas or various national parks, everything is doable and you usually have a great time. However, a means of transport is a prerequisite for any type of travel. In the US, you just can’t get very far without a car. There is the possibility to rent or buy a car. To keep costs down, it is worth sharing the car with other internationals. Usually you can find people who have the same problem. Buy or rent, they will part ways. With rents you are on the safe side, but often a little more expensive. Anyone who buys a car has a little more risk. If it breaks you have to pay for repairs and it is questionable whether you can get rid of the car at a good price in the end. I bought a car and would do it again. As I said, you can be lucky or unlucky.
The semester abroad was a really good time! I do not regret either the decision to study abroad in general or the choice of university in particular! Fullerton has great recreational opportunities and good opportunities to study. I am sure that in the long term I will benefit from the experience, both linguistically and personally.