According to maternityetchic.com, a semester abroad is compulsory at my German university. Since I always wanted to go to the USA, this choice was not difficult for me. I knew I wanted to go to California, but not exactly which college. Thanks to MicroEDU, I became aware of the CSUCI. When I looked at the university on the internet, I knew I wanted to go there.
After I knew which university I was going to, I applied for the visa. MicroEDU’s documentation was very well described and everything worked flawlessly. I got my visa in Munich. There I had a little interview in English. They asked which university I go to, what I do in Germany, how long I would like to stay in the USA and and and. But it’s not that bad.
But start preparing early enough, as you will have to wait for appointments, such as with a visa.
I started organizing everything ten months before my stay abroad.
I looked for an apartment or a room from Germany because I didn’t want to travel to the USA without an apartment. I received very strange answers to many inquiries, such as: Yes, the room is free. Can you pay the rent regularly?
From such answers: hands off !!!!
After a bit of searching, I found a room and made a Skype appointment. We skyped for 3 hours and after that I knew it would work.
I had my own bedroom and bathroom, and could use the kitchen and washer and dryer.
I lived in Ventura and I drove to the university in about 20-25 minutes by car. It was only 5-7 minutes to the beach.
Personally, I didn’t want to live on campus because you share an apartment with 5 other people. Internationals usually get a single room but there is no guarantee. There is also a strict alcohol ban on campus (unless you are 21 and older). In addition, it is very difficult to get away from the campus (only taxi or car). The market at Glen Center is overpriced. And on-campus parking is also overpriced (now $ 195 per semester).
My tip: If you live off campus, drive your car to Camarillo train station and park there. From there a bus goes to the campus. The ticket costs $ 25 per semester and parking at the train station is free.
I had the following 4 courses.
Management of Organizations (good course, good professor)
Human Resource Management (also a good course)
Principles of Marketing (very practice-oriented course, I had a lot of fun)
Brand Management (my absolute favorite course, it was worked with clients from the business world)
The class crashing was a bit stupid because the American students can enroll before the semester. But if you talk to the lecturers, you actually get a place.
I had to do more at university during the semester than at my German university. There were regular quizzes, tests and participation in classes was assessed. There was also a midterm and a final in each subject.
There were also group work and group projects in Management of Organizations, Marketing and Brand Management.
Because there is not a major final exam like there is in Germany, it is easy to get good grades. If you don’t write a grade very well, you can still get an A.
I rented a car through SIXT from Germany. The bottom line was that it was cheaper for me and when I left I could hand it in at the airport without any problems and I didn’t have to worry about selling anything.
I paid around € 700 per month for the car, € 400 of which was insurance.
My Samsung S7 worked perfectly.
I have signed a contract with AT&T through my host family (€ 20 / month). Free phone calls, free SMS and 2 GB Internet.
I really enjoyed the Griffith Observatory in LA, the Getty Museum, and Santa Barbara.
Definitely go to Griffith once in the evening, the view is fantastic.
There are so many beautiful things to see, so do as much as you can.
I don’t want to miss my time in California. It was a great time and you get to know very nice people. At university, in the supermarket, on the street… no matter where you are, you will receive direct help.
The serenity of the people alone did me very good to escape the “stressful” Germany for once.
If you have problems at university, you can always go to your lecturer.
I made a lot of new friends in the USA. Americans are often compared to peaches, which I think is true. In the beginning, they are very superficial but always friendly. It takes a while before they call you a friend. However, once you get to the “core” they are true friends. Just be open and friendly.
Although the costs of around € 15,000 were very high, I would go back to the CSUCI at any time.