The semester abroad in California was just unique and unforgettable. To begin with, it was probably the best four months of my life.
Information on the application process:
First of all, I would like to thank MicroEDU very much, because they helped me very well, especially during the application phase, with all the open questions I had.
I applied for the semester abroad at CSUN in mid-March and got the long-awaited acceptance after about four weeks. With full anticipation, the large mountain of organizations for flights, visas, accommodation, etc. stood in front of me. I never would have thought in my life that a semester abroad would be so complex to organize. Nevertheless, I booked my flight relatively early after receiving the confirmation, even before I had the actual visa. The visa was unexpectedly very (time) consuming (biometric passport photo, SEVIS fee, various forms and applications on the Internet, etc.). At the appointment at the consulate in Munich, the interview itself was relatively brief and I only had to answer questions about what I am doing in California, how long I am staying and why I chose California. Get more information about California State University Northridge on educationvv.
What I found very difficult during the application was the early determination of the desired courses, as there was no guarantee that you would get the course safely. Unfortunately, it happened to me that I flew to California without a single safe course and I had to choose courses with the help of the supervisor and then write to the professors. Therefore the first two to three weeks were very stressful but when I finally had my four courses, I was very happy and then the semester abroad could really start. I had taken the following four courses from the field of Recreation and Tourism Management: RTM 303 (Promotion of recreational experience), RTM 304 (Entrepreneurialism – best professor Wendy L. Yost!), RTM 251 (Recreation and nature environment- ONLINE COURSE) and RTM 414 (Food and Beverage Management). Overall, I was very satisfied with all four courses. In the beginning, however, it took some getting used to getting homework every hour and reading / preparing something for the next hour. Therefore, the workload in the courses is significantly higher compared to courses in Germany. In some cases you have a quiz every hour (short impromptu task) and generally 2 exams and smaller assignments during the semester. What I really liked about my courses was that they were mostly very practice-oriented and that you had to develop your own product with a corresponding PR and marketing plan, for example. In some cases you have a quiz every hour (short impromptu task) and generally 2 exams and smaller assignments during the semester. What I really liked about my courses was that they were mostly very practice-oriented and that you had to develop your own product with a corresponding PR and marketing plan, for example.
In general, those responsible on site were very nice and helpful and were always available for questions in person or by email. Unfortunately, at the beginning I would have hoped for more help with choosing a course, because at first I was overwhelmed with the huge range of courses. So I took it into my own hands and wrote the respective professors an e-mail to get a permission number for their course, as I hadn’t heard from the supervisors on site for days about my courses.
In the courses themselves, the professors were always on hand to offer advice and assistance to the students, and it was easy to drop by at the office hours or to clarify problems / questions / matters by e-mail for the purpose of presentations or the like.
I decided to apply for the CSUN dormitory because I wanted to save myself the hassle of looking for accommodation on site and I traveled relatively short (two days before the “orientation”). If you apply for it, you should organize this early, as the rooms are very popular and can be booked out quickly. I have never regretted the decision to opt for the dormitory, as you have 10 meals a week included and you can also use $ 350 for meals on campus or in the canteen / small “mom and pop shop”. The food in this canteen was very good and varied (fruit, pizza, salad bar, hamburgers, etc.), so some German students who did not live in the dormitory liked to come with us to eat in the canteen.
In addition, I didn’t have a car on site, just bought a bike for $ 85 (and then sold it again), which I rode to university or to supermarkets / fashion malls for small purchases. But the Americans you meet during the semester like to drive / take you to different places.
Leisure and excursion possibilities:
In terms of leisure time, there were so many options that you didn’t even know when and how to look at everything.
First of all, I can absolutely recommend the CSUN Outdoor Adventures Center, because they offer inexpensive outdoor trips (e.g. camping or backpacking) to beautiful national parks (Yosemite NP or Grand Canyon NP) or other parts of California (Big Sur as the most beautiful stretch of coast in California).
In addition, of course, there are must-have’s like Santa Barbara, San Francisco, San Diego and above all Las Vegas! The best thing to do is to fly to San Francisco and drive down Pacific Highway 1 from above along the coast to Los Angeles.
In the greater Los Angeles area there are of course many leisure activities, for example Santa Monica and all the Beaches (Venice Beach, Long Beach, Newport Beach, etc.) or all the amusement parks. A little insider tip for series junkies: For “Two and a half men” or “The Big Bang Theory”, but also other American series, there are always limited free tickets on the Internet to watch a brand new episode while taping – a unique experience for example. Watch Asthon Kutcher at work live and for free.
All in all, I can absolutely recommend a semester abroad in California, because you get to know so many new people from the most diverse cultures and the Californians in particular are very open to new people and you experience the unique American college life with them!