I studied Fall Semester at California State University Fullerton last year and had the really best time of my life (so far) with tons of great experiences.
Since California State University Fullerton is unfortunately not a partner university of my university in Germany, I had to take care of the application and crediting of the courses on my own . I came across your website very quickly via the Internet and the positive reviews convinced me. At this point I can say thank you for the great support from your website!
Based on the experiences of friends and the information from your website, I quickly decided on the CSUF. The application was taken over by your website after all documents were provided. Contrary to my expectations, it took me just two days to get the approval from the CSUF. A little later, the written confirmation with further helpful information arrived in the mail. Then you could apply for a visa and start planning your apartment, flight, etc.
I lived with my girlfriend in a one-room apartment in the Homestead Apartments . After we started numerous phone calls and email inquiries from Germany and had actually agreed on the Moonraker Apartment complex, there were problems with the payment options on site. Then we spontaneously drove to the surrounding apartments and inquired. We found our dream apartment in the Homestead Apartments and were able to move into it the following day.
The apartment has a kitchen and bathroom, we bought the furniture ourselves from Ikea. The apartment was of course very spartan, but it was enough for us, because one is on the road a lot or spends the day at university. I would definitely recommend the Homestead Apartments. It’s not exactly cheap, but has a total of eight pools, laundry rooms, and really green and beautiful grounds. In addition, the rental company is very friendly and helps wherever it can. Flexible rental periods weren’t a problem either.
The CSUF corresponded exactly to my ideas of an American university. A really very large and beautifully laid out campus with always something going on. There are regular activities where you can socialize with people and there is also regular free food. There are plenty of opportunities to do your homework, but also to switch off in between ( fitness, bowling, table tennis, soccer and much more ). There really is enough for everyone, which is why we spent a lot of time on campus during our unit days.
Basically, the international student office at the CSUF is well organized, you will be helped immediately if you have any questions, and the reception in America, including a welcome and introduction to the university’s system, was well planned.
The semester at the CSUF is different from what I know from Germany. In many courses you have to attend, you have to hand in homework and give lectures and, in addition to the final exams, you also write exams during the semester. In retrospect, I can say that it was a bit strange, but takes the pressure off the final exams and you still have enough time for activities if you get things done early and include them in your major planning.
Before the start of the semester, you could submit a wish list of courses that you would like to take. Information about the lectures can easily be found on the CSUF website. After the welcome at the university, you get an online overview of the courses that you can actually attend from your wish-list. Unfortunately, this does not usually work for all courses and so-called course crashing begins (duration: 2 weeks). Here you go to the lectures that you would like to attend and ask the professors whether it is still possible to attend the lecture.
That might sound stressful in advance. In my experience, however, the international students are very welcome in the lectures and the professors also try to somehow accommodate you in the courses. In the end, I got all of the courses I wanted at the times I wanted .
Here is a brief overview of my courses at CSUF:
BUAD 210 – Understanding Business
This course covers all areas that are important for entering the business world . So it’s more of a beginner’s course that doesn’t really go into depth. For me, in many parts it was more of a refresher on what I heard during my undergraduate studies, just in English. The exam was multiple choice and not very difficult, as were homework, lectures and papers.
MGMT 339 – Managing Operations
This course is about the operations of a company. In my opinion, an interesting course, which in my case particularly benefited from the good lecturers. Prof Nasar Nikandish fed the lecture with exciting examples, always had an open ear and his exams were challenging, but very fair. Clear recommendation at this point .
MGMT 423 – Purchasing and Supply Management
This course is about procurement and a little about logistics in a company. The content of the course was rather boring, there was a lot to do in addition to the lectures (working on cases, large group work). Nevertheless, the lecture was a good choice due to the fair assessment of the professor, who was very open towards international students in particular and always helped.
EGEE 401 – Engineering Economics and Professionalism
The course essentially revolved around calculating interest on new engineering projects, depreciation and calculating taxes. That might not sound so great to many at first, but it was a relaxed course that, if you did your homework every week, was absolutely no problem.
America, the land of opportunity. In the case of a semester abroad , this can definitely be confirmed when it comes to traveling. I can really say that it was the most eventful, most exciting and really best time of my life . I would go to America again at any time and, of course, especially to California . I have collected so many great memories that always put a smile on my face when I think about what I was able to see and experience in such a short time.
Major locations during this period included San Francisco , San Diego , Los Angeles , Seattle, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Hawaii, and New York . In addition, there are many beach visits in Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach or Newport Beach , which can be reached quickly by car. Of course, Santa Monica and Malibu could not be missing either.
In my opinion, Fullerton is really well suited for traveling , as you can easily get to the surrounding national parks or cities by car and Los Angeles Airport is also not far if you have another trip.
A little bit of information about getting around. I’ve cycled everywhere in Fullerton which was absolutely no problem. Highly recommend getting a bike early. For longer distances, we trusted a landlord named Chicho, who rents out cars to students at very affordable prices. A permanent rental or even the purchase of a car makes no sense in my eyes.
I do not want to give any details here about what exactly I paid for what, for the simple reason that it is absolutely irrelevant to me in retrospect.
Of course the university is not cheap, but it is one of the cheapest. And it is also known that living in the States is more expensive and travel also costs money. But if you put all the money in relation to the memories and experiences you take with you to Germany, all of the money suddenly doesn’t seem to me to be decisive at all . It was certainly an expensive six months, but it was worth every penny!
So at this point I can really only say: Have the best time of your life and don’t pay too much attention to how much you might be spending as long as you don’t go bankrupt. Because in five years no one will care what cost how much. What remains are the memories!
It was the best time of my life and I would do it again anytime! I highly recommend it to everyone and wish everyone who takes this step a really great time at California State University Fullerton.