Before the USA
At first I only knew that I would like to spend a semester abroad in the USA – and not at my university’s partner university. So I found out about possible universities for so-called free movers via your website and received comprehensive advice by phone and email . With my entire application process and any questions I had, your website always provided me with quick, friendly and competent help . It was a great help and can definitely recommend it to regulate your stay abroad!
I received BAföG abroad for my semester and the requirements for BAföG abroad are less high than for normal BAföG . Since tuition fees are high in the US, I would definitely recommend you try an application . Because even if you don’t get the maximum monthly rate, a large part of the tuition fees (EUR 4,600) can be covered by BAföG.
Otherwise, find out more about possible scholarships or grants at your university .
As soon as I knew that I wanted to study at the CSU Long Beach , I started to find out about the living situation and to look for it. I stressed myself a little too much here, which is not absolutely necessary, since the whole thing is more spontaneous than here.
In general, I can recommend Facebook groups such as CSULB Roommate Finder , Housing CSULB or the International Students CSULB page when looking for an apartment . Several advertisements are uploaded there every day or other students are looking for flatmates to look for an apartment together . Write to people there, possibly post a request and get in touch with people . In this way, and with a little luck, I met another German who received an offer from a group of four to take over their apartment. Together we found our two other roommates in such a group and founded the best flat share that one could wish for.
We then stayed at the Beverly Plaza Apartment Complex and I highly recommend it to you! There it is normal to sign a contract for half a year or a year and you have additional services such as the pool, fitness room, barbecue area, common room and security with you. There is also a shuttle to the university in front of it and many international students live there . I also noticed that the Beverly Plaza is the nicest and most recently renovated of the other nearby apartment complexes.
Some students also live in the dorms, which shouldn’t be so good because it’s expensive and you have less freedom . I would definitely look beyond that. For the selection of your roommates, I can also recommend you move in with other internationals , as most people spend a lot of their free time with the roommates and it is much better for your English .
In the USA
Before the beginning of the semester, I was able to choose some of the courses offered to me by your website. If there are courses that speak for you, choose your courses as much as possible beforehand . Otherwise, the course selection takes place via the so-called ” class crashing “, that is, you go to the lectures in the first week of lectures and ask the professor whether you can take part in his course. This can work and a lot is explained about it in the orientation week – and even if it doesn’t work, the contact person will help you until you have enough courses. But if it is possible to avoid class crashing, I can only advise you.
The best tip for the selection of the courses: The homepage ratemyprofessor.com! When you get the list of courses, the respective professors will be named. Depending on the professor and course, the effort and level of difficulty can vary greatly . On this page, the professors are rated by students and you can really act quite well. Of course, the course should interest you and fit into your curriculum, but especially for a semester abroad it is nice if you can save yourself a little effort and if you have the opportunity to choose a course or a professor that has less homework or that Exams are not assessed quite as strictly, I would use that.
Since I can count my semester abroad at my home university as a practical phase, I was relatively flexible in choosing my courses . In other words, the courses did not have to be the same as courses at my university, but only had to be applicable to my degree program ( business administration ) in terms of content . First of all, it can be said that I was very satisfied with my choice of course and would like to take each of these courses again ! Accordingly, I have taken the following courses:
- MKTG300 (Principles of Marketing):
Here 3 exams were written and 8 ‘pop-up quizzes’ (unannounced tests with 10 true / false questions each). In terms of content, this course fits in well with business administration and is similar to the marketing basics that you learn in Germany. The professor made the content interesting and you could follow and listen very well! Of my courses, this was where I had the greatest learning curve .
- BLAW / CAFF309 (The Costumer in the Legal and Economic Environment):
This is the only course that I have “crashed” (successfully). This course was held by a business law professor and a costumer affairs professor. Both professors were super nice and the content of the course was not particularly demanding and you can get a good grade relatively easily . It was definitely interesting to take a legal subject in the United States.
- COMM422 (Media Effects):
My personal favorite course ! With 20 people, the course was very small and extremely personal . Our professor knew everyone’s names after the first lecture and was super caring. We discussed a lot and I learned a lot about media in the US. If you can take this course with Jessica Abrams, do it!
- COMM330 ( Intercultural Communication ):
This course is completely different from anything else I’ve ever had in college! It was more about learning values for life . In the exams we asked about the contents of a book, but in the lecture we did a lot in groups. Aaron Cargile is a very great professor!
12 credits are included in the tuition fees , which usually corresponds to 4 courses that I also had to take for my university. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any credits left for the surf course that I could otherwise have bought. However, I found out that Professor Philip Poppler also lets you take part in his course like this. Coach Pepi is a super cool retired surf instructor who still teaches surfing out of passion . If he’s interested in surfing, I would try to contact him! The course took place in the morning at 7 o’clock (yes, super early), but this allowed you to experience the sunrise and with a little luck also experience dolphins up close!
The CSU LB has a huge campus that is very spacious and green . So it can take 15 minutes to get from one building to the other. The campus is very nice and there are lots of shops, restaurants , etc.
There is also a huge fitness center , which I unfortunately never used, but which should be really great. There are generally a lot of options for spending free time on campus. There are numerous clubs, associations and sports groups to join!
I would do a semester abroad at CSU LB at any time and can recommend it to you with a very clear conscience! I will never forget this time and have made friends for life ! Long Beach is a cool place and of course its location near Los Angeles is sure to be one of your favorite cities! Incidentally, beautiful San Diego is not far either. I know it is a big step to choose a semester abroad and I cannot deny that it involves a lot of effort and of course costs . Your website can, however, be of great help and make the effort / expense worthwhile 100%!