From my home university, I was obliged to do a semester abroad. Since I wanted to go to the USA with my boyfriend and my home university has few partner universities in the USA, we decided to organize our semester abroad through MicroEDU. That was really the right decision! MicroEDU staff are friendly and extremely helpful. Our questions were always answered quickly and we were given great support in preparing for our semester in Chico.
Applying for the CSUC was also very straightforward. All the necessary forms to fill out were received from MicroEDU. According to Abbreviation Finder, CSUC is the abbreviation of California State University Chico.
Since my boyfriend and I applied very early for the fall semester 2013, we were accepted very early. This was very helpful because we had enough time to make all the necessary plans for our semester abroad.
My friend and I were lucky and by chance we found an apartment in Chico before we arrived. Our landlord has several houses in Chico and rents out furnished rooms and apartments. He sent us pictures of the apartment beforehand. If you are looking for something like that, you can ask for my email address at MicroEDU and I will put you in touch. He is a very nice and uncomplicated landlord who likes to talk a lot;) Our apartment was already equipped with all the trimmings, which was really super practical.
There are also other options for living in Chico, such as the University Village. However, this is very, very expensive and not in a great location.
Studying in the USA is fundamentally different from studying in Germany. You have to study and do homework more often. In addition, you have to learn a lot by heart. The university in Chico is super nice. It’s a great green campus. I was really excited about that. Lessons at the university are more or less exciting depending on the course and teacher. Courses that I have taken and can recommend are Business Plan Development with James Downing and Organizational Consulting with Ed Meda.
Before you decide on courses, you have to take part in class crashing. For this, the University of Chico has tightened the rules, at least in the College of Business, and you can hardly get into courses that are already displayed as full on the Internet. By talking to those responsible for class crashing in the College of Business, you can perhaps achieve something by moving the course to a larger room, for example. However, this is not a matter of course and also depends on the willingness of the staff and the professor to cooperate. In summary, it can be said that it is not as easy as described in previous experience reports to get the courses you want.
The ALCI office, which organizes the entire semester abroad with MicroEDU, is a great institution with many helpful staff. They are open to all questions and help you with any problems. The ALCI office also organizes some cool trips, for example to an amusement park or to a basketball game. The language course that you have to take from the ALCI office is unexciting and uninteresting, but time is somehow passing by.
Chico is a small town with not too many things to do. There is a nice park, a few restaurants, bars and clubs and a gym at the university. There is also a cinema, but this is not very accessible as it is a bit out of town. In Chico it is easy to get around by bike. Otherwise Chico is rather less interesting as a city…
Overall, I actually found Chico to be safe, but locals keep telling you that you shouldn’t be out alone at night and always be careful, this gives you the feeling that it may not be so certain after all.
Friends and free time
Basically, it is difficult to find American friends through university. Americans don’t care too much about the overseas students. It’s easier if you live with Americans. Many experience reports say that people chose Chico because there are comparatively few German students there. In the end, however, you become friends with the Germans anyway, which is why it can also have advantages if there are more German students at an American university.
There are a few places to party in Chico. The nightlife is really not neglected there.
Chico has a great starting point for traveling. Yosemitee National Park, Lake Tahoe and San Francisco can be reached in 2-3 hours. To the redwoods in the north it takes about 4 hours and to Santa Cruz about 3.5 hours. From Santa Cruz you can plan great trips on Highway 1. Chico is a very good starting point for tours all over California.