By chance I got into conversation with a friend about a possible semester abroad. I then found out from him that he had also completed a semester abroad a year earlier. He recommended MicroEDU to me and praised it highly. I had already made up my mind that I wanted to go to California and luckily I found it on the MicroEDU website. I then also emailed MicroEDU for better advice. The service I received was very friendly, competent and very prompt. Questions on my part were always answered very quickly and with attention to detail. In addition, tasks (such as obtaining documents etc.) were always formulated in a very simple and easy-to-understand manner. The advice on study options was also excellent. A lot of effort has been put into responding to personal wishes in order to find the best possible study place.
The registration process at the university was a bit of tedious work because you had to collect countless documents. But here, too, the service from Collage Contact was excellent. It became very clear what is needed and when it is needed. The registration at the American university was also done by Collage Contact. In general, Collage Contact took care of almost everything. I was also informed of every step you took in the course of my registration, etc., which resulted in a feeling of security in me.
I can’t say anything about the process of getting accommodation because I lived with a friend of mine. What I do know, however, is that it is not cheap to live near the university. I met a Swiss man who lived alone in a study apartment next to the campus and had to dig into his pockets for what he had. I also know of shared apartments of three to four people, which of course have rent / electricity / internet etc. shared among themselves. I think it depends on your personal wishes what you choose. But I am convinced that the advice in this area will also be top-notch.
Entry into the USA
The entry into the US with the student visa is easy and you can get without major hurdles through security at the airport. The only thing that bothered me a lot personally was the unnecessary stay in the US consulate. I had to take the train to Vienna for six hours (from the west of Austria to the east) and then exchanged three words with the consul. Overall, the stay at the consulate was only very short and mainly resulted in costs. But that’s how bureaucratism works.
The campus and the university itself were breathtaking for me. I’m studying at a small university in Tyrol and then suddenly you’re on a huge area. The coolest thing on campus was the TSU (Titan Student Union) building. The cafeteria is located there and there is plenty of space to study and have fun. Downstairs is a Starbucks, arcade games, ping pong table, and about twelve pool tables. I was downstairs almost every day and played billiards (costs, but is very cheap). In addition to the TSU, there are of course other large buildings that contain the various faculties. Another highlight is the SRC (Student Recreation Center). It’s a building full of exercise machines. A big one, actually Fitness center. There is basketball, soccer, football, tennis, badminton, volleyball, weight training, a running track, dance hall, cardio, squash and a martial arts room. According to Abbreviation Finder, CSUF is the abbreviation of California State University Fullerton.
The courses I took were all more academic in nature. We had classes and the professors tried very hard to remember our names. In general, the professors were much more responsive to us than I am used to from university in Austria. The professors usually have no desire to fail their students. The workflow varies from subject to subject and depending on the professor. I was lucky because I had a very relaxed semester. That’s not to say that others were completely stressful, but that they had a little more to do. What I really liked was the midterm system. There are usually two to three midterms per semester (the third of which is usually the final). This means that you are completely familiar with the material and the tests are often easier because less material is queried.
You can do a lot besides university. For the night owls, Fullerton Downtown offers a large selection of cool bars, which later also become clubs. Most of the time you get to the bars with your driver’s license, but some people wanted to see a passport. Furthermore, in America it is ready from 2 to 3 o’clock. So start early enough. The beach can be easily reached by train and Los Angeles is also within reach. However, I would recommend a car / motorcycle because it is easier and more comfortable. The public transport is terrible. In addition to parties and cities, there are also countless museums and national parks that you can visit.
The local people are usually all very relaxed and always curious when a European comes by. I can only recommend a semester abroad. Perhaps you are also very lucky that I was. Because I met someone there without whom I could no longer imagine my life. A person who has become very dear to my heart and with whom I can be happy. Only life writes such stories and I can assure you that you will have some to tell when you get home.