My experience of the entire semester abroad actually begins with the preparation of the application documents for the CSU Long Beach. After deciding against several universities where I would not have had to pay tuition fees due to exchange opportunities, but the universities and their cities did not seem too promising, I decided on Long Beach with the help of international reports from other students. In order to be able to cope with the relatively high tuition fees, travel costs and costs for life and the like, there are really some scholarships that help you, such as the Baden-Württemberg scholarship and Fulbright scholarship. Especially for such an experience, in retrospect, I can only advise everyone to take a little more money into their hands, if possible, in order to be able to enjoy the full extent that a semester abroad offers. I started with the first steps in preparation about 1 year in advance. Everything went smoothly and without time pressure, but it is definitely advisable to deal with it in good time. According to Abbreviation Finder, CSULB is the abbreviation of California State University Long Beach.
With regard to English certificates, there are better ways than the well-known, demanding and comparatively expensive TOEFL test. I had the opportunity to speak to an English professor at the language center of my university of applied sciences, where she only asked me about my intentions and plans in the USA in order to be able to assess my language level. After this interview and a small essay, I received the required C-1 level certificate. As a further preparation for my semester, I then completed courses in Technical English and Business English, which I can only highly recommend, in order to get used to academic language. However, I also had some German fellow students who, for example, studied politics and social sciences at the CSU Long Beach without attending special courses in advance,
Thanks to the excellent help from MicroEDU, the rest of the application process at CSU Long Beach went relatively smoothly. The student visa allows you to travel to the USA up to 30 days before the official start of your studies and to stay in the USA up to 60 days after the official end of the semester. You definitely need the time before the start of your studies to organize everything you need on site, such as accommodation, mobile phone, furniture, car / bike etc. In addition, the time up to the start of your studies was so exciting and full of new experiences that you don’t really have time to Studying has. You get to know loads of new people, you’re here and there and just want to try out everything Long Beach / Los Angeles has to offer, and that’s a lot. I would definitely not book the accommodation from Germany, because you can experience some nasty surprises, especially when you move into a shared apartment and you should also take a closer look at the residential area. The CSU Long Beach offers a homepage for apartment advertisements and also has a notice board for such in the secretariat for students. Alternatives to this are roommates.com and craigslist.org, although craigslist has definitely worked better and is completely and membership accessible. You can also find pretty much everything on craigslist, including cars and bicycles. where craigslist definitely worked better and is complete and membership accessible. You can also find pretty much everything on craigslist, including cars and bicycles. where craigslist definitely worked better and is complete and membership accessible. You can also find pretty much everything on craigslist, including cars and bicycles.
The CSU Long Beach has a large, beautiful campus with decent equipment, a huge range of leisure activities and sports facilities. Although you can make American acquaintances very quickly, in the beginning you will do a lot with other “internationals”, since everyone is in the same boat. However, it happens very quickly that you build up a German circle of friends and hardly do anything with Americans. That’s why I would recommend everyone to look for a flat share with Americans, because you speak English all the time and get to know a lot more country and people. Some landlords will ask for a Social Security Number to check your credit history. However, you can get this either only as an American citizen or through a work permit, which is again not possible, as your student visa only allows you to work for the university for which you are not issued a Social Security Number. As a rule, this should also work without an SSN.
The lectures themselves were generally definitely easier compared to my German lectures. I had 3 lectures on Construction Engineering Management and 1 on Management Principals, of which the latter was by far the most interesting and best given lecture. I had deliberately not taken any technical subjects, as many technical processes are often based on country-specific guidelines, which in retrospect turned out to be a good decision. Depending on the lecture, you have several midterm exams and one final exam per semester. There are also smaller tests (quizzes) and several homework assignments, which significantly increase the workload compared to German study semesters. Although this keeps you busy all the time, it has the great advantage that you are practically forced to
To lose a few words about extracurricular things: Long Beach and southern California in general has everything your heart desires. The breathtaking beaches along the coast, the consistently good weather and the diverse activities that the cities of California offer make the whole semester a huge adventure. A trip to Hawaii is also highly recommended, where I would advise everyone to visit the islands of Kauai and Mauwi, as Honolulu is still very touristy on the island of Oahu. All in all, the whole semester was a complete success and I wish everyone that he / she also gets the opportunity to do a semester abroad.