I spent the 5th semester of my bachelor’s degree at California State University Chico in the winter. The main reason for my choice was the fact that comparatively few international students study in Chico and that I was less tempted to speak German all the time. Chico is a small but nice student town with around 80,000 inhabitants, so everything can be reached by bike in a very short time.
I stayed with a host family who were really nice and helpful. I paid a monthly rent of $ 500, but my room was fully furnished, I was given a bike free of charge and the host mother often cooked for me with me. I got the contact details from MicroEDU.
If I had to make the decision again whether I would prefer to live with a host family or in a shared apartment, I would decide in favor of the shared apartment afterwards. This gives you the opportunity to get to know Americans right from the start and make connections quickly. Well-known apartment complexes included “Timber Creek” or “Pomona West Apartments”.
According to ehuacom, the CSUC actively supported the international students on site. In addition to the courses at the university, English courses were also offered by the CSUC. All international students had to attend at least one CSUC course, depending on how many university courses were taken (e. g. I had 4 courses at the university and therefore only had to choose one CSUC course, other students who had to take 3 university courses took part in 2 CSUC courses. Courses). However, the CSUC courses were not really helpful as the level of international students varied widely. After the first session, however, we had the option of deselecting the CSUC course.
The CSUC also offered many leisure activities:
For example a one-day trip to San Francisco, as well as a trip to the amusement park “Six Flags”, which I would advise against because we got stuck on two lanes in the park and had to be “evacuated”. We also got the chance to see an NBA game in Sacramento.
At Chico State there is what is known as “class crashing”, which means that you have to ask the lecturer in person whether you are allowed to attend the course. It is best to select twice or even three times the number of courses beforehand and have them approved by the university at home beforehand, as some courses may overlap or do not like the first try. In the end, it was relatively easy to get into the courses, as it was usually enough to be an international student and to show interest in the subject.
Campus life / leisure tips
Chico State has a great fitness center (WREC), including a pool and jacuzzi! It is definitely worth paying the fee of just under $ 180 for one semester. In addition to numerous fitness equipment, a wide range of free courses was made available (including Zumba, spinning and abs / legs / buttocks).
Chico is a typical student town, which is particularly noticeable in the prices in the clubs and bars (shots and long drinks are available for 1-2 $ depending on the day and time of the week!). When celebrating, however, you always have to take your passport with you, the identity card is not accepted!
If you also study at the CSUC in the semester, I would also recommend taking part in the “floating” on Labor Day! For this you need, for example, a rubber dinghy which you can buy or rent in various liquor stores and the best thing is to do it with a few Americans with whom you can then go to the Sacramento River. Labor Day floating is a really big highlight in Chico, where thousands of students drive to the Sacramento River and drift along the river (which is also the only way to have a drink in public;) – is on the street it forbidden not on the river!).
I have easily taken out the international health insurance online via STA Travel (http://www. statravel. de/reisekrankenversicherung. htm).
Rent a car
There is a Hertz car rental company directly at the airport in Chico. If you are under 25, you have to pay an extra charge, but the second driver can be registered free of charge.
If you’re not already doing it in Germany, I would recommend the At & t store for a mobile phone card. For example, for $ 25 a month you can text unlimitedly and have 250 free minutes (note that in America you also pay for incoming calls). With this prepaid card you can also send SMS to Germany free of charge!