My semester abroad in California was the best of my studies and I recommend it to everyone. It is the best way to broaden your horizons, to get to know new people and cultures.
The application was very easily done through ehuacom. With their help and instructions, I had no difficulty getting through the application process. Since I also applied to several other universities at the same time, I can say that there are some that make it a lot more difficult!
You can also get the visa at the embassy without any problems, if you really have all the noted documents with you that are required. JI missed two documents that day, which luckily I was able to quickly print out from an internet café around the corner.
The decisive disadvantage if you apply as a student like me: We are there at the university in a different status than the “exchange students” they come to the university because their own university has an exchange program with the CSULB. As a result, they have some advantages, discounts, etc. The biggest disadvantage for us is that we cannot register the courses in advance, but have to run from lecture to lecture on site and get about 3 signatures / stamps per course. . it’s all doable, just a little more stressful. However, within 2-3 days you should have everything together and start studying!
What you are probably asking yourself first: where should I actually live. . . There are many different options:
1.You would live in the dorms: extremely overpriced, you have to share a tiny room, you are not allowed to have alcohol in the room and most of the time there is not even air conditioning. You always have to eat additional food in the Dining Hall and are therefore dependent on their times and their insufficient selection.
As you can see, I am not a fan of this option and so do almost everyone I have met. To be fair, there are a couple of advantages too: You can book this accommodation from the comfort of your home. You are relatively safe (a friend was also broken into) and of course right on campus. In addition, a very close community forms there very quickly, but mainly of students under the age of 21.
2. My favorite: look for a private apartment via craigslist. org. Preferably together with Americans or other internationals. You can also search in one of the many Facebook groups, they usually have something good on offer. So you are much more flexible, can celebrate properly and really get to know the Californian culture.
3. Apartment complexes like Oakwood Apartment, Beverly Plaza Apartments, etc.
Not a bad solution either. Usually a bit more expensive than a private apartment but still far better than on-campus in terms of price-performance ratio. At Oakwood, however, I would be cautious, because it can quickly happen that you only have to do something with Germans that really should not be the intention for a semester abroad
All buses around Long Beach are free for you due to the student card. However, without my smartphone I would have been very lost when to take which bus where. . . of course that is not absolutely necessary;)
I recommend buying a car to anyone who can afford it and especially to those who stay longer than a semester. America is a country made for cars and you will find it very useful. Especially if you want to go to an outlet center or on some road trips, it is very advantageous not to have to rent one every time.
If you don’t have one, you can rent it very cheaply from Enterprise. Especially for the weekend there are $ 10 a day specials. Be careful with the insurance though. They are all a bit relaxed about it, but in principle I would never drive around there without insurance, otherwise you would quickly be in debt for life under their laws.
I got a cheap bike from Walmart on the 2nd day and used it to go to university and around town almost every day. It is a bit dangerous on the streets, but now there are more and more cycle paths too. With that you are of course much more flexible and independent. Mostly faster than by bus.
Before doing a semester abroad in the USA, please wait until you are 21! Otherwise you will miss a lot, a lot. Most of the time you are not even allowed to enter bars without being 21 and the laws and controls are extremely strict everywhere.
hipster area. à a more upscale area or on 4th Street àOtherwise there is a multitude of bars on 2nd Street You won’t find a lot of clubs downtown, so you tend to go to house parties or really good clubs in Hollywood or Las Vegas.
Apart from the most famous trips that you can read about everywhere, here are a few tips:
Joshua Tree National Park
Zion National Park
3 beautiful natural areas that have all been spared from tourism.
All in all, I would give a whole lot of space for trips, food and fun roughly € 10,000 for the semester;)