My sister has been studying at UCLA since March 2016 and was originally only planning a vacation in Los Angeles. However, at the beginning of April I spontaneously decided to do a semester abroad. For me, of course, only Los Angeles and the surrounding area were considered for study. I was then made aware of the MicroEDU by my sister and a friend, both of whom were referred to CSU Fullerton in 2013 through MicroEDU. Since I am a master’s student and not many universities in California offer a program for people like me and I’m very late with my application When it was my turn, there weren’t many universities that came into question for me.
I then called ehuacom at the time and they emailed me all the information I needed. I then decided on the CSU Northridge because the university was close enough to LA and the application deadline had not yet expired. I then collected my documents very quickly. Thankfully, the CSUN only needs proof of two English-language courses and no TOEFL test is required. If this had been the case, I would no longer have been able to apply to any university.
At the beginning of the semester I had some difficulties at CSUN. Above all, the choice of course was nerve- wracking. Since the domestic students already choose their courses during the semester break, only the “remnants” remain for us internationals. So we have to “crash” the courses and hope that the professors will kindly include you in their courses if there is still a free place. The CSUN had already been able to enroll me for a course that was extremely important for me personally, which I had specified as the desired course in my application. In two other courses that I credit myself, I finally got in. Not many courses are offered for master’s students. Often it was said that the number of participants in master’s subjects is kept very low, that the available places are only for domestic students and not for international students. I was turned away from some subjects because of it. Which I thought was a shame, because the CSUN really offers some very interesting subjects that we don’t have in Germany. But I didn’t have a chance to attend these subjects. In the end, I “only” attended simple subjects that I could have taken in Germany. However, I really have to mention that my professors have been so incredibly kind and indulgent to me. I had some difficulties in one subject. I then approached my professor and he even offered me to prepare a subject that was personal to me and adapted to my German course so that I would have fewer difficulties. In the end, however, we agreed on a tutor that he even organized for me personally!
In addition, the CSUN offers free tutors. However, mainly only lower subjects are offered (which is why I then had to resort to a private tutor). As a bachelor student I am sure that you can find tutors who teach your subjects.
I was also enthusiastic about the SAC employees! At my German university I’ve never got a hug from an employee, but that’s quite normal with the SAC people! We were all received so warmly. Jess and Natalie, the two were responsible for us internationals, are so friendly and really always help you! We were always allowed to write to her privately and at the most impossible times. You just noticed that the two of them love their job and were happy to help one another with their hearts.
The tuition fees at CSUN are unfortunately very high. Especially in comparison with other partner universities of the MicroEDU in California.
As mentioned earlier, choosing a course can be a bit difficult. You just have to be satisfied with the “remaining courses”. I was really lucky that I got into all the courses that I really needed and that I was able to get credit (although I still think it’s a shame that I couldn’t attend any of the exceptional subjects. I was looking forward to that most of all. ). As I heard from others, however, many simply went to some “leftover” courses that they cannot count towards in Germany. I think it’s less bad for bachelor students if they study a subject abroad that they don’t need in Germany, but for me as a master’s student it was absolutely out of the question to take subjects, whose ECTS I cannot get credit for. If you then take some courses that you don’t need, the high costs are a bit annoying. You also have to pay extra for the gym, which of course the domestics don’t have to (is included in your tuition fees) and at most other universities in California, what I also know first hand, things like gym or student ID are included in the tuition fees already included.
However, do not be put off by what has been described! You should keep in mind that CSUN is the second largest university in California after UCLA. That looks very good on the résumé, of course. And you have to crash courses at all universities, unfortunately that’s part of it. And let’s all be honest: we spend a semester abroad mainly out of interest in the respective country, not because we absolutely want to spend at a certain university. The blazing sun every day made me quickly forget the few euros I paid more;).
Of course, things don’t happen in Northridge itself. However, LA is only 45 minutes (that may sound like a lot, but with the traffic in California 45 minutes is a stone’s throw) from Northridge: There is really so much to do and experience. However, you have to be really hard-working students, because the course also requires a lot of effort with all the homework, weekly quizzes, midterms and assignments. Personally, I arrived just under a month before the start of my studies and left exactly 90 days after the last day of my studies. During that time I have traveled a lot and really enjoyed California.
I really recommend a semester abroad to everyone. It is very expensive, depending on where you are going and which university, but it is always worth it. You have the opportunity to get to know a foreign country for a long time and at the same time do something for the university – it couldn’t be better! It is an experience that you will never experience again in your life. This is an investment in your future, because in a résumé it always looks good;).
On the whole, I was also satisfied with the CSUN and can recommend it to others. I am still annoyed by the excessive tuition fees and that I was not allowed to take the special master’s subjects (as a bachelor’s student, choosing a course will be a lot easier for you). The campus is beautiful and has a lot to offer. You will be welcomed with open arms by staff, professors and students and everyone is always ready to help you. You will meet people from all over the world and learn something for life!