I was in the States for a total of 7 months. I had always wanted to stay there, because I wanted to see how people live on such a huge continent and it also looks good on the résumé, especially if you are planning to start an international career 😉 Through MicroEDU I look at some universities in the States, which was shown very well and clearly. Well, why I chose California is obvious. The Cal State East Bay turned out to be the ‘cheapest’ university and the other experience reports made the choice less difficult. MicroEDU has helped you with everything, even with the complicated process of filling out and applying for a visa.
Now to the university: The university itself is really huge! No comparison to the German universities. It is on a hill from which you can see all of Hayward and the Bay Area. A really nice view, especially when the sun goes down! The university has everything from a stadium to a subway and a health center. The university is also equipped with a huge library, etc. When you have a few hours off, you can lie on the meadow and enjoy the midday sun. There is enough choice of food there, in addition to the fast food chains such as TacoBell, PizzaHut and Subway, there is also a small shop where you can also buy sandwiches, small snacks or salads.
Now let’s get to the not-so-enjoyable part. If you are not currently living in the dorms, i.e. in the student dormitory, you usually have a long way to get to university. A fellow student and I got a car because of that. By car we were at the university in about 10 minutes, if we used the BART (subway) and the shuttle bus, we were on the road for about 1 hour. In addition, it sometimes happened that the shuttle buses were full and you had to wait for the next one, which means that you would be late for class. Some professors didn’t like that at all and sometimes said according to the motto ‘if you’re late since then you don’t even have to turn up.’ You can think about what seems cheaper for you, either the expensive student apartments, which are usually not set up or you live privately with someone and get a car. I mean, you do need a car because all the ways to the bank and supermarkets are not within walking distance. So now to the next minus point when it comes to the university. Here in the experience reports it was mentioned from time to time that there were difficulties with the division or allocation of subjects. And yes, we had that too. In order to have the opportunity to participate in a subject at all, you have to get signatures from the professors, which was not always easy because some of us refused to sign. But that was only an exceptional case. The collection of signatures was only for the ALP students (i.e. us Germans). We were, so to speak, the last to enroll in the courses. If the course was full, there was no more chance to get in there, unless the professor saw that the demand for the course was very high and finally increased the number of participants. Now that the signatures had been collected, there was an ‘enrollment day’. The rule here was ‘first come, first served’. Whoever receives an access code for the selected course first will be the first to enter. If you are late to enroll in the course, you could be unlucky. In the Quarter case, there were a lot of Germans there, that is, a huge rush. According to this, a few students were already standing in front of the building at 5 a.m. to be the first to receive the codes (although the building or office didn’t open until half past nine). The boss of the ALP office, the office or the people who were responsible for us foreign students constantly only said, we should be flexible about the choice of subjects, which turned out to be very difficult for some. Because many universities have strict guidelines. Nevertheless, one or the other could choose another subject after consulting the university, unfortunately some were a little less lucky and could just not credit one or two subjects. The choice of business subjects was okay, but not much. If you stay longer than 1 quarter you should be careful which subject you choose, because not all subjects are offered in every quarter !!
In addition to the international courses (which are mostly only attended by Germans), there are also the normal courses. I consciously chose the normal ones in order to have contact with the Americans and not to be preferred, as in the international courses, by getting an A for very little effort. For the most part, I had really good professors who were very happy about German students and were happy to help us if we had difficulties. The courses were not always easy, but you could get a good grade with diligence.
In itself, according to Iamaccepted.com, life in the States is very expensive, especially if you also want to travel. But it’s worth the money !! The area around Hayward is not that great, but San Francisco can be reached within 45 minutes! Very cool city!
Try to see as much as you can, who knows when you will be back in the States! I met a lot of people there! I have missed the people and the USA since I left there! The people there are simply much more relaxed and open.
I recommend everyone to have been to the States once !!