Hello everyone interested in Fullerton,
After spending a lot of time last year looking for information from the testimonials, it is now my turn to pass on my experiences to you.
Of course, the whole project begins with planning the semester abroad. , if not you will have to deal with some paperwork.JIf the CSUF is a partner university of your university: Congratulations That’s how it was for me. Since my university has no connection to the USA, I looked for universities myself and quickly became aware of your website. Here I picked out the universities that best fit my budget and that I liked best. In the end, a decision had to be made between the CSUF and the SDSU. I then decided on the CSUF because it is considered one of the best business faculties in the western United States and I liked the location very much, and the tuition fees were very low in comparison.
Then it went with the application formalities, which, as is well known, were quickly dealt with thanks to the support of your website, especially Aline. After a few weeks I already had the CSUF’s confirmation in my hands, including information material about the university, the visa formalities, etc.
I paid the tuition fees by bank transfer. A struggle with the bureaucracy ensued and your website couldn’t help much. Tell your home university that you are going abroad, look for courses (the CSUF course catalog can be viewed online and is very helpful in advance), possibly draw up a learning agreement with your home university, apply for student loans and a visa.
Bafög & Visa:
Unfortunately, I don’t get a student loan here in Germany, but I tried it anyway and applied for a foreign student loan. I would like to clarify that it is advertised everywhere that the Bafögamt will cover the tuition fees of € 4600. But that’s not quite the case. The probability that all costs will be covered is of course high if you are already receiving student loans here in D, but it is the case that the tuition fees are added to your needs and also offset against the income of the parents. In my case, that means that I ended up getting less than the total tuition fees I had to pay.
The visa costs $ 200 and must be applied for at an American embassy. I was lucky and have the embassy relatively close to me here in Berlin. Make sure you have all of your documents with you. Thanks to the online scheduling, everything went smoothly. If you’re wondering what the officer is asking you, don’t worry. I’ve already done this twice, the last time I was only asked what I was studying and when / why I was coming back to Germany. That happens in German or, if necessary, in English. A day later I had my passport and visa in the mailbox.
I found out about accommodations before departure. Since I did the semester together with my boyfriend, it was clear early on that we would rent an apartment, especially since the University Village is also quite expensive (despite the food included). I became aware of the Homestead Apartments through the testimonials and can only recommend to everyone to move in there. I picked out some communities that we looked at on site and the Homestead definitely had the best price-performance ratio and, as it soon turned out, the greatest people!
I would not recommend reserving accommodation through the university in advance, as it can be worthwhile to look around first, also for the location, etc. The homestead consists of 4 “colonies”, each with barbecue areas, a pool and a whirlpool. The distance to the university is about 10 minutes by bike. Grocery stores and fast food restaurants are within walking distance.
Many communities advertise with furnished apartments, but one must say: they don’t exist. There is only the possibility of renting furniture from an external company, which for most of them amounted to around 350 € per month. We had a 2-room apartment with a kitchen and bathroom. We bought the furniture from Craigslist and Ikea and luckily got something for free. We paid around $ 600 for the furniture (including kitchen utensils, etc.) and ended up getting around $ 400 back through the sale. So definitely cheaper than renting, but also more effort.
Our rental costs are composed as follows: $ 1220 rent + $ 30 internet + $ 35 refrigerator + $ 20 electricity + $ 45 water + $ 15 insurance. But we only lived as a couple.
Aaaaalso, since we have already lived in San Francisco for 3 months, where the public transport network is much better than in Fullerton, we decided to buy a car from the start. In retrospect, I would say that everything else is torture and quite complicated, even if we had a lot of people around us who did not have a car and still managed. We have bought bicycles for short distances. The fact is, however, that Fullerton doesn’t really have much to offer and with a car you are much more independent. For shopping and sightseeing it is simply indispensable, I think. If you don’t want to buy a car, you can rent a car at Enterprise for a reasonable price, even under 25 at no extra charge.
We initially searched through craigslist, cars.com and autotrader, but found it hard to find and after we had problems paying for a car from craigslist, we focused on the fullerton’s car dealers. We found what we were looking for at “Springfield Imports” and bought an SUV there (price: $ 5000). The dealer also forwarded us to an insurer “Sameday Insurance” they call themselves.
The formalities are simple. You need money, a passport and an (EU) driver’s license (for insurance). NOT MORE! No international driver’s license or anything.
The insurance cost us $ 300 one-time payment and then $ 56 per month (liability for two people).
The most important thing is that you have enough money. Logical. But it is not quite as logical to get hold of the money. We had the money, but didn’t get it in cash because the American ATMs have a limit of $ 600 per day and $ 1000 per week on foreign credit cards. Neither your bank, Visa, nor MasterCard can change that. Had it not been for my boyfriend, I would have looked stupidly out of the laundry when I rented the apartment, because of course you have to pay the rent and a deposit there. The rent is paid by money order. To do this, you withdraw the money, go to a liquor store or a special shop, hand in the cash and get something like a check in return.
Many people talk about buying a credit card on site so that large sums are more easily available, but I don’t see the point in this, because the money also has to go to the American account first (transfer?). But I have no experience with it. I had a prepaid VisaCard from the Sparkasse and was very satisfied.
You should expect $ 1500 a month, which includes everything: rent, utilities, groceries, shopping, etc.
The university itself is madness. The campus is huge, green and well-kept. I am studying international business and can only say that the farm building (Mihaylo Hall) was really great. Super equipped and very pleasant. I wanted to get credit for my courses at home, so I looked for courses that I would have had here as well. It all worked out really well. Of the 10 courses previously sent to the CSUF, I got my favorites, unfortunately I found the times stupid, so I played around a bit and in the end dropped one course and added a completely different one. Everything went really smoothly. Go to the course, ask the lecturer if there is still space, fill out the slip and bring it to Christine Pircher-Barnes.
My courses were:
- Human Resource Management at Laurie Giesenhagen
- Team Leadership Skills at Lori Muse
- Business Ethics at Gary Jason
- Financial Markets & Institutions at Robert Kovacev
The university in the USA is very schooled. Much emphasis is placed on cooperation, attendance and housework. Even if it sounds great at first if you only go to university on Mondays and Wednesdays, it is far from being totally chilled. You really have to do a lot at home. Paper, group work and 3 “exams” in each course. It’s more than here, but doable. I didn’t kill myself 😉
Fullerton, Surroundings & Things to Do:
Fullerton is in a great location. As I said, Fullerton itself has little to offer, downtown is very cute, but not spectacular either. Outlet shopping is particularly recommended at the Ontario Mills Mall. But there are other great outlet malls. Los Angeles is great too, of course. In my opinion, Hollywood is slowly losing its charm due to the tourist excess, but everyone has to get an idea of that for themselves. Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Malibu and Santa Barbara are definitely worth a visit. Las Vegas is about 3 to 3.5 hours away and an absolute MUST! Endless fun and partying, and mostly free for girls.
Grand Canyon absolutely! We went to the South Rim and loved it! I can only recommend a detour to Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, as well as through Zion National Park on the way back.
San Diego is a blast on Halloween. That was by far the best party we had there. Otherwise, it’s a beautiful city that you should definitely see.
Catalina Island, it’s worth going here too. The ferry departs from Long Beach.
The beaches are of course inevitable, Huntington is great, very young and the epitome of the surfer’s paradise. Here you can borrow a board and plunge yourself into the water. Newport, Laguna and Co. are of course not to be neglected.
We were fortunate enough to have a week vacation through Thanksgiving. We used this week and flew to Mexico (Akumal) and spent a super relaxed beach vacation there. Otherwise, some of our friends flew to Hawaii or continued to look at the American mainland.
You don’t get bored.
In conclusion, I can only say that it was a great time. I can say for myself that it was 100% worth taking this step. I made great friends and visited wonderful places. I hope my report will help you prepare to some extent. I wish you a lot of fun and maximum success in the USA!