In May of last year – about six months before I left the country – I got in touch with your website to find the right university for me . I got a lot of help from your website and I was able to get in touch with questions and problems at any time and got an answer quickly. When the decision was finally made, I received great support with the application . I informed the BAföG office directly that I was planning a semester abroad , which is why I ended up getting money on time. In July all the documents were submitted and at the end of September I was finally accepted by the CSULB in the mailbox. After that everything happened very quickly. Flights had to be booked, additional insurance was needed and I wanted to have accommodation before I even arrived. I also applied for a scholarship in October. I can only recommend this, as you can of course use additional financial injections.
The departure and the first days in Long Beach
The trip to Long Beach started at the beginning of January. I happened to have booked the same flight as another student and we shared our excitement. I was very lucky with my accommodation . I got a room with an American woman who picked me up at the Los Angeles airport. Otherwise, I know from other air travel that there are various shuttles to Long Beach. The cheapest option is the flyaway shuttle, which costs around 7 USD and runs every hour. When I arrived at my new home, I was plagued by jet lag for a few days. Therefore it is better to arrive a few days before the orientation week so that you are a little more rested. The orientation week was very relaxed and the choice of course was very easy in my case. II got all of the courses I wanted and didn’t have to search for a long time. Actually two of the courses were already full, but the professors accepted me.
The CSULB has a huge campus, so you are well served by bike . There are a number of cafes and restaurants and countless opportunities to keep yourself busy between events. The library is also very large and there are many options for studying in peace or with others. The books for the courses are sold in the bookstore, where they can be sold again at the end of the semester. However, the amount you get is very small. That’s why I preferred to keep one of my books.
Overall, I rate the university as very good. I particularly liked the fitness center and the family atmosphere. The International Office is also great. You can turn to the team with any problems and get help. The downside is clearly the mandatory insurance that you have to take out. It’s practically a waste of money. Almost nothing is really covered, so you have to take out a second insurance.
Except for one, I really enjoyed my courses. As an international student, I have always felt particularly welcome . The high workload in the semester takes getting used to, but everything is possible.
Leisure and travel
I was logged into the fitness center during the semester and joined the surf club . You can also jog or play volleyball on the beach. If you have a bike, you can also go on wonderful bike tours – the area around Long Beach is ideal. Otherwise, we often met on 2nd Street or had a house party somewhere. Since there are many international students in Long Beach, you can always find someone who wants to do something.
On the weekends we often went on excursions in groups with the rental car . Malibu, Venice, Santa Monica, San Diego and of course LA are suitable for such trips. Longer trips then went to the Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Zion, Bryce Canyon or to San Francisco and Las Vegas. I’m still to Colorado to visit a friend and have been to Hawaii for another 5 days. I kind of squeezed all of this into my semester because I had to go back to Germany shortly after the end of the lecture period. If you plan your events well, you may have a short university week and thus a long weekend to travel.
Reside and live
As mentioned above, I found my apartment before I left. My landlady had posted her offer on Facebook. I paid $ 500 for a single room. However, this is a very affordable price for Long Beach. Many of my fellow students paid the same for a twin room. In any case, it is advisable to contact former students in order to find out which situation is passable or to make contacts.
Not only the rent but also the cost of living are very high in California . A week’s shopping easily cost twice as much as in Germany. Clothes and petrol are very cheap for this.
Long Beach is a wonderful place to study! I felt very comfortable the whole time. You can go on great excursions and of course the weather is not to be sniffed at either. The time at CSULB was definitely one of the most beautiful of my life and I am very sad that these five months were over so quickly.