I found out about your website through a friend and scoured the organization’s homepage. It was clear to me that I wanted to do a semester abroad in the USA, which is why I specifically looked for a suitable university there. The California State University in Long Beach immediately caught my eye due to the positive experience reports. So I applied to and got really good support from your website. You have to fill out a few forms but otherwise it is not much of a hassle. Then I had to apply for the visa and make the appointment with the Frankfurt authorities, but that went without any problems and the passport including the visa was in the mailbox after 2 weeks. I booked the flight for 800 € directly to Long Beach because I wasn’t sure how the transport from Los Angeles to Long Beach would work. I have to say that both options are good. In Long Beach the airport is just smaller and you are right there and you can fly directly to Los Angeles without stopping and there are shuttle buses that you can book in advance on the Internet or spontaneously on site. The first night I stayed at Motel 6 in Long Beach to look for a place to stay the next day. I had already found a girl in the university’s Facebook group who was also looking for an apartment. Most of them share a room for two in America so that the rent is not that expensive. Then you usually pay around $ 400 in a shared apartment. For accommodation with a host family, $ 600-700 and another option are the student residence or one of the many apartment complexes. The student dormitory does not have a good reputation because it is very expensive, the rooms are shared by two and meals are included. That means there is no way to cook. Based on the experience reports, I had actually already decided to move into the Beverly Plaza apartment. The apartments are large and have 1-3 rooms. Since there were only two of us in a 2 room apartment, the rent per person was $ 800. But the area is very safe, many students live there, there is a pool and a jacuzzi and of course you can also share a room with two people. The only problem is that the apartments are not furnished.
The campus is only 5 minutes away by bus. I didn’t need a bike in Long Beach because the bus is very reliable and free for us, you just have to check the times on Google because there are no bus plans. It just says that the bus runs every 20-30 minutes. A car is of course an advantage, but personally I didn’t want to take the risk of selling it again afterwards.
The university with its huge campus is very nicely equipped! There is also a great gym. Unfortunately, you cannot select the courses in advance, you have to have a slip of paper signed by the professor in order to enter the course. Since I only chose courses where there were still places available, I had no problems taking my macro, leadership, fashion management and hospitality management courses. The courses were very interesting! The professors were engaged and it is taught in a small group of 30 people. The workload is high, but you also get good grades for it. The university convinced me qualitatively!
Regarding the leisure activities, it should be said that there are opportunities to make great excursions, especially during the one-week break you can drive or fly to San Francisco, Las Vegas, Ney York or even Mexico. But trips to San Diego and the beaches of LA are also possible on weekends. There is also a party bus that goes to Los Angeles / Hollywood 4 times a semester, which means you can celebrate cheaply with your friends there. From 2am there is unfortunately curfew in California, but you can also go to Las Vegas for a weekend. I got to know a lot of international students and there are also some student groups, but the university could have done a little more at this point to include the international students. Check iamaccepted to see more reviews from current students.
In general, Americans are very open and friendly! You shouldn’t be frightened if you are being danced a little aggressively in the club, there are slightly different customs. Just stay friendly and explain that this is not how it works with us. The only “don’t” is drinking alcohol in public. You should definitely not mess with the police.
All in all, it was a wonderful stay where you learned a lot and, above all, made great friends! I can only recommend everyone to do their semester abroad in Long Beach!