I only decided on my semester abroad at California State University Los Angeles four months before the start of the semester and for me it was the best decision I could make. But first of all, of course, the not-too-fun part came up to me – the paperwork. MicroEDU accompanied me very well and always helped me quickly and well with all my questions, so that I knew exactly what to do when and where. Find more review on California State University Los Angeles on existingcountries.
After I got my approval, I started looking for an apartment. I also had a friend from Germany who went to Cal State LA with me, and with the help of MicroEDU and their Facebook group, we teamed up with four other German students so that six of us went to apartments have searched. Of course, the search from Germany was not that easy, but we still found and booked something good through Airbnb. Our apartment was in Westlake, west of downtown, which is a really good and central location. The area there is okay, but not the best. We paid about $ 600 a month for the apartment per person and we shared a room for two, which was completely okay, since you were out most of the time anyway.
However, if you prefer to live with Americans, you should try to get a dorm at the university in good time or look for a roomster or similar portals via the “American flat share wanted”. If you are not sure about the security in the various areas, you can look on the Internet using so-called “crime maps”, where you might not be able to live.
Life in LA
Los Angeles is amazing! Use every second that you can spend there. It is such an incredibly diverse and varied city. Big city, beach, sea and mountains – it’s all there.
What I would like to recommend to you for your free time is above all Manhattan Beach and a bike tour from Santa Monica on the beach. There is also great shopping on Melrose Ave, Hollywood Blvd and the Citadel Outlet, among others. I can also recommend the various restaurants such as the Cheesecake Factory, In’n’Out, Urth Caffé, Korean BBQ and Panda Express. What is also always worth a trip is a short hike in the Hollywood Hills or to the Hollywood Sign. The view up there is simply amazing!
The CSU LA has a very beautiful and, above all, large campus, like almost all universities in the USA. On campus you can even find a Starbucks and various other restaurant chains, as well as a gym and many other things that you don’t know from German universities.
In contrast, the lecture halls are a bit outdated and unattractive.
The enrollment in the courses was a bit difficult at the beginning, because you had to “crash” the courses, so you simply had to go to the first lecture to introduce yourself to the professors and ask if there was still space in the course. Two weeks after the start of the semester, I finally had my four courses together. Becky, who really takes care of the international students, is of great help to you. And with all other problems, she is always there for you.
The level of the individual courses for me was relatively low compared to courses at German universities. However, I also heard from others that they had more demanding courses. So it can vary, but in the end you get a pretty good overview of the level of difficulty from the syllabus and the first impression of the professor at the beginning of the semester.
What you might also be interested in is the public transport system in LA. There are even buses and subways. Tickets for this are not particularly expensive, but the network is far from ideal and so it sometimes takes a long time to get from A to B. I myself only used it at the beginning and even if only during the day. Another alternative, which I then used almost exclusively, is the Uber app, because I wanted to avoid buying a car and the associated costs and the risk of something breaking or being stranded on deserted roads on a road trip.
What is also particularly important is a working credit card. I personally have two credit cards that I can recommend. One is the “N 26” credit card and the other is the Comdirect credit card. Both are free. Personally, I prefer the N26 card because there is a great app for it that not only offers you a great overview, but also many other functions. In the best case scenario, however, you should always have some cash with you, as in rare cases there are shops that cannot read these cards.
That’s it on my part. I hope I was able to help you and I wish you a lot of fun and a nice and unforgettable time in your semester abroad.