I took a total of three courses at the university, all in the business area. Financial management, operations management and an entrepreneurship course “Establishing a small business”. The last course in particular is highly recommended. I had a great teacher and there were many alternative ways to get a good grade besides an exam. The other two courses were also manageable, but required a little more discipline. A regular submission of homework and participation in “quizzes” that took place every two weeks was required. Because midterms were also written and the final grade was made up of all components, everything was less stressful than I am used to from my German university. Personally, I didn’t find the requirements too high, However, some of the course content had already been part of my studies here in Germany. The professors were definitely all nice and were very happy to see international students.
According to TOPPHARMACYSCHOOLS, the organization for the international students was pretty bad. The first two weeks you could attend all courses you wanted and had to “collect” the signatures of the lecturers so that they could include you in the course. On a set day, all international students in the business area were allowed to line up at the business office and ask for additional codes for their desired courses and then register online. The “first come first serve” applied, which led to a lot of unrest. The whole thing only took place after all Americans had already had their courses, so that you really only got the last of the last. Nevertheless, I got the courses I wanted from among the options I had
The ALP Office is very badly organized. When you have a question, nobody knows the answer and nobody is responsible for it. That makes the whole process of a simple short question very tedious. Even if something in the apartment did not work or was broken, it took several weeks until someone came to repair it, or nothing was done at all.
Life on campus was rather mediocre. I was housed in the international dormitory and there were very strict regulations. For example, if you were under 21, you were not allowed to be in a room with people over 21 who had been drinking, even if you had not been drinking yourself. If a minder came by because it was too loud, and someone was underaged, names were noted and you got an angry email threatening to leave the university. The worst consequence for some community was to provide service. Of course we were still at every party and hid briefly when someone came by. The food in the canteen was of course very tasty in the beginning and seemed varied, but then quickly repeated.
Furthermore, you arrived on the day of arrival and found an empty apartment. Not even toilet paper was provided for the first day. Since I wasn’t prepared for it, I was very surprised and had to go on the first day and buy pillows and duvets. Plates, cups, cutlery etc. were of course not there either, so everything really had to be bought and a lot of additional costs arose, despite the high dormitory fee.
Otherwise, I was very happy to live on campus, everything actually happened here and those who lived off-campus were often absent due to the long journey and were not fully integrated.
To get to the city of San Francisco you have to expect a total of 1 hour. During the week this is not a problem at all, but on the weekend there is no longer a Unibus, so you have to use the normal bus that comes about once an hour.
Overall, everything was very, very fun. Because the courses were so easy, I hardly had to study and I went away almost every weekend. Friends quickly found each other and great things were done. Of course, San Francisco itself offers a lot to see and we often just went there for half a day and looked at something. When you weren’t out and about, there was a party in the dorm or some other event on campus almost every evening. In Hayward itself there is hardly anything going on and apart from going to the supermarket you hardly moved away from the campus. In addition, the fun was sometimes slowed down by nonsensical regulations of the dormitory. If you have asked someone about the background to these regulations,
When I look back on the last quarter of a year, it really was an absolutely great time. I got to know great people who made my time there unique. We were a relatively large group of Germans, but I quickly contacted the other international students so that my English improved a lot. There have been tons of trips and parties and California has definitely captured my heart. What the landscape there has to offer is unique and I can really recommend everyone to travel there as much as possible! A semester abroad really enriches you in a new way and you not only learn for university, but for life.
The costs that came up to me were much higher than initially thought. In the end, it was worth every penny because it was such a great experience overall, but the price / performance ratio is far too low. Even if there was food in the canteen every day, you still needed a change and you looked after yourself. In addition, far too many things in the apartment were broken (heating, windows could not be closed properly, balcony door on the ground floor could not be locked) and it took a lot of persistence to have them repaired, so that the price of the dormitory was not justified.
The costs for the university itself were also very high, even for the fact that you could only choose between the “last open courses”, only one additional course would have already cost $ 1,000 more.
On campus, a distinction was made between an ALP student and a visiting student (I was visiting), whereby the ALP students benefited more than we did. For example, we still had to pay the fee for the gym, or had costs to request the transcript that the others would not have.