my name is Stefan and in the fall of 2009 I studied for a quarter at the CSU. I chose this university because of its proximity to San Francisco and because both business and economics courses can be taken.
In my experience report I would mainly like to go into the study and the conditions, the university and an off-campus life.
According to ANDYEDUCATION, the CSU East Bay is built on a hill from which you have a great view of the Bay and, on a clear day, even of San Francisco. With the BART, the subway in the Bay Area, is 35 minutes in downtown San Francisco. This great city is one of the most beautiful in the USA and can surprise you every time you visit.
The university itself is relatively large and is constantly being expanded with new building complexes. A new building was recently completed and another is still under construction.
In addition, the university has many green spaces that are maintained at least once a week.
If you want to do sports in addition to your courses, you have a large selection of sports on offer. You can choose between dance classes, soccer, tennis, golf and a few other courses. However, you should register with the course instructor right at the beginning of the quarter, otherwise courses are already full and you will no longer be considered.
If you buy a car for your stay and want to drive to university with it, you have to buy a parking permit for $ 95, which is valid for one quarter. You really shouldn’t park your car without a valid parking permit, as you are sure to get a ticket. The same applies if the car is parked in the wrong parking lot. Several people walk across the parking lots every day to issue tickets. A ticket costs almost $ 50.
The course starts with the introductory event, which lasted three days. At this event we were informed, among other things, about the course selection system. There are two options for registering courses: You pay more money in advance and can register for courses from home, or you pay less and the course selection is only carried out on site.
I and almost all the other students had opted for the second option. At this point, unfortunately, it has to be said that the implementation of the course selection for exchange students is not optimal.
We were only able to register for the courses two weeks after the start of the quarter. This means that during the introductory event you choose courses that either still have free places or fewer than 5 students on the waiting list. Since the Quater already runs two weeks before you can be sure of your courses, you either have to attend several courses or you hope that you will get the courses you want.
It is advisable to speak to the professors about this problem. Some have also been very helpful and have increased the capacity of the course. You can also ask the professors if you can copy parts of the prescribed textbook until you have been accepted for the course. This is highly recommended as the library is very poorly equipped and books can easily cost around $ 200. To avoid such high prices, you can also order the International Edition from Abebooks, which then only costs a quarter. Here you should plan around 1.5 weeks for shipping, since the books come from Asia because they are not allowed to be sold in the USA.
The courses at the CSU include around 50 to 60 students, which makes the lecture very pleasant. However, it is very difficult to come into contact with Americans. Most of my courses were elderly, with whom one did not share the same interests.
Now I come to the costs at the university. Just before the Quarter started, we were all told that the tuition fees had been increased. That increase was close to 30%, which was a hell of a lot. In our quarter, printing costs of 10ct per page were also introduced. Printing was previously free in the quarter. Given these high prices, you should consider getting a printer with cheap cartridges. In addition, the price for the parking card was more than doubled.
Life off campus
I decided to live off-campus because I didn’t want to share my room with someone I didn’t know before. Of course you can be lucky with your roommate but also have bad luck. I didn’t want to take this risk.
If you do not find accommodation in an apartment complex next to the university, you are inevitably dependent on a car. For a good set of wheels you should budget around $ 1500 plus the cost of registration, emissions testing and insurance.
However, the car can then also be used wonderfully to explore the beautiful Bay Area.
The only disadvantage is that you don’t see everything about student life on campus. You get to know exchange students quickly during non-university activities such as sports or fun trips, but it’s not the same.
If you are still interested in an off-campus life, you should contact the City View Apartments, right next to the university, or the Leisure Terrace apartment complex.
To sum up, I can say that the quarter met my expectations for the most part. In addition to studying, there was almost always enough time to travel to the USA and get to know the country and its people better. Life off campus also turned out to be the right choice for me. The courses were always easy to follow and if there were problems, the professors were always there.
In addition, the MicroEDU Team was always on hand to offer advice and assistance, making registration very easy.