The organization before and after arrival:
I started organizing my semester abroad about six months before I left. The application formalities were handled superbly. After a few weeks I had the documents from the CSU East Bay regarding the admission in the mailbox. The application fee was also quickly charged to my credit card. I also applied for a place in the dormitory, for which I received a provisional acceptance after about a month. With the final booking and confirmation of this, I also had to register in the university’s online student portal, for which I did not yet have access data. So I got in direct contact with the responsible office at the university to get the necessary information. This is where the less pleasant phase of the organization begins, which should last until arrival. In the end it came down to the fact that it was not clear to me until my arrival whether a place in the dormitory was reserved for me or not. So I was surprised and fortunately got a place after my arrival. The big question mark that hovered over me up to this point was not a good feeling. In retrospect, in my opinion, this mishap is due to a lack of coordination between the Housing Office and the University’s International Office. So I was surprised and fortunately got a place after my arrival. The big question mark that hovered over me up to this point was not a good feeling. In retrospect, in my opinion, this mishap is due to a lack of coordination between the Housing Office and the University’s International Office. So I was surprised and fortunately got a place after my arrival. The big question mark that hovered over me up to this point was not a good feeling. In retrospect, in my opinion, this mishap is due to a lack of coordination between the Housing Office and the University’s International Office.
The rest of the organization ran smoothly (they had already adjusted to the class crashing). However, it is recommended that you inquire beforehand which courses from the University Catalog are offered in which quarter.
In retrospect, living on campus was the right decision in my opinion (for a quarter), as off-campus life is associated with many things such as shopping etc., most of which cannot be done on the hill. The student dormitory offers great service here! But be prepared for the fact that you are studying on a hill and that San Francisco and other attractive cities like Berkeley are a good half to three quarters of an hour away and that you are relatively dependent on local transport if you don’t have a car. I wouldn’t call Hayward a student town (even if there are a few bars and a cinema that can be easily reached with the university shuttle).
I was very satisfied with the courses at the university! The professors were really great and the groups were quite small. In addition, you are not only in the lecture with other internationals, but also with the Americans, which I found very good. The level of teaching depends heavily on which courses you choose at the beginning and how these are classified. I would say the offer ranges from very simple to demanding. But you get a feeling for how difficult each course is in the “Class Crashing Week” at the beginning of the quarter.
I would also rate the travel options as very good. With various car rental stations at the foot of the hill, all of California is open to you. In addition, various airlines fly relatively cheap to domestic American destinations (such as Las Vegas) from Oakland Airport. I would also recommend this airport for the journey, as it is the closest to the university. But San Francisco can also be easily reached with the BART.
The organization after the quarter and conclusion:
With regard to the certificate, I would recommend applying for it directly to the cashier office before leaving and having it sent directly to Germany. After my experience with the International Office, I liked this path more. It worked out great, the certificate was in Germany before me!
In the end, I would describe the semester as extremely worthwhile. From the beach to mountaineering, everything is included so that boredom doesn’t stand a chance. Unfortunately, this also means that time flies by and you get back on the plane faster than you actually wanted. As a recommendation, I can only say not to be put off by the bumpy organization on the part of the CSU East Bay and to let the anticipation spoil. This rather flexible and less well-planned way of thinking may also reflect the attitude to life in California a little, but after a short change it leaves a more positive than a negative final impression and definitely makes the stay abroad a lot more dynamic. I can also recommend anyone who decides to spend a semester in the USA.