I studied one semester at California State University Chico and can therefore only recommend this university. Learn more about California State University Chico on andyeducation.
It was always clear to me that I wanted to spend my semester abroad in the USA. Chico was chosen because it is not such a huge university and the tuition fees are relatively “cheap”.
The application itself is quite uncomplicated via MicroEDU, you fill out the application, send it to MicroEDU and then usually get an acceptance within a few weeks. Then you can take care of the necessary visa, which takes a lot of time (first fill out an online form, then pay visa fees, make an appointment at the embassy, etc.). For the appointment at the embassy you should plan 4-5 hours (of which about 75% is waiting time, at least in Munich), the embassy employee actually only asks you what you want to do in the USA, where you want to study and how long you stay there would like the whole thing in English. If you don’t understand something you can just ask. the people there were all really nice. Applying for a visa is therefore far less dramatic than is often claimed. Then you can take care of the recognition of the courses you want to take, which also worked more or less smoothly for me (you should always look for 2-3 courses more than you want to prove, so that if something doesn’t work, you can quickly find an alternative Has). Then you have actually taken care of all the important organizational things (except flight and apartment) and you can start.
Chico is a student town (80,000 inhabitants – 16,000 students) most of whom live in dorms (student dormitories) or shared apartments. It is relatively difficult to get an apartment from Germany, but if you search long enough you will find something suitable. You should try to live in a shared flat with Americans, because that’s the quickest way to learn the language and you can make friends right away. Americans are very open and friendly, you get to know new people very quickly when you go out. Chico offers a lot of bars, clubs and house parties during the semester, the prices are very cheap by American standards.
When you are in Chico, you definitely need at least a bike, as the walking distances are just too far and Chico doesn’t really have a public transport system other than a few bus routes. Since it is usually over 15 degrees even in December and it rarely rains, you are optimally on the move by bike.
The campus is more or less a large park with the individual faculty buildings scattered between a lot of green space. Since you cannot choose your courses beforehand, you have to register on site by going to the respective lectures and then trying to get a signature from the lecturer. In my case that wasn’t a problem at all, I just filled out the necessary form, went to the lecturer after the 1st lecture, said that I was an exchange student and would like to take the course and I already had the necessary signature. The courses themselves are often more reminiscent of school lessons than a lecture, you get homework every week that is graded and you write at least 3 tests during the semester, which all contribute to the final grade. Studying in the USA is much more time-consuming than in Germany because of the many homework and tests, but it also makes it easier to get good grades. The level of the courses is somewhat lower than in Germany. After 1-2 weeks of “getting used to” you can usually follow the course of the lecture without any problems. Should you still have difficulties, you can always go to the lecturer and ask. All professors and especially the people from the ALCI are very, very helpful and friendly. you can always go to the lecturer and ask. All professors and especially the people from the ALCI are very, very helpful and friendly. you can always go to the lecturer and ask. All professors and especially the people from the ALCI are very, very helpful and friendly.
I always tried to do my homework during the week so I could drive around on the weekends and “look at the USA”. You should rent a car for this, as there is no really good public transport system in many cities (at least on the west coast). If you are in Chico you should definitely go to San Francisco for 2-3 days (approx. 3 hours by car), and you should also take the coast from Santa Barbara to LA (from Chico approx. 8 hours by car) Car) down to San Diego (very varied, beautiful beaches for surfing and swimming). In addition, there are an incredible number of beautiful national parks in California / USA for hiking and camping. In Chico itself, Bidwell Park and the Sacramento River offer various opportunities to spend your free time.
All in all, I had an incredibly good time in Chico and can only recommend a semester there.