First of all,
greetings from Austria!
Yes, even someone from the “small country” makes it across the big lake to California!
After long “discussions” at my home university, it was clear to me that I wanted to spend my 8th semester abroad. Initially, a university in Europe was planned that would have been a lot cheaper (ERASMUS program). But after much deliberation it was clear to me that I really wanted to go to California. And not just because California is ruled by an Austrian.
You should plan at least 6-10 months for the preparation. Your website was a great help with the preparation. THANK YOU again, everything was handled really professionally. In principle, applying for a university in the States is not a problem. You just have to prove the data and facts you want. The only thing that was really time consuming is the TOEFL test and the visa. If you need the TOEFL test, I would definitely do it as early as possible. In retrospect, it was not necessary for the CSUEB. I took the English test at the university. It’s a lot easier than the TOEFL and it’s free too! You shouldn’t take too long with the visa. No entry without a visa. And if something was applied for incorrectly, it can take some time to get the visa. In summary, it can be said that recording is not a problem as long as you pay! The American universities (except elite universities) need MONEY.
When I arrived in Hayward, I went to the International House. The dormitory is specially set up for all international students. Whereby “international” is not entirely correct, approx. 95% Asians and 5% from the rest of the world. The Asians are really very friendly and helpful, only learning English can be a problem. But all in all, the International House is the best option for a quarter because it is right on campus. The campus is located on a hill in Hayward from which you can enjoy a wonderful view of the entire Bay Area and San Francisco every day. It takes a good 30 minutes to get to San Francisco with the BART, the bus ride to the BART station in is free with a student ID.
So now we come to a not entirely unimportant topic. Basically, no European need ever worry about “studying”. It’s all a lot easier than at a local university, but that doesn’t mean that the university is bad. It is just taught and learned differently. There is a lot more to do during the quarter (assignments, projects, small exams, etc.). The exams themselves are not that demanding. Living on campus with many other international students and Americans is a great experience. Many languages and cultures collide and create a pleasant atmosphere. Of course, enough parties are also celebrated. But be careful, Americans have their own laws that only they understand. No party without the police ……,
In comparison to studying in Austria, the tuition fees in the USA are a lot higher (see CSUEB homepage). Groceries and rental prices are also more expensive. Rental cars and clothes are a lot cheaper. I would add around 500 euros per month to the tuition fees and rent. So you can make ends meet. It’s very difficult to say how much you need. That depends a lot on how much you are on the road! (San Francisco beer around $ 5-8)
California has a lot to offer. You can do pretty much anything. Skiing is also not a problem in winter, which is not unimportant for an Austrian. Basically, I would add at least 2 weeks to the course. The usual program from LA to San Diego, Las Vegas, etc. should definitely be seen. The north also has a lot to offer. Those who divide up the subjects well can also look at a lot during the quarter.
Hopefully my report has helped you a bit. It was an unforgettable wonderful time! After my arrival in Austria, it took me a long time to get used to the “European system” again (actually still not quite there). This also makes me want to go back to California for a longer period of time. I will be back !!!
Good luck! Have fun!