Since MicroEDU takes care of the application process at the university, all you have to do is apply for a visa, book flights and provide the documents requested by MicroEDU. In general, the workload for planning a semester abroad was limited. More work, however, had to be planned where to go before, during and after the quarter.
I lived in the City View Apartments for the duration of the quarter. They are about 10 minutes’ walk from the campus. However, there is nothing else around it. In other words, walking to shopping or to town may take a little longer. There is a free shuttle that leaves from the back of the campus (15-20 minutes ‘walk from the apartment) and one at the front of the campus (5-10 minutes’ walk to the apartment). Alternative to walking or Uber. We have 6 in a 2 bed / 2 bath apartment. So 2 people per room. Since we as a shared flat rented an apartment for the period of the quarter, the monthly rent was extremely high. When it comes to short term leasing, they seem to really hit it. We ultimately rented the apartment for 4 months instead of just 3, because the total rent for 4 months was less than for 3 months. The monthly rent decreases as the rental period increases. It is therefore advisable to rent an existing flat share, as it usually has a leasing period of over a year. Another advantage is that you may not pay a deposit or get it back in full when you move out. However, if the apartment is completely returned to the leasing office, they will deduct everything from the deposit – painting, cleaning, carpet cleaning, etc.
The apartment is fine. However, you shouldn’t compare it with German standards. The ceilings and walls are made of wood, hardly any insulation, the water pressure in the shower is a joke, the laundry doesn’t get really clean in the washing machines there… A horde of people from another nation lived above us. I don’t know how many people actually lived there. In any case, they were incredibly loud because you can hear everything in these houses anyway. The office staff in the City View Apartments were only moderately competent.
What should be noted, however, as with most other apartment complexes, is that the apartments are all unfurnished. For just one quarter, it can be quite annoying to set everything up and then sell again. Our flat share was almost completely equipped at a large and well-known Scandinavian furniture store and since a quarter is only 3 months, almost everything was returned at the end. The Scandinavians are really accommodating;).
The apartment complex offers a pool, a common room with table football, billiards and TV and a tennis court. Everything can be used free of charge.
In general, there isn’t very much going on in Hayward. There are a couple of (karaoke) bars and a movie theater that has movie days on Tuesdays for $ 6.50. About 35 minutes on foot. If you want to go away, it is more likely to go to the surrounding cities such as San Francisco, San José, Berkeley. However, the BART doesn’t really drive long into the night and is also quite expensive in the long run to SF and back.
Allegedly, Hayward is said to be quite a criminal. I didn’t notice anything of this during my stay and I walked through the entire city center to the apartments late in the evening. Of course, like almost everywhere in the USA, you see homeless people. But they don’t do anything to you. Hayward Downtown even looks very nice and well-kept.
There are plenty of shopping opportunities in Hayward – if you have a car. Because from the university or the City View Apartments, it is awkward to take the shuttle or it is quite far to go shopping well and cheaply on foot. Food prices in the USA are generally higher than in Germany. But if you go to certain grocery stores, you can shop very well and almost at German prices. I can recommend Foodsource and Grocery Outlet (a chain). The two were by far the cheapest we’d seen. The Foodsource is within walking distance of the City View Apartments – about 35 minutes. The university shuttle stops at the BART station in downtown, where there is a Lucky supermarket. However, it is far more expensive than the two just mentioned.
If you want to be mobile, it’s best to rent a car. You have your own parking space directly in front of the apartment. We often rented a car from Hertz through the ADAC. The advantage: all possible insurances and additional drivers are already included in the (low) price. However, the Hertz cars in Hayward usually drove many miles down and that’s what they look like. The employees there are also a chaos squad. However, they will pick you up from your apartment for free and bring you back again. But if you want your car on time in the morning, I would not have Hertz pick it up! Alternatively, I have often booked Avis in Hayward through carrentals.com. Intermediate-sized rental cars always cost me around $ 35-40 a day with fully comprehensive insurance, theft and additional driver included, so pretty cheap if you then rent several people.
As an exchange student or free mover, the American Language Program (ALP) there is responsible for you. The employees of the ALP-Office are hard-working and mostly friendly. However, as an ALP student you have to do so-called class crashing attend to take his courses. Sounds more nerve-wracking than it actually is. In the end, everyone gets their desired course. During the application process via MicroEDU, you get a list of your preferred courses that you can fill out and send, but it is (understandably) not taken into account at the university. It tends to be a bit fuller in the bachelor’s courses than in the master’s courses. So in the first week you have to attend all courses that you potentially want / could take and collect the signatures of the lecturers that they agree to accept you in the class. After the enrollment deadline for US students has expired and everyone has signed in and, in some cases, de-registered, it is the turn of the ALP students. According to toppharmacyschools, ALP students can now enroll wherever space is available in the classes. To do this, you have to hand in your signed slip of paper and then you will be sent a code for each course, which you can then enroll in online. There were 45 places in each of my master’s courses. A course was already full and I put myself on the waiting list. When the course was also overcrowded at the end of the deadline, the professor of the subject said to me that he could sort it out and after a few days I was enrolled in the course despite the lack of space. As I said: actually everyone gets their dream place… which you can then enroll in online. There were 45 places in each of my master’s courses. A course was already full and I put myself on the waiting list. When the course was also overcrowded at the end of the deadline, the professor of the subject said to me that he could sort it out and after a few days I was enrolled in the course despite the lack of space. As I said: actually everyone gets their dream place… which you can then enroll in online. There were 45 places in each of my master’s courses. A course was already full and I put myself on the waiting list. When the course was also overcrowded at the end of the deadline, the professor of the subject said to me that he could sort it out and after a few days I was enrolled in the course despite the lack of space. As I said: actually everyone gets their dream place …
If you want to avoid this procedure, simply take part in the International Business Diploma courses. The first come, first served principle applies here again. At 4:30 a.m., students were already lining up at the ALP, well before office opening times, to sign up for these IBD courses, which also have limited capacities. However, the demand was apparently not that high and you could still enroll in these courses 2 days later. The advantage of the courses: A little cheaper than regular courses and even easier.
I have signed up for 2 Masters courses and 1 International Business Diploma course. Since my local university only recognizes the courses without grades from abroad, I only went to the courses half-heartedly from the start, i.e. hardly any effort or effort invested in papers, homeworks or exams. In my final grades, I was consistently rewarded with A and A-… That’s how huge the claim there is. In previous experience reports, I had already read that the requirements and demands in the USA cannot generally be compared with German universities, but I did not expect such an immense difference. I think the grades from my entire flat were like this. There are some homework and group work during the semester, but they are of the appropriate level and therefore easy to manage if you want to go away for long weekends on a permanent basis.
Life at the university is not really exciting. It seems more like a commuter university. Most students go home and work after their courses. At first I was surprised that all master’s courses were only offered late in the evening. When the lecturers then asked what they would do in the first lecture, it became clear that around 90% of the students worked full-time and therefore only had time to attend the courses in the evenings anyway. So there was hardly any real university life and student feeling at this university.
For $ 65 per quarter you can register in the university’s gym. That has a lot to offer. As an ALP student, you can also officially take part in a physical education (football, water polo, etc.) course (not the fitness studio courses, which are included in the fee). For this you get a (!) Form from the ALP, on which you get the signature of the course leader and thus your consent to participate in the course. However, you do not have to return the form to the ALP or do anything else. Therefore you can copy it a few times beforehand and thus go to any number of sports courses if you can find the time.
I can generally only recommend a semester abroad! You really learn! Whether it has to be this university is an open question. I chose it mainly because of the lecture period and the business administration master’s courses, because I still wanted to write exams in the same semester in Germany and many other universities in the USA hardly offer any master’s courses or, like the one in Santa Barbara, only in economics. On the other hand, I can recommend California in general to everyone who wants to see and experience something! This is the most diverse state in the USA I’ve seen. The nature there has everything to offer: hot, cold, mountainous, flat, rocky and dry, overgrown and humid, beaches and ski areas. Overall, I traveled there more than I studied;)