Back Home in Germany (by Janek)

Wow! I can´t believe that I`m back home in Germany for almost 2 months, yet. This is so crazy and unreal. I mean, I have been so exicted for the semester abroad and now it´s already over. It feels like that the last six month never took place. However, the last one and half month of traveling in the USA / Mexico have been isane. I have been to Cancun, New York City, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Miami.

 

At the 19th of december in 2017 I left the USA/California to travel to Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum in Mexico. I spend three weeks in Mexico and it was worth it. Yucatan, this is the area where I lived, is isane. I really recommed to travel to these spots during your semester in Cali. Furthermore you should travel as much as you can after the semester because there is so so much more to explore in the united states. Fortunately the national flights in the US are really cheap!

However, let´s bring this blogpost to an end with a final review. For that I´ve figured out what have been the most positive and the most negative aspects about the semester in California.

So, the best part (for sure) was California/Los Angeles. I mean, everything is better if you do it in Cali. California owes that to its people, the sun, the weather and the beach. Everyone in Cali is so so nice and lovely. I´ve never met someone unfriendly or unhappy there. Additionally, you able to wear shorts and shirts all day long because the weather is adorable. As a result, you´ll become more happy and you live feels just better then ever before.

However, the campusm-live/class has also been really cool. The campus is so huge, I mean in cologne we have just like 2 floors and at the CSUCI it´s like 6 or maybe 7 footballfields big. I can really recommend the CSUCI in all its several parts but one thing I have to criticize and thats the location of the campus. Camarillo is like 1 or 2 hours away from LA and bit boring. You will not feel like you study in Los Angeles because it´s so far away.  So, if you get the chance to study closer to Los Angeles, DO IT!!!

The second postive point was the travel part. Mexico, my next destination, is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. There are so many places to explore. Playa de Carmen is not that full of people than cancun, so I would recommend to start there. One week should be enough. Afterwards we traveled to Tulum for another week to see all the Mayatemple and it was worth it. It´s so crazy to see what people build up so many years ago. Afterwards we traveled to Cancun to celebrate Christmas and New Years Eve.

After Mexico, we travelled back to the United States. In New York we spend one week and lived in Williamsburgh, it´s a part of Brooklyn. New York was completely awesome. The first time I drived to Manhatten was stunning. All the huge skyscraper and the noices just have been breahtaking. You can do so many things there, one week was definitive too sparse.

After New York we traveled to Las Vegas. Las Vegas is like the „Ballermann“ for the Americans. It´s full of drunk people who wants to escape the normal American live. I mean, it is allowed to smoke inside the casinos and you can take you beer or anything else with you all the time. Normally, in the US, you are just allowed to smoke outside of a bar, restaurant or what else and you cannot drink in public.  Vegas is completely different.

Our next destinations should have been New Orleans and Miami, but there was a huge mistake with my Visa. Let me explain that situation. If you want to study in the USA you need an F1 Visa. The F1 Visa alows you to come to the United States one month before you class starts and you can stay in the US 60 days after your semester is done. So, I should have left the US at the 19th  of January because this was the day for me that the 60 days were over. But I booked my flight back at the 25th of January so I bought a new ESTA Visa (the normal tourist visa) to stay a bit longer. But at the airport in Las Vegas the officers told me that you need to stay 30 days in your homecountry after the 60 days are over. After the 30 days in your homecountry you are allowed to get a new visa and coming back to the United States. So it was my mistake and I needed to book a new flight back to Germany for the 19th of January.

 

All in all I can just recommend to study in California, but if you have the chance to chose a campus closer to LA, DO IT!

I hope you liked my three blogpost and I hope I could help you with your choice of your country/campus for your semester abroad!