California State University Channel Island – time to go home (by Vanessa)

It‘s the beginning of January 2020. I am done with my finals and spending the rest of my semester on Hawaii – Aloha :) The first time I wrote on this blog was at the beginning of my semester, a lot has happened since then. 

Road trips:

I went on road trips almost every weekend. The national parks are only a few hours away, there’s also a national park pass for $80 for almost all the national parks in the USA. We bought it because the entry fee for one park is around $30. The national parks: Sequioa, Kings, Yosemite, Death Valley and Sierra are pretty close and perfect for a weekend trip. There are plenty of state parks in California and around Camarillo with free entry. For a longer weekend trip it makes sense to drive or fly to Nevada and go to the national parks there. Camping is an option to travel cheap and the view during the night is amazing with the stars. But I recommend you do the camping road trips early in the year, because as from November, the nights get colder.
San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Fransisco and Las Vegas are worth a visit and Airbnb’s or a room from vrbo are prefect. 

TIPPS:

  • Go camping and make s‘mores (a Bornfire Snack)
  • Buy the national park entry pass
  • Do homework on time before or during the trips
  • Buy the camping stuff at Walmarts and return it after your semester 
  • Go camping at Death Valley and wake up around 1am to see the Milky Way 

College/Finals:

The time was running and at one point the finals were only a few weeks away. I had four classes with two exams and two presentations. One multiple choice exam and the other one were only questions we had before in quizzes – Can you imagine how easy that is compared to Germany?! 
It really depends on your professors but all of them are trying to get everyone to pass. The professors can decide how the final looks like and there are differences from class to class. We had lots to do during the semester and were scared of the final, but it turned out not that bad. It is important to do the essays to acquire points, even if you write only just a little bit will get you some points, because the final makes mostly 50% of your grade. 

ALL in ALL:

The money was definitely worth it for my semester. It does not have to be expensive for you. Groceries at Wincos and camping makes it cheaper and affordable . It was great to live a beach life, to go on road trips all the time and see the college life like in the typical movies. There were weeks with a lot of homework, but this is college and not vacation time :)

Things/Places you have to do/Visit:

  • Universal studios
  • National parks
  • Santa Monica Pier
  • Korean BBQ
  • Football game 
  • Breakfast at Denny’s 
  • Party in the dorms 
  • Sit in one of the shows in Hollywood like „late late night show with James Corden“ or „the voice“. You can get tickets from the website called: 1iota
  • Play Cornwhole 
  • Go Surfing 
  • Thanksgiving with an American family (get information from the international office)

I hope my information helped you to make your decision about your next semester! Let me know if you have any questions :)