Hey guys, more than half of the time here is over now. Still, we are very excited to have the possibility to study in the United States and so far, we visited many beautiful places. One of the most amazing things here is to drive along the Highway 1. It extends from the south of California to the North and by driving along it you are able to see the best views at the coastline you could ever imagine. By following this route, you pass for example Los Angeles and his most stunning parts like Santa Monica or Malibu. From Camarillo it’s a short way to the Highway, but there are also many other impressive cities like San Diego, Las Vegas or Seattle that can be reached by car or plane.
In San Francisco you have a breathtaking look at the Golden Gate Bridge and possibilities to visit the Alcatraz prison. They also have great city tours that you can even take at night, to see the city from a completely different perspective. Las Vegas on the other hand has the famous Strip where people over 21 can go to pool parties and clubs. Other places to visit in this area are the Grand Canyon or the Antelope Canyon where you have a great and fascinating view you are never able to forget.
Exciting activities we did in the area of Los Angeles are visiting the Universal Studios, Disney Land, the Sky Space, the Joshua Tree National Park, watching Football games, trips by boat to the Channel Islands, shopping at the Outlet in Camarillo or hiking to the Hollywood sign. Additionally, it is great to visit Down Town Los Angeles, Beverly Hill or famous streets like the Melrose Avenue or the Rodeo Drive where you find every shopping possibilities you could wish for.
Anyway, there are two other topics we have to mention here. Last week we had a person at our university that was running around with a handgun. The university was evacuated, and nobody was seriously harmed, but this incident was shocking for all of us. Obviously, the US is different to Germany but sometimes it is too easy to forget the bad things, so you only focus on what is good. Therefore, it is necessary for everyone to bear in mind the rising danger you are in no matter which country you are visiting. That does not mean similar actions cannot happen in Germany, but no one should go in another country without knowing which additional danger he is putting himself into.
The second thing is about the courses at the Channel Island University. Most of us have the same, but we are separated in different classes, so we can work together with American students. Of course, that’s a great thing because we have a better possibility to improve our English. But there are differences in the standards those courses require. All of them are structured after a principal where you have to do small tasks like Quizzes or Essays. In some of the courses are more of these tasks in other courses you could have just a few of them. In general, the requirements at the university are reasonable, just the fact that it is like a lottery whether you have a course with less or more requirements seems a little unfair to us.
Everything else here is just fine. The weather is still warm, so you can enjoy the beaches and pools. Some of us are also doing activities like surfing or sailing which the universities provides as team sports. It is always a good thing to do things as group activities. Whether it is sports, living or renting a car. Things are getting cheaper if you are doing them in groups. Additionally, you always feel safer when you have people with you in a foreign country.
If you want to explore the Westcoast of the USA the California State University Channel Island is the best place to study abroad, because it is located in the middle of California and there are plenty of possibilities to visit all amazing parts of the west of the United States. At the moment we are looking forward to experiencing the Thanksgiving celebrations and the Black Friday in the middle of November. Have a great day!
Berna Iri, Valeria Schenk von Geyern & Neele Neumann