| 12/13/2011 5:13:00 AM
I’m in the middle of exam week, but I’m luckily already more than halfway through. I finished one of my online classes last weekend, and two of my other classes yesterday. One more exam tomorrow, and then I need to take the exam for my other online class before Friday. And then I’m already done! So far it went really well. =)
As I already told you, on Friday is also the international student orientation at CSUSM. I hope I will be able to tell you how it went.
I was actually at CSUSM last week, to clarify some things and to hand in my Business Status Application. As you know, I am a business administration major, and even though I have been accepted to CSUSM, I am not in business status there yet. That means that I can’t take any upper division business classes over there. The reason for that is that I didn’t have all of my prerequisite business classes completed when I applied. Once I am done with all my exams this fall semester, I will be able to apply for business status though. To expedite the process a bit I am sending my confirmed grades over there as soon as I get them, so that I will be able to enroll in those classes.
Anyways, the campus is really nice, very modern (the university is only 22 years old), and compact, meaning that you can easily walk from one end of the campus to the other (try to do that at SDSU!). Everybody I talked to was very helpful, and able to give me all the information I needed.
One of them is: It is pretty much impossible to transfer from CSU to CSU. This might be helpful information for you if, for whatever reason, you want to transfer between CSUs. For example, you have to take all of your upper division general education classes at the CSU you want to graduate from. Business classes are only potentially transferable. For example, I found out that CSU Fullerton won’t accept ANY classes from CSU San Marcos, while CSU San Marcos accepts at least two classes from CSU Fullerton. If you need any more information about this, email me, I will be happy to try and help you.
Now it’s time to do some studying for my economics exam tomorrow! I can’t believe this semester is already over, and that it will be my last semester at MiraCosta. I really enjoyed my time here, and I can honestly recommend this college to anyone.
| 12/6/2011 4:48:00 AM
Just a little update about my transfer plans…
The dates for the international student orientation at CSU San Marcos became finally available. I signed up for December 16, which is next week! I will be meeting many other international students, and we will register for classes. I already picked out a few general education upper division classes that sound interesting to me. I am a little worried because classes fill up quickly, and some of them are already waitlisted. But next week I will know more! I will let you know how everything goes!
California State University San Marcos
| 12/6/2011 4:38:00 AM
Here is a video I made with some of my favorite places to
I like to study in the MiraCosta library because they have
so many books you can chose from to help you study! Other places at MiraCosta
include the area by the fountain, or around the clock tower on a nice day, and
the Math lab. If I just have to read a textbook, I sometimes like to do that at
the beach. =) And sometimes I just grab all my stuff and go to the coffee shop…
| 11/8/2011 5:14:00 AM
It’s official! I will transfer to California State
University San Marcos (CSUSM) next semester to get my bachelor’s degree. I know
other bloggers have already written about how to transfer, but I just wanted to
share some of my personal experience with you.
Transferring is a really easy process, as long as you make
sure you take all the classes that you need. The most important ones are
English and math classes. Besides that you need to take various General
Education classes, which your counselor will help you figure out. You also need
to take certain classes for your major, which are often called major
preparation classes and usually depend on the university you want to go to.
Again, your counselor will help you determine which classes you need. Once you
have all those classes, you will be able to start with upper division classes
(3rd and 4th year classes) at your university.
My major is business administration, and after this fall
semester I will finally have completed all the classes that CSUSM requires.
Since I went to college in Denmark and took some classes there a few years ago,
I had already applied to CSUSM for the fall semester of this year, hoping that
I could transfer some of the classes I had in Denmark. They accepted me, even
though I was missing some major preparation classes. However, I wasn’t able to
transfer classes from Denmark, so I would not have been able to take any upper
division business classes. I decided to stay at MiraCosta and complete the classes
I need here, it’s much cheaper and I am already familiar with MiraCosta. The
point I am trying to make is that you can get accepted even if you have not
completed all classes, but you might not be able to take upper division classes
in you major. You would have to take lower division classes, which you can also
take at MiraCosta, so it is often more useful to just complete everything here.
I hope that makes sense.
Another really important thing to do is to find out the
application periods of the university you want to attend. You probably have to
apply even though you still have some classes in process or planned. The
application to CSUSM was easy; I filled out an online form, submitted a
financial affidavit, and transcripts from all the schools I have attended.
Shortly after, I received a letter that told me I have been accepted!
Now I needed to take the letter to the International Student
Office at MiraCosta, to release my I-20 (an important part of the visa) to
CSUSM so that my visa is up-to-date and shows the correct school I am going to.
Then I needed to contact the international advisor at CSUSM to sign up for orientation,
and now I just need to wait. =)
So you see, it’s really not that complicated! I will
definitely miss MiraCosta, but I am also super excited!
| 10/18/2011 5:11:00 AM
You will probably be able to find almost any food you can think of here in Southern California. San Diego has a vast variety of restaurants and you will see one after another, asking yourself, “What should I eat? There are too many options here!” I am going to focus on fast food here; otherwise this entry would go beyond its scope!
- Mexico Viejo!
- Definitely my favorite Mexican food place. You get huge burritos for a very reasonable price, and if you go there often enough, you might get lucky and get the frequent burrito discount ;)
- Another favorite, but unfortunately a little pricy. Delicious, huge burritos and bowls
- In Oceanside downtown, my go-to place when I’m in that area
- You are probably already familiar with Subway, I like it because you get a pretty decent sandwich for a very fair price
- Indefinitely better than Subway, but of course also more expensive. Get the ATC sandwich; it comes with lots of avocado!
- One of my more recent discoveries, hidden in a business park in Oceanside, of Rancho Del Oro. Great New York sandwiches, and the salads look good too (haven’t had a salad there yet)
- Panda Express
- The American version of Asian Food, I like to eat it every now and then, their Orange Chicken is really good!
- Pick up Stix
- I somewhat prefer it to Panda Express; everything I have tried there so far was yummy, although my favorite is probably the house beef!
These are just some options; there are sooo much more! My friends over in Europe often ask me what I usually eat here, so I thought I would post some of my standard options. Of course, there are also places like McDonalds, Carl’s Junior, Jack in the Box, where you can get every variety of a burger that you can (or can’t) think of! I could write up much more but you would get tired of reading ;)
| 10/4/2011 5:22:00 AM
We are already seven weeks into the fall semester so life is
getting really busy for us students! Midterm exams are coming up, along with projects,
and papers. Sounds exhausting, but I actually really enjoy some of these
projects. For example, for my Sociology class, we have to make a naturalistic
observation, which means that we go to some place, for example a coffee shop,
to observe people and their behavior, and then evaluate the results. People
watching is often fun! We have to write a paper for my business law class,
which didn’t excite me at all first. But then I saw that some of our options
included to interview professionals in the legal field (such as lawyers or
judges) or to attend a court proceeding. Writing about some practical
experience definitely sounds more appealing than just doing some internet and
As far as midterms go, I already had a few exams that went
very well, but I have more coming up. Luckily, I feel pretty prepared and can start
thinking about what to do for Halloween now!
| 9/20/2011 4:46:00 AM
Here is my last post in my buying-a-car series; it’s all
about buying a car private party, which can save you a lot of money!
- Private party means that you buy the car
directly from its owner. You might get really lucky with buying a car from a
private party, but you also risk making the worst purchase of your life,
depending on how much you know about cars. There are several websites, such as
craigslist.org, or autotrader.com, where you can find thousands and thousands
of used cars. You have to be willing to do some driving, because the best cars
are often not right around the corner. When you find a car that interests you,
do some research before you go see it! Check out Kelley Blue Book to price it,
look up some reviews to see what other people say about the car, what kind of
problems they had, etc. When you set up a time to see the car, have a price in
mind that you are willing to pay if the car is in a good condition. Then, when
you look at the car, there are several things you should check out:
- Look under the hood
- Does everything look clean?
- Check the oil – is it clean and is there enough
oil in it?
- Look underneath the car
- Do you see any oily or liquid blue/greenish
spots? If so, it probably leaks oil or engine coolant and you should go home
without the car!
- Check out if the body of the car looks straight
- Does everything line up? If not, it might have
been in an accident
- Check out of there are any parts that are
slightly different in color
- Differences in color most likely show that parts
of the car have been repainted, which also could potentially mean that it has
been in an accident (but not necessarily)
- And of course look for dents and scratches; they
are often a good negotiating point!
- Now it’s time to test-drive the car! Make sure
the brakes work fine, the car doesn’t pull to the left or right, it doesn’t make
any funny noises, and overall drives smoothly. If everything feels good to you
and you are comfortable in the car, the car might be a good buy for you! Don’t
forget to negotiate; it’s part of buying a car private party!
I hope I could help you a little and make the car buying
process a little easier for you. It often takes some time to find a good car,
don’t become desperate if you don’t find one right away. Buying a car usually
involves a lot of money, so make sure you are comfortable with the purchase! If
you have any other questions or need help, feel free to contact me.
| 9/13/2011 4:51:00 AM
Here is another option for you to find the right car that
will safely get your around here in California:
- This is what I call “private dealerships”: small,
often family-run businesses that only have a few cars at a time, and are
overall very “personal.” The advantages here are that they usually don’t charge
you the retail price, more like private party or in between those two. Since
you buy it from a business, you have legal recourse if the car has been
misrepresented to you, so you know that you will get a car that doesn’t have
any major problems. You might or might not get some warranty, and the
dealership will also take care of all the paperwork for you. One example of
such a dealership is “Amtek Auto Group” in Carlsbad, a family-run, small
business. If they don’t have the car you want, they will even find it for you.
Among all the big brand dealerships with a huge car lot, the small ones are
rather hard to find, but they are there. I personally like those small dealerships;
it’s a safe and not so pricey way to buy a good car, especially if you don’t
know too much about cars. If you want to know more about private dealerships,
feel free to send me an email or comment on this post. I would love to help you
because I know how difficult it can be to find a decent car, and how
troublesome it is if you buy the wrong one.
Now there is a third option, buying a car from private
party, which might be a good opportunity for you if you are experienced with
cars or know someone who is. More in my next post, stay tuned!
| 9/8/2011 5:38:00 AM
Ever since I got my driver’s license, I had quite a few
cars, thanks to moving around a lot. When I first got to California, I didn’t
have a car and thought I would try that out for a while. If there is one thing
I learned for sure, it is that distances in the U.S. are not the same as in
Europe. Here’s an example: I was at my friends’ house and we got hungry, so one
of them said, “There is this awesome Mexican place, it’s just down the street!”
I figured that it’s maybe a five minute walk, how far can it be if it’s just
down the street?! Imagine how surprised I was when everyone got in the car and
we drove about 5 minutes! Long story short, “just down the street” in
California almost certainly means a 5-10 minutes drive, and over the long run,
you probably find the need for a car.
There are several ways to buy a car, and of course there is
some paperwork that comes with it. You could go to one of the big dealerships,
like Hoehn, you could go to a smaller, private dealership, or you could buy a
car from private party.
Here is some information about buying a car from a big
- A number of big dealerships can be found in
Carlsbad’s “Car Country”, such as Hoehn Honda, Infiniti, or Audi, North County
Hyundai, Bob Baker Mazda, etc. There are also several bigger dealerships along
Coast Highway in Oceanside or in Vista. There are dealerships with literally all
the car brands you can imagine in this area. You will most likely find the car
you want there, but you have to be willing to pay the price. Most of the cars
are new or newer, about one to two years old, but sometimes they also have some
used cars that are several years old. On the positive side, you probably will
get some warranty on your car, you can be fairly sure that you get a decent
car, and you won’t have to go to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) to get
your car registered. I personally wouldn’t buy a car from one of those
dealerships, because the salesmen often try really hard to talk you into buying
their cars, which I find annoying, and I think they overcharge you. But if you
don’t mind paying a little extra, it might be a good option for you.
In my next post I will tell you more about buying cars from
what I call a “private dealership!”
| 8/11/2011 5:46:00 AM
thing about California is its huge area. My home country, Germany, easily fits
into California. That makes it very diverse, and allows you to travel to the
most different places without even leaving the state. Here, in Oceanside, the
beach is right in front of you with lots and lots of palm trees, but it doesn’t
take more than a 1-2 hour drive east to be in a completely different world –
the desert. Endless sand, few or no plants, and heat basically make up the
desert. A 2-hour drive northeast from Oceanside however, is very different
again as it brings you into the mountains.
my boyfriend and I drove up into those mountains, to Lake Arrowhead, a private
freshwater lake surrounded by thousands of pine trees. The weather was amazing,
we didn’t see a single cloud, it was very warm with a little breeze, and
luckily the water had a decent temperature too, unlike the usually chilly
ocean. We had such a great time up there; I could have easily stayed longer.
some of my favorite moments of our trip to Lake Arrowhead:
- Taking the
boat to the other side of the lake to have breakfast
waterskiing, wakeboarding, and air-chairing (a really weird watersport tool
that is hard to describe)
lunch in the boat somewhere on the lake
- Watching a
dog learning how to climb up a ladder to get out of the water (I wish I had
pictures of that!)
around a little
and sunbathing on the dock
My boyfriend on an air-chair!
are in California, you should definitely go to Lake Arrowhead, or the a little better-known
and public Big Bear Lake, which is just around 45 minutes away from Lake
Arrowhead. There are so many things to do, and a freshwater lake is sometimes
are nice change to the salty ocean. As much as I love the ocean, I had an amazing time at the lake and can only recommend you to go there!
About the author
Welcome! My name is Susi. I am an international student from Germany and I have spent three great semesters at MiraCosta College so far. My major is Business Administration and I am planning on transferring to a California State University to get my Bachelor's Degree in Business Finance. I love to travel and to meet people from all over the world!
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