University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
Well, for those who, like me, have pursued their studies at European universities, something completely new awaits in San Diego. Starting with the campus, which is comparable in area to a 2000-inhabitant village in Central Europe, through the entire course system. As an exchange student you think you have an advantage in getting exactly the courses you have tailored at home, but that is not the case. Due to the fact that MicroEdu students come to the SDSU via the ALI (which is, so to speak, an independent institution/school on campus), you have to “crash” the desired courses. This means that after all the regular students have put together their schedule, the ALI students get their turn and have to personally beg the professors to participate. Of course, it can happen that your course is already totally overcrowded. The only important thing is that at the end of the day each student can have a total of 12 units (for bureaucratic reasons -> VISUM), e.g. 4 courses with 3 units each. See andyeducation for Saint Marys University Study Abroad.
Once the semester has started, everything actually runs relatively smoothly. For books, it’s best to check them out early at KB Books to snag bargains, otherwise learning materials are super expensive. It is also typical that all tasks, exercises and projects are really explained by the professor down to the smallest detail. 1 time, 2 times, again until all questions are answered and all students are satisfied. Course recommendations or pleasant professors on my part would be Mr. Vinod Sassidharan (Tourism), Mrs. Esther Aguilar (Basic Spanish) and Mr. Jeff Campbell (Hospitality and Tourism Management). Jeff is the former CEO of Burger King and now teaches part-time at SDSU, but only 1 unit courses (-> elective for your home uni). In any case, his courses are super interesting and exciting.
It all comes down to personal preference, I preferred being near the beach to being near college and I lived in Pacific Beach. PB offers great nightlife all week long, Garnet Ave is lined with bars, pubs, dives and shops. The most beautiful area to live in San Diego is certainly La Jolla (north of PB on the coast), which also has the best surf spots (Scripps, Shores, Black’s… www.surfline.com). The university is about 20-30 minutes by car. Incidentally, cars and other necessities can be conveniently found at sandiego.craigslist.com. Internet, cable TV and telephone are available with Time Warner Cable. Mobile phone cards or contracts are best with Cingular. If anyone is looking to buy a surfboard, I highly recommend Bunker Surfshop, Mission Blvd at 92109 Pacific Beach.
In order not to have to carry your passport with you all the time, I would recommend everyone to get their California driver’s license immediately, because this is not just a driver’s license, but an ID that completely replaces your passport. So you’re totally American! Cost is $25. The driver’s license office is called DMV and is represented online at www.dmv.org.
- Do not forget the adapter plug for Europe USA
- Request a credit card from your bank, you need it all the time! European debit cards are not accepted
- University dress code: flip flops and shorts all year round, some professors require a suit for presentations!
- Don’t buy all the clothes you see in the first week, you have 6 months.
- Definitely go to Hawaii for a week.
- In any bar, club or restaurant, a tip of 15-20% of the amount is reasonable. The waiters earn the minimum wage of $6.75/hour and thus live on tips.
PS: Don’t go to the US if you’re not at least 21, you won’t see the inside of a bar!