University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
Doing my semester abroad at San Diego State University was the best decision of my life! Even three months later, I still think back to my time in sunny San Diego every day and can’t wait to be back in America’s finest city someday. See iamaccepted for top 6 chemistry schools in the USA.
As part of my study regulations, every student should complete a semester abroad between the fourth and sixth semester. While many of my friends spent their semester abroad in Europe – also for cost reasons, of course – it was clear to me for a long time that I wanted to go to the USA. On the one hand, I didn’t “just” want to stay in Europe, but wanted to discover a completely different world, thousands of kilometers away from home. On the other hand, I had dreamed of the States, especially California, for a long time.
Unfortunately, none of our American partner universities appealed to me, most were somewhere inland, in a city I had never heard of before. I found many interesting universities on the west coast on the Internet, all of which promised good course content, but also a unique student life. Again and again I came across the SDSU during my research. SDSU is located in one of America’s most beautiful cities, if not the most beautiful. Pleasant summer temperatures all year round, the ocean right on your doorstep and probably the most relaxed peopleat all. Of course, I was initially put off by the high tuition fees. While there were no tuition fees at all at the partner universities, the internationals at San Diego State University had to pay $7415 for the business courses. Nevertheless, I have been told that many American universities have to pay much higher semester fees. Luckily for me, my parents support all my dreams and so I decided, despite the high costs, to spend my semester abroad at SDSU.
A fellow student had recommended MicroEdu to me some time earlier. I was quickly won over by MicroEdu and obtained all the information I needed about the university and the application process from their website. MicroEdu does a lot of the work for its students. The friendly advisors will send you all the forms, you fill them out and obtain the required documents (proof of English, overview of grades,…) and then send everything to MicroEdu. A few weeks later I received my acceptance and could now take care of my visa, the flight and looking for an apartment. For my visa I went to the American consulate in June, I booked my flight in May through Condor (offers one of the fewDirect flights from Frankfurt to San Diego ) and I found my apartment at the end of May through the previous tenant in the MicroEdu Facebook group.
In San Diego
My journey began on August 10th. At 5 am my friend drove me to the airport, around 1 pm (local time) I landed in San Diego. After a ten-minute taxi ride, I arrived at my apartment in Mission Valley, where my roommate was already waiting for me. Two days later our roommate arrived. The apartment had four rooms, three of which were single rooms with large queen-size beds, a living room, kitchen and two bathrooms. The rent totaled $2000, which was relatively cheap. The previous tenants leave useful utensils (travel guides, kitchen appliances, school books,…) every semester and the landlord is very helpful and courteous. You can walk to the trolley in less than ten minutes and reach the university in 20 minutes or downtown in 10 minutes. Still, a car is super handy, so the three of us quickly decided to rent a car for $399 a month from Dirt Cheap Car Rentals.
The range of courses at SDSU is very diverse. Nevertheless, you have to be lucky to get into all the courses you want, since American students always have priority when choosing courses. In the run-up I decided on two special sessions: Human Resource Management and Business Plan Development. These are for internationals only and are the only courses you can pre-select from home. Both courses are very interesting, but I felt the special sessions were more challenging than the all-student courses. Together with the American students I had the course Intermediate Macroeconomics and International Monetary Theory and Policy. I chose the latter as an emergency solution because I couldn’t get into the course I actually wanted. Funnily enough, this was the course that I enjoyed the most and found it the easiest, although according to the classification it should be the most difficult.
The campus is huge and it takes some time to get used to it. Nevertheless, even after my semester I was far from familiar with all the buildings. There are two Starbucks stores and countless different restaurants. So during and after the end of the lecture period you have enough choices to eat something different every day for several weeks. I had a total of exactly 10 hours of university per week. Nevertheless, you have to do a lot of homework outside of the lectures, prepare presentations or study for the many midterms. But of course I couldn’t complain – I always had nice weather, beach and ocean on my doorstep and the best half year of my life!
- Trips to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Tijuana
- The Grand Canyon including the famous Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon
- My skydive at Pacific Coast Skydiving
- Swimming in the ocean in December
- In ‘n out, Habit and Cheesecake Factory
- New York during the Christmas season
- The nice people I met every day and made small talk with me
- The American supermarkets, especially Target and Ralphs
- The bookstore, which is far from just a bookstore, also stocks thousands of Aztecs items
I can only recommend anyone who has the opportunity to complete their semester abroad at San Diego State University. You dive into a whole new world, get to know American culture from a completely different side and have the coolest half year of your life. As you can see from my report, I can only think of positive things about my stay abroad. Of course there were also a few – few – things that I didn’t like so much: It’s hard to get in among American students. You have courses together, but the American students tend to be on their own. That’s why you have a lot to do with other internationals, but often also with Germans. On the one hand you can make good contacts with other Europeans, but on the other hand you would of course like to have more to do with the Americans. But you meet enough Americans in the supermarket, in the trolley or in the gym with whom you can exchange ideas instead. Besides, America and especially California is not the cheapest place. In total, I spent just over €20,000 on my semester abroad. Of course you can also get away a few thousand cheaper, but if you want to afford something and experience a lot, you will very quickly lose a few euros. Nevertheless: For this experience every cent was worth it and I wouldn’t want to miss a day in America!