University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: environmental sciences
Study type: semester abroad
My planning started about a year before departure. The choice fell relatively quickly on the USA and then on the beautiful California, San Diego. See iamaccepted for study in Spain.
I organized my entire semester abroad through MicroEdu and can only warmly recommend it to everyone. The employees are very friendly, are available with advice and action and mediate confidently between the applicant and the university. The first step was probably to clarify the application requirements of San Diego State University (SDSU) :
- English certificate: DAAD (C1) sufficient; or proof of specialist courses at the University of Bayreuth with English as the language of instruction
- Motivation letter
- Costs and financial proof
- English-language transcript of records
- Course choice
MicroEdu will also help you with these matters and will send you various forms, information, etc. if necessary. Fortunately, the DAAD test is offered free of charge at the University of Bayreuth, which saves you having to take the expensive TOEFL test, for example. I clarified the course selection and the crediting of the courses at the SDSU in advance with my course coordinator. On the homepage of San Diego State University, the courses of the past semesters can be called up, which will most likely also be offered in the coming semester.
Visa and flight
I applied for the visa (F1) at the embassy in Munich. The required on-site interview was more relaxed than expected and only lasted 5-10 minutes. The visa can be applied for and paid for entirely online.
I organized my flights and my hostel (before moving into my apartment) through STA-Travel, as they often have good deals. Everything went smoothly and the employees are always available for questions. My outbound flight was on August 12th and my semester started on August 21st.
To my apartment I was able to move in on August 20th, which is why I had to spend the first time in the hostel. In hindsight, however, this turned out to be a great opportunity to make new friends that would last throughout the semester. The name of my apartment complex was “5025” and it was also easy to organize online. I had a “single room” in a 6-bed apartment and lived with students from all over the world. There is also the option of choosing a “shared room” and saving between $100-200 per month. Housing is generally very expensive and a single room near the campus should cost between $800-1000 per month. However, the residential complexes are usually equipped with a pool and gym. In hindsight, however, I would prefer the “blvd63” because it’s newer,
The introductory days at San Diego State University are very important for navigating the massive campus and online. Tours are offered that explain the various websites and explain everything else that is important about the upcoming semester. You also get constant emails about organizational matters and are always kept up to date. In addition, the introductory days are important for meeting new people, choosing sports or music courses or enrolling in other programs (the choice is enormous!). You have to take 12 credits in total to successfully complete the semester. You have to pay for every additional credit!
Most of the courses at SDSU are more seminar-style. Ie small number of course participants (on average ~40) and communicative design of the lecture. The cooperation is often included in the final grade. In addition, there are regular midterm exams and homework assignments. However, this is more relaxed, since you always have to learn and the huge workload for just one exam is missing. The lecturers that I personally had in the lectures were very qualified and always there for problems and suggestions from the students. In the last weeks of the semester, the “Final Exams” are written, where the entire semester (but not in detail) is queried again.
You make friends very quickly, especially with other international students who also want to explore the country. Especially on weekends there is often time for trips to the numerous beaches, national parks or cities like Los Angeles.
I can recommend the following excursion destinations:
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Sequoia National Park
- Yosemite National Park
Furthermore, I can only recommend getting a car (buy or rent) as it is very difficult to get from A to B due to the poor public transport. In addition, the distances in the USA cannot be compared with those in Germany. I rented a car with a fellow student from dirt cheap car. This car rental is probably the cheapest and the quality of the cars is ok. We paid $400 a month (including insurance) but were only allowed to drive the car in San Diego County, which was fine for our purposes. The car could also be parked for free on the street in front of my apartment; a parking space in the underground car park costs between 40-60 $ per month, which you can save yourself. In addition, I can warmly recommend “taxi apps” such as “Uber” and “Lyft”.
A few things to keep in mind:
- socket adapter
- European hair dryer does not work in USA due to different volt count
- Always have your passport with you