University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: political science, literature
Study type: semester abroad
So, with a certain distance, I can now also submit my experience report and for the most part I agree with the previous speakers, especially Jo. Anyway, I’ll try to put my thoughts into words:
The SDSU (a slightly different description)
The SDSU is very different from what you will be used to from your German universities. First and foremost, Americans identify very strongly with their university, which is particularly evident from the countless merchandising articles. Not a day goes by that you don’t see at least 2000 people pass by in SDSU gear. Baby football jerseys, mini cheerleader dresses and Aztec-style license plates are not exotic and are actually bought. Non-consumer-resistant individuals, such as myself (but also most other exchange students), don’t resist the lure of multiple t-shirts and hoodies. See jibin123 for best cities to study in Denmark.
Otherwise, the university is very well equipped. Since I’ve almost never been to the library and the others can tell more about it, I prefer to write about the food courts and the sports facilities.
The food courts are where you go during your breaks, where you can get almost everything your heart desires, from sushi to Panda Express to McDonalds and pizza. However, I clearly recommend 4.0 Deli, which you can find on the corner of College and Montezuma.
The sports facilities are, as is typical for the US, perfectly equipped. With the Aztec Recreation Center, SDSU has its own ultra-modern and quite large gym, where you can train for peanuts (compared to German studios). The sports courses (ENS) are just as attractive with beautiful grass, artificial grass and tennis courts. The Mission Bay Aquatic Center on Mission Bay offers water sports opportunities, where you can take surfing courses etc. You can also do this on credit if you are still missing a course, but there is an additional fee.
I don’t want to say too much about the regular university courses, as these have already been covered sufficiently. However, I would like to inform you that I did a Spanish course (4 units) and I can still only order a beer in Spanish. In other words, please ask yourself whether you want to spend 4 units on a language course, since languages are incredibly difficult to learn in such a short time and the workload is simply disproportionate to the other courses.
San Diego is a dream city! The people are very friendly and you quickly get involved in interesting conversations like “I’m German, too”. Certainly girls in particular should not walk around the campus or the city alone at night. The bus connections are mostly frequented by strange people. The trolley, on the other hand, is generally safe. Ultimately, there is no getting around a car. You are dependent on a car for everyday shopping alone, as you will leave the supermarket with about 30 bags. In general, the distances are simply not comparable to Germany!
The party scene is wide-ranging and it all depends on taste where you can be seen. To sum it up roughly: Pacific Beach (Garnet Ave and Grant Ave) is more casual and laid back. Nevertheless, pay attention to the clothes at some clubs. Downtown is certainly a bit more upscale, although there are student clubs there as well. A trip to Tijuana is definitely a must. TJ is a must see and most likely not to be forgotten!
To end my experience report, I dedicate myself to the question: Where should one live? PB, college, downtown? With an Ami, with Germans?
Basically, I think the time in the USA should be incomparable. For this reason, I recommend everyone to only move in where you feel good. I lived with 5 other Germans and made 5 friends for life. Nevertheless, I was also able to improve my knowledge of English, because I sought out every conversation and sometimes only went out as a couple.
We lived near the university and didn’t regret it. On the contrary! Others have lived in PB, Downtown, OB, La Mesa etc and have been just as happy. Some are desperate at uni, others at PB. It just has to fit and you can’t generalize. In PB or further afield you definitely need a car! And factor in the traffic jam on I-8, too. But it’s still doable. And move with the one you like. It doesn’t matter what language he speaks, you can learn English in everyday life if you want to!
If you’re considering going to San Diego, go for it, come what may! Everyone who, like me, was there for 5 months would have liked to stay longer. Believe me and the others, it will be the best time of your life!!!
Finally, salute to ALL San Diegans (August ’05 through December ’05)