University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
So, I’ll limit my report to the things that weren’t really clear to me after reading the other reports. Oh yes, I always think it’s good when you know what kind of guy wrote the report, then you can compare it better, therefore: I’m studying business administration, only had to do 2 credits, so I wanted to do the following in San Diego: lots of parties, lots of travel, a lot of sport, meet a lot of people, just have a cool time. If you want that in general, San Diego State University is a good choice. Basically there are a lot of Germans, a lot of parties and a low (academic) level at the university. If you don’t care about me for a semester abroad, then you can travel to SD with a clear conscience. See jibin123 for 9 best cities to study in Netherlands.
The sensible alternatives are limited to living near the beach or in the college area. Strandviertel: are not necessarily more expensive than the college area in terms of rent. Pacific Beach is certainly the most attractive area as this is where most of the student parties take place (in the clubs and bars). I lived with two other Germans right on the beach, but we were lucky because we found an apartment directly through Craigslist and then had a kind of job interview. At the end of the day, we were in the lower midfield of rental prices at $650 a head. Cons: It takes 20 minutes to drive to the university and you have to organize it somehow if you want to go to a house party at the college. There really aren’t any other disadvantages. The advantages: beach life, surfing, free party bus to downtown, all good bars (wherever everyone from college goes) are within walking distance. So if you find something that’s reasonably priced and don’t have uni every day, I can recommend it unreservedly.
We have been toying with the idea of taking a surf course for a long time. In the end we decided against it. In my opinion the right decision: You can also read the 10 things that the surf instructors explain on the internet. After that, it’s all about practice, practice, practice. You can learn it to some extent, but you have to be on the water about every other day. An hour on a soft top board with a surf instructor once a week is not enough. So if you really want to learn it, it’s better to save the $160 fee and invest in a board (about $150) plus a wetsuit ($100, new).
Goes smoothly. However, you should bring a bit of flexibility with you. I still needed two courses and had four options to choose from (which I would have gotten credit for in Germany). In the end I could have gotten three of the four. Uni was generally a joke. It was not comparable with my German university (Münster). We always studied for about an hour for the exams and were always at the forefront. In the master’s area (graduate courses, courses from 500 courses), however, it should be much more difficult or time-consuming. Basically, I only had my 4 courses on 2 days, which is why I had a pretty relaxed life in Sand Diego.
Los Angeles is of course a must as it is only a maximum of 2 hours drive away. I personally didn’t like it because it was clogged and dirty. But you’re a bit spoiled in this regard if you live in San Diego. San Francisco is definitely worth a trip (approx. 12 hours on Highway 1). Simply a beautiful city that is actually more European in character. Definitely do a little boat trip under the Golden Gate, it’s only $15 a head and really worth it. Grand Canyon is certainly cool, but only 30 minutes. When you look inside, you quickly think: what now? Some have linked the GC with a hike (to the bottom). That certainly makes more sense then. Otherwise, Vegas is of course also mandatory. It’s a smooth 5 hours away and always a blast. Hotels are very, very cheap if you take care of them in good time. It is best to go there during the week (portals: nameyourownprice.com, getaroom.com, swoodoo.de, hotwire.com). Tip: In Vegas, “suites” are often understood to mean normal or slightly larger hotel rooms. Otherwise, check out Yosemite National Park. Very pretty and if you are lucky (or unlucky) you will see wild black bears.
Without it is just really annoying. You need one for trips alone. The distances are immense (between 2-12 hours drive, partly through desert). Therefore, I would recommend you not to buy or rent the first scrap that comes your way. My tip: If you apply for the ISIC student ID (12 euros) you will get a 38% discount + free tank filling via Alamo. We did it the whole time and then had a sports car or off-road vehicle for 300 euros a month pp (three of us). So it cost me 1000 euros. Many have spent that alone on repairs to their junk cars.
One more tip at the end: Do not apply for a California ID: Only one of the three of us received one, even though we all submitted the same forms. So twice almost 30 USD for nothing.. If you have any questions, just write me! lg