University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
When I started looking for a possible university for my semester abroad in January 2014, I quickly chose SDSU. On the one hand I wanted to learn English, on the other hand I wanted to experience the sun, mentality and all the cultural advantages and disadvantages of America. It wasn’t an easy choice for me, but I think SDSU is the best way for students to spend their semester abroad in the United States. First, the tuition fees are not too high (compared to other universities in the US ) and second, SDSU offers a full semester. Other universities in California often only offer trimesters at almost the same prices. The city of San Diego also offers the best in “location” for students : Mexico (Tijuana etc.), Los Angeles, Hawaii, Grand Canyon, Vegas are all not too far away. See jibin123 for 7 best cities to study in Japan.
My general tip: Prepare as early as possible! Half a year before the start of my studies, I took care of the rental car, all the necessary documents for the university, the accommodation, cell phone, etc.! So you have more time to experience and organize yourself, especially in the first few weeks. Keep in mind that the university will be a bit stressful in the first 2-3 weeks ( course crashing, registering for courses, information events, etc.). Jet lag and first culture shocks included.
Depending on the type, look for an accommodation that is most suitable for you. My recommendation: Don’t live close to the campus, as there are a lot of house parties there – but a) it’s too loud and annoying for a long time and b) the interesting neighborhoods of Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Downtown are too far away WITHOUT a car. However, if you want to be the center of attention, this is the best choice! Here you can choose between single or shared rooms…a good address here is, for example, Boulvevard63 Appartments (expensive, but with a pool, gym, good room facilities…etc.). I used to live in La Jolla with a fellow student. It was quiet there, but only 20 minutes away by car to downtown. The university was also about 20 minutes away.
There are many ways to get a car. The easiest, in my opinion, is long term rental from DirtCarCheap Rentals. You can rent a car there for the entire study period for “relatively” little money. For example, a Toyota Corolla or similar can be rented for $350-450 per month for a long term. For example, if you live together or with more than 2 students, it’s all worth it! Of course, buying a car is also possible – but for me it was too stressful, because you have to take out insurance etc., and the car has to be sold again at the end. Didn’t feel like putting in unnecessary effort – you should enjoy the semester… with as little stress as possible.
To the University
SDSU is a very good university. It will be difficult at first – especially the course crashing is not even smooth. But once that’s over, the fun begins! I don’t want to say much about the courses because every student has a different profile and therefore different courses. My courses ( HR, Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Management ) were all doable. With a little learning effort, an A is feasible. You always get a B. BUT: there is a lot of emphasis on cooperation, projects, homework and homework. Therefore: in terms of workload, I find it to be significantly more than in German universities. However, the level is 1-4 semesters of business studies. Use the AtztecGym and the activities around it! Gym is free! Insider tip: If you have the time and money: Use the activities of Atztec Adventures: During the semester, weekend tours to the deserts/parks in the area are often undertaken. My recommendation: white water rafting or caving.
To the cost
The sums of the semester abroad vary greatly – but you can fix a few fixed costs:
- Car: approx. $500/month including petrol (cheap – but the distances are huge)
- Housing: around $650/ month
- Food: around $300/month (cook for yourself, go out at night, try different restaurants, etc.)
- Books for UNI: $300-$500 once!! (You cannot buy some books used because the online codes are required and there is only one license per book, so a marketing book, for example, costs a whopping $170. Sharing is also not possible. Books without codes can be shared, however you can also pay USED $80! You can also buy or rent used books in the SDSU Bookstore. Amazon Books and CampusBookRentals also have good rental offers!)
- Life/Leisure/Party/Travel: Plan as much money as possible. You have the opportunity to go to Mexico, Grand Canyon (MUST use the Vegas trip by Matt and Co., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Hawaii)
Calculates around $1200 per month for life, travel, partying, fun (women certainly $1500 for shopping : D).
I went into the semester abroad with the thought: “You only do this once”. Make the most of your stay in the USA and, if possible, don’t pay too much attention to the money – you only get one chance!