San Diego State University Review (127)

University: San Diego State University

City: San Diego

Country: United States

Continent: North America

Field of study: business administration

Study type: semester abroad

San Diego State University Review (127)

In this report on my experience of my semester abroad at San Diego State University (SDSU), I would like to go into the preparation, arrival, university life and choice of subjects, but also the city of San Diego and the surrounding area. First though, I would like to thank MicroEdu for their help with the application process. This has made many things easier. See jibin123 for cost of living in London.

  • Preparation

It is very important to take care of your application to SDSU, the application for recognition, finding accommodation, booking flights and the visa early enough. Approximately 1 year before departure I started to deal intensively with the application and the search for information about studying in California. When applying, you must state whether you want to take part in the “ General Course Program ” or the “ Business Course Program ”. I chose the latter because it contains the courses that can be credited as part of the business administration degree. I signed up for 2 business courses called “Global Marketing ” and “ Consumer and Buyer Behavior ”. Each of these marketing courses has a value of 4 units, which were converted at my university with 6 CP each. Other business courses that do not include marketing have a value of 3 units or 5 CP. After filling out some online forms and a visit to the American Embassy in Frankfurt, to which one was invited for a short interview, the visa for the USA was applied for.

Since I also had to “crash” other courses on site (join courses after American students had already chosen their courses) in order to get the 12 units required for my visa, I already planned my apartment search from Germany. As a result, I didn’t have to quickly find accommodation on site. Another advantage of early planning is the greater choice of student residences or apartments, as the apartment complexes fill up very quickly before the start of a new semester. I chose a dorm in the college area because of its proximity to the university. Other housing options include beachfront apartments (Pacific Beach, Mission Beach) or apartments between the beach and college area. If you don’t decide on an apartment in the college area, you should rent a car in San Diego and plan a drive of about 30 minutes to the university, as there are often traffic jams on the highways in the morning.

  • Arrival

The arrival went smoothly because I moved into my apartment about 2 weeks before the courses started. In the first 2 weeks before the courses start, you receive a large amount of information material from the university and you also have to go to many information events in order to register correctly for the courses you selected when you applied. There is also a tour of the SDSU campus.

  • The university and university life

SDSU is one of California’s state universities and occupies top places in university rankings with its business program. In addition to my two marketing courses, I have signed up for the “ Cinema as Art and Communication ” course and a golf coursedecided. Unlike at a German university, there is a wide range of sports courses in San Diego, which also include a final exam and a grade. However, these courses are much easier than the “normal” courses and can almost be seen as a leisure activity. The sports courses can be selected via the “Aztec Recreation Center”. Other courses include surfing, volleyball, badminton, tennis, hiking and water skiing. The fee for physical education courses must be paid separately from the tuition fees as equipment is provided.

The courses themselves are very intensive, as there are around 40-50 students in each course and oral participation is also part of the final grade. In my opinion, it’s better to learn in such an environment because you have direct contact with the professors and the professors can also respond better to the respective students. In the sports courses, the number of students per course is even far less and is between 8-15. However, my golf course even had 3 instructors, so you get feedback very quickly if you have any questions.

The business courses are offered once for American students and once for foreign students.The courses are held by the same professors and have the same content and exams, but the lectures take place at different times. This is organized to keep the class size reasonably small. The lectures in the business courses are to be seen less as classic lectures, as is known from Germany, and more as a mixture of lectures, exercises and discussions. There are also often group projects, so-called “papers” that you have to hand in, case studies or presentation videos that you have to shoot. This leads to a much higher effort within a week compared to a German university. However, there are 3 exams in each course, so that the exam material is better distributed and you don’t have to learn all the knowledge of the semester for a single exam at the end.

The university itself is on a single campus, so you can move from one building to the next very quickly. There is also a library with a 24/7 study room and numerous computer rooms in the middle of the campus. A classic canteen does not exist at the SDSU. There are two options for eating on campus: Either you opt for a “Meal Plan”, which entitles you to choose a freshly prepared menu every day in the “Food Court” for a monthly fee, or you use one of the numerous fast food restaurants, which are also located in the “Food Court”. There are also 2 Starbucks on campus, one of which is the largest in San Diego. Also owns the SDSUa large gym, which can be used free of charge by semester abroad students, several pools (Aquaplex), an open air theatre, a normal theatre, a basketball hall and the “Vijas Arena”, which is used for college basketball games and concerts. As a result, the SDSU campus does not appear as one would normally imagine a university to be. The university also hosts numerous football, basketball and baseball games against other universities, which are worth visiting.

To get from the university to the city of San Diego (downtown) or to one of the numerous beaches (Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, La Jolla, Coronado Beach), you can use the train (trolley) or bus. However, the public transportation network in California is very poor, so renting a car locally is the best way to get to such places quickly. Renting a car is also beneficial for mundane things like grocery shopping, as distances between businesses and residential areas in California are great.

  • San Diego and Vicinity

In addition to studying for exams and handing in papers and group projects, you should definitely explore San Diego and travel around California. San Diego itself is a diverse city with long beaches, large shopping malls, a downtown area with an adjacent harbor, one of the largest US Navy bases, the San Diego Zoo and Coronado Island. Furthermore, the location of San Diego is very good, as it is a 2-hour drive south of Los Angeles and it is also possible to drive to Las Vegas or San Francisco. I can recommend everyone to go to Los Angeles several times, as there are also a lot of sights there. These include Santa Monica Beach, Venice Beach, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and Downtown LA, among others. Many of the skyscrapers in downtown LA offer a very good view of the entire city. You should also drive to the Griffith Observatory, because from up there you can see the entire LA skyline and also the Hollywood Sign. Hollywood is a must-see, even though it’s very crowded with tourists. Universal Studios, located north of Downtown LA, is also worth a visit as you can see behind the scenes of the film production here. While a road trip from San Diego is a great option, you can also take the train (Amtrak) to LA and from there Uber to your LA destinations. Driving from San Diego to Las Vegas involves a drive of approximately 6 hours. However, if you are already in California, you should also go to the neighboring state of Nevada with Las Vegas. Universal Studios, located north of Downtown LA, is also worth a visit as you can see behind the scenes of the film production here. While a road trip from San Diego is a great option, you can also take the train (Amtrak) to LA and from there Uber to your LA destinations. Driving from San Diego to Las Vegas involves a drive of approximately 6 hours. However, if you are already in California, you should also go to the neighboring state of Nevada with Las Vegas. Universal Studios, located north of Downtown LA, is also worth a visit as you can see behind the scenes of the film production here. While a road trip from San Diego is a great option, you can also take the train (Amtrak) to LA and from there Uber to your LA destinations. Driving from San Diego to Las Vegas involves a drive of approximately 6 hours. However, if you are already in California, you should also go to the neighboring state of Nevada with Las Vegas. Alternatively, you can take the train (Amtrak) to LA and from there use the Uber service to get to your LA destinations. Driving from San Diego to Las Vegas involves a drive of approximately 6 hours. However, if you are already in California, you should also go to the neighboring state of Nevada with Las Vegas. Alternatively, you can take the train (Amtrak) to LA and from there use the Uber service to get to your LA destinations. Driving from San Diego to Las Vegas involves a drive of approximately 6 hours. However, if you are already in California, you should also go to the neighboring state of Nevada with Las Vegas.

I was also able to drive to OC (Orange County), which is only about 50 minutes from San Diego. There you will find beaches like Newport Beach, Laguna Beach or Huntington Beach, where many film productions have already been shot.

Since you are already in the USA during the semester abroad in California and you are also flying to New York on the return flight, it makes sense to stop there on the return journey after the semester in San Diego in order to take a few days to explore Manhattan.

  • Last tips and recognition of the semester

The crediting of the business courses at my university worked very well, as I had already clarified in advance whether the courses I had chosen would be recognized. Everyone should do this, otherwise you risk not bringing enough CP with you to Germany or choosing courses that cannot be credited.

Here are some tips that are useful for a semester abroad in California :

  1. It is very useful to get a credit card in Germany, as only credit cards are accepted in stores in the USA. Ideally, one makes sure that the credit card does not incur any fees when used in the USA.
  2. International health insurance is required for admission to SDSU.
  3. Food prices in the US are higher than those in Germany. Especially the supermarket “Whole Foods” offers groceries at very high prices. “Vons” or “Walmart” are cheaper. In general, however, it can be said that there is a much larger selection of products than in Germany.

All in all, I would recommend a semester abroad at San Diego State University to anyone who is interested in a semester abroad in the USA and would like to explore the beaches and metropolises of the west coast, but also wants to study at a university with a recognized business program.

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