University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business administration, banking and finance
Study type: semester abroad
I was a freemover at San Diego State University (SDSU) in the spring semester of 2013 and would like to share my experiences with you here. I was able to get in touch with SDSU relatively easily through MicroEdu (www.MicroEdu.com). I can only warmly recommend this agency, as there are no additional costs, but a lot of bureaucracy is saved. MicroEdu was always available and guided me through the application process in a targeted and professional manner. After all the necessary documents had been filled out and sent to MicroEdu, the agency contacted the university and arranged everything else so that I was accepted for the exchange semester after a short time. See jibin123 for cost of living in Berlin.
You must plan enough time for the student visa, as it can take a while to receive the relevant forms and get an appointment at the US Embassy in Bern.
As a freemover, you must clarify with the University of St. Gallen in good time whether you can have the desired courses credited to you when it comes to choosing a course. This prevents any nasty surprises. The course selection process at the SDSU is relatively complex and tedious. You have the opportunity to enroll in so-called special classes. The advantage is that you will definitely get these courses. The main disadvantage, however, is that only other exchange students participate in these courses and therefore there is no contact with Americans. Personally, I would recommend that you enroll in the regular courses (Note from MicroEdu: Since spring 2013, participants in the “Business Courses” semester program have had to choose two “Special Sessions” in the bachelor’s area or one in the master’s area, the remaining courses can then be selected from the regular range of lectures.). However, one must be aware that the local students have priority over the exchange students. It is correspondingly more difficult and time-consuming to get such courses. Nevertheless, you usually get all the desired courses at the end.
I chose and got the following courses:
Cinema as Art and Communications
Seminar in Investments
Financial Management II
I found all the courses very interesting and in the American system you are rewarded with good grades relatively quickly, but you have to be aware that Graduate courses mean a relatively large amount of time (usually two to three written exams, a paper and a presentation per subject). In general, however, the courses are very doable if you come from a Swiss university.
During the semester you will find all contact persons for any concerns of exchange students at the American Language Institute (ALI), which is located directly on the university campus. However, sometimes you have to do a little digging to get things done efficiently.
San Diego is a very beautiful city and a great place to do an exchange. Temperatures range from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius all year round. A car is definitely required as public transportation is poor and the San Diego area is relatively sprawling. There are enough housing options near the university, but I would recommend Pacific Beach (close to the beach) or downtown (good clubs, bars, etc.).
San Diego State University offers numerous sporting opportunities. The Aztec Recreation Center grounds include a huge gym, tennis courts, and a swimming pool. There is no membership fee for international students during the semester. In addition, many sports courses are offered (surfing, yoga, golf, tennis, etc.). For people who prefer watching sports to playing sports, there are many varsity team games such as football, basketball, and baseball during the semester. As a student you get free tickets for each of these games and you should definitely visit a few of these games as it is a good experience.
Located in southern California, San Diego also offers a variety of relatively close-by travel destinations. For example, you can go to Los Angeles (about two hours by car) or Las Vegas (about six hours by car). San Francisco is also an option or destinations in Mexico. In any case, you should visit a few places, as the USA has a lot of interesting cities to offer.
All in all, I can warmly recommend an exchange semester at San Diego State University. It was a very good experience and I would do it again anytime. The Californian way of life is simply different than in Switzerland and definitely worth an exchange.