University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: mechatronics, astronomy
Study type: semester abroad
I found San Diego State University through MicroEdu. I read a lot of testimonials and just really wanted to study at this university. It’s best to apply a year in advance, then you won’t have any stress, as some forms will be required. I was lucky that I was able to take my language certificate at my home university for free, otherwise you have to take a TOEFL test or something similar. I booked a return flight back then, but I would recommend you to book only the outward flight. MicroEdu is available for any question and will accompany you throughout the entire application process. See jibin123 for 10 best teaching hospitals in the USA.
You either look for accommodation on site or you decide to find something before you leave, which was the case with me. There are apartment complexes such as BLVD 63, which I wouldn’t necessarily recommend, since the rental price is quite high and there are a lot of Germans there.
I found my apartment through roommatehero.com, on the website you can find accommodation near the university as well as on the beach. In addition, the managing director is from Germany, who also offers short-term contracts, so you don’t have to look for a new tenant and is always available to answer your questions. I decided on a house near the university, for me it was the best decision to live near the university, you can drive to the beach often enough. I lived in a house with six other students and had my own room, which was very important to me.
Since mainly students live near the university, it is easy to get in touch with many Americans. I was lucky enough to be able to share a car with my roommates. You should definitely try renting a car, it’s 100% worth it as public transportation in San Diego is pretty bad.
The campus is simply a dream. There are many different fast food restaurants and cafes on and around campus. In addition, the university has a bowling center, gym and aquaplex, which you as ALI students can use for free. Football and basketball games are also free for students, I would recommend everyone to definitely watch as the atmosphere is quite nice. There are also supermarkets near the university, such as Trader Joes or VONS.
As a bachelor student you have to choose four courses, if you want more you have to pay extra and you can’t do less, otherwise your visa will not be valid. I had to clarify the courses that I wanted to have credited with my home university beforehand. I chose four courses and ended up only getting credit for three of them and as one of the subjects I wanted overlapped with another I had to choose something else. The good thing is that you can decide for yourself which courses you want. Since I’m studying mechatronics, I’ve only had courses with Americans, which was an advantage since most Business administration students mainly have internationals and German in their courses.
My courses were Fluid Mechanics, Renewable Energy Systems, Biomechanics and Astronomy.
The courses are not comparable to those in Germany, as homework has to be done weekly in the USA, and attendance is also checked in some courses. Despite everything, the level is a bit easier than in Germany. But don’t take it lightly, because you still have to study and there’s always homework to do.
If you’re bored in San Diego, you’re doing something wrong. There are numerous recreational opportunities. You can go hiking, go to the beach, explore California and much more. I would recommend you to do as many road trips as possible. For example Los Angeles is only two hours away and there is so much to see in California. My recommendations are LA, San Francisco, Six Flags, Yosemite National Park, Joshua Tree, Las Vegas, Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach. At the end of the semester I flew to New York for a week and I was also in Mexico.
In total I spent around €15,000-20,000. Of course that’s a lot of money for a semester, but it’s worth it, believe me, you’ll always remember this time and once you’re back just think about the great time you had. I was lucky that I got foreign BAföG, if you get BAföG in Germany, you will definitely get it abroad.
It was the best semester of my life. I met so many new people and just had a great time. San Diego is just a dream, the weather is good, the people are in a good mood and the beaches are beautiful. If you are considering doing a semester abroad, I recommend the SDSU 100%, you will definitely not regret it.