University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business Administration, Economics
Study type: semester abroad
First you have to say that San Diego has a huge advantage over Germany: the weather. It was just fantastically beautiful the whole time and it rained a maximum of 3-4 times – so a summer that lasted until December! See jibin123 for Mexico higher education.
The university is really extraordinarily beautiful if you compare it with German universities. The campus is well maintained and beautifully designed. There are several places to eat there (but only fast food), the Bib is very appealing and offers opportunities to study, relax or even sleep there.
The lessons are actually like in a German school. You have to get involved a lot, always hand in homework, write several exams and give presentations. So it doesn’t have much in common with the classes at a local university. It’s a bit of getting used to, but it’s actually not bad at all, because the exams are much easier and you could get an A- without much effort. Overall, the material is also much simpler and all areas are chewed through several times, so no problem at all for halfway intelligent people.
I lived in a private house near the university (about 5 minutes by car) and was really lucky with my roommates. “My Americans” were super open, totally nice and we became friends right away and often celebrated together. That’s why the decision to look for an apartment privately was a really good one for me. The Piedra del Sol facilities also looked very good, but you don’t get to meet Americans in apartments there, which I personally think is a shame. Almost all of the Germans I knew lived with Germans, which is actually not the point. Altogether there were a lot of Germans there anyway. In my opinion even too many.
San Diego offers many ways to celebrate. The PB (Pacific Beach) is a club and bar area mostly frequented by students. The prices are reasonably cheap and you can have a lot of fun there too. However, you have to drive about 20 minutes from the university to the PB.
There are also many bars, pubs and clubs downtown, although they are usually a bit more expensive. We were more at the PB, but I also liked downtown, so everyone has to form their own opinion.
You can also go to a lot of private parties and the international students there are super active. Every Friday you can meet and new party options are discussed. However, these parties were often besieged by an extremely large number of Germans, so that it was no longer particularly interesting and I preferred to stick to my roommates and their friends.
In conclusion, one can say that one should definitely get a car, because without it one is really in a fix and can hardly see anything. I’ve also found that American culture is a bit different than German culture, and that’s why you shake your head more often than you might expect. That’s why you should definitely be prepared for the fact that everything is a little different if you have a lot to do with Americans there.
All in all, it was definitely a great time with really great people that I wouldn’t want to miss.