University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: graphic design
Study type: bachelor’s degree
So now I’m one of those who can report on life in the USA. The reports really helped me a lot back then, so I can only recommend everyone to read as many as possible before starting.
I spent about 6 months in San Diego and I can only say that I don’t regret taking this step for a second. But I didn’t have to overcome the initial hardships all by myself because a good friend embarked on this adventure with me. Luckily I sometimes have to be honest, because the early days really won’t be easy. See jibin123 for vocational training in United Kingdom.
I’ve decided to focus my report more on life around the university because I think basic things like looking for a flat, buying/renting a car and a few tips and tricks help the most to get started.
First of all, if you don’t have a hostel in mind yet: DO NOT, absolutely NOT, choose the Banana Bungalow. We were pissed off because we really wanted to go to this hostel as the homepage description just screams party and fun, but don’t be fooled. It’s a filthy shithole with sick characters. So I highly recommend the Point Loma Hostel, it’s $25 for a double room pp (so perfect if you’re traveling with someone else) or around $18 for the dorms. It’s not that clean either, but according to other hostels it’s the best, but if you want to travel like a princess, you should count on 60 dollars plus tax (Motel 6 is one of the cheapest).
Then to the apartment search: you definitely need a car for this, in general you need a car because even the supermarket “around the corner” is too far to walk. The best websites for looking for apartments and houses are craigslist.com and ca101.com (it’s better to check the second one again on the SDSU side, I’m not entirely sure)
I myself have 2 Americans and 2 Germans in one I’m used to the house and can only recommend it to everyone, especially to live under one roof with Americans, because first of all the English will improve a lot in a short time and you’ll get a lot of insider tips. We found that most Germans didn’t have much of a clue about anything at all, since they just hung out among themselves.
Then a few tips that can really save money: the cheapest supermarket is Vons. You can get a Vonskarte for free and save a lot of money with all the special prices (vegetables and fruit are still super expensive!). Every day has different locations where you can best go to celebrate: Tacotuesday at Fred’s, Thursdays at PB or Woodstock and downtown: girls, you’re in a good place, make eyes at the bouncer and you’re in, but the men have to shell out a lot.
Unfortunately I can’t tell you anything about buying a car, a friend bought a car, unfortunately we had to live completely without a life for the first time, so I know how annoying it is. For renting: at the airport there is a street full of rent-a-car companies, ask around for the best prices. Enterprise has weekend specials and if you’re 25 you have to pay less.
So, now something about the university: with my girlfriend and I everything was a bit special because we wanted to do the semester abroad voluntarily and therefore there were no other German or international students in our course. The SDSU is very well known in the business management field, but unfortunately I can’t say anything about the courses personally. There is a lot on offer in the field of graphic design, good practice, but I can only advise everyone to attend as many courses as possible during the orientation days, because sometimes the description promises something different than the course actually is. However, if you have decided on a course after the first “trial lesson”, make sure that you attend it regularly, even if the orientation phase is still running, otherwise you will miss a lot and it may be counted as an absence. If you have questions about subjects or other problems, I have found that the professors are very happy to help and try to do everything to make you feel comfortable in their course as a foreign student.
By the way, the university is quite big and invites you to get lost, but it is beautiful and has cute little meadows where you can study after university or just relax (watch out for the sprinkler systems, they are nasty hidden in the ground and such 5 you have no more chance to come down dry from a meadow).
One more thing about the courses: many think about taking sports courses, admittedly I did that too, but in retrospect I’m glad I took another course for education, because you can easily learn how to surf, for example, on the beach and through Ami friends and it’s also a lot more fun than in the surf course, where you first have to do theory lessons before you can finally get on the water.