San Diego State University Review (146)

University: San Diego State University

City: San Diego

Country: United States

Continent: North America

Field of study: Business

Study type: semester abroad

San Diego State University Review (146)


I started my planning phase by registering with MicroEdu, who sent me very helpful information. So I had a very detailed plan at hand that supported me at every organizational step. And if I still had a question, there were always nice employees there who would help me over the phone. See liuxers for how to interpret your GMAT score.

At first I was faced with the question of whether I would rather live on campus or right on the beach. I then decided to go to campus because I didn’t know how many days I had to go to university and how fragmented my schedule would be. So, despite some negative reviews, I chose the Piedra del Sol Apartments on campus and I highly recommend them. This is a very well-maintained, secure community of furnished apartments, with a few reserved for international students. You will definitely be put together with other non-Americans, but you can state that you do not want to live with other Germans because you are learning the language. All in all a very nice and stress-free alternative to searching on site.


The campus itself is probably one of the most beautiful you can imagine. Very well maintained, richly planted with beautiful flowers and meter-high palm trees, as well as a large pond that invites you to relax. There is also a food court where you can get small snacks, but Starbucks, Jack-in-the-box and McDonalds are also just around the corner.

Crashing/ Lectures

As an international student, you have to “crash” the courses, which means that you have to beg the lecturers to let you in. But persistence pays off! So always go there, even if they say they don’t have any more space. So I got all the courses I chose. The university also tries very hard to ensure that your wishes are fulfilled, so an additional course was set up especially for the international students, which was very popular and unfortunately completely overcrowded before.
I chose Advertising, Public Relations, Organizational Management and Social Psychology. They were all recommendations from other students and I thought they were all great. Advertising was pretty easy, PR was the hardest subject, but with a super good lecturer, I didn’t go to management that often and Psychology was super exciting and quite easy in terms of evaluation. All in all, it’s a very interactive learning style, which I would rather compare to a technical college than to a very dry, theory-heavy university.


So as far as costs go, I can tell you that going for the SDSU isn’t exactly cheap. Tuition for the semester was around $5700. In addition, there are a good $500 for registration fees, visa costs, etc. I had to pay $795/month for the furnished room in the Piedra del Sol apartments complex (shared flat for 4 people with 2 large bathrooms). We rented a car because you’re really stuck in the US without one. That also cost us another $380 per month including fully comprehensive insurance without self-service (dirt cheap rent a car). But there is also the option of buying a semester park ticket for just under $150 and taking the bus and trolley. But of course you are not really flexible with it (especially in the evening hours).
The book prices should also not be underestimated. You need one for each of the 4 compartments, which costs about $150 USED. Per book, of course!
The food costs are also quite high. So if you want to eat a little healthy with fruits and vegetables, it really costs you half a fortune.


There are so many recreational opportunities that I can’t even mention them all here.

Pacific Beach

PB is a highly recommended area of ​​San Diego during the day as well as in the evening hours. As the name suggests, there are beautiful stretches of beach and bars that attract students and surfers in particular. More about the nightlife.


Downtown is a bit fancier and therefore a bit more expensive than PB. The Gaslamp Quarter is particularly recommended here, where you will find many nice shops, bars, restaurants, but also clubs.

Fashion Valley

Nobody can avoid Fashion Valley. This is a mall with many of the most famous American brands such as Abercrombie, Hollister, etc. You can really spend a whole afternoon browsing the shops here!


As a student of the SDSU there are always typical American basketball games of the Aztecs (Team of the SDSU) for which you get free tickets. Most of these are in the campus-owned Cox Arena and really worth a visit! (Typical atmosphere with band, cheerleaders, hot dogs and co.)

La jolla

La Jolla is one of San Diego’s fancier neighborhoods, great for shopping. There are also many restaurants and bars here, of which I can only recommend “The Spot”. So you can put together your own burger here, which really tastes incomparably good! Really highly recommended! What is really special about La Jolla, however, is the “La Jolla Cove”, where you can see countless seals in the wild while relaxing on the beach. Really super cute!


Coronado Island is a barrier island on which stands the famous Hotel del Coronado, which is right next to San Diego’s widest and most beautiful beach. You also have a great view of downtown San Diego from the other side of the island, which can be reached via a bridge. So definitely worth a visit!

City ​​trips

Experience has shown that city trips to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Co are cheaper and better on your own than with agencies. There are very cheap domestic flights (e.g. San Francisco around $90 return). And you can also get to LA in a good 2 hours by car. Las Vegas is a good 5 hour drive away, but the bus deals here aren’t really worth it either! Also, the hotels that are included here are mostly off the Strip and nothing special. Better have a look on the internet at Bellagio, Wynn and Co.! Here you can occupy the double room with a maximum of 4 people and it is really super cheap! So doing it yourself is always worth it!


The two most popular parts of San Diego to enjoy the evening are Downtown and Pacific Beach (PB). In general, however, you should know that according to American law, bars and clubs are only allowed to serve alcohol until 2 a.m. and (for reasons that are still inexplicable to me) they kick the guests out at half past 1 a.m. A second important point is that you urgently need to think about your passport in the evening, since everyone, yes everyone who looks younger than 50, will be asked for their ID card and the good old ID card will not be accepted. However, since passports have been lost from time to time over the course of a boozy evening and with them the nice visa, you should have a “California ID” made for you immediately after arrival at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). The fun costs just under $20 and within 1-2 weeks you will have them in your mailbox. At Vons (one of the largest supermarket chains) it often happened to us that they didn’t even accept our passport and you couldn’t even buy a bottle of wine without this California ID. In any case, a sensible investment! J

But now a few more tips about Downtown and PB:
You should already know that Downtown is the more expensive, but also more chic alternative. Here I can only recommend the “Envy” in the Ivy Hotel. A really classy club with several floors, including a gigantic roof terrace with a pool, from which you can enjoy a great view of the San Diego skyline. In any case, remember to put yourself on the guest list online by 6 p.m. so that you only have to pay the $10 entrance fee instead of the $20. Experience has shown that women do not have to pay anything. The drink prices are steep too, so it’s best to pre-glow at home! Another good club is supposed to be the “Stingerees”, which I haven’t tried.

PB, on the other hand, is a more casual and above all cheaper alternative. The main days here are Tuesday (“Taco Tuesday”) and Thursday. Most spend Taco Tuesday at the PB Bar & Grill. Get there early and you can save the $5 entrance fee and only pay around $2 for the margaritas. Mexican food is also particularly cheap. From 10 p.m. the tables are cleared to the side and space is made for dancing. On Thursdays, most of them make a pilgrimage to the “Bar West” or the “Moondoggies”. Like the “PB Bar & Grill”, both are bars with a dance floor rather than real clubs, and the music takes some getting used to here too… The “Moondoggies” in particular is quite a digger’s shed, in which female creatures don’t just enter for fun joy on the dance floor. Within a few seconds, real circles of pain-free Americans form who want to stubbornly dance to you. For men, on the other hand, definitely worth a visit!;)
Oh yes, just before I had to fly back, as far as I know, a direct transfer bus was set up between PB and the campus! Just get informed!


Actually, I had decided not to rent/buy a car and instead make friends with public transport. So I already lived on campus and figured that I would have no problem doing the most important things on foot and by bus/trolley. think! So after just over a week I had to realize that you can’t really do anything in America without a car, since everything is very spread out and San Diego is huge. Although the campus is very well connected with buses and trolleys, it is usually difficult to get home if you plan to go out in the evening. And the supermarkets are always a few minutes away by car and since you can buy many things like milk etc. much cheaper in gallon cans, you can imagine
I then did a little research and afterwards rented a small Mitsubishi Swift (really the only small car in America) with my roommate for $380/month including fully comprehensive insurance without self-service from “Dirt Cheap Rent A Car”. It was really mini, but it hardly used up anything and you could always find a parking space that most Americans had to drive past with their monster trucks. Otherwise we were very satisfied with the car rental and the conditions. In any case, make sure that you have fully comprehensive insurance without excess! The Americans really have a completely crazy and reckless driving style and things can really happen faster than you would like.


Since I lived with 2 other Germans, of course I didn’t only speak English around the clock. But nonetheless, of course, you also learn in the lectures, when reading the books, in the small talk with Americans, etc. In conclusion, I would say that my English has improved, but not optimized. So if you are very keen on improving your language, you should opt for a host family or consciously move in with non-Germans.


All in all, I can only say that it really was my best semester ever. I was able to gain countless impressions and experiences, met incredibly nice people and had a lot of fun. I would do it again anytime and I can guarantee that you will not regret a second at San Diego State!

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