University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Study type: semester abroad
The university offers pretty much every subject you can imagine. The business school is said to be one of the top twenty in the US, and their goal is probably to be in the top ten. My experiences with the professors are pretty good, apart from one I had really good lecturers, and one of them wasn’t bad either, just lazy…;-) As is probably generally the case in the USA, contact with the professors is extremely uncomplicated. Mostly addressed with first names, emails are answered personally within a day at most, consultation hours are always open and I think most of them even like it if they have a few foreign students in their courses. Conclusion: Study conditions close to optimal. There is also a really nice campus, well maintained and soon even with a subway connection to downtown San Diego (the university is about ten to 15 miles east of downtown). This is also the reason why you should definitely think about buying a car! See liuxers for 9 countries to travel alone in 2021.
San Diego is a dream! It is not for nothing that it is one of the fastest growing cities in the USA, it is (almost) always warm, always sunny and everything is easy going. That’s Southern California… In addition to numerous beaches (which are great for surfing!), San Diego offers everything you could wish for in terms of entertainment, from museums to a world-famous zoo (and Sea World) to beautiful parks and large shopping centers. Despite its proximity to Mexico, or perhaps because of it, the city is very safe. The police are extremely strong and I would have no qualms about walking the streets alone in most neighborhoods in the evening. The nightlife is also not to be scoffed at, although (at least in the better clubs) it’s not cheap fun either. $20 entry for the disco is normal in downtown and you will hardly get a beer under $5. But of course there are neighborhoods where everything is cheaper, such as the surfer area Pacific Beach (“PB”), where admission is $5, beer is $2, and you’re even seen in jeans.
It’s hot, many American women are showing off their (partially artificial) bodies and one cannot complain about a lack of “insights”… No, of course it’s not quite like that, but that’s a thought on the first few days comes to campus in the summer. Otherwise, I personally didn’t really get that much from life on campus, I was more oriented towards downtown or the beach. But the sorority parties at the frats and sororities are legendary, and anyone who can handle the drinking habits of American college kids will certainly feel comfortable there. Here, too, one can say: foreigners (at least Europeans) are very welcome. Not only once have I heard sentences like “I like your accent…” from the girls…*g*
I stayed in the University Towers, a dormitory on campus, in a double room (double rooms are totally normal in the USA, practically no one lives alone in a dorm, it costs exactly twice as much and then the amounts are slowly getting into five figures…). No comment on it, don’t do it! My rating only refers to the halls of residence! Apartments in San Diego are also easy to get close to the campus. My tip: Arrive ten days before the start of university, book a cheap motel on the beach, go looking for an apartment near the campus during the day (or buy a car right away and take the apartment on the beach – it’s cooler!) and in the evening enjoy the atmosphere in Pacific Beach and let Ocean Beach work its magic on you. But life in the city is not cheap, so you should probably calculate around 600 dollars a month for a reasonable room in a shared flat.
A perfect semester! Even though I really saw a lot of California and the neighboring states, I still managed to get reasonable grades at the university. But as an average German student, that’s not that difficult, somehow our universities (compared to the American ones) seem to be much better than their reputation, as good as the Germans do in relation to the Americans in the classes…. I can only recommend San Diego, you will have a brilliant time there! Of course there are always little things that you don’t like or that annoy you, but looking back (now, four weeks later) it was great!