University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: English / American Studies, leisure time management
Study type: semester abroad
I’ve always had a dream of going to California. Since I’m studying English and Physical Education to become a teacher, applying to San Diego State University made more sense. See liuxers for how to open a bank account in Belgium.
To be honest, I had my head full of worries at first: “where/how do I apply for the foreign BAfoeg”, “who vouches for my financial support so that I can get a financial statement”, will I even find a connection” and “where and how am I supposed to find a room ” and many more.
When I arrived in sunny San Diego on January 8th (bag and baggage) I decided to stay in a hostel for 12 days because I thought it would be difficult to look for one from Germany. And I was rewarded.
First of all: I got to know so many good people through the hostel stay, since almost everyone there is “new”.
Second: there I had enough time to devote myself to looking for an apartment. With the website craigslist.com you are 100% in the right place. There are many and also beautiful, partly cheap and furnished rooms advertised there every day. Everyone finds a room!
Found a room in Del Cerro which is a 15 minute bike ride but guys I was more than rewarded with the awesome landlords who are now my friends and the most beautiful view I have ever had from a property. Even though my master bedroom was only 20 square meters and I had bought a small stovetop for cooking, I could very well have imagined growing old in this small, idyllic apartment.
On the subject of transport: trolleys (small trains) drive to the most popular and important places, buses too, but sometimes not on Sundays, depending on where you live.
Therefore, it makes sense to know people who have a car or are buying one and end up selling it. I’ve also met quite a few people who have rented a car. A well-known man, for example, got by without a car.
When I first started college, I couldn’t stop rubbing my eyes in disbelief. The university is absolutely amazing, beautiful white towers with red roofs surrounded by palm trees. There is even a Mediterranean garden in the middle of the campus. What more do you want?
The staff at the American Language Institute are very friendly and competent. I always felt welcome, even with questions like “where’s the best place to go out tonight”.
The course search at the beginning of the semester is a bit annoying because you have to “crash” courses. This means that initially you have no guarantee that you will actually be able to attend the course you have chosen. But a large percentage of the time it works. You’ll also be explained everything on induction day and you’ll get a free San Diego bus tour.
You should also consider that on the one hand you can attend courses directly at the university (SDSU), which are then always graded, and on the other hand you have the opportunity to attend courses at the American Language Institute (ALI). You should definitely make sure that if you are an undergraduate you have 12 units and if you are a graduate you have 9 units. In principle, it doesn’t matter where you have your courses, I mixed them for example (4 at SDSU and 2 at ALI). In addition, the ALI is located right on campus.
I took a Spanish course at university, it’s a lot of fun). A rowing course, a “teaching English course” and, to top it off, a surfing class (finished with an A+). This was the absolute sticking point of my stay – because of this class I have to rate my stay from “incredibly extremely great” to “San Diego I love you”. Even for people who are not into sports, go surfing, it will take your breath away!
A “business profiles” class and an “American sports” class were added to the ALI. I finished this with “passed” because the American Language Institute has almost exclusively the two parameters: “passed” and “failed”.
Just don’t mess with the police and obey their laws: don’t cross the street on a red light ($250), don’t throw garbage (chewing gum) out of a moving car (littering=$1000)… Socializing
was super easy- I was sometimes approached by people at the supermarket- more than that, engaged in a thoroughly enjoyable 15 minute conversation.
Germans are also very popular with Californians!
I’ll just tell you one thing, at first I was a bit unsure and overcast, but in the end I was more than overwhelmed, full of enthusiasm and the most important thing: my “barrel” was more than empty.
I wish you all a lot of fun and a great time and say hello to Neil and Tom, the surf instructors from MBAC (mission bay aquatic center), your Johannes.