University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
SDSU is one of the largest universities in the California State University System. As a result, the range of courses and sporting activities is enormous! Unfortunately, the SDSU is not in close proximity to the beach, but about 20 miles east inland. However, Mission Beach can be reached by car in about 15 minutes. In the following I will give more practical tips than describing the campus etc. again. In my opinion, the descriptions can already be taken very well from the previous reports. See liuxers for how to open a bank account in Canada.
San Diego is one of the most livable cities in the US that I have seen. The climate is warm almost all year round, although it is always cool at night. You never feel in danger – even in the evening or at night – downtown or anywhere else.
The university system is very schooled. Attendance is compulsory in most courses and you get a lot of homework. When choosing a course, you should make sure that you do not take any courses with numbers of 500 or more. These are graduate courses, where the workload increases exponentially per week (sometimes at least 16 hours of homework for a course, which also contributes to a high percentage of the grade). The crashing of the courses was very tedious in the first 2 weeks and looked hopeless at times. But what pays off is persistence. Just go to any class you can every day and then politely ask the professor if he’ll take one. Although it looked hopeless at first, everything went well and I got all the courses I wanted. In each course you write at least 2 exams (usually 3), then the homework, attendance and presentations are also included in the grade. As a conclusion, a grade is actually always obtained that is significantly better than in Germany. The courses usually take place 2* per week (1: 15 hours each). The website www.ratemyprofessor.com provides a good overview of the level of demand of the individual professors.
I was lucky enough to be able to rent a room in a super villa through a friend beforehand. We lived in the house with a total of 4 people. The whole thing was also incredibly cheap at US$ 500. For a room of your own in an apartment or house you should realistically calculate US$ 600. The Piedra del Sol apartments on campus are also highly recommended, but you have to apply for them very early (January/February). It is always possible to look for something locally, but it can often be difficult, depending on your requirements. Most of the rooms/houses are not furnished either, so you have to stock up at IKEA. For a search on site you should calculate about 2 weeks.
A car is essential for the time in SD! If you live within walking distance of the campus, you can possibly share one with a maximum of two. Otherwise I would always buy/rent one on my own. Everyone who planned to get through the time without a car ended up buying or renting one. As rent you have to plan about 1600 $ for a simple + old small car for 4 months. Insurance for a purchased car costs around $500 for the same amount of time. I had bought the car and in the end it was financially worthwhile for me compared to renting it. You should also open a checking account with Deutsche Bank. With the EC card you can withdraw money on campus for free! It also makes sense to get a credit card beforehand that does not charge a foreign surcharge. At the latest after paying the tuition fees, you will have the higher basic fee back. Here, for example, the Lufthansa Credit Card is recommended. They also include fully comprehensive car insurance for the rental car, which is also very worthwhile. As you can see from my reviews, I really enjoyed it and would recommend everyone to have this experience. I wish you a lot of fun in San Diego!