San Diego State University Review (158)

University: San Diego State University

City: San Diego

Country: United States

Continent: North America

Field of study: business administration

Study type: semester abroad

San Diego State University Review (158)

Host university: San Diego State University

SDSU is about a 20-minute drive from the beach and is also well connected to downtown by public transportation. The ultimate in San Diego is probably the weather. At the end of October it is still a sunny 29 degrees. There is an introductory week in which the course selection system is explained and events offered by the university or the ALI (American Language Institute) are presented. The high semester fees include access to university fitness, as well as tickets for sporting events (football, etc.). The water sports offers are diverse and also offer opportunities to meet new people.The library is open 24/7 and offers enough study places. The ALI (American Language Institute) is your local contact and supports you in choosing a course and also offers courses itself (of which you have to take two, more on that later). These courses are exclusively attended by internationals with an alarmingly high proportion of Germans, but of course almost all European nations are represented there. See liuxers for how to open a bank account in the Netherlands.

Course choice

The crediting at the university was not a problem for almost all relevant courses, at the SDSU a distinction is made between general courses and business courses. For us, the latter is particularly relevant. The bidding takes place on site and the most important thing to know is that it is better to sit in front of the computer at midnight when the online portal opens for international students. American students have had weeks to dial into courses, so you are only entitled to remaining places. We are in finance both ended up on the waiting list, but fortunately moved up within the first week. As far as we have noticed, everyone has gradually received their courses, except for Micro II. Unfortunately, you can also be unlucky because the courses are not guaranteed, in contrast to the special sessions from which you have to choose two. These special sessions are offered by the ALI exclusively for international students and as a bachelor student you are obliged to choose two of these courses (from a range of ten).

BA323 Fundamentals of Finance (Andrey Andreev)

  • General: In contrast to other finance courses at the SDSU, by far the most complex. The professor makes it clear from the start that his course will be a lot of work. There is graded homework, pre-class assignments and quizzes, as well as two midterm exams and one final exam. Unfortunately, the exams are not based on the subject matter he presented in class and are therefore rather difficult.
  • Grade: B+
  • Time commitment: high

FIN327 Investments (Dr Andrew Do)

  • Special session, i.e. only consisting of internationals. Professor is very old and speaks English with a heavy Asian accent and has horrible handwriting so very tiring to follow. Bad course structure. In itself an exciting subject, but because of the professor I would refrain from this course.
  • Grade: A
  • Time commitment: medium

ECON320 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory (Archimedes Gatchalin)

  • General: Creditable as Macro II. Weekly homework, quizzes and three exams plus attendance. The lecturer is a nice and lovely woman who responds to you and explains everything three times.
  • Grade: A
  • Time commitment: high

MGT460 Business Plan Development (Kimberly Davis King)

  • General: Very interesting course, which is supervised by a lecturer who works as a venture capitalist and consultant in the start-up scene (Silicon Valley). However, the workload is extremely high with several case studies, two exams and a final group work, as well as a group presentation. Since the course is a special session, only internationals are in the course.
  • Grade: A-
  • Time commitment: high

GEOG312 Culture Worlds (A.Osborn)

  • General: The course was designed quite simple, but the topic is quite interesting. If you have a good general overview of geography, you shouldn’t have any difficulties.
  • Grade: A
  • Time commitment: medium

Before the exchange: application / visa

Organized with support from MicroEdu. Great help. I took care of my visa as soon as it was approved and even booked the flights before I received the visa, since there shouldn’t normally be any problems and the flights were already expensive. We booked the (return) flights in May, after the promise, for about 1000 per person, so just take care of flights in good time, it won’t be cheaper if you wait.

Living in San Diego


We’ve already looked into the housing situation in San Diego in advance. There are generally options to live near the beach or in the SDSU area. Living on the beach is certainly a great option, but it is the most expensive option, since you definitely need a rental car to cover the at least 20-minute drive to the university three times a week. On-campus housing is by far the most expensive compared to the other options in the college area, paying +$1000 for a place in a shared room. We have therefore decided on the BLVD63. This is a student apartment complex within walking distance to the university with two pools, barbecue areas, community house, study rooms and shuttle to the university.The apartment complex itself is great because you have direct contact with other students. Having said that, the apartments are terribly mismanaged. In principle, only year-round rental contracts are offered online and the costs of having the contract transferred to a new tenant are constantly changing. We would not choose the BLVD63 again.


In general, the additional costs in the USA are slightly lower than in Switzerland, but more expensive than in Germany. The rental costs are at a high German level (about the same as downtown Munich). San Diego is very suitable for traveling to various national parks or for road trips through the USA, so you should calculate additional costs here. If you decide to take five courses in the US instead of four, there will be an additional $800 on top of tuition. In total, including flights, tuition fees, rent, etc., you should calculate at least $15,000 for the semester.

American student life

There is a wide range of sports on offer at SDSU, such as surfing courses. Although attendance is mandatory for most courses, our courses are only Monday through Wednesday, leaving plenty of time for travel. That being said, there’s TacoTuesdays, parties in Tijuana, and 300 days of sunshine a year in San Diego, so if you’re a student, you can’t complain. The ALI organizes some events for the foreign students. However, these are not comparable to the European exchange programs on offer. In general, the special sessions make it very easy to get in touch with the international students.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!

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