University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
sitting at the airport in San Diego and waiting for my flight to Germany, now is probably a very good time to reflect on the semester abroad in San Diego. See liuxers for 7 best cities to study in Colombia.
To start chronologically, I still remember that it took a relatively large amount of time to master the bureaucracy of the visa application, which by the way is much worse in the USA or California than in Germany ;-). Beyond that, there were no other pitfalls thanks to the great support from MicroEdu.
Coming from Hamburg, I can only advise anyone living in northern Germany to also consider Amsterdam as a place of departure. Compared to a flight from Hamburg, I saved €400.
In order to take advantage of good USD exchange rates, I decided to use both a credit card
(Recommendation: PayVIP Mastercard Gold from Advanzia Bank without any fees as long as you are able to pay in a disciplined manner and as long as you do not withdraw cash with the card)
as well as a normal USD debit account in the USA (Bank of America – bad experience with phone support and card blocking while traveling).
Arriving in San Diego, I first moved into the Ocean Beach Hostil, which I had booked from Germany, as I wanted to look for permanent accommodation here in San Diego so as not to have to rely on photos from the Internet. The Hostil stay was a very great experience, because you got to know a lot of new people within a very short time, whom you met again and again everywhere. However, a longer stay than 1 – 2 weeks is not recommended, as the body will eventually report itself due to daily beer pong tournaments, parties in the Hostil, very little and uncomfortable sleep and far too little space.
The productive part of this time included the search for a bank (BoA), a mobile phone contract (not recommended AT&T 2GB all net flat 60$), a car (recommendation: Point Loma Pre Owned) and a house.
When looking for a house on the beach, it is important to know that the demand is very high and the prices are high. At the beginning of August there was already a fight for the last beach houses. My advice to everyone is NOT TO EVER rent a home from Mission Beach Management!!!!!!!
I ended up moving into a house on Mission Beach with a friend through Mission Beach Management, which was definitely not worth the price ($2500 per month + utilities).
Anyone looking for lots of parties, beaches and surfing should definitely head to Mission Beach or Pacific Beach!!
San Diego State University
In the beginning, every exchange student probably curses the university because you are severely disadvantaged compared to “normal” students. Despite the fact that we have to pay far more tution than Americans, all Americans get complete prerogative in course selection. So you run from course to course and get rejected, which is quite frustrating. Once you have been able to find a course, depending on the course, you will have to face immense costs (finance: book $250, pocket calculator $100).
In terms of difficulty, in my objective opinion, it is quite difficult to fail exams (all multiple choice), but it is relatively difficult to get an A or a 1.0 depending on the subject. An exception to this are the sports courses where you are graded for attendance : -D. I can recommend sailing and surfing to anyone who enjoys water sports and would like to live “around the corner” on the beach anyway. I found kayaking rather boring.
The free time is just indescribably great! Lying on the beach all day long, playing beer pong, surfing, sailing, barbecuing and beach volleyball are part of a normal daily routine. There are plenty of beach bars, sports bars, bars and small clubs in Pacific Beach for partying, which are particularly busy on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Larger clubs where well-known DJs perform can be found downtown. However, these are anything but cheap (both entry and drinks)
I was very surprised about the much more widespread consumption of marijuana than in Germany. In the beach regions it is fully socially accepted and there is hardly a time when one does not notice the smell. Unfortunately, alcohol is not allowed to be consumed in public, which makes a beer by the campfire on the beach a little more uncomfortable.
Since I actually went to San Diego expecting to only speak English, I found it mostly very annoying that so many German exchange students live in the beach region, and that English is therefore not necessarily spoken.
City of San Diego
San Diego is a beautiful and above all very clean city! The citizens and all state guards attach great importance to cleanliness, which makes San Diego a very nice vacation city.
The reason for the semester in San Diego is definitely the weather! I experienced a total of 3 short rain showers in the 5 months and at times in mid-December I was still able to lie on the beach at 27°C.