University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Romance Studies, Tourism Management
Study type: semester abroad
“Fall Semester 2009” San Diego State University – A dreamy semester abroad
San Diego was always familiar to me. My parents told me about their previous travels and San Diego was one of them. I’m half Mexican, my father German, my mother Mexican. I am originally from Hanau. See mcat-test-centers for 8 things you need to know before studying in Germany.
After graduating from high school (summer 2008) I started planning my future studies. At the same time, I accidentally came across “MicroEdu.com” after having entered “semester abroad San Diego” into “google” out of curiosity. I chose Romance Studies and Business Administration at the University of Frankfurt. At the same time, I took care of my part-time job (temp in sales) and an apartment in Frankfurt. The studies began in the winter semester 2008/2009 and during the winter months I planned my stay in the USA.
The semester abroad should ideally take place during the 3rd semester. San Diego is located in southwest California, near the border with Mexico. The climate is perfect, I admired the university (SDSU) on their homepage (http: //www.sdsu.edu/)
Of course, I was primarily interested in the courses I could take at the university. I didn’t want to go to San Diego for fun, I wanted to come back with something meaningful. From January to June 2009, I had many questions that ‘MicroEdu’ was always able to answer. Among them were questions about the general conditions like entrance exams and all proofs, costs, general things about San Diego and the area (accommodation options, transportation, etc) around the university. What I particularly liked was that ‘MicroEdu’ all these answers had summarized and handed out as brochures or listings by email. In this way, the orderly organizational process could begin. With the foreign student loan, the payment of the tuition fees of approx. 4400 euros was regulated.
I had sublet my apartment in Frankfurt to a good friend for six months. My friends gave me a farewell party in mid-August 2009 and my bags were already packed.
On August 17th the time had come. At about 1: 30 p.m. my flight left FFM airport for Washington DC. From there it would continue to San Diego.
When I got to Washington I was very tired. Due to some delays, I didn’t arrive in San Diego until about 11 p.m. local time. San Diego looked beautiful. The bars were lit and the moon glittered on the sea. The air was damp and pleasantly balmy. I was immediately intrigued. It was a different world.
I had a “cab” drive me straight to the “hostel” (youth hostel) that I had booked online in Germany. Since I hadn’t secured a place in the SDSU student residence yet, I had booked the hostel for two weeks. I shared a room with 3 other girls. The switch from German to English was not a problem, but it was very remarkable, since American English is very different from British English.
The next morning after my arrival I walked through San Diego “Downtown” and looked at the surroundings. I drove near the university and looked for apartments. A day later I met Jens, a German student about my age, in the lounge of the youth hostel. We had a good chat and realized that neither of us had a permanent home for the upcoming semester at SDSU. We set out together and found an apartment with a pool about 500 meters from the university! We didn’t think long. Since we got along well, we decided to set up a 2-person shared flat. The deposit was paid via so-called “money orders”, for which we immediately set up an account with an American bank. I recommend this in any case.
We didn’t immediately have furniture in the apartment, but we had bought the essentials (like dishes, two “air beds”) at Walmart.
We enjoyed the following days with our neighbors who lived in the same apartment complex as us. There were many international students and over time our circle of friends formed.
After all, the introductory days at the university soon began. The campus is a dream. There is plenty of vegetation, lots of flowers and small ponds that make learning an experience. There are 2 “Starbucks” and there is also “Taco Bell”. We (international students) were greeted in a very friendly manner and taken to our courses in a perfectly organized manner. The ALI (American Language Institute) specifically managed the international students and accordingly had contact persons, offices, etc. Almost everyone got the courses they wanted and more courses were also set up. In general, in the fall of the 2009 semester, there were many Germans. About 200-300 were there. In the evening we met at the party bus and drove downtown to celebrate. Downtown is a very beautiful and noble center. San Diego is something very fine and special.
Food has always been great in San Diego. Of course there is a lot of fast food, but also very good restaurants. The portions are always very large. ‘Cheesecake Factory’ became our favorite restaurant. I particularly liked the American salads.
Regarding the courses at the university, it can be said that they were always a lot of fun. There is always a lot being actively designed and working with projects, which does not allow the student to “crawl away”. At least that’s how it was in my classes. I had two tourism courses, a Spanish course and a Portuguese course. Tourism has always interested me, so I chose it there. The university does not offer tourism in Frankfurt. We had to type and hand in a lot of written work. There were several interim tests, so you always had to “stay on the ball”. The professors were always very open and there for all questions. The relaxed nature of the Americans is very pleasing. Especially when you have just arrived. There were several events such as a barbecue for everyone and parties.
In our free time we did a lot with friends. We drove to Los Angeles together in groups or to different beaches such as “Coronado Beach” or “La Jolla”.
Generally speaking, you are not lost in San Diego without a car. There is a type of tram that has good connections. Nevertheless, it is very practical if one or the other friend has a car that you can use to drive further away. San Diego is already relatively expensive in itself. Groceries aren’t the cheapest, and housing rents are also expensive. The books for the university were considerably more expensive than in Germany. For three ordinary books I had to spend about 350 euros.
Regarding the weather, it can be said that the climate has always been very pleasant. Until October we always had an average of 25 degrees, then it got 7-10 degrees cooler, but still very pleasant and sunny. California is very beautiful and you feel like you are in another world there.
Personally, I learned a lot from my semester abroad and also changed for the better. I found the help from “MicroEdu” very good and also necessary, because without them it would have been difficult to get along so well. Nevertheless, you were very much on your own and over time you found out how to take things into your own hands in order to be successful. A different country always means many new challenges and efforts, but also living out fun and dreams. You feel so unobserved because you are not in your home country and that gives a young person a lot of self-confidence and strength. You dare things that you might not have dared before. I also relate a lot to the language. We only spoke English in San Diego and tried to avoid speaking German. All I can say is that it helps a lot to improve your English. It’s also a lot of fun. I really enjoyed my semester abroad right up to the last second and when you’re on the plane back home you always have the feeling that you haven’t seen everything yet. That’s why I know that I’ll definitely be visiting beautiful San Diego again. After my semester abroad, I was in Mexico for two more months and looked at Cancun and Acapulco, among other things. I can only recommend it and recommend it to everyone! That’s why I know that I’ll definitely be visiting beautiful San Diego again. After my semester abroad, I was in Mexico for two more months and looked at Cancun and Acapulco, among other things. I can only recommend it and recommend it to everyone! That’s why I know that I’ll definitely be visiting beautiful San Diego again. After my semester abroad, I was in Mexico for two more months and looked at Cancun and Acapulco, among other things. I can only recommend it and recommend it to everyone!