University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
In order to be able to study in the USA you need an F1 (I 20) visa. You have to apply to the American Embassy in Munich in good time and make an appointment. For the appointment there you have to plan about 1-2 hours and also pay attention to things such as not taking your cell phone with you, etc. See mcat-test-centers for 5 best Berlin neighborhoods for students.
You can get all the information you need from your placement agency.
In my case it was the MicroEdu agency. I can only recommend this. They also have a facebook page where you can chat with future international students in advance about hostels, apartments, dorms, cars, insurance…etc. or even with former students if they are still active on the site. Book the flight as early as possible as they tend to get more and more expensive ( the exception proves the rule ).
You do not need an ESTA application with a visa. If you don’t know exactly whether you will get foreign student loans, there is a student loan calculator on the internet. Basically, people who already get Bafög in Germany get Bafög. These have the advantage that – as far as I know – the tuition fees and part of the flight are covered. I wasn’t one of the people, so I can’t say for sure.
You can find out about rooms, apartments and houses in advance on “Craiglist” or Facebook (usually there is a group for your semester).
The question now is whether you prefer college area or the beach and of course how much money is available. If you choose the beach you have to take care of a car, speak purchase, insurance and driver’s license.
The public transport in San Diego is still one of the best in America, but it does not meet the standard in Germany. You can calculate about 45min-1h drive from the most populated beaches (Mission Beach and Pacific Beach).
I chose the College area (Suites on Paseo). Because I didn’t want to drive that far to the university every day and also simply for cost reasons. I also booked a surfing course. So I went to the beach 1-2 times a week, sometimes more sometimes less.
For living situations you have to reckon with at least 1000€ living expenses per month.
The university is just a dream. The campus is amazing, big and there are little cafes or parks everywhere. There are many ways to enjoy the sun during the breaks. Thursday is always a small market where you can taste dishes from all over the world.
At the beginning you have to crash the courses, which means you cannot enroll in the courses via the Internet as usual, but you have to make a list of the courses you would like to go to and then ask the professors of the individual courses if you can participate in his allowed to attend the course. Special sessions can also be booked safely from Germany. So you have to crash 1-2 courses or you fill up the remaining points with sports courses. But you will also get that explained on your first day at the university. You have to reach at least 12 units (hours) to be allowed to study there and if you have more than 12 units you have to pay more tuition fees.
The university also has the “Aztec Gym” which is free for us exchange students. There is very good equipment, weight and cardio and classes like spinning, yoga etc. (arc.sdsu.edu). There is also a private swimming pool where you can enter free of charge as an Aztec member. You can also play bowling, billiards, tennis, climbing, bouldering, racquetball or football for free if there is space on the artificial turf pitches. Most of the time groups are found very quickly and then meet weekly to play football.
It is best to print out a map of the university campus for the first day. You don’t have to take blocks, notebooks or folders with you, they don’t fit, in America there is a different DIN format.
Besides the university, San Diego offers pretty much everything you can imagine. Mountains, lakes, beaches (many different ones), San Diego Chargers (football), San Diego Padres (baseball) many clubs and bars and incredibly nice, open people.
After the university is over, most stay about 1 month and still drive through California or if it’s enough for more even through the whole of America. That’s why I’m still on my road trip, which I still undertook as the culmination of the whole semester abroad. (of course in a Ford Mustang : -))
- LA (Venice Beach, Staples Center, Malibu, Walk of Fame, Hollywood Sign, Observatory (view over LA)
- Santa Barbara (very nice, quiet little town to relax in. Especially nice is Butterfly Beach, where celebrities sometimes hang out, because a lot of them live there)
- Las Vegas
- Grand Canyon (preferably drive from Vegas)