University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
First of all, about the application process:
Thanks to the excellent preparation by MicroEdu, enrolling at the American university was no problem at all. At the beginning you are of course skeptical as to whether everything can work out, but both the application process and the visa application are no problem at all. See andyeducation for California State University Long Beach Study Abroad.
Of course, it would be helpful to apply early for a semester in the USA. However, I only decided in mid-April to study at San Diego State University for the fall semester of 2011 and still had enough time to complete all the formalities that arose.
The visa application in Frankfurt was really a joke, since the responsible embassy employee usually only asks one or two questions per applicant. The employees concerned did not even want to see the requested documents (bank confirmation, etc.).
For BAföG recipients: The Studierendenwerk Hamburg, which is responsible for the USA, processed the BAföG application just as quickly as an application in Germany.
However, it must be said that you will not get very far in America and especially in San Diego with BAföG alone, as the cost of living and rents are very high. If you want to share a room with another student, you have to calculate about 580 US dollars. $800 is common for a single room. Cheaper rooms are hard to find and if you do, they are very dirty and in run-down houses.
For the first few days I can only recommend USA hostels in downtown San Diego. The good thing about it is that you will meet many future classmates with whom you can also go on trips to LA etc. Most of the people you meet will be German anyway, because there were a few hundred German students there last semester. You should prepare for this beforehand.
When looking for an apartment, you should plan about 14 days, since there are a lot of foreign students in San Diego, especially during the semester.
I finally found a room in the college area with a private landlord. The good thing was that three American students also lived there, which was also good so that you don’t just hear German from all the many German students all day long. We also recommend the usual commercial residential complexes, such as e.g. B. Sterling Collwood or the Sterling Alvarado completed in the next Fall Semester (Fall 2012). Although they are not exactly cheap, they also have a pool, gym and other amenities such as PC rooms etc.
You read enough about the university in the other field reports, although I would like to give the tip here not to buy the books directly on campus, but rather online on sites such as “valorebooks.com” or on “collegebookrenter.com” to buy a book or rent it for the time being, as this is otherwise very expensive on campus.
San Diego offers endless opportunities for leisure activities and every German student will also want to go to LA, Las Vegas and San Francisco. Just awesome, life on the west coast of California.
At first I flew to San Diego with the plan not to need a car all the time, but due to the great distances this cannot be avoided and so I ended up renting a car for the whole time. Buying a car was out of the question for me, although this always corresponds to personal risk tolerance. You can rent cheap cars from Sunset Car Rentals (“mysunsetcarrental.com”). The staff there is always super friendly and there is also a wide range of rental cars available.
As a tip for a cheap trip to Las Vegas or SF, I recommend “southwest.com”. They have unbeatable low airfares.
If you want to buy cheap clothes, the best place to do it is Las Americas Outlet Center, near the Mexican border. The offers there are not only very good on Black Friday.
In the meantime, I’ve gotten all the courses in Germany credited, but you’ll have a lot of fun there regardless of that.
And finally: Don’t let the class crashing drive you crazy, because there are always some students who panic at the beginning if they haven’t found the right classes right away. The class crashing usually lasts two weeks and then all students have actually found the right course.
As a preparation, I also read the other field reports that are posted here or simply ask the foreign students who you inevitably always meet on site, where is the best place to live or where the next party is taking place.
Have fun there, time goes by faster than you think.