University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business Administration, Marketing
Study type: semester abroad
Hi everyone, I did a semester abroad at San Diego State University from August to December 2014. The semester was the best I’ve had so far and I gained a lot of new and interesting experiences. First of all, the decision to go abroad via MicroEdu was a good one, because the team relieves you of a lot of organizational work and is there to help with any questions. I couldn’t have wished for a better process beforehand. See andyeducation for San Jose State University Study Abroad.
I finally decided on San Diego because I read a lot of positive reviews, the choice of courses was very good and of course the weather there is very good all year round;). Since I’m studying Master’s in Business Administration, I also opted for the Business program and chose the Special Session Product Innovation Management, as well as the International Marketing and Advanced Marketing Strategies courses on site. On site, I had to choose 2 more courses for the Master’s program.
The only negative experience I had during my stay abroad was the choice of course. You have to get confirmation from the Ali on site that you are allowed to attend a certain course at all, since there are only a limited number of places in the courses for international students. It is therefore not enough to ask the lecturer whether you can attend the course. Unfortunately, this topic only became clear to me very late, which is why I was not able to attend the courses I wanted, but had to take the courses in which there was still capacity.
I can say the following about the courses: Product Innovation Management is a special session course, which means that it is attended by a large number of exchange students and (as it was in my case) a large number of Germans. The course itself is less exciting and the lecturer unfortunately very chaotic. The grading is also partly spongy, which is why I would advise against this course. International Marketing is a very interesting course and I have probably never learned as much in one course as in this one. However, the lecturer grades hard and also values cooperation (he also simply calls people out of the course, even if they don’t answer). Advanced Marketing Strategy was very theory-oriented and the workload for this subject was greatest over the semester.
All in all, the workload during the semester in the USA is higher than in Germany, but the grade usually consists of several parts such as participation, presentations, essays, team tasks and/or exams. While attendance is not mandatory, it is expected in most courses. The campus and student life itself are of course very nice and the range of sports at the university is huge.
I mostly lived with Americans, during my stay I moved 3 times, but that was because I booked my room through Airbnb, which is usually only for a shorter period of time. So I kept getting to know new people and areas, although I lived in the downtown area most of the time.
Definitely use the long weekends and the time after the semester to travel. I’ve done a lot of excursions and city trips and also spent a week in Maui, Hawaii, which I really recommend. You should definitely try surfing. I didn’t buy a car, but I often used public transport (semester ticket), Car2go, Uber and Lyft. DirtyCheapCar is also a good place to go if you want to rent a car for a trip. Some students rented a car there for $500/month. You can actually get everywhere in San Diego with the public transport, but you just need more time (e.g. from the university to Mission Beach 1 ½ hours).
In San Diego, we definitely recommend the beaches in La Jolla, Mission/Pacific Beach, Coronado Beach, as well as Seaport Village and the Glaslamp Quarter on weekends to go out. A football and basketball game should also not be missed, discounted tickets are issued at the ticket counter at the university, but beware: the tickets for the basketball games are always sold out very quickly. You should also take advantage of Ali’s event offerings to get to know other students and the area.
If I could change anything about my stay abroad, it would only be the choice of course, which unfortunately went very chaotically for me. San Diego itself is great for studying and there are very interesting places in California and you should definitely see as much as possible. All in all, it was a great experience regarding different cultures, the American way of life and dealing with situations that you don’t encounter in Germany. I would do it again anytime.