University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Study type: semester abroad
Doing a semester abroad was by far the best decision of my life.
MicroEdu is a real help and definitely makes planning that much easier.
I’ve always dreamed of spending a long time abroad, but somehow I never got around to making it happen. To be honest, I was very scared of the planning and organization and I was also worried about the financial aspect. See act-test-centers for SJSU Study Abroad.
I found MicroEdu on the internet. As already mentioned above, the organization was a great help to me and the employees were always approachable. Within a very short time, all the necessary information was emailed to me and I was able to start planning.
I quickly decided on San Diego State University, which has very good reviews and I have a friend who was there herself and could only recommend it to me.
I started planning the semester abroad in April 2014, which gave me enough time to take care of everything and the deadlines for various scholarships were still open. First of all, I took care of my application to SDSU. Thanks to the information brochure from CoCo, the first step was very easy to take and I put together all the necessary documents in a very short time.
You need proof of English, a bank certificate, a copy of your passport and proof of grades. With all that paperwork in the envelope on its way I started researching scholarships and although I was early some good scholarships were already past their deadlines so it’s never too early to start!
In June I got the confirmation and with a smile on my face I was able to take the next steps. I applied for the foreign student loan, booked my flights and took care of the visa. In addition to numerous fees and a number of online forms, I made an appointment at the American consulate in Berlin. I was quite scared before this appointment, but afterwards everything was very easy. In addition to the international health insurance and numerous documents that still had to be signed, most of the work was done for the time being.
The apartment search
I met someone straight away through CoCo and we decided to share a room. Since we were there so early, namely at the end of December, all the good and cheap apartments were still available. After 7 viewings we settled on a small apartment in Pacific Beach near the beach. Our roommates were two Danish women, which was a good choice as we didn’t just want to speak German. My roomie and I paid $400 each for our room and our other two roommates paid $550 each (bigger room and private bathroom) – for our location, it was a real bargain.
Uni didn’t start until January 21st in the States, so we still had plenty of time to explore and settle in. San Diego is definitely a beautiful piece of earth.
Well, the registration was already at the beginning of January, here we visited the campus for the first time and got to know some people. The campus is huge and just like you see it in American movies. At first I got lost quite a few times, but after a while I found my way around quite well. The campus is built in the Spanish style and is really, really beautiful. There are enough places where you like to stay in the free hours.
Getting the courses you want is a real struggle. Unfortunately, American students are given preference and if there is no more space in the course, you are unlucky. I didn’t get any of my courses that I would have liked and the crashing is sometimes really torture. In the end I was able to choose courses that were very interesting for me and I was very satisfied. The university in the States is much like the school here in Germany, for example you have to do your homework every hour. So-called “papers”, i.e. term papers, are very popular with American lecturers. In contrast to my German friends, I really had to write a lot of them. In hindsight I’m glad about it, I was able to improve my written English enormously. In my courses I was always the only German and the Americans in my course were unfortunately very distant.
Living in the States, especially California, is a dream come true. I have definitely chosen the best location for a semester abroad. The weather is always nice and pleasant, the ocean is more or less on your doorstep and you are literally living the American dream.
The western part of North America offers by far the most beautiful landscapes imaginable, and above all they are very diverse. California and the neighboring states are perfect for cool road trips.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have that much time to travel during the semester, but a weekend in LA or Las Vegas was always an option. However, the best time to travel is towards the end of the semester and I would definitely recommend everyone to travel. At the end of the semester my boyfriend came to visit me and we traveled a lot and took in almost every national park. I can highly recommend a short trip to Hawaii;)
All in all, the last six months have really been the best time of my life and I don’t want to miss them. No one can take away the experience you gain there, and I’ve met an incredible number of people with whom I will keep in touch.
MicroEdu is a real support and I don’t know if it would have worked otherwise.