University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
At the very beginning I can only advise every student: take the initiative and do a semester abroad.
Promised: It will be one of the best times of your life!!!
The organization via MicroEdu is very easy, as you can find out exactly when you have to do what from a contact person. Also, MicroEdu is available to answer any questions you may have, which was a huge help for me. See anycountyprivateschools for University of California Davis Study Abroad.
The City of San Diego:
Yes, it’s true, San Diego is definitely “America’s Finest City”!
On the one hand the super beautiful beaches. The most popular are the beaches: Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach and Mission Beach. From a roller coaster to surf schools, bars, restaurants, beach volleyball courts, basketball courts, you will find everything that makes beach life there.
The beaches of Coronado, La Jolla and Del Mar are particularly beautiful, idyllic and a little quieter.
Downtown impresses with high-rise buildings, rooftop bars, cozy restaurants in Little Italy, bars and pubs in the Gaslamp Quarter and elegant nightclubs.
Other beautiful spots in San Diego include Seaport Village, Sunset Cliffs, Hotel Del Mar, Balboa Park, La Jolla Cove… and more!
San Diego is absolutely diverse, scenically fantastic, very clean, has a great climate, is not too small, not too big, the residents are super friendly, everything is PERFECT!!!
SDSU is further inland from San Diego. The campus is very large, so it takes a few days to get used to it at first. All in all very well maintained and modern. In the beginning, your starting point will be the ALI (American Language Institute). There they take care of you, the international students of the university, which were over 800 students in my semester. So if you have any questions or problems, you can get help at ALI.
In addition to lecture halls and classrooms, the university includes a huge fitness center (Aztec Recreation Center), which ALI students have been able to use free of charge since last semester, the entire time. There is everything an athlete’s heart desires. A variety of equipment, a cardio area, group fitness, volleyball, basketball, tennis courts, racquetball, a large climbing wall… and much more.
Not to be forgotten is the Aquaplex, a huge outdoor pool complex right on campus! A dream!
There is also a huge arena in the middle of the university campus where concerts, events and the SDSU team’s basketball games often take place.
There is no canteen like you know from Germany. There are several food courts where fast food outlets line up.
Courses / crashes:
Most exchange students take 4 courses, 12 units, in one semester, which are included in the tuition. For each additional unit that you want to take, you have to pay an extra $197. Most of the time you only have lessons for 2-4 days.
The courses “crashing” is a bit annoying in the first 2-3 weeks. As an international student, you are not allowed to enroll in all the courses you want to take over the Internet like American students, but have to wait until all Americans have voted and see if there is still space in the individual courses. This is very chaotic, especially in the first week, because more than 800 students are trying to crash courses and the professors are sometimes very annoyed.
All in all, you usually get the courses you want afterwards or the ALI opens new courses. Nevertheless, you should look for enough alternative courses beforehand so that you are as flexible as possible in your choice.
I had the Principles of Public Relation, Selling Strategy & Practice, Introduction to Operations Management & Supply Chain and International Strategy & Integration courses!
Attendance was compulsory in all courses and you had to do homework, group work and several exams throughout the semester. However, because the overall level is lower than at German universities, completing the courses is not a problem at all.
So you can easily get a very good grade with a little work spread over the whole semester.
And believe me: There is plenty of time for leisure and fun on the side!
Also all the professors I had (Mrs. Sha, Mrs. Probett, Mr. Osinski and Mr. Robins) were all very nice, friendly and open to international students.
The only frightening thing, and a total disgrace, was the expensive books you had to buy for each course. Here I recommend sharing with classmates, copying out or renting. Otherwise you can easily get to 200-400$, just for 4 university books!
The only two options that should come into question for you would be either to live near the beach or in the college area. Everything else makes no sense in my opinion.
I also recommend looking for an apartment locally. This way you can get a much better overview and often also negotiate with the respective landlords. You can find a lot of offers on Craigslist, so that everyone has found what they are looking for so far.
I myself lived a 5-minute walk from the university.
Benefits: Use of the fitness center and pool, experiencing college life with college parties, on-campus events, and no hassle with finding on-campus parking.
Disadvantage: the beach and places to go out can only be reached by car/trolley or taxi.
Personally, I really liked living close to the university, because I could go home quickly between courses and could often cook at home. I also made good use of the fitness center and the pool and from Thursday to Sunday there was always a lot going on in the college area in terms of free time.
I stayed for $600 (+ $70 utilities) in a very large furnished room with a private bathroom in a large house with 9 other international students.
Basically I have to say you need a car in San Diego, otherwise you are lost, especially at the beginning. Public transport is very poorly developed and only used by very strange people.;) I myself only borrowed a car for a month and for excursions, because otherwise it would have been too expensive for me. To recommend: Car rental Dirty Cheap Car. There you get a (relatively) cheap rental fee, even under 25 years of age.
Otherwise, get a bunch of friends together and rent or buy a car together, you’re doing yourself a favor. Otherwise you are dependent on other people with cars all the time and often have to take a taxi.
If you want to put FUN first for a semester and for whom studying abroad is more of a secondary concern (but of course not neglected…), San Diego is the right place for you.
With its often huge waves and refreshing temperatures, the Pacific invites you to swim, bodyboard or surf. I bought myself a bodyboard and rented a surfboard for a day. Both are great fun!
Downtown and Pacific Beach are the perfect places to party. In downtown there are the noble discotheques, very expensive, you often meet older people, but still great for students to go out.
If you live in the college area, find out about party buses that will take you downtown. An ingenious invention and an absolute source of fun. Must have done at least once.
Pacific Beach has no dress code and prices are significantly lower. Everything is a little more relaxed here. Special recommendation: Taco Tuesday at Typhoon. International students meet there every Tuesday to really let it all out. Half of the club speaks German that evening, which I want to point out to a small “danger”. Overall, there are very, very many German exchange students in San Diego, so that one is often tempted to only spend time with them. If you want to improve your language skills, you should try to get in touch with some Americans. The house parties in the college area are particularly suitable for this.
Attractions in the area:
San Francisco: About a 9 hour drive away, but an absolute MUST! Just a great city!
Los Angeles: Only 2 hours away, lots to see but too much traffic!
Palm Springs: Also only 2 hours away, palm oasis surrounded by desert, great atmosphere.
National Parks: Grand Canyon: gigantic, absolutely impressive, Yosemite Park: great landscape, great for climbers and hikers, Joshua Tree Park: desert landscape at its finest.
Las Vegas: About 5 hours away. An artificially created world! For a few days of fun, great! All in all, California offers fantastic destinations, which unfortunately you can’t visit all of them.
A small sticking point about the whole thing is that the semester abroad in San Diego is expensive fun. From the flight to the tuition fees, university books, apartment, car, excursions, food & drink, etc.!
However, those who master the financing will have a brilliant time in San Diego that will be remembered forever!
You spend your semester in a great city, meet great people from all over the world, improve your English, enjoy the beach, sun, sea and experience the Californian way of life!!!
In any case, I am now plagued by strong wanderlust!;)