University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
My semester at San Diego State University was the best decision I’ve ever made. Thanks to MicroEdu there were no problems and you were well prepared for everything you could expect. See act-test-centers for discover the best geography courses in the world.
The university itself offers a variety of courses and subject combinations, so there is something for everyone. I can only recommend choosing so-called electives in addition to the mandatory credits, which primarily have nothing to do with your field of study. Here SDSU offers, for example, surfing, bowling or football.
I can only reassure anyone who is afraid of not finding a connection. After the first week I had made quite a few friends.
As far as housing is concerned, I can only advise you to go to a hotel for the first 2 weeks and then to look for shared apartments after you start university. A good help here are the notice boards from the university or sandiego.craigslist.com, where you can find shared apartments as well as apartments. For a furnished apartment you should calculate at least 1100 dollars, unless you are going to share a flat. I would recommend La Mesa as a preferred area as it is close to the university. However, if you decide to get a car, it doesn’t really matter where you move to. Another tip for buying a car. There are so-called long-term rentals, i.e. rental cars that you can rent cheaply for a longer period of time, which make many things easier for you. For example, you do not have to worry about registration, Take care of insurance and other inconveniences related to the car. For more information, contact SDSU’s ALI (American Language Institute).
My advice is to plan everything before you leave, for example looking around for cars, which mobile phone contract you need, which area you want to move to. The first few days will be stressful enough without you having to worry about the little things.
The level of the courses is not as high as in Germany, but you have to do something for your grades. Weekly quizzes and textbook-to-chapter summaries are included in almost every course. I advise you to adapt and get used to the school-like system quickly, otherwise you quickly lose motivation. You can ask me or MicroEdu specific questions regarding course selection or recommended subjects.
After the end of the semester, you still have 2 months to travel or enjoy your free time with the F-1 student visa. I only advise you one thing: do it! There is so much to see around San Diego and in California in general that it would be a shame not to take advantage of this time. I even extended my stay with an exit and entry because I want to see more of the country.
Speaking of travel. Unless you have to, stay away from Tijuana. There has been so much crime and kidnapping recently that even the university has strongly advised against traveling to Tijuana. Maybe the situation will improve in the near future, who knows. If you absolutely want to go to Mexico, I suggest you drive your own car further into the country, then it is worth more than just Tijuana. For this you need an extra car insurance, which costs only a few dollars a day.
For anyone who is still undecided, I can only refer to the weather. In my first 2 months (August to September) I didn’t see a cloud and the first rain didn’t come until November. Even in winter it is pleasant here and convertible weather almost every day.
As far as the cost of living goes, it’s not quite as bad as you’d hear. Groceries such as dairy products and vegetables are surprisingly expensive, but the rest is just as expensive, if not cheaper, than in Germany. Rents have also fallen somewhat as a result of the real estate crisis, but they still consume the majority of the monthly budget. Clothing can be found at ridiculously low prices in the outlet malls around San Diego (San Ysidro and Carlsbad).
In conclusion, I can only say: San Diego is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to, the weather is incredible, the university is more than recommendable and the people are more open and nice than anywhere else and with the help of MicroEdu you have to don’t worry too much and always have someone to help you and advise you. Thanks a lot for this!