University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
DO IT, whatever the cost, because of the time you have in San Diego, in the “Sunset State” California, nobody can take you away and hardly any money in the world can replace it.àFirst things first – if you can raise the money to study abroad, maybe even have the chance of studying abroad or even if you have to take out a student loan. See act-test-centers for United Kingdom or England understand the difference.
But now back to my beginnings in planning my semester abroad at San Diego State University:
Since my own home university didn’t have a lot of attractive offers for semesters abroad in the USA, I set out to find out a little bit on the Internet where there was such an opportunity to realize that project!
I soon came across the website “MicroEdu.com” where I found myself, like you, with the field reports on the individual semesters abroad/universities. After thorough reading of quite a few reports, it was clear to me that it had to be California, specifically San Diego.
I ordered the information material from MicroEdu and soon had a pretty good overview of what needs to be done to make this dream of studying in the sun come true.
Don’t be intimidated by small bureaucratic hurdles when it comes to applying for foreign student loans or getting forms and documents. Looks worse than it is and in hindsight worth every minute of effort. After successfully submitting those documents, SDSU finally gave me the certificate that I was admitted to the winter semester of 2011 in California.
So at the beginning of March I slowly started to collect my documents and the like and then gradually submitted them before I got my “yes” at the beginning/mid-June! It was a little more difficult with the whole foreign student loan thing, but as I said, all the effort was worth it in the end and with the help of MicroEdu, the actual effort to apply for the university abroad is not too strenuous.
Then it was time to look for a flight, which I actually was quite late for.
Booking two months before departure will result in costs of between 800 and 1000 euros. But if you get there a little early, you can probably find flights from 600+!
In any case, my arrival date was then set and I was on the American continent just under two weeks before the start of my studies.
In any case, be generous with the time, since looking for an apartment has not turned out to be that easy. Like probably the majority of all international students, I also settled down in one of the hostels in San Diego! But be warned – there will be more Germans buzzing around you in the first two weeks than you think. The university admits quite a lot of German students!
To find an apartment
Beach or university – that’s the big question!
At first I naturally wanted to live on the beach like many others, but then it wasn’t that easy to find cheap houses right on the beach and then also with American roommates. So it ended up being a college area, but with three Americans and, like in the movies, with a large pool and the relaxed “Californian lifestyle”! Highly recommended I think;-)
Even if you reach a point where you decide to move in with Germans – remember, even if it may seem easier, you came to the USA to speak English, to experience the American lifestyle and also to learn to live !
THAT is really only possible if you live with Americans, since many Germans simply tend to get together and then lead a German life, just on American soil.
www.craigslist.com will definitely be your go-to companion for housing and other things – you can find and get anything there. From a shared flat to cars to firewood – make sure you make a note of this page.
The way to the beach from the university was about 20 minutes, which we gladly accepted.
Downtown San Diego is about 15 minutes away – that is, all in all, within an acceptable timeframe.
And consider that since the university is higher up and the “climate” there is a little different than at the sea, it was definitely 1-3 degrees warmer at the university and usually sunnier than on the beach, where clouds from the Pacific sometimes shimmer around could float.
If you have the money, do it, the public ones are “okay”, but then you can’t compare them with the density in Germany. And everything is just a “little bit” more spacious than in Germany!
Despite my American shared accommodation, I had rented a car with three other Germans for a good two months, which was really very helpful, especially at the beginning and when looking for an apartment. So think about it! You can do without it, but having a car in the States makes things a lot easier!
what to say You are in California, there are palm trees everywhere, the sun shines most of the time, the campus resembles its own small town with palm trees and lots and lots of young people. Definitely a motivational reason to go to university in the morning considering the beautiful campus scenery!
Regarding the famous but also notorious “course crashing” I can only say that the first two weeks it is definitely a little bit stressful as well as annoying, because you don’t get any precise information about whether you get a course or not, but in the end you do I then get everything, in other words, don’t despair, always be present in the courses at the beginning and simply ask politely and also have a little patience before you get final statements. And if an American course should be full, but the demand of foreign students for exactly this course is quite high, it may well be that the American Language Institute will open an extra course!
Regarding the level of the courses themselves, I have to admit that it is not quite as stressful in relation to Germany, but as I said, everyone is different – you can also stress yourself where there is none 😉 – Sun, beach and palm trees or not here! There are more exams during the semester, but not quite as demanding as we are used to at home.
But if you attend his courses, don’t completely fall on your head and are used to studying in German, you will achieve a lot with little effort. And if you still have a unit available – the university’s surf course is almost a MUST! After all, you are in California : -)
You can definitely get a “B” with a little commitment and an “A” with a little more!
In any case, everything is possible as long as you speak English!
From my point of view, I can particularly recommend the course “Consumer & Buyer Behavior” with Esther Mead – very, very pleasant lecturer!
You have to differentiate between three party types in SD:
If you celebrate, then at house parties, downtown or in Pacific Beach!
The former is what you know from TV and haja, it might be quite similar every now and then;-)
Red mugs, beer pong and the police who arrived quite early and broke up the party – standard : -) But wonderfully American! Better to live in the college area!àIf that’s what you’re after
Downtown is where San Diego’s clubs are! Of course more expensive than everything else, but also a different audience than near the university. There is also an astonishingly high concentration of German electro DJs there. In other words, house and electronic fans will definitely get their money’s worth!
In Pacific Beach or “PeeeeBeeee” there is always a “TacoTuesday” during the week or “ThirstyThirsday” on Thursday, on which days you can find one or the other “good” offer in the local bars. Definitely mandatory appointments if you don’t have to “sacrifice” yourself for the university during the week.
In summary, you should definitely find a good mix between these three options, provided you are not just there to study, which of course could not sound far-fetched in California;-) Definitely take
everything you can experience there with you. Believe me, you won’t regret it, even if sometimes the memory may not be so “clear” anymore : -).
In addition, of course, you also have to visit LA, San Francisco, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon – that is simply part of a semester abroad on the west coast.
I hope I was able to give you a little overview/insight into my past semester in San Diego.
You will definitely experience a great mix of studying, living, laughing and having fun there.
It simply offers the perfect mix for motivated studies and a varied life, for which your friends at home will not envy you for nothing, because: “YES; IT’S REALLY ALWAYS THAT SUNNY IN CALIFORNIA”.