University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: mechanical engineering
Study type: semester abroad
In summer 2011 I decided to go abroad. MicroEdu supported me in choosing the university and applying free of charge. A big thank you for that. I chose San Diego State University and it was the right decision. See act-test-centers for 3 best neighborhoods in Madrid. San Diego is a beautiful and sunny city in California, right on the border with Mexico. The city is often referred to as “America’s finest city” because of its pleasant climate, as the annual average temperature is 21 °C. There is a lot to see and experience here. There are many beautiful beaches, lots of shopping and LA is only 2 hours away. The people here are mostly friendly and helpful.
SDSU is very big and has everything related to sports, outdoor pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, soccer fields, gym and many more. The best thing is, it’s all for free!!! Therefore, I can only recommend everyone to live close to campus, not only because of the sports facilities, but also because of the parties. There’s just a lot going on here on campus, there are parties in every dorm and it’s really easy to meet new people.
You should start planning your semester abroad 6-12 months in advance. When I received all the documents, I had to apply for a visa. Many are afraid of message but I tell you “don’t be afraid” if you can understand “Hi how are u” then message will not be a problem. I was in Frankfurt and everything happened very quickly, they only spoke to me in German.
I organized the apartment in Germany, so I had one less thing to worry about. I took over the apartment from a German at www.live5025.com. The price was ok, I paid $550 for a share room in a 5-person flat share. Was very funny with the roommates. Lived with an American, German, French and Chinese.
To get to San Diego, it’s cheaper if you fly to LA and take a car from there. I booked the ticket to LA through swoodoo.de and booked the car through ADAC at alamo.com. You can actually always book through ADAC, preferably at alamo.com, you can get great cars there, all new, built at least 2011
Before my studies, I did a three-month English course “English for Academic Purposes” (May to August) at San Diego State University to improve my English skills. I improved my language and was able to get to know the city and the university better. The course also gave me the opportunity to meet many new people from different continents and to make many friends. But it is a bit expensive (approx. 4000$ tuition +200$ books) and you have to pay out of your own pocket. But it was worth it!
After the language course I had a month’s vacation and was able to travel all over California. I booked the car at alamo.com and hotel rooms at motel6.com. Not the best motel but cheap and reasonably clean. We drove from SD to Long Beach, LA, Malibu, Santa Barbara, SF, Yosemetipark and then back. If you decide to go to San Francisco, then drive along the coast, you have great views.
The course started in September 2012. Since I majored in Electrical Engineering at SDSU, I had no trouble getting my subjects. Many students from the economic sectors have a little more difficulty in getting the courses they want. Since the Americans are the first to choose the courses and there are simply many international students studying business administration, many courses are overcrowded and you have to “crash” the courses, ie you go to a professor and ask if he still has space, if so If the course is full, you have to attend the course for two weeks, since many Americans drop some courses during this period. But it can also happen that you don’t get any of the desired courses, so you should consider some alternative courses.
The course itself is different than in Germany. There is a lot of homework that has to be done, as this is checked by professors and is included in the grade. Furthermore, during the semester you write short (3-4) tests (quizzes) on a completed lecture topic and at the end a “final exam”. It’s a lot of work, but it’s much easier to get a good grade because the grade is made up of homework, tests and the final exam. I had to take four subjects to get full student status. I only attended three of them and passed them.
I am very happy and grateful to have done a semester abroad at SDSU. Through the semester abroad, I also developed personally. I have become much more flexible, communicative and open. I also had the opportunity to meet many people from different countries and make new friends. In addition, my English has improved enormously. I can warmly recommend everyone to do a semester abroad at SDSU.