University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
In autumn 2016, I started planning my semester abroad for the 2017 winter semester. The TOEFL was the most complex part of the whole application process. All other documents and certificates were obtained relatively quickly. I found the whole application process very organized and uncomplicated. The appointment at the consulate also went smoothly. I was only asked questions about my studies and financing the semester abroad. I’m really glad I chose MicroEdu because they support you with all questions and ambiguities. See act-test-centers for top 5 schools of medicine in the USA.
Since I was going to San Diego for my master’s degree, I only had to choose three ( bachelor’s ) courses instead of four. Every exchange student taking business courses at SDSU must take at least one special course. These are courses in which only international exchange students are and which are less time-consuming compared to the “normal” courses. I took two special courses and one normal course. In advance, I looked at the courses on offer in the 2016 winter semester, as these courses will most likely also be offered in the following year. So I was able to count Clarify this with my home university in advance. Basically, it can be said that studying is more like a school class. Great value is placed on active participation and interest. The degree of difficulty is rather low compared to German course content. However, you have to do a lot during the semester, since the overall grade is made up of several sub-areas. These include presence, collaboration, case studies, group work, quizzes and exams.
1) Special Course: Seminar in World Business Environment (Lily Zhou)
Workload : Low
Lily is very motivated to give students a different perspective on business and business. Each week, current affairs and challenges for companies in today’s world are discussed. There are also some interesting guest lectures from both established companies and start-ups from the region.
2) Special Course: Strategic Brand Management (Kristine Ehrich)
Kristine is a very open professor who finds it important to convey important basic knowledge to “non-marketing students” and to give practical insights, especially in the field of branding. The class was interesting because you learned a lot about companies in the USA.
3) Organizational Behavior & Leadership (Jeremy Bernerth)
Although or precisely because the workload was quite high, I took a lot with me from this course. Jeremy makes the classes very interesting and interactive. I took this course together with American students and can recommend it.
Another small note: A master’s degree is not as common in the USA as it is here. The master’s courses were mainly attended by older students who were already working and some of whom already had families. As a result, the class was very diversified, but contact outside of the university was also very limited.
The SDSU campus is absolutely amazing and looks like something out of a movie! It is huge, modern and very well maintained. There are various sports fields on campus, an aquatic center with an outdoor pool area and a large gym with indoor halls, the use of which is included in our tuition fees. If necessary, there is also a Student Health Center with a pharmacy. There is no canteen, as one is used to from German universities. There are two larger food courts that house chains like Subway, Panda Express, or Chipotle. There is also a Trader Joe’s (supermarket with a large selection of healthy food) near the campus.
I stayed with my boyfriend in a shared room in an apartment in Mission Beach (one minute to the beach). We shared the apartment with another German who had a single room. We rented the apartment from Germany back in June. I can only advise against that!! In very few cases has this gone smoothly. We had various problems and finally moved to Pacific Beach after 2.5 months. Basically, you are faced with the decision of whether you would rather live on the beach or near the university. It both has its pros and cons.
I can absolutely recommend Mission Beach and Pacific Beach (PB).. There you can experience the Californian surfer lifestyle up close! People are super chilled, many go jogging or surfing to the beach in the morning. Also, Taco Tuesday is mostly held in PB. There are many restaurants and bars that turn into small clubs in the evenings. Based on my experiences and those of my friends, I would recommend staying in a hostel for a few days (e.g. Lucky D’s downtown) to start with and find accommodation locally. Plus you get to know a lot of new people. Better prices can usually be negotiated locally. I know that it is of course more relaxed to book from Germany than to spend the first week in San Diego stressing about looking for an apartment. But as I said, there are often better deals locally.
As I lived on the beach, a car was an absolute must! You really won’t get very far without it. And even if you live close to the university I would recommend one as public transport is available but very slow in my opinion. In addition, a car is also necessary to make various road trips. I rented a Ford Mustang convertible with my boyfriend from Dirt Cheap Car Rental for 4.5 months. Dirt Cheap Car Rental specializes in renting slightly older cars to students at lower prices. The Mustang is simply the best car for California !
During our time in San Diego we were among others in Las Vegas, LA, Santa Barbara, Newport Beach, Yosemite National Park, Death Valley. We have also flown to New Orleans, Miami and Hawaii (Kauai and Oahu). Just before the Mexican border there is the Las Americas Premium Outlet, where you can spend a few dollars. SDSU sports events are great too! You identify with the team and the university immediately! We are Aztecs now! Especially the football games were amazing! Hours before the game, there are tailgate parties in the parking lot: loud music, alcohol and lots of partying students. The university even has its own Tailgate area with free pizza, t-shirts, soft drinks (no alcohol allowed) and various wheel of fortune booths.
In addition to the various sights, San Diego also has a lot of activities to offer, such as surfing, skydiving, hiking or horseback riding on the beach. There are many great restaurants and bars in San Diego. The best burrito is at Taco Stand in La Jolla!! Downtown has a good nightlife with several clubs where you can party the night away – well until about 2am then the lights go on everywhere.
I absolutely recommend San Diego! That was the best time ever! The great weather, the Cali lifestyle and the beach life were amazing. Studying at SDSU was a good experience and not too stressful, allowing you to do many road trips and excursions during the semester with a clear conscience.