University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business
Study type: semester abroad
In the winter semester 2006/2007 I completed a stay abroad at San Diego State University (USA). At home I’m in the 7th semester studying business administration at the Freie Universität Berlin with a focus on finance, accounting and taxation. See act-test-centers for Slovakia higher education.
San Diego State University has a very good economics department, which was ranked among the top 10 in the United States in one of the university rankings. This university is a “public university” where you can immerse yourself in and get to know the typical American student culture. In addition to ideal weather almost all year round, it also offers a good starting point to explore some of the world-famous sights before or after the semester.
Having been to the USA a few times before, I knew roughly what to expect in terms of country, people and culture there. If you are studying there for the first time, like me, you should buy a good travel guide (e.g. Polo) and find out more about the study system, professors, housing, etc. on countless websites and forums. A good forum for SDSU drivers is www.MicroEdu.com. Especially at a large university like San Diego State, you should find out about the quality of the selected courses in advance, for example at www.ratemyprof.com.
Housing costs are generally quite high in the US, especially in California of course. An apartment in San Diego costs between $800 and $1000 a month. It is important that you should usually take care of the electricity connection yourself, so there are an average of $20 electricity costs in addition to the rent offered. A good, up-to-date database of available rental space is available at www.craigslist.com.
Overall, finding a good apartment in San Diego is not impossible, but allow at least a week to search.
Before the start of the semester, the American Language Institute at SDSU held an information event for all foreign students, where all the important details for the course were discussed. A somewhat negative feature of the program was the so-called “crashing”. “Crashing” means that all foreign students could only register for each individual desired subject during the first courses and only directly with the respective professor, of course only if the professor did not object and there were still physical places available. In practical terms, this meant that in the first few weeks you attended more courses than you actually wanted to take, as it was difficult to assess beforehand where you would be accepted. The initial stress was usually worth it and in the end you had, if you were at least a bit flexible, suitable courses were found. The positive thing about it was that you could make contact with the professors right from the start.
San Diego State University has a very broad range of subjects. Especially in the subjects of business administration and economics, she offers courses of all levels from almost every area such as marketing, financing, accounting or banking. There are also various sports and water sports courses open to all students. I recommend every “SDSU semester student” to take at least one sports course in addition to their “actual” events, where you can get to know people and culture faster and make contacts. Even in the normal courses, the social component of the course is promoted by the relatively small number of participants and a lot of group work.
There was no real canteen on campus, as you know it from Germany, but only a “food court” with various fast food chains, some of which were even more expensive than usual in the city. This is one of the reasons why you should expect comparatively high food costs throughout the semester.