University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: marketing
Study type: semester abroad
My childhood dream has finally come true. First and foremost I would like to thank the MicroEdu team for this. They gave me very good support and advice in advance. California is as you would imagine, a sunny state, beautiful and breathtaking. If you also have the desire to study in Cali, then you should finally take the step. See act-test-centers for study in Poland.
The whole process seems a lot to you at the beginning or maybe during the exam time, but believe me, everything is doable. Especially if you manage your time well and organize yourself well. Thanks to MicroEdu, nothing goes wrong, as they are always at your side with advice and action.
In fall 2015 I was in San Diego for my semester abroad at San Diego State University (SDSU). In addition to making my dream come true, my reasons were the low tuition fees in comparison and the wide range of courses on offer in marketing.
In addition to the two special session courses in Consumer Behavior and Entrepreneurship, I crashed three other courses. On-site class crashing wasn’t difficult. I had previously made a list of the interesting courses that were suitable for me. I appeared personally at every course to get my own impression of the course, but also to introduce myself personally to the professor. In the end I crashed the following courses in the first week:
Social work was part of my subject area at my university in Berlin. The course was very interesting and also complex in itself, which is super feasible. We had to write two assignments and two exams and read a lot every week. All books that you need for the respective courses can be bought as used or rented. Amazon, KBooks, Ebay or the book store on campus are good places to go.
I also took two sports courses, Salsa and Fitness for Women. The reason primarily was that my marketing course already had 4 units and I only had 2 units left. These courses are one unit at a time and cost an extra $90 each, plus an ARC (Aztec Recreation Center) membership requirement. However, this is free for ALI students. I really enjoyed both courses and I also really liked the two trainers.
I had pre-rented a single ensuite room (partially furnished at $700 per month including utilities). I shared the bathroom with a French woman. I lived in a house with four other people near the university. My roommates were three Americans and one French. It took me 5-10 minutes to walk to the classrooms, depending on where on campus I was taking classes. There are enough dormitories, housings for students, but they are usually very expensive. Depending on your budget and your preference (single room or shared), you should start looking ahead of time.
I flew with AirBerlin to Los Angeles and from Chicago with American Airlines. Unfortunately I wasn’t that happy with the whole thing. The time for the transfer is calculated very tightly, which is why I got my flight 15 minutes beforehand on the outward flight. The security check in the States generally takes a long time. So I missed my flight on the return flight. It is best to choose a flight with enough time or, if possible, a direct flight to San Diego. I can definitely recommend British Airlines, American Airlines, Lufthansa or Qatar Airlines.
I didn’t have a car, but I used public transport, Uber, or went with friends, depending on the situation. For the trips we always rented a car from Dirt Cheap. So that I can enjoy the last few weeks in SD more, a friend and I rented a car from Dirt Cheap for $550 (including LA). All I can say is that you are in good hands with your own car in California, especially in San Diego. Compared to Berlin, public transport is very lame and not extensive. That means you should calculate a lot of time and nerves.
San Diego is structured differently compared to other cities, but with its own charm, this city is easy to fall in love with. You can never really get bored. The neighborhoods worth visiting are definitely Old Town, Down Town, Hillscrest, Northpark, Gaslamp Quarter, Seaport Village, Little Italy. You should also have seen the great beaches, e.g. Coronado Beach, La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach. Also, which is very popular and also highly recommended, hike, hike, hike eg Cowles Mountain, Potato Chip Rock, Adobe Falls, Torrey Pines are some good hiking spots.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t lucky with the weather because the winter this year was unusually cold. In January it mostly rained, but even in November and December it was relatively cold in the evenings. Otherwise, the weather is and was fantastically beautiful, sunny and there was always a bright blue sky.
I was in Los Angeles 5 times in about 6 months, otherwise only once in Las Vegas, Julian Town, San Francisco, Salvation Mountain, twice in Tijuana (Mexico). I have also visited national parks, including Joshua Tree, Grand Canyon, Antolope Canyon, Horse Shoe Bend, Yosemite.
I have to say, from day one I felt at home. The weather and the sea makes life in SD very easy. But nonetheless, the cost of living is very expensive. Dirt Cheap Car Rental definitely has good deals and good service to go with it. In addition to Walmart, Food4less is also highly recommended for grocery shopping. At Ralph’s and Vons you save a few dollars with the loyalty card. There’s definitely good shopping at Macy’s, Ross, Nordstrom Rack and Tj Maxx, as well as other stores during the good sale times. The outlets in SD and LA are also highly recommended.
In order to meet Americans, you should definitely live with them, take courses in which internationals are not enrolled, and join student clubs.
Note: Definitely take/calculate a lot of money with you. The tuition fees from the BAföG office will only be reimbursed from around November. I spent 9000-10000 € for the whole semester (without BAföG money and tuition fees).