University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Marketing, International Business Administration
Study type: semester abroad
First of all, in general:
San Diego State is as much a party university as any other college, it depends on the individual and where they focus. If you want to take very good courses at the SDSU, then you can, but it costs a little more effort when crashing, which many who quote the “party university” here have probably never applied. See act-test-centers for study in Norway.
Basically everything went excellently, the form and application process is completely organized by MicroEdu and ran extremely well. Very dear employees who take care of you included!
What I did on my own and BEFORE departure were the very basic things: insurance, car, apartment and taking a look at the courses can’t hurt either. Car and apartment works perfectly via Craigslist, I can recommend www.studentsapartments.com as a direct contact, the Plaza was my choice and it was ideal. Since only students live there, we didn’t manage to collect a reminder about disturbance of the peace, although there was definitely potential. You can buy a car on Craigslist, we were unlucky because it only lasted 3 ½ months and then we had to rent it. But in the end it was cheaper than renting one all the time. Furniture, if needed, also via Craigslist!
The SDSU itself:
Beautiful, well organized compared to all German state institutions and always lively. Lots of sports (register at the ARC, gym for $18 a month, it doesn’t get any better!) and concerts (LMFAO for $5 as an example). The varsity teams in basketball and baseball are definitely worth seeing. The university environment consists of dormitories and fraternities/sororities. Just one thing: MEET PEOPLE THERE! And doesn’t just hang out with Germans, because there are a lot of them. You can tell most snobs by their nasty slicked back hair. You can speak to anyone on campus and he/she will respond in a friendly manner. Learn the language but keep your accent, small tip on the side.
There is good, there is bad. Those who are lazy and disorganized when crashing get the bad ones. With luck, those who make an effort will only have two days of lectures and all the courses they want. It’s as simple as that. Look for the courses online a few days in advance and create a crash plan. If the professors tell you that there is no more space in the courses, don’t listen and go back. If there are many internationals with you, go to the ALI and say that you need an additional international course. After many people cried their ears off each other for two weeks, 4-5 international courses were set up in the 3rd week and everyone was able to find accommodation.
To put it in perspective, I was a business graduate, which seems to be one of the most common things. Get organized and you’ll get exactly the timetable you thought about beforehand. If the professors remember your name for some reason, that always helps. Besides you, Otto tried to crash via mail…
Good to very good in my four courses. When people tell you your course is bad and the university is terrible, decide whether you want to believe them. Often the personal performance of some suffers from various consumption powders and then it is not studied so well.
The professors are very helpful, have good presentations and try very hard to keep the classes lively. Saghafi and Osinski are recommended for business people, go to their first lectures and see if you like them.
Exams are chilled, it depends more on constant performance outside of the exams. Go to the lectures and do your assignments well, then not much can go wrong.
PB, MB, Ja Jolla, Downtown, Frat Row, House Parties,… you figure out the rest because that’s what makes it fun. Oh yes, go eat sushi, for example at Sushi Deli and Downtown! And get a CAR, otherwise you’ll just be sitting at home, I promise you!
Jump over your shadow, talk to at least 10 people every day. That’s how I met my best friends here, with whom I’m still in touch. It doesn’t matter to anyone if you speak perfect English or not, just do it because the Americans in San Diego are the friendliest in the country. And finally, prejudice number one: It is better to be superficially friendly first and then profound than first superficially mean… as is so often the case in the German mentality.