University: San Diego State University
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
My semester at San Diego State University began with my application through MicroEdu. While the university requires a lot of documents and forms, it was all very easy thanks to the MicroEdu checklist. As proof of English, I sent my transcript of grades at the time, which showed that I had taken two courses in English at my home university. Although this was mentioned as evidence, I haven’t heard from the SDSU for a long time. When I asked about it, I was told that I needed confirmation from my university as to which language I had taken the courses in, since “Language: Eng.” wasn’t clear enough. This was very annoying, especially since SDSU never got in touch to fix the problem, so I was late in planning. However, MicroEdu had already told me that the abbreviation could lead to problems.
Studying at the SDSU was much easier than at my home university and than at the other European universities, but you always have homework to do or exams that you have to study for and you also have to get used to the compulsory attendance that is in the available on most courses.
Courses I have attended:
GEOG312 Culture Worlds—Alan Osborn
In this course we looked at different cultures, economic systems and geographic features around the world. The grade consisted of some attendance essays, map quizzes and three equally weighted exams. This course was very interesting and very manageable with a reasonable learning effort.
ECON320 Intermediate Macroeconomics – Archimedes Gatchalian
This course was very exciting although economics courses can often be boring. The professor was funny and gave bonus points for the individual parts of the grade, which could be transferred to the overall grade. Because I was always present, thanks to the bonus points, I got more than 100% on the “Quizzes” grade part. As a result, I only needed 55% on the final exam to get an A.
BA323 Fundamentals of Financial Management – Kamal Haddad
As I feared based on the many reports, this was definitely the worst course I had at SDSU. Professor Haddad was the strictest professor about attendance and didn’t allow cell phones in class. However, since the course is a compulsory course at my home university and it took much less effort to get an A at SDSU, I am still glad that I took this course.
TFM363 International Cinema – Robert Jordan
In this course we watched and analyzed a film every week. There were a few homeworks to write that were graded more severely, but again, thanks to the bonus points, an A was very easy to get. I didn’t like some of the films, but they were still interesting to analyze.
MGT460 Business Plan Development – Kimberly King
This course was the most extensive I have taken at SDSU. I knew it would be more difficult, also due to the fact that it is intended for more advanced students (4xx courses should be taken later than 3XX courses). However, I had the same effort for this course as for all other courses together. What was taught was interesting, but for me as a business administration student there was very little that I had never learned or heard before.
The supervision at SDSU was very different than at my home university. On the one hand, there are a number of advisors who help with the application to the SDSU, the choice of courses on site, the search for accommodation, etc. On the other hand, the professors are also much more willing to give personal help. So you can easily write them an e-mail with questions you have, even about small things like homework, which they usually answer after a few hours.
I myself only looked around for a place to live on site. While this turned out to be more stressful than I expected, I was very fortunate to find the perfect apartment in Pacific Beach. Basically you have to decide whether you want to live near the beach or the campus. Most international students live in Pacific Beach or Mission Beach. You often have to be open to not finding exactly what you are looking for in some aspects. So I had a nice, spacious, affordable apartment right on the beach, but one of our rooms was a shared room.
In addition to the well-known trips to the Grand Canyon, LA, Vegas and Tijuana, I can also recommend the multi-day road trips that I did. The Grand Canyon and Las Vegas can be combined with stops at Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell and Zion National Park (in my opinion the most impressive national park in America). For a longer trip, we also recommend the route Sequoia NP – Yosemite NP – San Francisco – Santa Cruz – Carmel/Monterey – HW1.
If you have any questions about your stay in San Diego, you can always write to me!