University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: mechanical engineering
Study type: semester abroad
During my master’s degree, I was able to fulfill my dream of spending a semester abroad in the USA, which I had had since my bachelor’s degree.
About four months before the semester started, I applied to San Diego State University through MicroEdu. The very friendly staff always gave me detailed and competent answers to all the questions I had about my semester abroad. At this point I would like to thank the whole team at MicroEdu once again. See anycountyprivateschools for MBAs in Europe get cheaper.
There are two options when it comes to housing: you can start looking for an apartment from home or you can look for an apartment on site. You should also think about whether you would rather live near the university or on the beach for the next six months. In general, the apartments are very expensive, no matter where you end up living. I and two fellow students decided to live in an apartment complex near the university (www.pacificliving.com).
Everyone had their own large room there, which was very important to us, and we were able to share the rent (almost $700 a month per person). The condominium featured a large pool, hot tub, and outdoor lounge with a gas grill and pool table.
Almost exclusively Americans and only a few students lived in the “Mission Pacific” apartment complex. Most of the people there were very friendly and when you talked to some Americans from time to time and said that you were from Germany and were studying in San Diego for a semester, the enthusiasm was great.
In the immediate vicinity of the university there is the large student residence “5025”, formerly “Sterling Collwood”. There is always something going on there, especially on weekends, and you can get to know American and international students.
Those who prefer to live right on the beach have the option of living in Pacific Beach or in Mission Beach. From there, SDSU is a 25-minute drive away. It takes over an hour by public transport.
Pacific Beach and Mission Beach have many good bars and clubs open all week. However, the weather on the beach is usually a bit windier and cooler than inland. There were often days when it was sunny and warm near the university, whereas it was cloudy and cold on the beach and the trip to the beach for a day at the beach was not worth it in retrospect.
33,000 students study at San Diego State University. You can study a wide variety of subjects there, from natural sciences to business administration and economics to the humanities. The campus is almost a city in itself and you can find everything you need here. As an ALI (American Language Institute) student, I had free entry to the campus gym (ARC – Aztecs Recreation Center) and the campus swimming pool (Aquaplex) during my semester abroad. Both facilities are very modern.
I chose three master’s subjects from the Mechanical Engineering course. Foreign students have to crash the courses. “Class crashing” was not a problem for me in the Mechanical Engineering degree program and I was given all the selected courses after the first lecture after a short consultation with the respective professor. My experience is that the professors in the Department of Mechanical Engineering are happy when international students want to attend their courses.
With many other courses at the SDSU, the courses are overrun by a large number of international students and the professor does not immediately give you the signature for the desired course. In the first two weeks it is not certain whether you will even get the course. Therefore, you should consider some alternative courses.
In general, it can be said that a semester abroad at SDSU doesn’t just mean partying and free time. It is the case at SDSU that there is homework during the semester and this must also be handed in for assessment.
Furthermore, in some courses you write “quizes” at regular intervals during the semester, in which you write a short test on a completed lecture topic. The grades already count as a percentage of the final grade.
It is also common to write a “Midterm” and a “Final Exam”, although there are also courses in which you have to do several projects instead of a written exam.
With a population of around 1.25 million, San Diego is the second largest city in the state of California and the seventh largest in the United States. It is often referred to as “America’s finest city” because of its pleasant climate, as the annual average temperature is 21 °C and there is little rainfall. From the beginning of January to the end of May I hardly had a day when it wasn’t sunny and the temperature was below 20 °C.
People in California are mostly friendly and helpful. Due to the proximity to Mexico, many Mexicans live in San Diego and a lot of Spanish is spoken in addition to English. The city of Tijuana, Mexico is only half an hour’s drive away. All in all, there is never a dull moment in San Diego as there are so many things to do.
Hollywood and Universal Studios in Los Angeles, only a two and a half hour drive away, are definitely worth a visit. I can only recommend the drive on Highway 1 from Los Angeles to San Francisco, past Malibu and Santa Cruz. In San Francisco, you should visit the prison island of Alcatraz (tickets must be booked at least two days in advance). Also highly recommended is a bike ride over the Golden Gate Bridge over to Sausalito and from there then take the ferry back to San Francisco.
Of course you have to have been to Las Vegas at least once and drive to Grad Canyon from there.