University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
First of all I would like to say that I had an amazing semester in San Diego and I doubt I could have had a better experience anywhere else. The city combines a beautiful university with great weather, beaches, surfing and good vibes. See anycountyprivateschools for South Korea higher education.
SDSU is one of the largest universities in San Diego with a large and beautiful campus. I signed up with MicroEdu ( free and very efficient ), which I highly recommend. As a BA student, I was part of the ALI program and got to know many exchange students from Europe (mainly Germans and Scandinavians). Of the 4 courses, two must be designated as “Special Sessions” which are only available to Free Movers. In the other courses you will also be with Americans. The system feels more like a high school as you are in smaller classes and the professors interact with you, counting on participation and attendance and often knowing your name. Since there are quizzes and presentations throughout the semester, the workload is better distributed than at the University of St.Gallen. If you put in some effort, you can easily get good grades. As far as the equipment is concerned: there is a large library that is always open and always has free spaces. You also have free access to a well-equipped gym and pool on campus. The week before classes start we had three orientation days to get information about the courses and the university.
SDSU will send you a list of the special sessions you can register for. Sign up when you receive the email to ensure you receive the courses you want. The other courses are selected online and you have two weeks to cancel and add courses. Local students have priority, but you should be able to attend the classes you want. In general, if you have problems, you can try to talk to professors.
Management and Organizational Behavior-BA350, Prof: Lily Zhou
You set up your own company and choose your own project. Each student takes on a role in the company. If you hold a position on the board of directors and attend classes regularly, you should easily get a good grade. There is no final examand very little work outside of class. Therefore, the majority of the grade depends on attendance. She brought along some interesting guest speakers, including founders of various startups and executives from large corporations. In summary, it’s an easy course, but it’s not very insightful and repetitive, so I would n’t recommend it .
Human Resource Management-MGT352, Prof: Daniel DelCastillo
The professor is enthusiastic and passionate about the subject and appreciates the contact with the students. He takes the time to interact with students and even offers assistance with cover letters, letters of recommendation, and resume reviews. If you participate, it’s easy to get a good score. After about two days of studying for an exam, you should be able to get an A. In summary, the content may not be particularly interesting, but the teacher makes the most of it.
Business Plan Development-MGT460, Prof: Kimberly Davis King
If you are interested in entrepreneurship I would seriously recommend the course. A key factor in the grade is a group project in which you develop your own business idea. The professor has a background in venture capital and has a well-established network in San Diego which gave us the opportunity to visit the local accelerator as well as the universities’ incubator program. Although the group project requires some work, a good grade should be achievable. (The same applies to the 2 exams.)
World History-HIST101, prof: Ranin Kazemi
Before attending the class, my general history knowledge was quite limited. Throughout the semester, the lecturer gave us an overview of the most important historical events of the last 600 years. It is taught by an excellent teacher who is able to hold the student’s attention and provides well-structured learning material and neutral and reflective positions on history. In summary, this class requires more work than others, but you also learn a lot and it is totally worth it.
Information before going abroad and visas
Since I signed up with MicroEdu, they have handled the entire application process and told me exactly what documents they needed. Once they receive and approve all the documents, you are almost guaranteed to be accepted. Keep in mind that you will need some time to organize the financial confirmation signed by your parents and the bank. Two other items that you need to organize before you leave are health insurance (I had Dr.Walter) and the student visa. To make an appointment at the US Embassy in Bern, you will need the I-20 that SDSU will send you along with the confirmation letter.
Most students live either on the beach (Mission Beach or Pacific Beach) or near the university (mostly in the BLVD63 apartment complex ). Both are quite expensive and it’s not easy to find something at the last minute at a good price. That’s why you should find something beforehand (but be careful of spam offers!). I spent the first two weeks in an amazing hostel (USA Hostel Ocean Beach) where I met a lot of people and also students who I was friends with all semester and after. During this time I was looking for apartments and roommates and it was very frustrating. I ended up being incredibly lucky with an apartment in Mission Beach and amazing international roommates. A shared room costs between $650-900 and a single room costs between $900-1300. You can check the following websites: San Diego State University (SDSU) Housing, Sublets & Roommates and craigslist. There are also various brokers who even speak German, among other things. You really have to be careful here , as I have made acquaintance with unprofessional and sometimes dodgy brokers myself and have heard from friends that they also had bad experiences. So if you need help, make sure it is clarified (written email) what exactly the cost of the services is and try instay in direct contact with the landlords (rather than just the agents). The beach and the ability to surf every day just seconds from the house was probably one of the best aspects of my semester.
In general, the cost of living is about the same as in Switzerland. The main expenses are rent and tuition fees. Groceries and eating out in restaurants are cheaper, but if you try to eat healthy, it becomes more expensive. To get to the university from the beach, I shared a car with another student from PB and paid about $250 a month (dirt cheap car rental), including car rental, gas, insurance and parking at SDSU. I find that sharing a car between two people is the best option as you can use the car for trips every other weekend and the trip to the university takes about 20 minutes and surprisingly there is no traffic.
Host country and social life
San Diego is by far my favorite city in the States ! Although I have taken many great trips, I always looked forward to coming back to the city. It has everything you’re looking for and especially on the coast it doesn’t feel like a big city, more like a laid-back beach town without the hustle and bustle that you’d expect from a city of over 1.5 million people. One of the best aspects is the weather, it’s always around 25 degrees and we’ve only had 2 rainy days in the 5 months. Therefore, you can go hiking, biking, camping, strolling the streets, surfing, bonfires, and beach parties all year round. The possibilities are endlessand there are always some international students looking for adventure.