University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: communication sciences
Study type: semester abroad
Hello, my dears,
I did my semester abroad at San Diego State University in San Diego. I was part of this great university in the fall semester from 08/15/2018 to 12/20/2018. To anticipate the excitement, it was the best decision I’ve ever made. The semester abroad not only benefited my academic career, but also my personality and life experience. See anycountyprivateschools for study in Germany.
Course selection & studies
I have taken the following courses:
- COMM 201—Communication & Community
- COMM 307—Communication in Professional Set
- PSY 0340—Social Psychology
- TFM 0363—International Cinema
The support provided by the lecturers on site is very different from that in Germany. In the communication courses, which can be thought of as a seminar, the lecturers knew the students. There was a relationship of trust. You could go to the professor with any problem and you were helped directly.
Requirements vary from course to course. In general, however, it can be said that the workload per course is very high. Many courses work with apps that check attendance using questions asked in the course. There is also homework or group meetings every week. It was sometimes very exhausting to do all the tasks, but the learning effect is much higher than in Germany!
The learning material stayed in my memory thanks to the constant checking of my knowledge through questions or homework. In addition, it was possible to achieve very good grades, since in the end not only one exam reflects your grade. The content is explained in a very understandable way and if you have any questions, you will be helped at any time.
The only point of criticism of the learning system in the USA is the enormously high costs. The semester at SDSU costs about $7,000. This amount covers four courses that you may take. Each additional course costs approximately $500 – $1,000. Books and learning materials are also not included. Instructors insist on purchasing the books, the apps, and anything they list as a requirement for their course. A book typically costs $100-$200. If you multiply this amount by the number of your courses, you can roughly guess what to expect. The recommendation here is to buy the books with several people or to borrow them from the local bookstore.
Although the time in San Diego was the best of my life and I would make exactly the same decision again and again, it was also the most expensive of my life.
Keep in mind that you’ll set aside about $20,000 for the semester. San Diego is a wonderful, attractive city and accordingly the cost of living is extremely high. Depending on where you live, you can expect to pay $700 – $1500 in rent. You will definitely need a car as there is no public transportation in San Diego. The smallest vehicle category costs $400 per month. Be sure to contact Dirt Cheap Car Rental if you want to rent one. They’re the only agency that doesn’t charge extra for U25, nor do they have any other hidden costs. Even if fuel is relatively cheap, you should not forget the fuel costs in the monthly planning!
You should have about $1,500 per month to cover rental costs, vehicle costs, food, and any other unexpected expenses that may arise. If you then want to travel, which I can only recommend to you, you should have some money put aside. You’ll probably never spend as much money as you did on your semester abroad in San Diego again, but trust me when I say it’s worth it.
Since almost no one our age has that much money at their disposal, you should find out about financial help. Check whether you are entitled to foreign BAföG. Apply for scholarships such as PROMOS and consider whether you want to take out an educational loan. Whatever you choose, plan ahead! Research in good time and be prepared for a high level of bureaucracy. In order to receive BAföG abroad, you must also have collected a corresponding number of credit points, otherwise you are not entitled!
Life in San Diego
In my opinion, San Diego was the perfect choice for my semester abroad. It’s pleasantly warm all year round and you can make plans without having to worry about the weather. There is much to see not only in San Diego, but throughout California and the surrounding area. Time is going by so fast, so enjoy every moment and see as much as you can. For example, Los Angeles is only a two-hour drive away, Las Vegas is also easily accessible by car or plane and if you have a little more free time, San Francisco is worth it! Not to forget: Tijuana (Mexico) is only half an hour away by car and well worth a visit (or more).
Finally, I would like to recommend to you: no matter what you decide, plan everything early enough. The organizational effort is enormous, so it’s best to start right away. You should also make sure that you discuss everything regarding your courses and their crediting with your subject coordinator in advance.
If you decide to do your semester abroad at SDSU, be sure to contact MicroEdu. The agency is at your side with its know-how free of charge during your application to SDSU and afterwards and can always be reached when things get urgent. As already mentioned, the semester abroad is associated with a great deal of bureaucracy that you should not underestimate. Without MicroEdu I would have found it very difficult – I would like to take this opportunity to thank you again!