University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: mechanical engineering
Study type: semester abroad
The following field report refers to my four-month stay abroad at San Diego State University.
The demands on university graduates have risen steadily in recent years due to the increasing networking and digitization of society. This also means that students need to acquire a foundation of experience and knowledge as early as possible during their studies. In addition to learning and consolidating a foreign language, completing a semester abroad offers students the opportunity to gain international experience and get to know other cultures, and thus the opportunity to better meet the requirements described above. For these reasons, I decided to include a semester abroad in my course of studies. See anycountyprivateschools for vocational training in the Netherlands.
The first step for a semester abroad was to go to an agency that would inform me about the possibility of a stay abroad and support me in the preparation process. I found the right agency for this in “ MicroEdu “. The agency “MicroEdu” supports students in organizing their stay abroad free of charge and has comprehensive information about numerous universities worldwide. After extensive advice from the agency, discussions with fellow students and my own internet research, I finally made the decision to complete a semester abroad at San Diego State University. In addition to the good reputation of the university, one of the main reasons for my decision was the opportunity to take courses that matched my course of study.
After making my decision to go to SDSU, I now had to go through a number of formal “hurdles” such as applying to University of San Diego. In this context, “MicroEdu” offers students the opportunity to download the application documents to be filled out online. The application documents can then be filled out, signed and sent back to the agency. The staff will check them for completeness and then forward them to the university of your choice. If you decide to do a semester abroad in the USA, the approval for such a semester is also linked to proof of language level C1. This proof is obtained by completing the so-called DAAD test. Furthermore, I took the opportunity and at the Studierendenwerk Auslands-BAföG requested. By approving my application, I was able to ensure that I had sufficient financial resources for my stay abroad. After just a few weeks, I received confirmation from SDSU for my semester abroad, so the next step was to apply for my student visa at the American embassy. For the approval of the visa it is necessary to present yourself at the American consulate in Frankfurt, Munich or Berlin in addition to the written application. With my visa in my pocket, I was able to book my flight to San Diego a few weeks later.
Arriving in San Diego, I had to start looking for suitable accommodation. The advantage of looking for an apartment on site is that you can get a personal impression of the individual accommodations, but has the disadvantage that you have to use a hostel as an overnight stay for the first few days, for example. Basically, there are two options when looking for an apartment in San Diego: Either you decide on a flat share on the beach (20 minutes by car from campus) or on a flat share near the university. Both alternatives have their advantages and disadvantages. In the end, I opted for the “California lifestyle” and rented a beach house with five other “international students”.
Everyday university life
If you compare everyday university life in the USA with that in Germany, then some differences can be identified. In the US, I had face-to-face events every day except Tuesday. In addition to the Solid Modeling 1 and 2, Thermodynamic and Engineering Design modules, I also have two sports courses ( surfing and tennis) integrated into my timetable. In contrast to the modules here at our university of applied sciences, the examinations for the individual modules at the SDSU are spread over the entire semester. For example, you get regular homework, you have to write “midterm exams” and at the end of the semester there are the so-called “finals”. A major advantage is that you have a much better learning rhythm compared to here. The university’s campus in San Diego also offers a large library, a variety of study areas and a wide range of sports facilities such as football, basketball, soccer, a gym, rugby and swimming.
In my free time, I regularly took advantage of the various sports activities offered by the university. In addition to my regular visits to the fitness studio, participation in a football tournament organized by the university over a period of three months should be mentioned here. I also attended numerous sporting events, such as a football, soccer and ice hockey game. A stay in San Diego, California can also be combined very well with trips along the west coast. I visited the following cities and places during my semester abroad: Los Angeles (including Hollywood, Beverly Hills), Santa Monica (including Venice Beach), San Francisco (including the Golden Gate Bridge, Yosemite), Las Vegas (including the Strip) and the Grand Canyon.
In summary, it can be said that this semester abroad will remain in my memory as a unique experience and a new life and cultural experience for me. Although such a stay as a free mover is associated with high costs, I can only recommend it to everyone. It offers students the opportunity to acquire new scientific knowledge, improve their English language skills and combine this with an adventure in the “land of opportunity”.