University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
Through the placement agency MicroEdu, I was able to easily get in touch with San Diego State University. The mediation is free of charge and offers very competent advice. The agency was always available and accompanies the students in a targeted and professional manner through the application process. Necessary documents for a successful application are: curriculum vitae, grade point average, language certificate (either Toefel or DAAD language test), proof of insurance, copy of a photo ID and proof of payment for the visa and the I-20 form, which must be requested beforehand. See ehuacom for states and cities with the most Brazilians in USA.
After the necessary information has been filled out and sent back to MicroEdu, it will be passed on to San Diego State University and generally after a short time a confirmation for the semester.
Below is a small list of the costs for the visa.
Visa: Sevis Fees EUR 200
Online PIN application EUR 10 Application fees EUR
After the confirmation from the SDSU has arrived, the appointment at the embassy in Berlin follows for a short interview. The embassy there wants to ensure that a return to Germany after the semester abroad is guaranteed in order to be able to approve the visa.
Once all documents have been signed and confirmed, the examination regulations must be changed, which can be requested from Prof. Stobbe. (Note from MicroEdu: This information applies only to students at Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences)
The course selection process at San Diego State University (SDSU) can be a bit tedious and nerve wracking as international students have to crash courses. This means that the courses cannot be selected in advance, but must be “fought for” within the first three weeks by the signature of the respective professor. It was fought for because the American students have priority and one must therefore hope that the American students do not claim all the places.
Furthermore, American students can choose their courses online before the start of the semester. However, you usually have the courses you want after three weeks, since many American students “jump out” of the courses again.
My courses, which I finally chose and got, were:
- Mktg 377 – Selling & Strategy Marketing with Prof. Osinski
- Mktg 380 – Direct Marketing with Prof Osinski
- Mktg 476 – Internet / Interactive Marketing with Prof. Honea
All three courses are recommended without exception, whereby Prof. Osinski can be counted among the most popular professors at SDSU according to portals such as www.ratemyprofessor.com.
In my opinion, the Mktg 476 course required the greatest amount of work, but you also learned a lot, especially with regard to the design of a professional website, marketing, etc. The exam in all courses consists of two exams during the semester (midterms and finals ), some homework and group work, all of which add up to the final grade.
Overall, in my opinion, the level of difficulty is more comparable to school level and the exams are easy to master (mostly multiple choice questions), but a higher workload must be expected during the semester.
The course catalog can be found at: http: //www.ces.sdsu.edu/Pages/FindCourse.aspx
Organization of studies at the foreign university
In my opinion, the study organization at SDSU was very well organized. My contact during the semester was the American Language Institute (ALI), who were happy to help with any questions. Kirstin Miller was one of the employees at ALI who could be emailed personally or contacted in the office if there were important questions. I have had no negative experiences with the ALI or felt that it was poorly organised. On the contrary, it was very clear for the foreign students which formalities had to be clarified and when.
The timeline at the beginning of the semester is as follows: registration at ALI, application for student ID, an introductory game on the international student campus, orientation day and seminar on American culture, bus tour to get to know the city and finally the beginning of the first week of lectures.
The cost of the flight varies between 700 and 1000 euros depending on the time of booking. Usually you make one or two stops along the way. The airport in San Diego is relatively small and uncluttered and is located right next to the city center.
Arriving in San Diego, a car is almost essential as public transportation is not the best way to get from A to B. There are a few options for renting a car for the time of the semester abroad (e.g. at DirtyCheap Car Rental), but in my opinion it makes more sense to buy a car, since you can get lost again at the end. In addition, the rental costs are relatively high and because of the insurance you only have a limited kilometer radius free, so that buying a car is more profitable in most cases.
The city of San Diego, with its 1.3 million inhabitants and its very large area, offers a wide variety of housing options. Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach and the College Area are particularly popular with students. Apartment prices in San Diego are extremely high compared to most German cities, typically around $700 a month for a standard-sized room in a multi-room apartment. Furthermore, the housing market in San Diego is extremely overcrowded, which can mean that there can be 20 to 30 applicants for an apartment at the same time. For this reason, it is important for exchange students to be patient and not give up too soon.
If you are interested in a room on campus, you can get information in advance on the SDSU homepage and apply to the apartments mentioned.
Nevertheless, I can only recommend everyone to live with Americans and / or to deal with Americans a lot, as it is an eminent advantage both for English language skills and for integration into social life.
The high costs associated with staying in and around San Diego are definitely worth mentioning. California is one of the most expensive states in the US, which should not be disregarded. This applies to food as well as clothing, leisure activities, etc. However, the high costs are the only negative aspect in my opinion.
- Teaching material, etc.:
At the beginning of the semester, the professors specify which books they will cover in their lectures. New books cost around $150. In order to avoid these high costs, I strongly recommend that you first inquire at the bookstore on campus whether the book in question can be borrowed. Another option is to borrow books from websites such as www.chegg.com or www.bookrenter.com. I finally bought my books cheap and used at www.Amazon.com.
From San Diego, great places like Santa Barbara and Los Angeles are easily accessible by car. We also highly recommend the route via “Highway No. 1″ to San Francisco. Las Vegas can be reached after a good hour’s flight. And if you don’t want to take the opportunity, you can fly to the beautiful islands of Hawaii in about 6 hours.
In San Diego itself, I recommend trips to Coronado, Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo, Sea World, Old Town and whale watching, which is possible from December / January.
The great news is that there are no Friday classes at San Diego State University! So the weekend starts on Thursday. Every Tuesday is legendary Taco Tuesday at Fred’s in Pacific Beach. There are delicious tacos and margheritas – super cheap. Bar West (a combination of bar and disco) in PB is recommended on Thursdays and Sundays.
Those who prefer more exclusive discotheques will have a lot of fun downtown (Gaslamp Quarter) at Stingaree or Fluxx. The Ivy, an open-air disco bar on the roof of the Andaz Hotel, is also recommended. Prince William and Ashton Kutcher also recently celebrated there. During the summer season, the legendary pool parties take place at the Hard Rock Hotel on Sundays.
On various websites such as www.djhere.com you can be put on the guest lists of the clubs free of charge beforehand.
The shopping center “Fashion Valley” is highly recommended. There are all the well-known designers, department stores and shops like H&M. After shopping, be sure to try the tastiest cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory.
A cheap designer outlet (Las Americas) can be found near the Mexican border. The outlet belongs to the “Premium Outlets” group. You can also go shopping in Horton Plaza (Westfield Shoppingtown). Otherwise you can also find everything you need via www.craigslist.com (cars, home furnishings, bicycles etc. included).
With the “Aztec Recreation Center”, SDSU offers a huge range of sports and a gym for students and non-students alike. There is no membership fee for international students. Many fitness courses are offered and after a strenuous sports program you can relax in the on-campus pool. Furthermore, many games of the university teams from the fields of football, basketball, etc. take place during the semester. Students get free tickets to these games and it’s an experience you have to be part of.
When I look back on my time in California, I can say that it was one of the best experiences of my life and I really enjoyed the days there. Although the semester abroad was quite expensive, all the experiences, impressions and acquaintances that you take home with you are definitely worth it.
I can recommend a semester abroad at San Diego State University without exception and I wish you a lot of fun!