University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: communication sciences, media
Study type: semester abroad
The best decision I made in my life was to go to San Diego and study at SDSU, it was the time of my life! The USA, the city, the university, the people – my expectations were exceeded in all areas. See ehuacom for 8 best universities in Belgium.
The application itself was easy thanks to MicroEdu. I started with the DAAD test (English test), which I was able to take at my home university. This was very easy, with school English you can easily pass it. I then filled out the MicroEdu application form and collected all the necessary documents. MicroEdu reviews all application forms and forwards them to SDSU. So it couldn’t be made any easier. In addition, MicroEdu always has an open ear for all questions and problems (no matter how stupid the questions may be), you get an answer by e-mail within a few hours. That made things a lot easier for me!
In addition to or after the application, you still have to take care of the visa for the USA (can be a bit annoying), a foreign insurance is also mandatory. In addition, you should apply for foreign student loans, and at an early stage. It can take a little longer until you actually have all the documents together and the application has been processed. As a rule, the state pays the tuition fees for a semester abroad (and these are almost unaffordable at the SDSU). In addition, a monthly contribution is likely, even if you don’t get student loans in your home country. In addition, you should of course book your flight as early as possible in order to get away cheaply (in the holiday season in August I unfortunately did not find anything for a return flight for less than 1000 euros, which is normal for the high season). Everything went smoothly with Delta Airlines. I even had an open jaw as I was flying back from Miami (spent my last week in Miami and celebrated New Year’s there – was amazing by the way!). Last but not least, you should of course choose courses in advance that you would like to complete abroad and discuss them with your responsible professor so that they can be credited afterwards (it is best to have them signed).
Overall, the application and organization is doable and not stressful at all in my opinion. MicroEdu has guides for everything, you really just have to follow them and just work your way through. There are links and tips for everything and even a schedule.
The SDSU and the ALI (American Language Institute) are also very well organized, and there is a competent contact person everywhere. Since there are so many international students at SDSU, you always feel that you are in good hands and the ALI takes great care of all internationals.
I’m studying media and communication for my bachelor’s degree. After 4 semesters in Germany, I completed my first semester abroad in San Diego. A semester abroad is not mandatory for us, but I still wanted to take advantage of the opportunity and am more than happy that I did it. Since it is not a compulsory semester abroad, I have applied for a semester off at my home university so that I do not have to pay tuition fees in Germany. I have taken the following courses at SDSU: Interaction & Gender; qualitative research methods; Advertising & Social Media; Film, TV & Media Criticism. All were great courses and I have not regretted any. During the so-called course crashing at the beginning of the semester, like all internationals, I had initial difficulties. You don’t necessarily get into all the courses you want. Especially with the Communication Department it was a bit more complicated.
In the end I only got two of my seven desired courses because they were either full or no internationals were allowed. I then looked for two alternative courses, which were ok in the end. But I also wanted to only have university on Tuesdays and Thursdays – and that worked out. So in the end, choosing a course will work out, just don’t despair. Everyone gets their courses together somehow. Of course, it is best if you have many courses to choose from. After all, you have 3 weeks for course crashing, which is enough to find 4 courses that fit reasonably well. Exactly how course crashing works is explained on the introductory day at the university – so you should definitely go there.
Finding accommodation was the biggest challenge of the whole organization and the whole semester abroad. That was really a problem for me, I was also a bit unlucky. All in all, I was looking for 3 weeks on site, so I stayed in the hostel for 3 weeks (Lucky D’s was my first home in San Diego, those were good times in the Gaslamp Quarter Downtown – but you don’t really get there). When looking for an apartment, you definitely have to be there and look at the apartments and areas in person. You can’t imagine that at all from Germany. After getting my first impressions of San Diego, it quickly became clear to me that I wanted to live in Pacific Beach. And that’s not impossible either, although almost everyone wants to live there (it happens to be the best area, sure, nice, right on the beach and right in the middle of the party life – there’s always something going on there). If you make a little effort and with a bit of luck you will find an apartment after a week to 1 ½ (like me), with a bit of bad luck you will be canceled again (like me) and you will be up for another 1 ½ weeks quickly the search. But the search is worth it! Pacific Beach is simply the best area in San Diego! In my opinion, the college area is way too far off the beaten track and there are only young students there (by that I mean under 21), there is simply nothing going on there, no city feeling and, above all, no beach feeling.
you need a car Point. There are no ifs and buts. You just can’t get anywhere with the public transport and by the way it’s really dangerous with trolley and bus (many homeless people etc.). It’s best to get a rental car from Dirt Cheap Car Rental, then you won’t have any problems with buying, selling, TÜV, insurance, driver’s license, damage to the car, etc. etc. You can drive the rental car with your German driver’s license. Dirt Cheap Car Rental is by far the best car rental in San Diego. And if it’s too expensive for you or you want a slightly bigger and better car, share one with another student. Even if you go to San Diego alone, there are several hundred other Germans and several thousand other internationals with the same fate; -) I shared an SUV XL 8-seater (great car!) with another German girl I met on my second day at the hostel for the whole semester. We went to university on the same days and lived close to each other – perfect.
Party without end. There’s so much going on in San Diego, I’ve rarely been home. You can always do something, you get to know so many great people. And California is also so easy to travel and see Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles etc (I’ve been to Vegas 3 times – just amazing!). San Francisco is also one of my highlights. And just the beaches on the way to LA or Santa Barbara. There’s just so much to see in Cali, it’s not to be missed!
But I don’t want to reveal any more about free time, partying and travel – you’d better discover that on your own! Trust me, it comes naturally and you will never get bored in the USA!
One more thing – there are really a lot of Germans in San Diego! Can be seen as a disadvantage – I thought I would only hang out there with Americans and only speak English. Never ever! Just forget it, it doesn’t work and when it does it’s really exhausting and you really have to isolate yourself. But why, the Germans have the same interests and you make true friends. There’s a whole German community in San Diego, but you don’t have to make friends with everyone. I had my little German clique, who are now among my best friends, and I actually did everything together with them. And of course we still did a lot with Americans, sometimes together, sometimes alone, or with other internationals.
Oh yes, one more tip: take spray deodorant with you if you don’t want to get used to roll-ons;-) otherwise you can actually find everything in the USA.