University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business Administration, Economics
Study type: semester abroad
Those who choose to study at San Diego State University choose sun, sand, easygoing study, great but manageable organizational effort, high expenses and a worthwhile adventure.
Once you’ve found MicroEdu and decided on SDSU, you’ve already cleared the first hurdle and an institution behind you that makes organizing a lot easier. See ehuacom for top 10 universities in Africa.
Next, a student visa must be applied for. There are only two places where you can apply for a US visa in Germany, Berlin and Frankfurt. All information can be found at http: //www.us-botschaft.de/germany-ger/visa/index.html.
It takes a lot of effort and costs a lot of nerves until you hold the coveted piece of paper in your hands – but the effort is worth it.
The arrival in San Diego should be well planned, the city is gigantic and the public transport is not as well developed as in Germany. Most students stay in a youth hostel on Ocean Beach for the first few days (http: //members.aol.com/OBIhostel/hostel/), which is by far the cheapest address. At the beginning you have to decide whether you want to live on the beach or near the university. The incredibly great flair and attitude to life, which conveys the proximity to the Pacific, speaks for the beach. However, a car is a prerequisite for getting to the university, as the distance is around 15 – 20 km. The proximity to the university obviously speaks for the convenience of a short walk to the university! An apartment in San Diego costs between $300 – $800 and you should expect to spend a few days looking for an apartment. The search for a suitable apartment can start a week before you travel, but I do not advise anyone to rent an apartment without having inspected it on site. A helpful address when looking for an apartment/furniture/car/… is
The decision to buy or rent a car is not easy to answer. As always, there are
pros and cons: Advantages of a rental car are the reduced organizational effort (you don’t have to worry about insurance and sales) and the reliability of the rental car. The additional costs speak against it, because the money ($1600-$2500 for 5 months) you do not get back.
The lower costs speak in favor of your own car. But BE CAREFUL! In the USA there is no TÜV, if you buy a used car and are not exactly a car mechanic, then you usually buy a pig in a poke and have to trust the seller. Any repair costs or the total breakdown of the car can quickly become very expensive. And selling the car is not always easy. If you don’t start looking for a buyer at least three weeks before departure, you could run into serious problems.
SDSU has approximately 40,000 students. It’s not a private university, but studying here isn’t cheap. For $5190 + additional costs per semester you could probably
buy a permanent seat in Germany in the often overcrowded lecture halls. But paying tuition fees is such a part of everyday life here (most students take out a loan and are in the doldrums after completing their studies with tens of thousands) that no one cares. On the contrary, as an “international” you not only pay a lot more, you also have a worse starting position. While American students can enroll in a number of courses before the semester begins, international students have to choose their desired courses
“crash”. In other words, you have to try to convince the professor that you want to take his course, even though the courses are usually full, which he doesn’t always readily buy. The fact that many students from Munster go to San Diego through MicroEdu and mostly want to take the same courses makes these initial problems even more serious. When you finally manage to crash your four desired courses together (each extra course costs just under $200), you can still not count on the fact that the American professors perform better than the average German professor because of their higher salary there are always such and such.
A big difference to the typical German all-or-nothing final exam are the many tests, quizzes and exams that you have to write during the semester. Performance is reviewed almost every week, which makes things a bit more shoddy. The significantly smaller classes (between 20-50 on average) and compulsory attendance in many courses also contribute to this. All in all, it is a lot of work if you want to do very well, but the material itself is usually simpler than in Germany (e.g. complex calculations that would be mercilessly drilled through in Germany are simply skipped or not required in the exam).
The teaching methodology also varies, of course, depending on the subject and the professor. What I personally really like is the training in international management. Here, theoretical knowledge acquired on a regular basis is applied to practical cases (case studies), which in my opinion not only improves understanding, but also encourages you to apply the knowledge you have acquired yourself, because you can see that it actually has a connection to reality. (Something that is often missed at the German university, which is driven by rationalism).
The SDSU is organized as a campus. That means all the buildings are in a separate area…and this area (College Area) is huge!
In the ranking of all universities in the USA, the SDSU is more in the middle when it comes to the
quality of the education, but it is at the forefront in two disciplines:
- The International Business Program is among the best in the country
- SDSU is home to the third most active party scene of any college in the country
Living in California:
What I like best about California is the climate. The average temperature is still around 21°C even in late autumn. However, since the sun actually manages to push the clouds aside every day, it is always pleasantly warm. It’s not for nothing that California is also called the Golden State. In addition, a fresh wind is blowing and the air humidity fluctuates by 75%. Anyone who decides to go to San Diego in the winter semester needs a neoprene suit to go swimming or surfing in the Pacific, the water is freezing cold at this time.
The cost of living in San Diego is among the highest in the country! If the euro vs. while the dollar is strong, you won’t notice it that much. But food, housing and activities are usually 20%-40% more expensive than in Germany.
The people in California are quite relaxed and very open-minded. Compared to Germany, you just get a smile or high-how-are-you from people you’ve never seen before more often. Especially when shopping, the customer at the checkout is pounded to the point of no more. This often-cited American superficiality also allows you to quickly make contacts and get to know people.