University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
The exchange semester in San Diego was by far the most exciting and eventful semester of my bachelor’s degree. In this report I will briefly tell you about my experience.
- Registration Procedure
Unfortunately, the SDSU is not one of the partner universities of the HSG, but an exchange as a freemover is possible. As a free mover, you have to register directly with the desired university and send in the required forms, proof of language proficiency, bank statement, etc. I contacted the agency MicroEdu and they took care of all the processing and contact with SDSU. They will let you know how and by when you need which documents. This offer is free and highly recommended. They even help with the choice of university and on the website www.MicroEdu.com you will find important information and field reports about numerous universities. See ehuacom for study in Sweden.
- University and infrastructure
About 33,000 students study at the SDSU and the campus is larger than that of the HSG and offers a lot for students. As an ALI student (as a freemover you are automatically an ALI student) you have free access to the fitness, pool and librarywith a 24/7 study area. There are many dining options on campus (Starbucks, Chipotle, Subway, Mexican, etc.). In contrast to the HSG, it is easy to find a place to study in the library. In the so-called bookstore, SDSU clothes are sold, as well as used books, calculators and all the material that students need.
- Course selection and bidding process
Course selection at SDSU is based on the first-come-first-serve principle. Since the American students are given access to the voting portal before the exchange students, there is no guarantee that they will receive all the courses they want. However, a distinction is made between special session and general courses, the special sessions are announced in advance and exchange students are sure to receive them.
I was able to take all the courses I wanted except for Strategic Management as this course is considered too difficult for exchange students. I was able to take Makro II, Finance, an elective (International Business Finance) and a Reko subject (World History). Four times 3 units (6 credits). The crediting at the HSG is not a problem, since the accreditation at the HSG is regulated before the exchange. In contrast to the HSG, attendance is compulsory in most courses and participation points are also awarded. In some courses you have to buy a so-called clicker so that you can take part in the quizzes during the lectures and get points.
During the semester, the effort is about the same as at the HSG, but the level of difficulty is significantly lower than that of the HSG. There is no learning phase as known at the HSG. If you take the online quizzes, are present and work throughout the semester, good grades are achievable.
I read numerous reviews before flying to San Diego and there are two options: either an apartment on the beach (Pacific Beach) or in the campus area. If you choose Pacific Beach, expect a 20-minute drive. I chose the second option and chose the Boulevard63 apartment complex. The complex is about a 20 minute walk from the university and there is a free shuttle there and back. The rent is between $750 and $1300 depending on whether you opt for a single room or a shared room.
Since I wanted to speak English every day, I lived with an American, a Canadian and a German. The apartments are fairly modern and there is a pool, jacuzzi, gym and free pool tables. Since almost only exchange students live there, you can easily get to know other students and the atmosphere is very good. I recommend BLVD63, but you have to get it early as it’s in high demand. On the website you can contact other students via email and thus find the ideal people. Hairdresser, fast food, shops etc. are within walking distance.
- San Diego and Surroundings
The biggest argument in San Diego is certainly the climate, since you can swim almost all year round and it is mostly sunny. In terms of travel, San Diego is very well located, being about 20 minutes from the Mexican border, 2 hours from Los Angeles, 5 hours from Las Vegas, etc. I even recommend booking a flight to Hawaii, you can get cheap flights depending on the period.
On Friday evenings, many San Diego students, especially those who are under 21, go out in Tijuana (on the Mexico border): Uber to the border (20 minutes) and cheap taxis in Mexico. A trip to the national parks is highly recommended (Grand Canyon, Zion Park, Horsshoebend, Antelope Canyon, Brice Canyon, Yosemite Park,…). It is best to stay in America for a few days or weeks after the end of the semester and travel.
The semester fees are approximately $7500. Expect to pay between $800 and $1000 for rent. Life in San Diego is quite expensive, however restaurants, fast food and drinks in clubs are a bit cheaper than in Switzerland. The books at the university are more expensive than at the HSG, but I recommend borrowing or buying them from Amazon. I opened an American bank account with Wells Fargo Bank which is located just off BLVD63. There are no costs and you receive a debit-Visa card.
- Student life
Student life at SDSU was a lot of fun. Since you have to go to university about two to three days a week, you have a lot of free time. As an SDSU student, you can go to football games and basketball games for free. All students wear SDSU clothing and you can even find stores selling SDSU gear all over San Diego. You can enroll in surf classes, $170 per semester, which I have done and recommend. You can decide for yourself whether you want to go surfing every day or not at all.
In short, I would recommend everyone to do an exchange semester, even if you don’t go to SDSU, it’s an unforgettable time. I recommend San Diego 100%.