University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
Writing this report about my semester abroad at SDSU fills me with great joy and at the same time makes me very proud. See ehuacom for study in Slovakia.
It has always been a dream of mine not just to travel to the US as a tourist, but to live in the US. At the beginning of my studies, a semester abroad seemed impossible because I have to finance my studies completely on my own and life in Germany has its hurdles. But my desire just kept getting bigger and bigger, mainly because fellow students traveled the world and made me curious with their stories. My planning started 1-2 years before my semester abroad, because the University of Duisburg-Essen (Campus Essen) had no corresponding offers for me.
That’s how I found out about the agency MicroEdu from a fellow student. This agency helps students to choose foreign universities and accompanies you through all the steps. MicroEdu ‘s help was free for me. They showed me when I had to do what so that I could meet all the deadlines. They also liaised with the American Language Institute (ALI) and provided translation assistance. I am very grateful to MicroEdu for their help.
I’ll jump ahead and say: YES, there is a lot of work to do a semester abroad in the USA, but YES I would do it again in a heartbeat. Nobody should be put off by this, because you will experience an extraordinary time in a fascinating country and get to know fantastic people.
That’s why I don’t want to waste too many lines now to report what you have to do for it. In a nutshell: complete the language test, apply for a visa (off to the embassy and get to know the first Americans), show the SDSU proof of finances, book a flight and have one of the best times of your life.
So let’s get on the plane that will take us to the land of opportunity and right at the airport, let’s look at a photo of the President of the United States welcoming us to the country. I flew from Düsseldorf via Los Angeles to San Diego. The flight cost around EUR 1,300 as it was during the summer holidays.
I stayed in a hostel in downtown San Diego for the first few days and rented a car to see the city and look for a place to live. As everyone knows by now, SDSU is very attractive to German students, so I wasn’t the only German in San Diego looking for a shared flat, a dorm or a house on the beach.
Of course I looked at the beautiful houses on the beach and thought about living beautifully on the beach. But before I decided on the SDSU, I had ideas. I really wanted to live in a dorm close to campus, and the Suites of Paseo made that dream come true. It was a newly built dorm right on campus. There are three different room sizes ranging from $700-$1,000 per month that are very well appointed.
The dormitory also has its own canteen, which does not deserve the word canteen. The food was always very, very tasty and different every week. There was also a German week with schnitzels, etc. I would recommend this dormitory to everyone. There were also many German students in this dormitory, but they made the semester special for me. Many Americans don’t want to travel much and if you want to explore this country or state, you need people who like to travel.
So I not only looked at Los Angeles, San Francisco or Las Vegas, but also did a canoe tour on the Colorado River, a Harley Davidson tour through California or a trip with a mobile home through Yosemite National Park. After studying at SDSU, I looked at Chicago, New York and Hawaii. The USA always has great and cheap offers for students, which made my trips possible in the first place. But admittedly, I still pay my family for one or the other trip ☺
I am still in contact with almost 8 people from the dormitory in Germany. There was even a reunion in Passau last year and the next one is in Heidelberg next month. You see each other from time to time and the contact never broke off. Through the semester abroad I made friends for life.
But I didn’t just travel around, even if that sounds like a lot at first. The most exciting time was the time at SDSU. I just adjusted completely to the American mentality and tried to live like the Americans and just didn’t question many things.
SDSU has such an amazing and beautiful campus that is kissed by the sun every morning. Above all, all sports facilities are well equipped. We were allowed to use SDSU’s large gym or open-air swimming area free of charge, which was very nice between classes. As a business administration student, I had many courses to choose from. The only downside was that the foreign students were put into classes and no Americans took part. So it can happen that you sit in a class with 22 Germans and 4 Danes. But the official language was still English ☺.
I have attended 5 courses: Human Resource Management, Investment Management, Global Marketing Strategy, Statistics and Entrepreneurship. I also did a surfing course via the SDSU. I was able to get credit for all these courses in Germany. Before my semester abroad, I looked at all the SDSU courses and agreed with my professors which courses could be credited. So I got the OK for about 18 courses from my home university or the professors and was then able to choose what was offered at the SDSU without any problems or stress.
The selection of courses is now strictly controlled by the ALI and so foreign students are no longer allowed to crash courses (go to the first lecture, collect signature, place secured). But I did it anyway, which ALI didn’t think was great and put me “under probation”. Every next violation would have brought me to exmatriculation.
About the courses: Depending on the event, you sometimes had to do more and sometimes less. It is in no way similar to the German system. Oral participation, group work, and presentations are commonplace for American students. I had to hand in homework of 8-30 pages, submit homework online every week, complete weekly tests, spend hours researching in the library, etc. It was a lot of work and was also rated strictly depending on the course. I failed two exams in eg Global Marketing Strategy (F), but was able to save myself with a group homework of over 150 pages.
In addition to the interesting and exciting courses in a foreign country with foreign ideas, SDSU offers many activities that make studying more enjoyable. At some point during the fall semester, football time begins, which drives every student crazy. The football team, which happened to be staying at my dorm, does a lot of public things with the new students, like team football practice, or team/SDSU summons with over 1,000 studentson the campus meadow or public performance of the SDSU band with the SDSU song (SDSU AZTECS FIGHT). You quickly get this WE feeling in the USA. The name of the SDSU teams is AZTECS and the games of the SDSU teams (American football, soccer, basketball, baseball, etc.) are free and take place in major football stadiums or arenas. It was always very special to take part in SDSU activities.
There were also Aztecs nights like a huge party on campus with a local star DJ, or lasertack on campus or paint bomb parties, etc. SDSU does a lot for their students. In my opinion, one should also try to participate in everything that is offered. Because that’s the only way to become part of the big Aztec family.
Of course, San Diego itself also offers a lot, because San Diego is a city that offers something special for everyone. For example, you could go to a different beach every day and enjoy the sun. Seals live in La Jolla, Coronado has a beautiful view of downtown and Pacific Beach has the best wings on Wings Wednesday. SD Zoo has beautiful animals and Seaworld has a great dolphin show. In downtown you can eat out very well in the evening and visit discotheques on weekends. But a look into the old town center of San Diego is also worthwhile in Old Town to see how everything began in San Diego. An old naval aircraft carrier can be found at the port, as well as the Convention Center, where the big Comic-Con takes place every year.
I hope I was able to give you an idea of how special this time was for me. A dream came true and was even exceeded. I met very special people, learned to appreciate and love American culture and experienced the time of my life.