University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: media
Study type: semester abroad
I started planning my semester abroad early on. In September 2013 I applied to San Diego State University through MicroEdu and in November 2013 for the PROMOS scholarship at my university. Applying is really easy thanks to the great help from MicroEdu. It is explained in detail what is necessary for the application, so that the compilation of the application goes really quickly. See existingcountries for 10 safest cities in the USA to live.
If you are a Bafög recipient, you should remember to apply as early as possible (6-9 months in advance). It doesn’t matter if you don’t have all the documents yet, because you can still submit a lot of things later.
I applied for the visa 3 months before departure. A certain amount of effort is required to fill out all the documents and then drive to the embassy in Berlin, Frankfurt or Munich. You have to appear at the embassy in person and allow up to 4 weeks for an appointment.
I took out my international health insurance with HanseMerkur.
The campus is spacious and beautiful. There are many green areas, a garden, a small pond, a great fitness center with a climbing wall and sauna, a pool area, several sports fields and many dining options. On Thursdays there is always a farmers market on campus and on Friday evenings there are usually concerts in an amphitheater.
In principle, the whole semester was spent learning. So you always had to do something for the university, such as handing in homework or studying for intermediate exams, but this also eliminated the great stress of an all-important final exam at the end of the semester. I chose four courses in the Communication Department from the so-called General Courses program. Since the courses match the content of my studies in Germany, all courses are credited to me.
The professors are generally close to the students, are very helpful and have real practical experience, thanks to which you can learn a lot of useful things instead of dry theory. Overall, there are many projects, homework and multiple-choice tests throughout the semester. The university’s facilities in learning areas such as the libraries etc. were also really good.
If you liked it so much that you want to stay another semester, you can do so without any problems. If you have any questions, you can ask the ALI (American Language Institute) for help. The orientation week with introductory events, bus tours and campus tours also takes place here. This week is very helpful to settle in on campus. The ALI employees are extremely nice and make the exciting start at the university something special.
Everyday life and free time
San Diego is a breathtaking city with a vast range of recreational opportunities. You should always look at the event calendar on the Internet and keep your ears open to where events are taking place. I liked the wonderful beach towns in northern San Diego best. You should also plan a day trip to the mountains. There are many national parks where you can hike well.
Unfortunately, the public transport network is very poorly developed and you need a car for everything. The beach is only 20 minutes away by car. If you don’t have a car and live on campus, the party bus comes in handy. He stops right on campus and takes students to the club and then picks them up again. The trolley (train) stops right on campus and from here you can reach the shopping malls in 15 minutes, downtown in 30 minutes and the airport in 45 minutes.
You should definitely not miss seeing one of the games of the university’s own basketball team in the Viejas Arena, the atmosphere is really great and the tickets for students are free. It’s the same with the football games in the big Qualcomm stadium.
The Americans are really loud and support their team at full volume.
They’re generally sporty and very fit, especially in California, so you’ll be able to find any sport. However, surfing is particularly popular.
The weather was one of the main reasons I ended up choosing San Diego. The sun shines almost every day. It only rained 5 times in 5 months.
A really negative point about San Diego or California in general is the really high cost of living, because both rent and healthy food are very expensive.
Getting to know American and Californian culture was very important to me. The American way of life is really very different from our German way of life and has many advantages and disadvantages.
I am very happy to have had the opportunity to study at a typical, huge American university. I can unreservedly recommend the city of San Diego and would love to go back anytime.