University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
If I remember correctly, it started with completing the required TOEFL test. Here you should make sure that you make an appointment in good time, since the available places can be in high demand depending on the city and month. It also takes a while before you actually get your test result and can use it to apply to the university. See existingcountries for 8 best European cities to be a student.
If you are interested in the Business Courses at the SDSU, you have to be a little faster than those interested in the General Courses, since the places for these are allocated more quickly and the specified deadline can therefore change quickly.
The same applies to visas – make an appointment in good time.
In order to be able to withdraw money for free in San Diego, I got myself a VISA card from Comdirekt Bank, it’s free and I had no problems with it when I was there. The fees charged by most ATMs in the US are reimbursed by the Comdirect on request.
Those who are not interested in a place in one of the halls of residence offered by the university can look for a room in one of the many apartment complexes (shared rooms from around $600) or in a shared flat. You can find plenty of offers on craigslist.org, but you should be prepared to pay significantly more for a room in San Diego than here in Germany.
I personally looked through the advertisements on Craigslist before I arrived and contacted a few providers – but with little success. As you’d expect, there’s little to get done before you’re out of town, and since rooms tend to fill up fairly quickly, most people don’t make an appointment “for in 2 weeks”. It is therefore advisable to book into a hostel for the first few days and start your search from there. I had a bed in a room at Lucky D’s in downtown for 5 days and can also recommend this hostel.
Upon my arrival I immediately contacted some people from Craigslist who had written to call me when I was in town and also arranged with them the first viewings for the next day. The first apartment was a direct hit and my search was over – that was of course very lucky and can also be completely different. It is better to allow 1-2 weeks to look for an apartment.
When it comes to where to live, most students decide between being near the university or near the beach. Both have their obvious advantages – I lived near the university myself and since I didn’t rent a car for the time in the USA, this was the right decision. The public transport network in San Diego cannot be compared to that in major German cities and it takes a good hour to get from the university to the beach. Only 20 minutes by car. Even a bicycle is not suitable for longer distances, since the whole city is very mountainous.
Due to the special sessions set up especially for the semester students, the course registration was not quite as strenuous for us business students as it was for the general course participants. The disadvantage here is, of course, that you have far less contact with American students.
The few courses that I had to “crash” all had enough free places and I was therefore able to participate without any problems. Since the range of courses at the university is huge, anyone who doesn’t get their desired place right away should be able to find something suitable.
Free hours can be spent on the fantastic campus grounds without any problems. Dining options abound, a huge gym and a perfect pool! In addition, a lot of green space and a pond with carp and turtles. It takes a while to get used to the huge grounds, but after a few days that shouldn’t be a problem.
I can only recommend a semester abroad at SDSU to everyone. Be warned, however, that the place is teeming with German students and you have to be careful not to just speak German all day. So it’s best to move in with Americans right away.
On long weekends you have enough time to visit surrounding cities such as Los Angeles or Las Vegas, but in general attendance is compulsory in almost all courses and missed lessons affect the final grade. Everyone has to decide for themselves whether they prefer the incredible adventures/experiences or the good grades;-)
American bread is known to be terrible (soft and sweet) – but I found a good substitute, almost German standard, in the freshly baked goods department at VONS.