University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
My biggest dream has always been to study at an American university. After a stay abroad through my home university unfortunately didn’t work out, I started to find out about alternatives. At first I had my doubts that a semester abroad as a “free mover” involved a lot more effort, but thanks to MicroEdu all the preparations went really smoothly and I quickly chose San Diego State University. See existingcountries for vocational training in Sweden.
I would highly recommend everyone to organize their semester abroad through MicroEdu. MicroEdu helped me with all problems and questions during the application process very quickly and reliably and also sent my application documents to SDSU, so that I “only” had to wait for an answer – which came four weeks later.
With regard to the application documents, you should plan enough time for proof of English ( IELTS, TOEFL or DAAD ) and financial proof from the bank (approx. €12,000). MicroEdu provided instructions for the rest of the paperwork, which made filling it in much easier.
Before the semester abroad
Before we could start, I had to apply for a passport and a visa. For the visa, I made an appointment at the American consulate via the Internet. My “interview” was in Frankfurt and I was only asked about my whereabouts in America and my plans. The visa will then be sent to the desired address within a week. I booked my flight with a friend in June, two months in advance. Since we were both still unsure whether we would still be traveling after the semester, we only booked the outward flight.
I had already considered in advance whether I should look for accommodation in Germany or locally and decided to look for it locally. I stayed at LuckyD’s hostel for the first few nights, which was a good place to start meeting people. This is also where I met my future clique. It’s a pity, however, that there are a lot of Germans in San Diego and that’s why you don’t speak that much English.
When choosing an apartment, the decision was between being close to the university or being close to the beach. I chose to live on the beach in Pacific Beach because when in life will you live on the beach again ? I had a shared room with another girl as single rooms are very expensive. Expect to factor in rentals of $700 and up.
Pacific Beach is ideal for experiencing California life up close. However, it is necessary to rent a car. You can reach the university in 20 minutes by car and it is much more relaxed than using public transport. I shared a car with a friend and rented it from Dirtcheapcar (the name says it all).
Since I chose the graduate program at SDSU, I had to choose three courses with a total of nine units. You have to take one of the special courses, which are courses that are only offered to international students. In contrast to the “normal” courses, the special courses are very simple and not time-consuming. If you want to occupy more than these 9 units, you have to buy additional units. I clarified in advance with my home university which courses can be credited to me and which cannot. At my university, 3 units = 5 ECTS.
Strategic Brand Management (Miro Copic) – 3 Units
- Difficulty level: medium
- Effort: very high
The professor is really good at it and uses cases and examples to convey the material in a very interesting and clear way. I definitely learned the most from this course, which is why I would recommend this course despite the effort.
Financial Management 2 (Frank Ryan) – 3 Units
- Difficulty level: high
- Effort: very high
The pace of this course is very fast, a lot of specialist knowledge is assumed and the homework takes a lot of time. I would not take this course again.
Entrepreneurship (Mike Sloan) – 3 Units
- Difficulty level: low
- Effort: low
In this module, the basics were taught and the students should regularly give short presentations on innovative ideas.
Although the courses are easier in terms of level, the extreme amount of time required should not be underestimated. Compulsory attendance, interim exams, quizzes, homework, presentations and oral work mean that you always have to stay on the ball during the semester and prepare the modules. However, learning at the university itself is very pleasant because the classes are small and there are no large lectures like in Germany.
In general, it was very easy for me to pick myself up for the university because the SDSU campus is beautiful! On campus there are many opportunities to sit in the sun with a coffee and distract yourself from studying ‘ alt=nod title=nod v: shapes=”_x0000_i1105″>. A big plus of the SDSU is also the gym, which we could use for free.
The time in San Diego was one of the best experiences I’ve had. I would recommend everyone to take as much as possible with them during their free time, because time passed incredibly quickly. San Diego itself has a lot to offer with the Sunset Cliffs, Oldtown and Downton, but you should also use the time to go on excursions, for example to national parks or city trips to Los Angeles, San Francisco or Las Vegas.
You should realize beforehand that life in America is really incredibly expensive. The rents are very, very expensive and groceries are sometimes twice as expensive as in Germany, especially healthy and fresh things. Traveling and other leisure activities are also included. You should therefore expect an average of €1,500-2,000 per month.
Although life in America was incredibly expensive, it was truly worth every experience. Not only did I learn a lot linguistically and culturally, I also took a lot with me as a person. During my time in San Diego I enjoyed the California lifestyle to the fullest, had many different experiences and met great people. I would advise everyone to do a semester abroad in San Diego !