I am currently studying at the Fontys International Business School in Venlo. At the beginning of my studies, it was clear to me early on that I wanted to do my semester abroad in an English-speaking country. Nowadays it is extremely important to have a very good command of English. It is also very important to gain experience abroad and learn to deal with other cultures.
It has always been a childhood dream of mine to travel to the USA . So the goal for my semester abroad was quickly determined. San Diego .
The San Diego State University is not a partner university of the Fontys. For this reason I applied to the SDSU as a “free mover” . The College Contact agency supported me. College Contact helps students organize study abroad for free. All necessary documents and forms were sent to the agency. College Contact will then verify that all documents are complete and correct and then forward them to the appropriate university. Another advantage for me was that I had a German contact person . In addition to the application that must be submitted for the SDSU, there is also proof of English (C1 level) as well as a certificate of sufficient financial resources from the bank are required.
One week before the university begins, there is an introductory week for all exchange students . During this week the students register at the university and receive their student ID. There is also a small tour of the huge campus area. It also teaches the students how choosing courses works.
According to usprivateschoolsfinder, student life in America is very different from student life at Fontys International Business School. The system at the SDSU is very schooled. Attendance is compulsory during the lectures and active participation in the lectures is expected.
The SDSU offers two different programs. There is the “Business Course Program” and the “General Course Program”. The “Business Course Porgram” is specially designed for exchange students.
Before I went to America, I had to choose 2 courses, so-called “Special Sessions”, from the “Business Course Program” from home. The “Special Sessions” are courses that are specifically provided for exchange students. The other courses are chosen on site. You can then choose between further “Special Sessions” or the “General Course Program” . The advantage of the General Course Program is that the exchange students have classes with American students. The disadvantage is, however, that these courses “crashed”. This means that the students have to go to the responsible professor with their certificates to ask him whether one can still attend his classes. Getting a place in these courses is very difficult.
You can be sure of the 2 special sessions chosen from home. It is very important to think in advance which courses you want to take with which number of units, as these 2 courses can no longer be exchanged. In total, the bachelor’s students have to attend 12 units. Unfortunately, the problem with me was that I got a total of 13 units. I had to pay around $ 250 for the additional 1 unit because I no longer had the opportunity to swap courses.
I lived in the BLVD63 residential complex. These apartments are located close to the campus (15 minutes on foot and 5 minutes by shuttle bus). The residential complex was still fairly new and I think it was one of the nicest . I lived in an apartment with 5 other girls. There was a club house on the premises. Many events were held there for the residents. For example, there was waffles and coffee every Tuesday for 4 weeks or another time there was Woodstock pizza and then puzzle games were played together. In the club house we could always print out our university things for free, we just had to bring our own paper. The club house was a place to meet, to study, but also to play table tennis or table football. There are also 2 pools and a jacuzzi on the site. Several barbecue areas are available. A fitness studio should of course not be missing. A shuttle bus runs every 15 minutes. from the residential complex to the university campus. Shops, such as Vons, are just a few minutes’ walk away and there is also a bank directly opposite the BLVD. I really had a lot of fun at the BLVD and enjoyed living there.
Life in California is much more relaxed and stress-free than at home. One reason for this is certainly the beautiful weather all the time. Leisure time can be enjoyed on one of San Diego’s beautiful beaches . Another highlight are the football or basketball games played by the college team. Of course, many parties are also celebrated in San Diego . Most of the discos and bars are in downtown. Every Thursday a party bus drives from the BLVD63 or the campus to downtown and picks up the students again at night. On the beach there are many opportunities to have a nice meal or drink a beer or two. Unfortunately, all bars and discos in San Diego close at 2 a.m.
If you are already in San Diego, you should of course inquire about the west coast. It only takes 2 hours to drive from San Diego to Los Angelas and 9 hours to get to San Francisco. There are also many beautiful national parks to explore. A trip to Las Vegas and Mexico should of course not be missed.
For me, the decision to go to San Diego was the best I could have made . I’ve seen a lot and met a lot of nice new people. Furthermore, I have grown beyond myself. I have become more independent and my self-confidence has been strengthened. I would take another semester at San Diego State University at any time.