University: University of California San Diego
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: economics
Study type: semester abroad
I, Daniel, was in the 5th semester as an economics bachelor from Mannheim as a freemover (i.e. independent of the university) for one semester at the University of California, San Diego. See liuxers for TRU Study Abroad.
Since it was clear to me that a stay in the USA should definitely be a stay, the “only” question for me was which university I should do my semester abroad at. My approach was to use rankings such as Times Higher Education
and Shanghai University
to examine and get a first impression of different universities. At the same time, MicroEdu was recommended to me by a fellow student who had successfully organized and completed a semester abroad with MicroEdu the previous semester. I found out about the numerous universities on the MicroEdu website and at the same time found that many of the universities listed were also represented in the above rankings. In the end, I chose the University of California, San Diego, because it has a very good reputation in economics, among other things.
MicroEdu gave me a lot of support with the formalities. I knew very quickly what I had to submit to the university abroad and when, thanks to the information I had given on the website and the information material that was sent by e-mail. So I was able to “collect” the relevant documents from my home university in order to create a complete application folder.
After checking all the documents, MicroEdu then forwarded them to the university abroad.
If I had any questions, which I did, thankfully I was able to turn to MicroEdu at any time.
After the confirmation, I took care of the embassy appointment, international flight and health insurance. I also opened an account with Deutsche Bank, since all withdrawals from Bank of America (also on campus) are then free.
Now there was still the challenge of finding an apartment. Since I had planned to arrive in San Diego about 1 week before the start of my studies, I decided to book a room in advance. You don’t spontaneously start a flat share with people (other international students or US students) you get to know in San Diego. However, even in Germany it would be “too risky” for me to drive to the new city a week before the start of my studies and see if I can get an apartment. On the recommendation of a fellow student, I booked a room in an international shared flat through Anatolia Corporate Housing.
It’s not guaranteed that you’ll live with another international student, but the lady in charge assured me over the phone that she’s at least trying. I then lived with a Norwegian in an apartment. Another German was also put together with a Norwegian and lived a few meters away. Overall the condominium was very clean and safe. There were some international students there. There is also a pool and a small gym.
The bus connection from the residential complex is also very good. It takes about 15 minutes to get to the university with the UCSD shuttle. This can be used inexpensively with a semester ticket. It runs every 10 minutes
to the selected courses:
I took Financial Markets, Corporate Finance and Econometrics C (all undergraduate courses). I highly recommend all three courses!
Financial Markets has a midterm and a final, with the final being cumulative. There is a weekly exercise. Highlights of this course are the CAPM (with mathematical derivation) and the duration of bonds.
Corporate Finance also has a midterm and a cumulative final, as well as a weekly exercise.
Econometrics C has two midterms, a final and an assignment, the subtasks of which – based on weekly lesson progress – are handed out weekly and have to be processed with the Stata software by the end of the semester.
All regression models do not use matrix algebra.
The professors were all very committed and clearly interested in the success of the students!
The choice of course, which is made in the first few weeks of the semester, can still be improved by the university (this is why and only for this reason there is a grade of 2.7 for study conditions). Since the choice of course is only confirmed on site by the admissions office three weeks after the end of the semester, you have to take several courses at the same time in the undergraduate Economics area and watch the waiting lists. US students have priority in course selection and visiting students must hope for vacancies. This implies a certain amount of extra work during the first few weeks.
The fact that the choice of course cannot be confirmed in advance by the university must be acknowledged in advance by signing a form. In order to guarantee that all courses are credited, it is advisable to conclude learning agreements before the semester abroad at your home university for more courses than will ultimately be taken.
Nevertheless, my stay at the University of California was very enriching, both culturally and professionally.
During the semester, it’s quite doable to take trips to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon (highly recommended), San Francisco, or Los Angeles.
I would like to thank MicroEdu for the great support and I wish all students every success in their planned semester abroad!