University: University of California San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
Around January 2015, after much deliberation, I decided to organize my semester abroad through MicroEdu and thus not to take the opportunity to go to one of the LMU’s partner universities. The reason for this was that I had always wanted to study in the USA and unfortunately my home university did not offer the contacts I had wished for. See liuxers for UR Study Abroad.
The application process via MicroEdu is very well organized. Of course, the research, the gathering of all documents and the application for the visa is very time-consuming, but you get excellent advice at every step and there is always someone at your side if you need help.
In principle, a flight to the west coast of the USA is not exactly cheap. Friends of mine paid almost 1,500 euros round trip while I got a fairly cheap flight for 850 euros round trip. Here’s a tip for everyone who lives in Munich and the surrounding area: The Travel Overland travel agency in Schwabing has great offers. It is important to consciously ask about the Lufthansa youth rate. These contingents are not available online, but only in travel agencies and so I could enjoy the luxury of flying with a great airline for not too much money.
arrival and accommodation
To be honest, my first reaction when I arrived in San Diego was: I want to go home. In the beginning I stayed in a (in my opinion) really bad hostel and the jetlag and the fact that I missed family and friends back home didn’t make it any easier. But that changed incredibly quickly. A few days later I moved to a new hostel with some friends (Dunaways Bed and Breakfast in PB – to die for! Definitely recommend) and started exploring San Diego. It really is a dream city. Each district has its own charm, be it downtown with the skyscrapers, malls, the port and Island Coronado, La Jolla with the great villas directly on the coast or PB and Mission Beach directly on the Pacific and the Bay with the many bars, clubs, etc.
However, what turned out to be very difficult in the next few days was finding an apartment. My friends and I initially focused mainly on PB and Mission Beach because it was said that all the internationals live here and that there is the most to offer in terms of leisure time. After 10 days of extremely strenuous house hunting in San Diego’s summer heat, we were incredibly lucky to find a great house for four people in Bird Rock, La Jolla. It was only 3 blocks from the ocean (no beach, just cliffs, but a dream for the sunset), had its own yard with a Weber grill, and looked amazing. However, we still paid $700 per person for a shared room. In hindsight I have to say that I’m glad I didn’t stay in PB. Our home was a little closer to UCSD (although it was still 55 minutes door-to-door to the uni, including the bus and walking). Generally speaking, while most internationals actually live in PB and Mission Beach, Americans studying at UCSD tend to live in UTC (University City), the neighborhood right next to UCSD. Because some of my close friends were also Americans, it was nice for me not to live that far away from UTC.
The campus is just HUGE. For European students who are generally not used to campus life, it’s definitely something new and I can’t count the number of times I got lost in the beginning. I took three courses in total, all at the Rady School of Management, a beautiful faculty with a sea view. I highly recommend MGT 166 Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility with Cathy Moran to everyone. The professor is incredibly nice (now she even writes me a letter of recommendation for the Master’s) and makes the lectures very exciting and, above all, interactive. Unlike at the LMU, participation also counts towards the final grade, as well as little quizzes, reading journals and a class debate. Of course there is also a midterm and a final. Personally, I like this system quite well, because on the one hand you are forced to deal with the material more than at home and to question it critically, especially in the reading journals, and on the other hand, the complete grade of the course does not depend on an exam.
The second course I took was MGT 172 Business Project Management with Professor Zimmermann (German Professor). I also liked this course. The midterm was a separate project that we were supposed to present in front of the class. In addition, we had to submit homework 4 times and were finally examined in the final about the material of the course.
The third course was MGT 135 Federal Taxation for Companies. Here it can be said that the course was not particularly exciting, simply because the tax system in the USA is probably not very interesting for non-Americans, but it was not difficult and definitely easy to master with a little preparation. Here, too, there was a midterm, 3 homework assignments and a final, all in multiple choice form.
Looking back, I enjoyed a perfect balance of college and free time while studying at UCSD. Personally, I find the much more interactive lectures than at the LMU in Munich to be a great change and I enjoyed my courses.
Here are a few more tips for your stay abroad in San Diego :
- As stupid as it sounds, but definitely tries to make friends with the Americans in the courses. I got to know an incredible number of internationals who only ever met other Europeans and I don’t think that’s really the point of the semester abroad. I ‘ve met such great friends at UCSD and I’m so excited to see them again at UCSD.
- Regents Pizza in UTC: Best pizza far and wide. We all found the Meat Lover Chicago Style the best – looks crazy but just try it;)
- Lil’ Dipper is a great ice cream shop right next to Regent’s Pizza. Definitely order with Snickerdoodle Cookie!
- Fat Fish in PB is a great restaurant for tacos (especially the shrimp taco!). It’s only $1.50 on Taco Tuesday. Be there before 6 p.m. otherwise it will be difficult to get a table.
- Almost weekly, UCSD students organize party buses downtown to various clubs (I liked Omnia, Cake Club or Bang Bang). Definitely take part!
- Blacks Beach directly at the Glider Port at UCSD. The beach is not accessible by car, either by taking the stairs down the cliffs or hiking a more difficult trail. Definitely try it, the beach is beautiful and not crowded with tourists!
- Mount Soledad is a hilltop viewpoint in La Jolla and is incredibly beautiful for the sunset. From Mexico you can see almost as far as Los Angeles and of course the Pacific.
… And so much more. San Diego just has so much to offer. Even if all the fun was unfortunately very expensive in the end (food and rent in particular are far more expensive than in Munich), I don’t regret a single second and would go back immediately if I could. Look forward to a wonderful and unfortunately far too short time that you will never forget!