University: University of California San Diego
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
I decided on UCSD back then because this university does well in the rankings and I had read in reports that there were few German students here. However, I think I got to know a relatively large number of German-speaking people, especially in the business courses at the Rady School of Management, where I took my 3 courses. The campus is beautiful and huge, there are even university (free) shuttle buses on campus that bring students from one faculty to the other. The comfort offered to the students is very high, there are student lounges everywhere and there are also restaurants, coffee shops and small supermarkets on campus. See jibin123 for Semester Abroad In University of California Los Angeles.
Before the start of the term, you could be put on the waiting list for some courses at the Rady School of Management and the Economics Department by e-mail, so I already had a place for 3 courses, which made the so-called class crashing much easier and So the first 3 weeks in which most of them didn’t know which courses they were going to take made it less stressful for me, because I only attended 4 courses instead of 8 like some others.
I took MGT 172 Business Project Management, a course that was held on Wednesday or Thursday evenings from 5pm-7: 50pm. I found this course, in which you met once a week to lecture, much more pleasant and less work-intensive than a course that took place twice a week. Above all, you quickly get to know the person sitting next to you, since small groups/partners work to check attendance every hour.
The final course grade consisted of attendance, participation in the Rady Lab 2 times (you could do 1 lab per week by simply filling out questionnaires on the PC), 3 out of 4 quizzes that were written during the semester, midterm, final and the course evaluation. Quizzes, Midterm and Final were multiple choice questions, as well as gaps to fill in.
I also took MGT 166 Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility in Fall 2014. This course took place twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3: 30-4: 50pm) and was very labor intensive. In almost every lecture, a quiz was written or you had to hand in a so-called Reading Reflection Journal or an assignment. In addition, every student had to take part in a debate in front of the class once during the term.
The final course grade consisted of attendance, participation in the Rady Lab 2 times, 3 quizzes written during the semester, 6 reading reflection journals, 4 assignments, midterm, final and the course evaluation. Midterm and final were MC questions and open questions.
Like MGT 166, MGT 164 Organizational Leadership took place twice a week (also on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9.00-10.50am) and was also very work-intensive due to the ‘Partner Journals’ to be submitted weekly, for which you always had to read some very interesting texts. However, the professor in this course was very fair and took a lot of time for her students. The final course grade consisted of attendance, participation in the Rady Lab 2 times, 1 course quiz, 8 reading reflection journals, midterm, final essay, final and the course evaluation. Course quiz, midterm and final were MC questions.
In general, one can say about the courses at the Rady School that you feel like you are in a course in the upper grades of a grammar school in Germany. The professors know pretty much every student by name after a few weeks (name tags are put up at the beginning), there were always around 35 people in the classes, so cooperation is also a prerequisite. I found the quality of the courses to be good. There is virtually no compulsory attendance, but you lose course points if you are absent. We always had to sign attendance lists every hour. These are easily earned points that I wouldn’t give away under any circumstances, because the courses are also the best place to meet other people, it’s also possible outside of the courses, but I don’t think it’s that easy, although the people in San Diego are generally quite open and are friendly.
The supervisors of the UPS/Extension program were great! You could come for all sorts of things and they tried to help. 3 times in the term we had to let them know how we were doing and how we were getting on with the courses to prevent bad grades at the end of the term. They also sent us an email with ‘upcoming events’ and important information at least once a month. There are also plenty of opportunities for people who want to get involved at the university and help with finding a job on campus (off campus is illegal).
What bothered me a bit was that we, as international students, were unfortunately limited in everything the UCSD had to offer. For example, we couldn’t use the gym for free, had limited access to some internet platforms, and couldn’t take part in some university events because there was no ‘full-time’ student-ID’ didn’t give me any tickets…but nonetheless, I don’t regret a second at UCSD.
The university itself organizes a few tours, for example to Universal Studios in Los Angeles or to Sea World, but there are also simpler things like a day at the beach. The Outback Adventures Shop at the university also offers trips to the Grand Canyon or Joshua Tree NP, surf trips or horseback riding to Mexico are also on the program (you have to register in advance!)
Even without university events, San Diego offers very good opportunities for surfing (I think all levels of surfing) or just lounging on one of the beautiful sandy beaches in San Diego. Kayaking, boat tours, etc. are also possible. There are also more than enough restaurants, bars and clubs, especially in Pacific Beach, where most of the international students live.
In addition, every Tuesday is Taco Tuesday, here in Pacific Beach there are all sorts of food and drink specials, e.g. margaritas for $3 or tacos from $1, chicken wings half off, etc. On Thursdays there is often a free party bus to San Diego Downtown and back around 2am when the clubs close. Admission is from $10, sometimes free. JHowever, house parties are generally capitalized in PB, so there is also something for the under 21 year olds
There is of course so much to see around San Diego, it is worth taking a trip to Los Angeles, to Joshua Tree NP or even to Mexico (although allow several hours for the border crossing back to the USA).
There are also more than enough malls, outlet shops and small boutiques for shopping where you can always find something suitable to wear
Like most people, I’ve lived in Pacific Beach, which I have no regrets about as it’s where pretty much everything happens. I personally reserved a single room at ‘KAMO Housing’ before my departure and was very happy with it. Also moved to another apartment during my stay which wasn’t a problem at all. I can only recommend it, especially because everything is there that you need.
As you may already know, the USA is a nation of cars;) Well, there is a relatively good bus network in San Diego which you can use, but you are always on the road. I myself have rented a car from Dirt Cheap Car Rental and can only recommend this car rental company, which is very student-friendly. There is also a bus from PB (Pacific Beach) to the university, but it takes about 1 hour.
…I can only recommend a stay abroad in San Diego. Unfortunately, I was only able to spend one term there, would have loved to have stayed longer! So don’t be afraid of the semester abroad in San Diego, you get to know a lot of nice people super quickly, there’s enough homework to do, so that even in a week where you can only be at university twice, you can be sure that you will do something for the university for 5 days and it will certainly not be boring…;-)JIt’s just a completely different lifestyle than in Germany and very laid-back
…and it’s over way too fast anyway!