University: University of California San Diego
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Study type: semester abroad
During an extensive internet search for language programs in the USA, I came across MicroEdu.com. There you will find information about the various language courses. This is where I became aware of the program that I ultimately decided on: Intensive Business at the English Language Institute of the University of California in San Diego. The contact to the university and the entire application process went through MicroEdu, which I found very pleasant. I had a personal contact who provided me with all the important information and was always available for me. When it came to applying for a student visa for the USA, I had a lot of questions. MicroEdu.com helped me a lot with this. See jibin123 for Semester Abroad In Hawaii Pacific University.
I flew to San Diego a few days early to have some time to explore the city and cure my jet lag. I had booked an apartment in advance through an agency. The apartment itself was in La Jolla, across from UTC, a bus stop where most buses in San Diego stop. The apartment itself was modern and new, close to shops and a large mall. That was very useful. I found the living situation to be rather difficult because you live with complete strangers and – at least in my case – you also share a room. In my opinion the apartment is very overpriced. I can only advise everyone not to commit to one apartment for the entire time from the start, but only renting there for a short time and then looking for an apartment or room on your own. In La Jolla itself there is nothing but shops. Nightlife takes place exclusively in Pacific Beach or Downtown. These neighborhoods are very far from La Jolla by public transit. In addition, you almost always have to take a taxi back because there are hardly any buses after midnight. Unless you’re lucky enough to know people who have cars and will take you away, it’s all very expensive. because there are hardly any buses after midnight. Unless you’re lucky enough to know people who have cars and will take you away, it’s all very expensive. because there are hardly any buses after midnight. Unless you’re lucky enough to know people who have cars and will take you away, it’s all very expensive.
The program started with an introductory week which was very informative and relaxed. During this time you get to know a lot of people and make your first friends. There is also a placement test and you choose your minor subjects. After the introductory week, the program started. From the beginning I was always well taken care of with homework and presentations. You have to do something. Homework and presentations are checked and graded by the teachers. Anyone who misses too many hours will not receive a certificate. However, to ensure that this does not happen, the university will inform you in advance if you are approaching the limit of missed hours.
Programs at the ELI cannot be compared to a language course, which I think is very good. You learn a great deal and have to actively participate in class. The teachers are very professional, dedicated and nice. You write tests regularly. The level here varies from easy to very difficult. You should definitely be prepared, because you get grades that will later appear in a grade list. The students themselves come from all over the world, but mainly from Asia, followed by Brazil. There are very few Germans at the ELI, which was a real advantage for me in terms of language, because I always had to speak English.
UCSD itself is a huge university with 35,000 students. The campus is so big that you can get lost and counts as a separate borough in San Diego. You will find numerous sports facilities, dining options, shops and much more. There is also a large library where you can borrow books or just study.
San Diego is the perfect place to study. Even though it’s a big city, you don’t feel like you’re in a big city. There are many different beaches, all of which are beautiful. Here you can practice numerous sports or just relax. In addition to leisure activities, San Diego also offers numerous clubs, bars and restaurants. There is something for every taste. However, the nightlife here ends at 1: 30 a.m., as alcohol is no longer allowed to be served after that. For Europeans this is a bit unusual and sometimes annoying because you have to leave the house very early if you want to go out.
The weather is actually always extremely good. During the day the temperatures are always very pleasant, so you don’t even need a jacket. Only in December should you have an umbrella with you as a precaution, as there can be heavy rains.
To fully appreciate San Diego, bring some pocket money with you. I can only recommend everyone to take advantage of the city’s good location and take a trip to Los Angeles (it’s only 2 hours away!), Las Vegas or other cities. Mexico is also only 30 minutes away.
I personally had an amazing time. I learned a lot in Business English thanks to the teachers and the program and still had a lot of fun at the same time. I’ve met amazing people from all over the world. I can only recommend UCSD and San Diego to everyone!