University: University of California San Diego
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Communication Sciences, Political Science
Study type: semester abroad
UC San Diego (UCSD) is part of the Universities of California (UC), all of which enjoy an excellent academic reputation. So you ca n’t go wrong with UCSD, and with San Diego, in my opinion, it clearly has the most attractive location of all UCs. Compared to San Diego State ( SDSU ), you have more to do in the university, which does not restrict you in terms of celebrations or excursions. the grades that you need can also be reached in a relatively relaxed manner, as long as you continuously do a little something. I am not aware of any case in which someone has done something to an appropriate extent (for a semester abroad ) and then not received a good grade. It’s also not like in Germany that a failed exam means a bad grade. The final grade of each course always consists of at least the midterm, the final exam and the participation during the lectures or seminars. Sometimes there are also clicker quizzes (included in the oral work) or smaller homework/papers. Oral participation, whether with or without a quiz, is always rated very well if you don’t misbehave and talk to the professor from time to time. See mcat-test-centers for University of Wisconsin Madison.
Of course, the course content depends on the courses you choose and the approach of the respective professor. I took a lot with me from each of my courses.Precisely because each course takes place at least twice a week and you always have assignments to do, a lot of things get stuck even during normal study activities. The way the material is approached is much more practice-oriented than I was familiar with from Düsseldorf. Whether these are small simulation papers for political actors or the basic orientation of connecting all theories directly and extensively with case studies and sometimes historical anecdotes. The relationship to the professors is much closer than in Germany; one speaks amicably, even during office hours, if there are questions, some professors. want to be spoken to.It is more about guiding the student to a good or improved performance and grade than to examining and evaluating them.
The study conditions could not be better. The campus has everything you could want, which poses a risk if you live on campus to miss the rest of San Diego. There are numerous restaurants, countless sports facilities (everything, really, if you’re willing to pay an extra $100 for a recreation pass), the library has everything you need (you can also get charging cables and adapters at the front desk if you ask) etc. In addition, the weather in San Diego is unbeatable: temperatures in autumn around 20 degrees with dry air and sunshine. On the negative side, as an extension student, you play the last fiddle when it comes to taking the courses at the beginning of the semester. This applies to anyone coming from a university that does not have a full exchange program with UCSD (e.g. Maastricht). If a class is full, you’re out. If there are only 1.2 places left in a course before the end of the registration phase for the courses, sometimes the places can only be given to you once all students from partner universities and full-time students have their courses – in order. This is often annoying and can be stressful for the first two weeks because you have to do the assignments for more than three courses before you find out which courses you can finally attend. In the end, however, that didn’t stop anyone I know from consistently getting courses that brought them something and interested them.
If you’re bored and not having fun in your free time in San Diego, you’re doing something wrong. Whether it’s State or UC, you’ll definitely have plenty of time to do stuff. In San Diego itself, the most popular neighborhoods are Downtown, Pacific Beach and La Jolla, where the campus is located. Downtown, in the south of the city, has many bars, the city’s most famous club, OMNIA, and is always good for a rooftop party. I particularly remember Little Italy with many really good restaurants and the Gaslamp Quarter. You won’t be able to avoid one or two detours to the south. Pacific Beach (PB), located in the middle, is probably “the” district in terms of leisure time. I would recommend looking into a room here if you still have the chance. You can get to the university by bus (3-month ticket approx. §130) if you don’t get a car anyway. The bus needs something (35-40 minutes), but it was enough for me. PB has the best food shops including Dirty Birds $15 All You Can Eat Chicken Wings every Monday; Baked Bears ice cream sandwiches (cookie, ice cream, cookie, sprinkles around), or Cheba Hub with the best sandwiches in town. PB has the coolest bars: Ale House, PB Shore Club, Duckdive (has the cheapest beer on Taco Tuesday) or PB Local (goes to the attic!). It’s just an excerpt, but I think it’s clear that you need to go to PB. The whole thing is of course right on the beach. La Jolla, in the north of the city, is the wealthiest part of San Diego. Here is the university and on the coastal rocks you will find “hundreds” of seals sunbathing. In addition, during the tiger shark season you have the chance to snorkel with the completely peaceful sharks. Otherwise La Jolla is rather quiet, but beautiful. At varsity you should make at least one trip to the Salk Institute and on to Torrey Pines for a sunset.
The cost is the shortcoming of the whole story. All in all, the semester fees amount to a little more than 8,000 euros. Monthly rent ranges from $650 for a shared room with two Irish people to a private room for $1000. On average I would say you pay $750 for a shared room (for two) and $900 for a private room. The cost of living is disproportionately more expensive than in Germany. In other words, if you really want to enjoy your semester – sometimes to the NFL, NBA, MLS or MLB, to Sixflags, an outstanding amusement park in LA, north to San Francisco or over Thanksgiving to Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Zion etc. – I would increase the budget over 15k. Settle total costs in euros. The costs do not differ between the State and the UC. Only the semester is longer at State because it starts in August. For me, UC was the right decision because it offers both a high academic level and still enough free time to enjoy “America’s finest city”.