First of all, it must be said that applying to the SDSU is a lot of paperwork, especially if it is not a partner university of your own German university. This was a great help to me and answered every question, no matter how small, immediately and very nicely. You showed me which steps I have to observe and follow. It is definitely a paperwork, but if you really deal with it once and take care of everything early enough, then you can definitely get it done! And all the effort is definitely worth it!
I’ve always wanted to go to the USA . The city and the university impressed me at first . The descriptions and pictures of the university and the additional testimonials from other students convinced me to do the semester abroad at this university.
San Diego is breathtaking and the campus is beautiful too. San Diego offers many beautiful beaches, lots of shopping opportunities and a good range of nightclubs and bars (be careful: in America you can’t go anywhere in the evenings under 21 and without a valid ID).
I lived with a host mother with two other German students, with whom I contacted via Facebook before the semester abroad. The host mother lives near the college area and we paid between $ 400-600 per person (depending on whether it is a shared or single room), which is relatively cheap for San Diego. Living on the beach is certainly nicer, but it is almost twice as expensive and the way to university is longer. The advantages of being close to the university are certainly the university pool, the gym and the leran areas (learning at home in such fine weather is almost impossible).
The campus of SDSU really impressed me , because it is huge and beautiful and it will virtually everything offered in sports, what you could ask for. The offer ranges from soccer fields, outdoor swimming pools, fitness studios to surfing courses and jet skiing. There is also a large number of restaurants, shops, bookstores and a huge library on campus, so it never gets boring even during the free hours.
Before each semester begins, there is an orientation week that you should definitely attend . This makes it easier for you to get used to academic life in the USA, offers you the opportunity to take part in a city tour and you will experience what is known as “ class crashing” there” explained. Because exchange students, unlike their American fellow students, do not have the opportunity to register for the respective courses online. In order to get a place in a course, you have to ask the respective professor when the course meets for the first time whether there is still a free place in the course and whether he or she can still enroll you for the course. This can be completely stress-free, but it can also degenerate into a total nightmare, with the result that you ultimately don’t get any of the courses that you would actually have liked to take. It depends above all on which area you want to take courses from. I got all the courses myself without any problems, but I have already chosen 3 special courses from home, in which you only have international lessons and only had to crash one course.
Regarding the courses, it can be said that in comparison to German conditions, a relatively large number of exams and short tests are written, although they are not as extensive as in Germany. It was common in all of my courses that you had to write at least 3 tests and a “final exam” in each course during the semester (in addition to the so-called “quizzes” that took place every 3-4 weeks). It should be mentioned, however, that it was often only a question of tests in multiple choice format, which are much easier to master. In addition, there were many presentations and group work, which, however, required little expenditure of time.
To be mobile in San Diego, there is no avoiding a rental car. Renting a car from DirtCheapCarRental is highly recommended. The three of us rented a rental car and paid around $ 425 a month. There are also discounts if you rent the car for more than two months and pay in advance. If you want to make longer trips than around San Diego or Los Angeles at the weekend, such as Las Vegas or San Francisco, you can also get other cars there. I didn’t use public transport that often, but I can say that it is very well maintained and clean. There is a trolley station on campus with which you can easily get to the Mission Valley and Fashion Valley shopping centers as well as downtown. Unfortunately, you have to change trains for the beach and continue by bus. The journey by public transport takes a little longer than by car.
Taking my semester abroad at San Diego State University was one of the best decisions I have ever made . The city is fantastically beautiful and since there is so much to marvel at and discover, it never gets boring. I also enjoyed the incredibly entertaining lectures given by some of the SDSU lecturers and I will probably not forget these experiences anytime soon. The people there are really great too. Within a week you get to know so many new people from all over the world that I can now call friends. In addition, of course, language skills also improve.
As a final recommendation, I would advise anyone coming to San Diego to stay a few weeks longer in the US after the end of the semester, as you can go on an incredible number of trips in California , all of which you can do during the semester for reasons of time probably not making it. We definitely recommend the national parks such as the Grand Canyon or Yosemite National Park. Furthermore, one must have visited the big cities of Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco. I was particularly impressed by the way there via the Coast Highway. It takes longer but is beautiful. Mexico, only about 20km away And you shouldn’t miss out on his delicious food, as well as a week on beautiful Hawaii, which you can visit from San Diego at fairly fair prices.
I can only recommend it to everyone: do a semester abroad in San Diego! You will never regret and forget it!