University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Communication Studies, Media Studies
Study type: semester abroad
It has been a dream of mine for years to live in the USA. When my studies were slowly coming to an end at the end of 2018, I quickly realized that a semester abroad is the best way for me to fully immerse myself in life there and that I should take care of it quickly so that I can implement it before I graduate. Since my department doesn’t really have any partnerships in the USA, I decided to go abroad as a “free mover”. Thanks to the top support from MicroEdu, the organizational effort was far less serious than feared. The biggest risk, however, is financing. So I had to book flights Get health insurance and pay tuition before I knew if I would get a grant. You should be aware of this and have a plan B in case something doesn’t work out. The very first step is to apply for grants and scholarships – the latter ideally at least a year in advance. The next step is to apply to the university. Here, too, a bit of patience and perseverance is required from time to time until you have all the necessary documents together, but then it goes very quickly. Also applying for a visa in Frankfurt was not a problem, you just need to plan some time – both for filling out the online form in advance and then for the appointment itself. Visit act-test-centers.com to get information about UCB study abroad program.
The most nerve-wracking thing for me was looking for an apartment from afar. In retrospect, that wasn’t necessary, just have realistic expectations. I rented a shared room in Pacific Beach a few weeks before leaving. Being close to the sea was my absolute priority and for a few months I was willing to pay the very high rent and cut corners elsewhere. Then it was just a matter of packing your bags. I managed to pack everything into one large suitcase and one small carry-on suitcase and backpack. In the end, I still had a lot of clothes with me that I brought home unworn, as I almost exclusively wear beach and sportswearhave worn. So less would have been enough and there would have been more space for things like sunscreen, which are significantly more expensive in San Diego.
San Diego State University welcomes hundreds of international students each semester, so most things are top-notch. On the first day of orientation, you will be provided with information folders, everything relevant to computer accounts and course registration will be explained in lectures and student ID cards will be issued. The actual course registration took place a week later, right before the start of the semester. For me, the semester at SDSU was the last in my Master’s, which had the advantage that I only needed two modules to be credited and otherwise I was completely free in my choice of subjectswas. It is advisable to deal with the various options at an early stage to communicate with the home and host university and, ideally, to have several alternatives available. If courses are very popular, local students are given preference and you quickly end up on the waiting list when registering for the course and then no longer get a place. In my case, fortunately, the choice of course was not a problem, as both sides were very helpfulwere, I could also have “upper division” bachelor courses recognized and the two courses were not overcrowded at all. I had both of my subject-related courses with the same lecturer, whom I liked very much. Since I was always encouraged to participate at school and university in Germany, which is probably not so much the case with the Americans, I had many exciting discussions with the lecturer, was able to learn a lot and got very good grades. The fact that I was also able to take three sports courses was really great. Not only because it offered a lot of variety in everyday life, but above all to get to know other students. As part of my climbing courseA weekend trip was offered early in the semester which I went on and became friends with two American women who I went rock climbing with on and off throughout the semester. Of course, all of this costs money, but in my opinion it is a very sensible investment, as memories and friendships are created that last beyond the semester abroad. Otherwise, the SDSU campus offers everything you might know from college films and series: a huge gym including a basketball hall, climbing wall, spinning studio and sauna, an indoor and outdoor arena where concerts and basketball games take place, aAquaplex with two pools, jacuzzi and tennis courts, numerous fast-food restaurants, cafes, a huge “bookstore” where you can buy SDSU clothing and accessories in addition to university supplies and countless places to study, take a break and meet friends.
Everyday life in San Diego
In the first few days, like my seven roommates, I bought a bicycle. This was a great decision as it gave us much quicker access to the nearest supermarket, beaches, bars and restaurants as well as the other internationals who lived in the area. Some of my roommates rented cars, but I opted for the semester pass, which at $152 was less than a semester campus parking permit. Since I only had to be on campus two days a week, I was fine with spending an hour each way on the bus and train. For other routes that were too far for a bike, you could still use the “taxi” apps Uber and Lyft. Also recommended is theOpening an American account, especially if the home bank charges high fees for foreign transactions. But it is also very practical to have an American credit card, as it is accepted everywhere, for example to be able to pay directly at the gas pump at gas stations. Since groceries are very expensive in supermarkets in California, you should definitely get the free membership cards at the checkout. If you then orientate yourself when shopping at the products with special prices for members and the own brands, you can live reasonably inexpensively.
I was able to experience the absolute highlights of my already fantastic semester abroad on several trips. So right from the start I spent a weekend in LA with my roommates and in September I went camping with my climbing class at Big Bear Lake. I also went on a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park with some friends. When my friend came to visit from Germany in October, we rented a car and drove via LA and Monterey to San Francisco and from there via Santa Barbara in less than a week drove back to San Diego. Shortly afterwards we were in Joshua Tree National Park again, where we spent the night in the car and were able to watch the beautiful sunset and sunrise. Then in November I went to Las Vegas with three friends for the weekend, which was so much fun! Shortly before the final exams, my roommate and I flew to Sacramento, from where we first took the bus to San Francisco and then drove to Yosemite National Park in a rental car. Especially because of my climbing course, El Capitan was something very special for mein front of me, but the national park is breathtakingly beautiful and definitely worth a trip! So there’s so much to do from San Diego, even if you only have time on the weekends. If you rent a car together with a few others, the costs for this are also very manageable. After the end of the semester I spent another month in the USA and in April, when I had booked my flights to San Diego and back, I found out about the possibility of traveling to Hawaii. Due to the long lead time, I was able to get very cheap flightsadd on. In my experience, early planning pays off enormously financially. The week in Hawaii was my first real solo trip, but being in a hostel meant I always had other young people to explore the island with.;
All in all, I was able to experience so incredibly much in just under six months that I will remember for the rest of my life and I am so glad that I decided to go to San Diego!