University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: industrial engineering
Study type: semester abroad
I was my final fall semester at San Diego State University and it was an incredibly good time. San Diego and SDSU were the best decision and MicroEdu was a huge help and enabler. MicroEdu staff are available to answer any questions before and during the entire semester abroad and will take care of the entire registration process for you. Visit anycountyprivateschools.com to get information about University of California Santa Barbara study abroad program.
I looked at a few universities in California and finally settled on SDSU. It has a very large campus, a large number of students (34,000). There is a huge gym and aquaplex (pool area) available. There is a food court with some restaurants/fast food shops, also a large library with study rooms and also on campus there is an amphitheater, a large stadium, the Viejas Arena, where e.g. the basketball games and concerts take place and that is nearby SDCCU Stadium, which hosts football games and can accommodate approximately 71,000 spectators. I have the business programand thus had two courses each from the normal courses offered by the university and from the special sessions, business courses that you only have with other internationals. Overall, you meet a lot of Germans at the SDSU, but that’s no reason not to come, because you meet Germans everywhere and you can also surround yourself with people from other countries. In the courses, you don’t just write an exam at the end like in Germany, but sometimes you write several midterms and finals, plus you have quizzes, homework, group work, homework, etc. The effort is not necessarily little, but the level is usually rather easy and it’s easy to get a good course grade.
- Leadership in Organizations (Special Session) with Mark Nicholson: interesting course if you want to learn something about leadership, but a lot of effort and demanding exams. With a little effort but still easy to get a good grade.
- Marketing (Special Session) with Lisa Haddock: very easy course, little to no effort to get a good grade. If you are serious about learning about marketing, you should read the course book or take the course with someone else.
- Business plan development with Mujtaba Ahsan: The lectures are rather tough and boring, but you mainly have to work on a business idea in groups outside of the lectures. If you do a little bit, you can easily get a good grade and if you are serious about entrepreneurship and starting a business, the course and the professor definitely offer the opportunities.
- Aircraft Propulsion Systems with Daniel Nelson: very interesting course (probably not for everyone), you learn a lot about aircraft engines. The content is very complex per se, but Nelson teaches you everything you need to know and the exams are pretty easy (compared to German engineering subjects).
Living in San Diego
San Diego is already very expensive, on the one hand in terms of rent, on the other hand also food both in the restaurant and in the supermarket. In addition, there are the expensive tuition fees in the USA. The semester fees at SDSU have been just under $7,000 since the last fall semester, since compulsory health insurance has been abolished. That’s a good thing, because you usually end up making your own anyway. Expect to pay $700-$1000 for housing. You should definitely try to get foreign BAföG, as it is much easier to get than normal BAföG and every subsidy helps.
In San Diego, as an exchange student, you either live in Pacific or Mission Beach, i.e. right on the beach, where most of the bars for going out are, or close to the university. I lived near SDSU as I did n’t want to buy or rent a car, which is definitely needed on the beach. I had an apartment at BLVD63 which I definitely recommend to everyone ! There is a shuttle to the university that runs every 10 minutes all day, there is a gym, two pools, a jacuzzi, study rooms and last but not least: only students live there (especially internationals). That means there are plenty of parties throughout the semester and you live in paradise. There are also many Germans there, so you should look for an apartment in good time if you want to live with students from other countries. Many of them first looked for accommodation on site and some found an apartment in BLVD63, but then mainly only with other Germans and I am therefore glad that I had everything fixed beforehand. I have lived with two Australians, one New Zealander, one French and one American and we all had a very good time.
Living in San Diego
San Diego has perfect weather most of the year and therefore offers the best things to do. I had a surfing class every week from Mission Bay Aquatic Center, where you enroll in college, and I’ve also been surfing a few times as well. In general there is a lot to do in and around San Diego, for example the beach, hike to Potato Chip Rock, La Jolla, Torrey Pines… it really never gets boring. One of the most important is Taco Tuesday, which is every Tuesday and is particularly cheape at tacos and party at most bars and Mexican restaurants. That’s why Tuesday is also one of the days when people celebrate the most and usually everyone goes duck diving. I have also done a few other weekend trips such as Las Vegas, San Francisco, Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, Lake Tahoe, Grand Canyon/Antelope Canyon, Los Angeles. California and the surrounding states definitely have enough to offer for one semester. At the end of my trip I was also in Hawaii, which is not that far away from California and is definitely worth it !
I highly recommend it to anyone considering doing a semester abroad in San Diego. The last six months were without question the best of my life and I wouldn’t trade the experiences and new friends for anything. San Diego and SDSU are definitely the best decision ever ! Even if it is expensive, it is worth every penny and you can earn enough money later, but you may never get this opportunity again.