University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
Hello future applicants or undecided people,
in my report I would like to give you a few tips and impressions of my (unfortunately) semester abroad at the SDSU, which ended much too quickly and I hope that I can help you a bit.
At the beginning, as in other reports, the great support from MicroEdu and their competent and reliable employees should be emphasized. During and after the entire application process, MicroEdu helped to avoid a lot of organizational chaos and ensure that deadlines were met. Visit ehuacom.com to get information about SHU study abroad program.
I. To the City of San Diego:
With around 1.3 million inhabitants, the city of San Diego is the 8th largest city in the USA. However, you don’t really notice this, as the city is spread over a very wide area, which in the south extends directly to the Mexican border. It’s not without reason that San Diego is called “America’s finest city”. This is reflected in the clean streets, the beautiful and historic downtown area, numerous parks and various stretches of beach, as well as the good weather and friendly people. In addition, there is a very low crime rate here and so, in contrast to other major American cities, there are no so-called problem areas that you should avoid.
The San Diego State University is a large, modern and very beautiful university, which offers a wide range of different fields of study and courses. You feel very comfortable on campus and after the “orientation week” you quickly find your way around. As an ALI student, you have the choice of taking courses specially created for foreign students, which are then logically only taken by foreign and not American students, or you “crash” the regular courses at SDSU and then maybe – it depends decision of the respective professor to – American fellow students. The former is certainly the simpler and more convenient option.
III. About the courses:
As already mentioned, SDSU offers a very extensive range of different courses, which include everything from sports courses such as football or surfing to theater and acting classes. Personally, I made the decision to deepen my knowledge further in the direction of marketing and sales and therefore took two marketing and one selling course. Depending on the course, the examination performance and the performance to be achieved during the semester vary. In my case, this ranged from a presentation exam and various term papers in one course to weekly quizzes in another course. All in all, this was never too extensive or impossible to manage at all. In addition, attendance was compulsory for the courses I attended.
III. On the subject of housing:
As in many German university towns, finding an apartment is just as complex. Some apartment advertisements can be found on craigslist.com, among others. In general, you have to make a decision as to where you would prefer to live: Beach or College Area. It should be said that the prices in Pacific Beach or Mission Beach, for example, are sometimes significantly higher than in the College Area. On the beach you will hardly find rental prices below $750 for a single room. Between $750 – $900 are the norm here. In the college area, rents are a bit cheaper, but expect to pay $550-$700 for a single room. There are also various “student housing apartments” in the college area, which can be roughly compared to German student dormitories. In these, however, the rooms must be rented for a period of at least 1 year. In addition, these are not cheaper in price and you then have to take care of a new tenant yourself.
- Regarding nightlife, leisure activities and travel:
The students in San Diego like to party and you can do the same there. For example, this is possible on Tuesdays at “Taco Tuesday”, where there are (mainly in Pacific / Mission Beach) tacos for $2 and numerous bars and clubs lure with drink specials. In Cahoots opens its doors on Wednesdays. This is a country club, which is very popular with numerous American students and regularly fills the house with cheap drink prices. On Thursdays there is “Thirsty Thursday” and as the word thirsty suggests, things get “thirsty” here. Thursday is therefore also the first day on which the nightclubs in downtown are open and you have to decide here – just like at the weekend – whether to celebrate in Pacific / Mission Beach or in downtown. In general, parties in Pacific Beach and Mission Beach are very different from those in downtown, but that’s a good thing and makes for a change. In Pacific Beach, for example, you can go out in casual clothing and with cheaper entrance/drink prices, whereas in downtown to get into clubs like the Stigaree, Ivy or Fluxx, you should dress a bit smarter and take a big wallet with you. As a side note, there are regular party buses leaving SDSU for downtown and Pacific Beach to party. Depending on the event, these cost $10 – $30 and this includes the bus ride to the club and back, entry into the club, separate entrance with reduced waiting time in line in front of the club, as well as drinks on the outward journey in the bus included. Also worth noting: Curfew is as early as 2am across California and as a result all bars and nightclubs are forced to close, and do so rigorously.
IV.II Leisure activities:
San Diego is an interesting and diverse city with lots to do and see. In addition to beach and water activities such as surfing or wakeboarding, Sea World, the aircraft carrier USS Midway or the famous San Diego Zoo can all be visited. So-called “whale watching tours” can also be booked from December to April, during which whales can be observed from ships on their way from Alaska to Mexico. Furthermore, the range of sports where you are only active as a spectator, such as the San Diego Padres baseball game, a San Diego Chargers football game or the San Diego Aztecs college basketball game, is very entertaining.
The cosmopolitan city of Los Angeles is, of course, a close destination to San Diego. This is only a 2 hour drive north of San Diego. Definitely not as nice and quiet as San Diego, LA still has a lot to offer. Next to Hollywood Blvd. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills and the Hollywood Sign, Venice Beach and Santa Monica are certainly more fun and beautiful places to visit. Otherwise, Los Angeles, as the 2nd largest city in the USA, is loud, expensive, partly dirty and very “busy”. It’s not without reason that the City of Angels has the worst air quality in America.
A bit further away but definitely worth a trip or two is Las Vegas. The “Sin City” in the middle of the Nevada desert lives up to its name and reputation. For example, the curfew at 2 a.m. does not come into force here, alcohol can be consumed on the open street and of course gambling is allowed. Vegas has quite a few shows, clubs and attractions to see and experience, but most importantly, it’s arguably the only city in the world where hotels are the attractions.
Last but not least, a highly recommended travel tip is a road trip on the Pacific Coast Highway No. 1 from San Diego to beautiful San Francisco. The places on the route (Santa Monica, Malibu, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, San Francisco) are also worth a visit. Starting in the rather dry, desert-like landscape of San Diego, this, as well as the climate zone, changes almost behind every new cliff on the almost 900km long route. An unforgettable trip with a breathtakingly beautiful landscape and great small as well as larger cities, which as a whole package really bring the “California Dream” to life. However, you should take a few days to do this so that you don’t have to look at everything under stress and time pressure.
In my personal experience, a semester abroad at SDSU is an unforgettable and enriching time that allows you to grow personally, offers the opportunity to learn a lot about yourself and of course about the culture and way of life of Californians and with people from all over the world To make contacts, to make friends and of course to improve your English skills. Of course nothing is free in the world and unfortunately neither is it in San Diego. Unfortunately, the costs for excursions, parties, trips and activities of all kinds add up to sometimes very high sums. You should therefore fill your holiday budget well in advance and include enough buffers in your calculations. However, there are of course numerous priceless impressions and experiences, which you cannot buy for any money in the world and which you would never drive again in Germany. Hence my tip to all those who are toying with the idea of spending a semester abroad: If you have the opportunity to spend one or more semesters in San Diego at the SDSU – definitely do it!