San Diego State University Review (31)

San Diego State University Review (31)

North America

University: San Diego State University

City: San Diego

Country: United States

Continent: North America

Field of study: business administration

Study type: semester abroad

  1. Preparation

I applied to San Diego State University (SDSU) through MicroEdu at the end of December because I really wanted to spend my semester abroad in the USA. You submit the documents directly to MicroEdu, who then forward them to the foreign university after reviewing them. The employees are very friendly and are available with advice and action for any questions. Proof of sufficient financial resources, a transcript of grades and proof of language proficiency in the form of TOEFL, IELTS or proof that at least two subjects have already been successfully completed in English are required for the application necessary. Luckily, the SDSU accepted me shortly after the application. Visit to get information about Griffith College Dublin.

Further preparation included booking the flights and applying for a visa. In order to obtain the visa, one must attend a personal appointment at an American consulate.

I arrived in San Diego in early August after a stopover in New York. This is particularly recommended, as you can explore the city and settle in before the semester begins (end of August). I spent the first few weeks in Banana Bungalow Hostel in Pacific Beach. The hostel is right on the beach and is inhabited by many young people from all over the world. The rooms in the hostel are very simple and are not cleaned often, but there is a voluntary program every day where you can make first contacts. You will also meet many international students from SDSU there before the semester begins.

  1. Accommodation

In San Diego, most of SDSU’s students live either near the station or near the campus. I already decided in advance for a large single room in the 5025 apartment complex near the campus. The apartments there consist of 4 rooms, each with its own bathroom and a shared living and dining area. The cost is $4700 for the four months of the semester. I shared an apartment with three other exchange students and it was a lot of fun.

The advantage of living close to campus is that you get to meet many different students in the apartment complexes and there is always a house party in an apartment. The 5025 offers a campus shuttle, a small gym, and a pool, but it’s older and is right on a major street. I stayed in a ground floor apartment and would have preferred to live on the upper floors for security reasons.

However, there was a newly opened apartment complex, 63 Blvd, near the campus where many of my friends lived and so I spent a lot of time there. This resort is like a hotel and offers a brand new gym, huge pool, jacuzzi, clubhouse and very modern apartments. I would recommend everyone to move in there because you meet a lot of nice internationals and Americans there and I had a great time there. The beaches and downtown can be reached from the apartment complex in about 15 minutes by car, so the location is ideal.

In general, a car in San Diego is almost essential to be mobile and to experience as much as possible. There is public transport, but they only run at limited times and it takes a long time for relatively short distances. So I rented a car from Dirt Cheap Car Rental with one of my roommates for the entire duration of my stay. Although the cars there are very old, they are available from as little as $375/month.

  1. Host university

The SDSU campus is just huge and beautiful. There are many different buildings, several food courts, numerous sports fields, a basketball stadium, a gym and a swimming pool. As an international student you can become a member of the Recreation Center for free and use the swimming pool and gym at any time. You also get free tickets to Aztecs games (basketball and football).

As an international student you have to choose at least two special sessions in advance due to the large number of business students. These are courses only attended by internationals. Business courses may generally only be attended in the form of special sessions. However, non-specialist courses can be crashed and added in the “Add and Drop Phase”. At the beginning of the semester, however, there are introductory events in which everything is explained in more detail.

As an international student at the undergraduate level, 12 credits are required, but due to my university in Germany I have taken courses for a total of 14 credits. I opted for three special sessions and one more regular course and was largely happy with my choice. I have taken the following courses: Consumer/Buyer Behavior, Management and Organizational Behavior, Global Marketing Strategy and Cultural Perspective of Tourism.

All in all, I arranged my courses so that I only had events two days a week, which left me with a lot of free time.

Studying at the SDSU is very different from studying at the university in Germany and is much more academic. The courses take place in smaller groups and oral participation is expected in most courses. In general, attendance at American universities is compulsory, but this depends heavily on the professor.

I had between 2 to 3 exams per subject spread over the semester and a lot of group work, presentations or projects. Overall, the learning effort is spread over the semester and there is no stressful exam phase at the end of the semester. The learning effort is below that of my home university and you have enough time to enjoy the semester abroad to the fullest.

  1. Everyday life and free time

San Diego is a very diverse city that offers an almost infinite number of things to do. On the one hand the Gaslamp Quarter downtown with many bars, clubs and restaurants and on the other hand the beautiful beaches. Be sure to visit La Jolla, Coronado Island and the Sunset Cliffs for sunset. I also spent a lot of time in Pacific Beach on the beach, in the many bars and cafes or in the small shops on Garnet. America is a paradise for shopping and of course San Diego is no different. There is an outlet (Las Americas) on the Mexican border and a beautiful outdoor mall (Fashion Valley) only about 10 minutes from campus. The Cheesecake Factory chain of restaurants is also located there, and I used to eat there very often with friends.

Celebrating is not neglected during a semester abroad in San Diego and is by no means limited to the weekend. Taco Tuesday at Pacific Beach and mainly at the Typhoon Saloon was part of my weekly schedule. You can meet almost all internationals there and it is worth getting there early, otherwise you can expect a long queue. Beachcomber in Mission Beach, which is also frequented by many students, is recommended on Thursdays. On weekends, most of the parties are in downtown clubs (Stingaree, Fluxx, Parq, Basement).

Buses from the campus and also from Pacific Beach Party go downtown very frequently on weekends. As a woman, this not only saves you entry, but also waiting time in front of the club. It’s also great fun to go there with the other students and the party bus lives up to its name! In general, you get to know a lot of new people very quickly, and in the six months I’ve made very good new friends with whom I’ve had an unforgettable time. However, you are more likely to come into contact with other exchange students than with Americans, since they often all attend the same events, which didn’t bother me.

Since I only attended events at the university two days a week, there was also plenty of time for travel during the semester and San Diego is an ideal starting point due to its location. I have been to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Mexico, the Grand Canyon and Hawaii (Oahu and Maui) several times. However, you should take into account that the cost of living in San Diego is more expensive than in Germany and you should plan a lot of money in order to travel a lot and also be able to enjoy daily life in San Diego. This semester then offers the opportunity to experience so many new things and also to experience the “American way of life” up close. And that with sunshine almost every day!!

It should also be mentioned that Americans are very open and friendly and it is not uncommon to just have a chat with an American. In addition, I can only say that I met a lot of helpful people in San Diego, who made it very easy to start in a foreign country!

However, Americans have very strict traffic rules and I advise you to be careful where you park your car!

Overall, the semester in San Diego was a unique experience and I highly recommend spending a semester abroad at SDSU!

San Diego State University Review (31)