San Diego State University Review (4)

San Diego State University Review (4)

North America

You can only warn about an exchange semester in San Diego, whoever has been there once does not want to go home! America’s finest city is really a perfect place for an exchange semester.

San Diego itself is very big, but still manageable. Unfortunately, public transport is not as good and reliable as one is used to at home and is mainly used by the poorer population. Renting or buying a car is a good idea because you can get from A to B so much faster and also make shopping easier. In the beginning, a GPS is not bad either, as it takes a while to memorize the important roads.

The area around the university, downtown or the beaches is ideal for living. I myself lived in the Piedra del Sol apartments at the university, which has the advantage that you can clarify the apartment situation from home and walk to the university. The disadvantage is that you can’t choose your roommate and you need the car to go to the beach or to go out (if you don’t go to a house party). Visit to get information about what do you need to work and study abroad program.

San Diego has a very pleasant climate. I was there from the beginning of January to the beginning of June and the temperature was constantly around 20 degrees. Even in January you can wear shorts and flip-flops. It can only get a little cooler in the evening. Otherwise, the city actually offers everything you could wish for. Beaches, countless shopping opportunities, sporting events and great nightlife options (Pacific Beach a little cheaper and no dress codes, Downtown a little more expensive and sometimes with dress codes).

San Diego is also very well located for exploring other places and cities. In my opinion you should definitely go to Las Vegas, this city is a huge amusement park and is a lot of fun. The drive takes about 5 hours from San Diego. Furthermore, Tijuana borders directly on San Diego and the people there are very hospitable, which makes a day trip to Mexico, if you don’t let the many warnings put you off. For Tijuana, it is best to take public transport (trolley), which goes straight to the border and you can then walk across the border. LA is also just over 2 hours from San Diego. After the end of the semester or over spring break, a road trip through California is a great experience, San Francisco,

Aside from all the fun, don’t forget the university, San Diego State University. The university is very large (around 35,000 students) and still has a pleasant atmosphere. For food, I can especially recommend Trujillos, which is right next to the university and, in my opinion, has the best burritos. As an exchange student, you have to crash all courses at SDSU at the beginning, which can be quite nerve-racking in the first few weeks, as you can only get into courses if they are not yet completely filled with American students. At the end of the crashing phase, however, every student should be able to register for courses that suit him or her or at least suit him or her to some extent. You have to be a bit flexible, you will most certainly not get all the courses you want.

At SDSU I took the following courses:

Multinational Business and Comparative Management
This is an undergraduate management course. The scope of the examination is three multiple choice exams spread over the semester, plus a group presentation that is quite time-consuming and there is compulsory attendance. The professor (Blue Robbins) is very pleasant and nice, but the lectures are not very exciting. In order to encourage the students to participate anyway, he often hands out prizes for the correct answers. For the exams you have to learn PowerPoint slides and if you want a very good grade, you should also read the accompanying book.

Financial Reporting and Analysis II
This accounting course is a graduate course. With Damon Fleming one of the best professors I have ever had. He demands a lot from the students, but his lectures are very interesting, he already knows all students by first name in the second period and is always very helpful and pleasant to deal with. You have to work a lot for this course, but you also learn a lot for it. There is a test every week, but you can take it in a group and with the help of the book. There are also three midterms, one third of which consists of multiple choices and two thirds of open questions. In addition, you have to write a total of three “Management Reporting Cases”, each of which must not be longer than two pages.

Financial Statement Analysis
This course is also from the accounting department and is intended for graduate students. Gun Joh is a rather curious professor who is not too helpful, but is very generous when it comes to grading the students. You can get over the fact that you have no insight into the exams you have taken and you don’t even know how many points you had in the final exam … It’s also funny that there is a deduction for grammatical errors in the exam, but the professor himself is anything but perfect Speaks english. The course covers quite demanding topics, so it is an advantage if you have knowledge from previous accounting, finance and statistics courses. It also helped a lot that I had Financial Reporting and Analysis II, as topics from this course were often dealt with in depth in the Financial Statement Analysis course. The scope of the examination includes three online assignments and two exams (one only open questions and one only multiple choice). In the case of online assignments, it is advisable to discuss these with other students, even if you often do not have exactly the same numbers as a basis.

I also had surfing as a course, which I can only recommend to anyone who is in San Diego! The sea is cold, but with the wetsuit that’s no problem and surfing is really fun. There is an extra cost for the course (around $ 150), but it’s well worth it!

As a tip to save money, you shouldn’t buy the books for the courses, but rent them from or It is also better than buying used books, which are often not much cheaper than new ones. The library is good for studying, but unfortunately the selection of books is disastrous. In addition, to save money (free of charge) you should open an American bank account (e.g. at the US bank on campus), you usually get a free starting credit and you save fees when shopping and withdrawing money with the associated credit card.

All students who choose San Diego can only be congratulated and have fun!


Before going abroad

“Work first, then pleasure”… in this case the saying fits very well. But to start with, the fun is way bigger than the work, so it’s definitely worth it. Before you really go into the land of opportunity, there are a few formalities. The application itself is completely taken care of by MicroEDU, which is an unimaginably great help and for which I would like to take this opportunity to thank you very much. What else needs to be done… The most important thing is getting the student visa, that is, collecting all the necessary documents and going to the embassy. After that, all that’s missing is the mandatory international health insurance and the booking of the flight (after booking, the anticipation increases because mine finally has the proof in hand). In principle, you could get started now, but to make things a little easier for me, I booked a hostel and a rental car for the first week in San Diego in advance so that I could go about looking for an apartment in a more relaxed manner. I would recommend this to everyone, but I personally advise against staying in a hostel and would rather go to a cheap motel with a single room (I was traveling alone), as I have made the experience that it is very noisy in the hostel (especially downtown ) and together with the jetlag a relaxed sleep, which is necessary for the exhausting apartment search, is not possible.

Housing and mobility
I used Craigslist to search for an apartment, I cannot recommend anything else (I also tried paid portals, but were unsuccessful). Contrary to many rumors that looking for an apartment is easy, I can only say that the earlier you arrive, the easier it will be. I’m almost desperate to find it, because an unbelievable number of (German) students are looking for apartments. After about a week I finally found success and a nice house in the college area together with two Spanish women. In general, you have to consider whether you want to live near the university or on the beach. I would recommend the College Area to anyone who is only there for one semester. There is a lot going on here in the evening and it is simply more practical if you are at the university in 5 minutes, instead of having to drive for over an hour every day (journey time by car from the nearest beach to the SDSU> 20 minutes without traffic). There is also an abundance of student apartments right on campus, but they are comparatively expensive and quickly booked out. What you also save near the campus is the semester parking ticket. That is also the transition to mobility. In my opinion, a car is not a “must”, but I can only recommend it. At least in one apartment / house, a car should be available, as shopping with the huge package sizes in the USA is hardly possible by bike or on foot. I had rented a car from “Dirt Cheap Car Rental” for 4 months. I was very satisfied with the car and the service and can only recommend it. Buying and selling a car for such a short time was too stressful and too risky for me (sales and possibly repairs). I rode my bike to the university every day, which I got from my landlord.

In general, the campus is very nice and well-kept and it’s fun to be there. However, I miss the beautiful German cafeteria, only fast food restaurants are simply no substitute.
In my case, the class crashing was very easy and after two days I had already confirmed all the courses I wanted and even more courses, but that was because I am not studying business administration or economics. If you study these two subjects, it is very difficult to get into any classes, as the demand simply exceeds the supply by far. I really enjoyed the lectures themselves and preferred to go to Germany. The professors in particular are much closer and more open to the students. But what I have to say, during the semester I was more busy than expected. Lots of papers, projects and presentations as well as numerous tests and exams.

Free time
Here you have an infinite number of possibilities and you definitely won’t get bored. The whole thing starts with the unassigned possibilities. First of all, all the sports on offer. As a student you have access to a huge fitness center, tennis courts, a pool area and many other sports facilities. In addition, you get free tickets for events of the university teams, the basketball and football games are particularly recommended here.
But there is also enough outside of the SDSU. San Diego has beautiful beaches and is a surfer’s paradise (I recommend the university’s semester surfing course for beginners). In addition, the location of San Diego is ideal for excursions. Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Mexico (Tijuana), Yosemite National Park, Sequoia and Death Valley National Park, all of these destinations can be reached in a weekend and are definitely worth a visit. The amusement parks such as Sea World, Universal Studios or the San Diego Zoo should not be missing on the visit list, but listing everything here would be too long… but you can be sure, there will be no boredom.
Briefly about what you can do in the evening. In addition to cozy barbecues with friends, there are numerous “private” parties near the campus or you can go to bars on the numerous beaches (Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach…) or in one of the countless clubs downtown. Again, the choice is unlimited.


I would absolutely recommend to everyone to do a semester abroad. The experiences are simply priceless and I mean those at the SDSU itself, but also those outside of the university. The trips are wonderful and the friendships that you will make (and that I was allowed to make) will certainly last longer than just this semester.

Finally, I would like to thank MicroEDU once again for their support, without you the gap between the work or the effort and the pleasure would not have been so great.

San Diego State University Review (4)