University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
I’m doing my master’s degree in business administration and did my semester abroad at San Diego State University in the winter semester of 2015/16. Applying was relatively easy with the help of MicroEdu. While there was some paperwork to be done, MicroEdu sent the necessary paperwork along with help on how to fill it out. MicroEdu also assisted in applying for a visa. Thus, filling out the necessary visa documents was no longer a problem. Visit mcat-test-centers.com to get information about Mahidol University.
The choice of course is a bit unusual for us in Germany. The courses cannot be set completely in advance, but must be taken on site by means of a so-called “course crashing”. Course crashing is explained in more detail in the introductory week. To put it briefly, this course-crashing essentially means asking the professors to be included in the course. At San Diego State University, 3 courses can be taken in the master’s degree and 4 courses in the bachelor’s degree. Furthermore, I should probably mention that this “course crashing” applies to all departments. Since American students are given preferential treatment when choosing a course, there are business administration students (business administration is also in the USA very popular as a subject) so-called special sessions. These special sessions are courses that can only be taken by exchange students, but they are held by American professors. They are elected from Germany before the start of the semester in San Diego. Bachelor students are obliged to choose 2 special sessions, master students at least 1 special session in advance. However, Master’s students have the opportunity to decide in advance for another special session. If you want to take more than the 3 courses in the master and 4 courses in the bachelor, these additional courses have to be paid extra.
There are many groups on Facebook dedicated to finding housing in San Diego. You can also apply for an apartment through ALI (American Language Institute). If you want to apply for a student residence, I would recommend doing this through ALI, as this gives you the option of renting a single room. Single rooms are a luxury in San Diego, as it is quite common in America for two people to share a room. At the same time, many students are still looking for an apartment locally. So if no apartment can be found from Germany, this is not a problem either. Arguably the most popular dorm is Blvd 63, which is relatively new, has two pools, and also offers a shuttle to SDSU. When looking for an apartment, one can generally say
The leisure offer in San Diego is very rich. SDSU offers a gym free of charge for students. Whether endurance, strength training or courses, there is something for every taste. If you want to learn to surf, you can take a fee-based course at SDSU, or rent a board directly on the beach and try it yourself. Otherwise, San Diego is a great place that can offer you everything. Swimming, diving, golfing, hiking or just partying – everything is possible. The club scene is particularly interesting for women over the age of 21, as women often get into clubs for free or at least receive a cheaper entrance fee.
The SDSU is a very sports-loving university and so there are free tickets to the basketball games or American football games for the students and exchange students. Of course, a semester abroad in San Diego invites you to take a few road trips. National parks like Yosesmite or Death Valley are popular destinations and of course cities like LA, San Francisco and Las Vegas are easy to reach. San Diego itself is an interesting place to visit, with the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Safari Park and Sea World. While a car isn’t necessary in San Diego, it makes life in the city easier.
With the current dollar exchange rate, San Diego is a very expensive city. The general cost of living in San Diego is significantly higher than in Germany and San Diego is also one of the more expensive cities by American standards. Healthy food is expensive and sanitary items such as toilet paper are considerably more expensive than we are used to in Germany. There are also numerous fast food chains to try. On special days, such as Taco Tuesday, tacos are sold for a dollar and the margheritas are also cheaper.
All in all, I had a great time in San Diego that I wouldn’t want to miss. SDSU’s campus is beautiful, and the weather in San Diego is almost always sunny and warm. The opportunity to spend time at the beach every day is offered in the beautiful city.
I would only advise those who are mainly starting their semester abroad to improve their English skills to choose another city, as San Diego is particularly popular with German exchange students.