San Diego State University Review (49)

San Diego State University Review (49)

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

For my semester abroad, I flew to San Diego, California, where I studied at San Diego State University, or SDSU for short.

Information about the SDSU

SDSU, with its beautiful campus, is located north of downtown San Diego, in the so-called College Area. Around 33,000 students are enrolled there. Accordingly, the campus is very large and offers a lot for the students :

  • The Library: Besides the usual things like printers, scanners, computers, book rentals or study rooms, the library also has a 24/7 study area and a cafeteria, for example.
  • In and around the campus you will find a large number of catering options. Be it fast food, Mexican, Starbucks or Asian, you’ll find practically everything.
  • Centrally located you will find a bookstore. School books, electronics (e.g. notebooks), office supplies and fan articles are sold there.
  • The fitness center is large and free for all students. However, other facilities are also available to students (e.g. a pool or tennis courts). You can also enroll in various “credited” and “non-credited” sports activities. The offer is huge.
  • The Global Aztec Alllicance, which can also be found on Facebook, offers overseas students the opportunity to connect with local students.

The lecture period of the autumn semester begins at the end of August and lasts until just before Christmas. For exchange students, however, the semester starts a little earlier, as the SDSU organizes various obligatory information events to familiarize foreign students with the SDSU and, for example, the online platforms for students. These events are not very time-consuming, which gives you the opportunity to settle comfortably in San Diego. Visit to get information about Brock University.

If you are studying economics and will therefore mainly choose “Business Courses”, here is some information:

  • Most business courses are worth three units. Find out in advance how the units are converted to ETCS.
  • Attendance is compulsory for most subjects at the SDSU.
  • During my semester I had to choose at least two special sessions from a catalogue. The Special Sessions are courses specially designed for exchange students. You will therefore not meet any American students there.

Since you have to take a certain number of units in order for your visa to remain valid, you will have to choose more than two special sessions. I recommend choosing courses that are also attended by local students. At the information events for exchange students, you will find out when you can choose these courses on the Internet. The process works according to the first-come-first-serve principle. It is therefore important that you are logged in at midnight on this date and select the subjects. The system is then usually overloaded and you may end up on the waiting list for a subject. Don’t worry though, I don’t know anyone who didn’t get the subjects they wanted.

registration procedure

I highly recommend MicroEdu for the registration process. MicroEdu staff will assist you throughout the registration process and will be very attentive to any questions you may have. So that you don’t have any stress, I recommend that you start registering early enough. Because once you are registered, you can start looking for an apartment with a clear conscience. Again, it is an advantage if you start early enough. MicroEdu’s Facebook page or other Facebook groups are good places to find housing. And if you don’t already have roommates, you can certainly find some there.

Reside and live in San Diego

San Diego is on the expensive side compared to other places in the US. For example, although the food does not cost more than in Germany, you have to factor in a little more for the rent. Here is a brief overview of the most important cost items:

  • Semester fees: $7500
  • Rent: $3500-7000
  • Living expenses (e.g. food): $5000

So calculate around $20,000 so that you can really enjoy your exchange. Excursions and travel are not included in this calculation. If you plan to make some, you have to add those as well.

As for where to live, I would highly recommend Pacific/Mission Beach. Many students live there because you can get to the beach very quickly, have good opportunities to go out and generally live the Californian lifestyle to the fullest. Many students also live on or around the campus itself. The BLVD63 is a popular address for this. Living near the university has the advantage that you don’t have to commute long every day and that you can experience the “American-college lifestyle” more easily. Other great neighborhoods that have fewer students are North Park (halfway between the college area and the ocean), Downtown, or Ocean Beach (known as a hippie district).

More tips

Do you want to be mobile or have you decided to live in Pacific or Mission Beach, then you will have to organize a car as public transport is very poorly developed. I would recommend that you buy a car with your roommates (if you live in a flat share) either on Craigslist or a similar platform and sell it again at the end of the semester. In order to insure the car, I recommend the 6-month Geico insurance for about 530 USD. The best thing to do is call and get an offer. Another option to have a car during your stay is to rent one. Dirt Cheap Car Rental is a good and inexpensive address for this, which also specializes in exchange students. If you like surfing or want to learn it, then you’ve come to the right place in San Diego. And if you want to surf every day then I would recommend staying in either Ocean, Mission or Pacific Beach. Here are some cool surf spots:

  • Tourmaline: This surf spot is especially suitable for beginners and longboarders.
  • Right off Ocean Beach and Crystal (PB) Pier
  • South Mission Beach Jetty, Blacks Beach and WindandSea Beach: This spot is more suitable for experienced surfers

And if you happen to be outside of San Diego, then I can recommend the following surf spots:

  • San Miguel near Ensenada, Mexico
  • Huntington Beach near Los Angeles
  • San Onofre State Beach near San Clemente

Furthermore, I can only recommend that you make the best of your semester abroad right from the start. Go and discover San Diego, California, United States and Mexico. Use long weekends or free weeks to travel to Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Yosemite National Park, Baja California (Tijuana, Ensenada) or even Washington DC, for example. And while you have classes, I highly encourage you to take part in student life at SDSU. The university offers an incredible amount.

Final word

If you want to experience a sunny and eventful semester, then I can highly recommend San Diego as a destination. For me, the half year I was able to spend in California at SDSU was one of the best of my life.

San Diego State University Review (49)