University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
Applying as a freemover at SDSU is comparatively easy. The German agency MicroEdu takes care of the entire process and the contact with the SDSU. They are also available to answer any other questions you may have. For the registration you only have to take care of the language certificate ( TOEFL ). You will receive a form ( I-20 form ) for the visa after you have registered with the SDSU. You then need this document to complete the Sevis formfill out and pay online. You can then book an appointment online at the US Embassy in Bern. It is enough if you arrive shortly before the first official date, as you will initially only have administrative information events and have plenty of time to settle down in San Diego before the semester really starts. Visit mcat-test-centers.com to get information about California State University Monterey Bay.
Course selection and bidding process:
As an exchange student, you have to distinguish between the course types General Courses and Special Session Courses at SDSU. The latter are business courses that are only offered to exchange students. Two Special Session Courses must be chosen at the beginning of the semester and cannot be changed. The remaining courses are then selected in the first week using a bidding system. As an exchange student you only have access to the bidding system after the American students. Unfortunately, courses like Finance or Economics are booked up very quickly. But don’t worry, even if all courses are already full at the beginning, many places will become available again after the first week.
Fundamentals of Finance BA 323:
- General course
- Effort: very low
- Rating: very good
- Instructor: Andrew Do
In terms of content, topics such as time value, bond, stock valuation, etc. are dealt with. The level is comparatively easy. However, there are big differences between the different professors. I can recommend Andrew Do’s course. The lessons are very boring and you won’t learn much, but the effort is very small and the exams are very easy. As with practically all courses, attendance is compulsory. There are two midterms and a final. In the last hour before the exam, all questions that come up for the exam are discussed again, which allows you to prepare optimally.
Intermediate Macroeconomics ECON 320:
- General course
- Effort: medium
- Rating: good to very good
- Lecturer: Archimedes Gatchalian
The final grade consists of two midterms, a final, quizzes, attendance (a short presentation about the content of the last lesson) and homework. The level of difficulty is comparatively low, but the effort is higher than most courses at SDSU. In particular, homework takes up a relatively large amount of time. I recommend you to create an account at Chegg.com, there you will find all the results of the homework. In this course, too, all relevant tasks are usually discussed again before the exam, which makes preparation for the exam much easier.
Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship MGT 358:
- Special Session Course
- Effort: low
- Rating: medium
- Instructor: T Orlando
Topics such as start-up financing, the process between invention and end product, etc. are discussed in the course. Basically, the lessons were exciting. However, there were no lecture slides, making it difficult to follow the lecturer. In this course there was only a midterm and a final. The learning effort is comparatively low. Even though good grades are possible, we were all a little surprised by the level of difficulty of the exam. I would not necessarily recommend this course.
Multinational Business & Comparative Management MGT 357
- Special Session Course
- Effort: very large
- Rating: very good
- Instructor: Robbins Blue
Topics such as globalization, regional management differences, HR, etc. are addressed. The lectures were very dry and chaotic. However, attendance is a must. The final grade consisted of two midterms, a final, a group presentation and attendance. The exams were very extensive, but you only had to memorize all the lecture slides perfectly. This subject is all about memorization and not understanding. In addition, the group work, in which you have to present a country and its economy, was extremely time-consuming, since the lecturer places a lot of emphasis on creativity. In the end you can say that the entire effort is enormous, but in return you get very good grades.
San Diego and SDSU:
Although San Diego is one of the largest cities in the USA, it lacks the typically hectic big city feeling. The year-round sunny weather and the many beaches make the California experience perfect. In addition, San Diego is ideally located for trips to Los Angeles, Las Vegas or Mexico. SDSU, which is about 15km from downtown, has over 30,000 students, making it much larger than most European universities. The campus is very spacious and offers many amenities : 24/7 library, huge gym, bowling alleys, etc. During your stay, the ALI Department is responsible for you. Unfortunately not very many Events organized for exchange students. At SDSU you can experience the typical American college experience up close. I highly recommend going to the SDSU Aztecs football games.
When you go to SDSU you basically have to decide whether you want to live on campus and the surrounding area or on the beach (Pacific Beach/Mission Beach). Both accommodation options have advantages and disadvantages. Directly on campus or in a nearby residential complex, you have the opportunity to experience the American college lifestyle up close. Also, you don’t need your own car as you can take the trolley or Uber if you want to go downtown or to the beach. On the other hand, the beach is always busy: there are many bars and restaurants etc.
Regardless of which option you choose, you must be aware that the price level in San Diego is very high. You will hardly find a room under $1000. I chose the first option and stayed in Sterling Alvarado (new Iconic Alvarado), a large apartment complex near SDSU, and was quite happy too. Probably the most popular and best student house is Boulevard 63, but they usually only offer year-round contracts, which obliges you to look for a new tenant. Sometimes it’s worth persistently asking if they do offer half-year contracts (there are exceptions if they still have vacancies just before the semester starts). Sterling Alvarado also has semi-annual contracts. All apartment complexes have oneAccess to pools, BBQ, fitness, study rooms etc. It is very easy to meet a lot of new people in the residential complexes.
Overall, the exchange semester at SDSU was an unforgettable experience. Because of the good grades, the great weather and American college life, I can only recommend everyone to go to SDSU.