University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: engineering
Study type: semester abroad
Planning for a semester abroad should begin 1 year before the start of the semester. First of all, the decision should be made to go to a partner university of the Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences or to choose a university yourself. Of course, the latter requires a greater effort in terms of application and financing. However, it quickly became clear to me that I wanted to go to San Diego. A few institutions were available to me for applying to a university in the USA, such as MicroEdu (https: //www.MicroEdu.com). They help with the application and with all questions about the semester abroad. Visit toppharmacyschools.org to get information about Riga Stradins University study abroad program.
The English certificate, which is required of every student, is important for a semester abroad. I opted for the DAAD certificate because it can be completed at my home university and it is cheaper than the TOEFL certificate. After that you need a financial proof from parents confirming that my parents have over $15000 in their account. If these two proofs are completed, the largest part of the application is done.
San Diego is the eighth largest city in the USA and also one of the most expensive in the states. Expect to pay $ 700- $900 a month for rent even if you live in a dorm at the university. I wanted an apartment right on the beach. But you first have to inquire about an apartment on site, because most landlords want to see the tenant first. With some landlords you also need confirmation of previous rent payments in the USA, which is actually impossible as a German student since you have never lived in the USA.
My advice if you want to live on the beach is to look for vacation rentals. You usually do not need any such documents for this and the apartments are already furnished. The best place to look for an apartment is craigslist.com. Craigslist is like Ebay Classifieds, but clearer and it can be used without registration. Our landlord would be happy to welcome more students from Rosenheim.
So now to my apartment. It was 1 minute from the bay and 3 minutes from Mission Beach. The neighborhood consists of retirees and vacationers, which creates a pleasant and safe atmosphere. Unfortunately, you need a car in San Diego as the city is very sprawling and SDSU is a 25 minute drive from the beach. It is best to buy a car and then sell it again shortly before departure. You could also rent a car from the many rental car companies, but then you are not allowed to leave San Diego with the rental car.
Studies at the host university
Enrollment at San Diego State is divided into two groups: business students and general students.
Business students can select courses in advance. General students have to crash their courses, which means they have to attend the first lecture of the desired course and then ask the professor if there is still a place available. If a place is free, you get a signature from the professor and, after submitting the signature, you are officially enrolled in this course.
The measurement and control engineering lecture can be completed in San Diego and the subject there is called Feedback Control System. I can also highly recommend the Wood & Furniture I course. It is an art course in which you get to know the artistic handling of wood and also get to talk to the Americans and make friends very quickly. The third course was History of Film Classics and it helped me to improve my English, that’s why I chose it. You watched a film and then had to write and submit a short summary of the film.
My last course was thermodynamics and I cannot recommend this course at all. The professor’s lectures were totally incomprehensible and homework, tests and exams had to be written with a complicated program on the Internet, which often led to problems. The library and the PCs it contains are open and usable 24 hours a day. As an ALI student you have free access to all sports areas of the university such as the swimming pool and the fitness center. The varsity football and basketball games are also free. The canteen consists of all the fast food restaurants America has to offer (Subway, Panda, Starbucks, NY-Pizza and many more).
Everyday life and free time
The best way to meet people is either to share a flat with Americans, or to take one of the many practical courses at the university. The excursion offered at the beginning of the semester is also ideal for making new friends. Outside of SDSU, you’ll find a lot of people on the beach surfing, playing beach volleyball, or fishing off the pier. San Diego is one of the most famous surf cities on the west coast. That’s why you should definitely surf. La Jolla is also one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. La Jolla Shores in particular is stunning for snorkeling.
In addition, San Diego also offers many leisure activities within the city. I’ve been to Balboa Park, Shooting Range, Seaport Village, Coronado Beach (the most beautiful beach on the West Coast), Sunset Cliffs at sunset, Pont Loma Lighthouse and the pier on Newport Ave (which is one of the largest piers on the West Coast).
After my semester I did a 2500 mile road trip across California and my conclusion is that San Diego is the most beautiful city on the entire west coast. Bay Park and the beach are simply one-of-a-kind, and each neighborhood in San Diego has its own unique flair.