University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
San Diego State University is located in the College Area, which is a 15-20 minute drive from the beach and downtown. With 35,000 students, SDSU naturally has a gigantic campus including 24-hour fitness (free membership through ALI), 24-hour library, water sports, Aquaplex, etc.
San Diego itself is a great city where you can enjoy the Californian lifestyle to the fullest. The city is extremely diverse with its numerous beaches and city life. In addition, the geographic proximity to LA, Las Vegas, nature parks and Mexico is ideal for travel. San Diego is the perfect destination! Visit mcat-test-centers.com to get information about California State University Fullerton CSUF.
Application, visa, arrival
Applications are made through MicroEdu. The agency handles everything for free, collects the documents and is very helpful with questions. Everything is explained step by step, which made the application much easier. It is therefore highly recommended to get in touch with MicroEdu. A TOEFL, but also a CAE is possible as proof of language proficiency.
Visa for CH citizens: After the confirmation of admission from the university, you will receive the so-called I-20 form. A form must then be filled out online and the fees paid before an appointment can be made. You should take all the necessary documents with you to the appointment in Bern.
With the student visa you can enter the USA 30 days before the start of university, but before that you need an ESTA. It is important to have the documents with you in your hand luggage when entering the country (especially I-20). In the summer months there is now a direct flight twice a week from Zurich to San Diego, operated by Edelweiss.
In general, it can be said that the American school system is very different from ours. The effort during the semester is much higher because there are regular midterms. But if you prepare yourself for the exams, you usually get very good grades. Due to the regular exams, the relevant material is much smaller than we are used to and the finals (if you even have one) cannot be compared with ours.
At San Diego State University, different course types must be distinguished. First, there is the difference between General courses, which include all non-business subjects, and Business courses, which include all College of Business Administration courses . Business courses are in Accounting (ACCTG), Business Administration (BA), Finance (FIN), Management (MGT), Management Information Systems (MIS) and Marketing (MKTG).
On the other hand, there are so-called special session courses for the business courses, which are only offered to exchange students. Two of these special session courses must be chosen a few weeks before the start of university and cannot be dropped. Further courses will be chosen on site. You only have access to the system after the regular students and are therefore at a disadvantage compared to the American students. However, I got all the courses I wanted. Tip: ALI gives you the date when you can “bid” – it will be activated at midnight and if your course still has free places, then you’ll almost certainly make it into the course, maybe not at the best time. Otherwise you still have the chance to get into a course via waiting lists.
To our surprise, finance was no longer offered as a special session for the first time, which is why we were not sure that we would actually be able to take this compulsory subject, since it is part of the business courses. With “bidden” when the portal opens and possibly via waiting lists, everyone has finally received a finance course.
My courses taken:
BA 323 Fundamentals of Finance
Prof. Dr. Andrew Do
6 credits, countable as Finance, recommended
The grade consists of 3 exams (25% each) and 25% attendance/quizzes. The lessons at Do were extremely special, but the exams were relatively easy and extremely fair. The grade A was achievable without much effort, since the preparation of the most important exercises and the skillful use of the financial calculator was sufficient.
ECON 321 Intermediate Microeconomics
6 credits, creditable as Micro 2 (2 credits in the elective area), recommended
The lecturer tried very hard to convey the material in an understandable way, which made the lessons interesting and entertaining. The grade consists of 3 midterms, a final and homework. With good preparation of the reading and/or the lecture notes, an A is also possible here.
MGT 357 Multinational Business & Comparative Management (Special Session)
dr Blue Robbins
6 credits, countable in elective or contextual area, recommended
dr Blue Robbins is very committed and tries to motivate the students with small prizes. In 3 midterms, the reading and the accompanying slides are tested, with the slides covering the reading fairly well. In addition, a creative presentation about a country must be held in groups. The final grade is also influenced to a small extent by attendance. All in all, the course is recommended and an A- can be achieved with normal effort.
MGT 358 Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship (Special Session)
Timothy C. Orlando
6 credits, countable in elective or contextual area, not recommended
The grade consists of 2 midterms and attendance/participation. Unfortunately, the lessons were extremely boring, as the lecturer held a monologue without any aids. He also did not use or provide any materials such as foils. Only the book was available for the exam, which worked relatively well in the first exam. In the second, however, very bad grades were consistently given (with the same preparation), which brought the overall grade down significantly. Unfortunately, this exciting topic was conveyed very poorly by the lecturer and the final grades were not comprehensible, which is why this course is not recommended.
Beach or university is the big question here, both of which have many advantages and disadvantages. The beach is about 20 minutes by car (depending on traffic) from the university. Since public transport cannot be compared to Switzerland, a car has to be rented. This can be avoided by living at or near the university and using Uber for leisure. But this may mean that you will spend less time on the beach. However, it is very difficult to find a house/apartment from Switzerland, which is why most people arrive and only look for accommodation on site Looking for. I didn’t want this, which is why I spontaneously decided to live near the university. I would not recommend living at the university itself, since the rents are not lower, but the standard of the apartments is.
I stayed in the BLVD63 apartment complex about 15 minutes walk from the university. BLVD63 offers 2 pools, gym, uni shuttle, study rooms, etc. all included in the rental. The only disadvantage is that you can only conclude annual contracts (sometimes half-yearly contracts are possible for a monthly surcharge) and you therefore have to find a new tenant for the spring semester. In my case this was not a problem, but not all succeeded. There is a very relaxed atmosphere and many other exchange students as well as many Americans live there. Of course, many house parties are also popular. I have never regretted my decision as the proximity to the university was very convenient and we had a great time there. However, it must also be great to live on the beach.
I organized everything in advance from Switzerland and then flew to San Diego 10 days before moving in. Until we moved in, we stayed at the Lucky D’s hostel downtown. This was ideal because you have already met many SDSU exchange students there and you could experience downtown.
San Diego is the perfect place to take trips throughout California. If you have time before or after the semester, you can of course experience even more trips. However, it is also possible to travel during the semester (long weekends and Thanksgiving).
I have made the following trips:
- Grand Canyon (between orientation and start of semester)
- Las Vegas (2 times during the semester)
- Los Angeles (during the semester)
- San Francisco (Thanksgiving)
In conclusion, it can be said that this exchange semester was a brilliant experience that you should definitely have and that San Diego is the perfect combination of studies, the beach, the weather, trips and much more.