University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Architecture, urban and regional planning
Study type: semester abroad
As an architecture student, it was always clear to me that I would do a stay abroad as part of my master’s degree. After initial research on the Internet, I became aware of the MicroEdu website and shortly thereafter was provided with supporting information. After some really helpful tips and information via email, San Diego State University was recommended and recommended to me. And a winter semester on the Californian coast in January is certainly not something you experience every day. Visit mcat-test-centers.com to get information about San Jose State University.
The whole process from the first information brochures to the last steps such as visa or accommodation was solved very professionally by MicroEdu and everything was solved without complications and I was always well advised! Great praise at this point, because I initially had some concerns. But thanks to advice via e-mail, someone was always there when I had a question!
My fellow students and I decided to look for accommodation online ourselves because we simply wanted to be more flexible and independent. We just didn’t want to just live on campus. About 10 minutes drive from the university (City of El Cajon) we were finally able to find a place to stay.
As a tip: CAR! If you don’t have wheels, you’re quickly in a fix in the region around San Diego ! Buses and the Trolley (tram) run around the city, but if you want to go to the beach or just outside for hiking, exploring or just taking a trip to Los Angeles, for example, you’re in a bad place without a car. Dirt Cheap Car Rental in San Diego is the place to be!
Regarding living situation and options for this, I suggest Airbnb and Homeaway. We found our rental apartment there, which really saved us a lot of money/rent because we really only had to pay for the time we spent there, without the hassle of rental contracts. On top of that, our apartment was fully furnished and equipped!
The study conditions are without exaggeration simply fantastic. From the beautiful campus to the variety of on-site snack and food options to the organization, San Diego State University really was the best choice. The entire campus looks like a hotel complex and contributes to the positive atmosphere despite the stress of learning.
Since we both studied City Planning, we were a maximum of 12 people per course, which is of course the stark contrast to courses in Austria or Germany. This makes studying, working and learning with the professors very personal and you benefit from the learning result ! Throughout the entire semester, all the professors always tried to help us ‘students abroad’ to make the most of our stay and were always open to questions and problems of all kinds!
Away from everyday university life, we were able to seize the opportunity and learn to surf. The best thing to do is take a course at the Mission Bay Aquatic Center and you can surf, sail, paddle, kayak as much as you want from Monday to Saturday. You can also register at the university, which of course was very well organized!
Otherwise you can explore the beautiful downtown of San Diego (insider tip Coronado and Little Italy) or you can climb a few peaks in the nearby Mission Trails Regional Park and enjoy the 360° panoramic view over the whole region.
A road trip is always a good idea at the end of the semester. We drove via Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Death Valley to the Grand Canyon in Arizona and on the way back through the beautiful Central Valley to San Francisco! Just use the last days or weeks of your stay, so close and so fast, you will certainly not have the opportunity to experience these wonderful impressions! Even Hawaii or New York are good options as domestic flights are a lot cheaper than crossing the Atlantic!
The cost is probably the only downer of the whole story, since living in California is simply more expensive than in the rest of the USA. Fuel, groceries, housing and material for the university take up a lot of the proposed budget, but with a little brain and planning the whole thing can be divided up nicely. As mentioned, we were able to do a really great road trip for two more weeks at the end and we didn’t lack any amenities during our time either. Good food, beer, beach fun and even surfing were never neglected.
In conclusion, I can only say: do it too! The somewhat higher maintenance costs in California are put into perspective over time, since you will not find such areas and optimal conditions for living and studying so easily everywhere! Together with MicroEdu, my stay abroad was by far one of the best experiences of my life.