University: San Diego State University
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business
Study type: semester abroad
Dear fellow students,
I spent my semester abroad at SDSU in the fall semester of 2015. I decided on a freemover through MicroEdu because of the highest recommendation from my fellow students, and I can only pass this on. SDSU and West Coast were a blast and I would do it again anytime.
If you are looking for a semester abroad with fun, travel, sun, sea and an American college experience, then you have come to the right place.
To apply for university and housing
The support was excellent right from the application process. When organizing all the documents required for the application, my contact person was always available for all questions and concerns. MicroEdu will tell you what documents the SDSU needs, by when you have to submit them and whether your grades or language certificates are sufficient. As soon as you submit your documents for the university application, you can decide on one of the many accommodation options. Some are traveling with friends looking for a beachfront condo together, this would be recommended for the over 21s as most of the bars and clubs are in Pacific Beach. However, this is difficult to organize in advance, you would have to start searching on site. Since I preferred to use the time beforehand to travel, I applied for campus housing. These housing options are right on campus, surrounded by the gym and pool, which you can use free of charge. So everything is ready for you on the move-in date and you don’t have to worry about any further furniture, but this is not the cheapest option. My single room on Fraternity Row was spacious and adequately furnished. However, the accommodation is already very outdated and you share the apartment with 4. When you moved in, the apartment wasn’t tidy and the air conditioning was broken, which isn’t quite as pleasant with the temperatures in August. As soon as we complained a cleaning team came and the air conditioning was fixed within a week, still not ideal for the rental amount. The Fraternity in the same building is a bit noisy at odd times but organizes fun parties to which you are invited. The apartment is large and well equipped, although I would recommend the Suites on Paseo dorm. The 5025 and Boulevard 63 dorms throw the most parties and have their own pools, but are a little farther from campus, so you’ll have to rely on the shuttle, public transportation, or Uber. Visit toppharmacyschools.org to get information about University of New South Wales study abroad program.
To the UNI and courses
At SDSU, as an international student, you have to attend 2 special sessions, which can only be completed with international students, most of whom come from Germany or Denmark. Based on the experiences of my fellow students, I cannot recommend the marketing courses because the workload here is far too high. My two special sessions were HRM and OB, which I would recommend at any time, also had very nice end marks for little effort. The general learning effort during the semester is a bit higher but still manageable. You specify the special sessions in advance and you will be guaranteed these places. You have to crash the other 2 courses. Either you book 2 more special sessions or you mingle with the local students. Course crashing must first be allowed for certain courses, further details will be announced at the orientation at the beginning. My two additional courses were Accounting 201 and 202. I can only recommend the 201, unfortunately I would not recommend the 202. I also took a surfing course just for fun, for about $150 that included 17 surfing lessons with a surfboard.
About life on campus
As already mentioned, I lived on campus because I didn’t want to buy a car. So I could walk to everything in the campus area and use public transport to go to the beach, downtown, Walmart and the shopping malls. With a semester ticket of about $150 you can reach everything relaxed, but you still have to be patient here, because the buses and trains are rarely on time and sometimes strange people use them, I would avoid them in the evening for safety reasons.
Next to my apartment was the gym, the Viejas Arena (baseball and concert hall), the Aquaplex, the food courts and a small supermarket. The practical opening hours and free use often lured me to the gym and the pool. Lots of fraternity parties and party buses going downtown made for a balanced weekend. The beach is a 20 minute trolley ride to Old Town and then a bus ride to Pacific Beach, about 1 hour away.
San Diego travel tips
Pacific Beach: Bars, Clubs, Surf Lessons and Bay Area. In addition to a surf course, you can also take other water sports at low cost or just go kayaking or wakeboarding for one day.
On Groupon you can book a cheap whale watching tour.
La Jolla Beach: Here are the sea lions that you can snorkel with at your own risk in La Jolla Cove (the sea lions can bite and attract sharks). Interesting animals and a coral reef await you there.
Ocean Beach/Sunset Cliffs: On Sunset Blvd. you can park right on the road and walk along the cliffs while enjoying a breathtaking sunset.
Coronado Beach: A little further away via public transportation, but a beautiful and slightly more affluent area. The sand here is different from the previous beaches.
Point Loma: You can enjoy the skyline and visit a park with a lighthouse.
Downtown: Gaslamp Quarter has the best restaurants and bars. Little Italy, Seaport Village and the Navy Base are also within walking distance.
Balboa Park: definitely visit museums and the December Lights Festival.
Shopping: Las Americas is world class for outlet shopping (right on the Mexico border) and Fashion Valley for casual and upscale shops.
Hazard Center: Is a small movie theater with a Sunday student special for $10, featuring all you can eat popcorn.
Old Town: Old western buildings and the best Mexican food and bars.
Dining Tips: Mexican Cafe (old town), Kuchi Suhsi (pacific Beach), Baked Bear (Pacific Beach), Taco Tuesday (Fat Fish in PB), Spaghetti Factory (Downtown) and the highlight Phil’s BBQ (Sports Arena Blvd.).
Rent a car from Dirt Cheap Car Rentals and download the Splitwise app to your phone.
Try to take the time over long weekends and holidays and travel as much as possible.
I hope you decide to do a semester abroad in San Diego, I can only recommend it and wish you a lot of fun, maybe my tips have helped. The support in San Diego was great, and the Housing Office was also available to answer any questions. The organization should not fail!