University: San Diego State University
City: San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: physics
Study type: semester abroad
MicroEdu was very helpful in preparing for our semester abroad (I did it with my friend) and always friendly when we call back with any questions. Once you have applied to the university, you will be sent a list of things that you should do within certain deadlines (eg apply for a passport, book a flight, arrange an appointment at the embassy). That’s a damn big help, but of course you have to make sure you stick to these dates yourself. Visit mcat-test-centers.com to get information about San Diego State University SDSU.
The university has 30,000 students, around 1,000 of whom are German – so you often hear German on campus. So if you are planning a stay where you want to improve your English, this does not necessarily make sense at this university in all disciplines, eg business administration is certainly not recommended. In physics, of course, you don’t have any problems bumping into German students in the lectures, but it’s not exactly easy to find an apartment with Americans near the university – that means my friend and I only lived in a house with Germans. Unfortunately not so ideal…
The SDSU campus is extremely beautiful, many green areas, fitness center & outdoor pool have already been paid for in our tuition. As is so typical for American universities, this one is also very dedicated to sports, so it also has its own baseball stadium & basketball stadium & you get free tickets for all home games as well.
If you are used to the canteen at home, you can forget about it here – of course there is a large selection of fast food everywhere on campus, but the price is simply not comparable to the canteen.
Since lectures in physics are not so overrun, crashing the courses was not a problem for us, but as a business administration graduate this is already the case, as we have heard. For example, some lectures with too many applicants were simply counted and every umpteenth student was allowed to stay, everyone else had to look for an alternative lecture. Accordingly, no professor in our faculty asked for the transcript, but when places are hotly contested, people do look.
Incidentally, the study effort for lectures seems to be generally higher here than in Germany, i.e. you have to calculate with 4 hours of homework / week & lecture, then there are typically 2 midterms and 1 final.
Research at the university / Master:
Since the SDSU is a state university, it also has to contend with the usual budget cuts, and departments such as physics with few students then tend to fare poorly – with mechanical engineering, of course, things are different again. Since it is common in the States to combine master’s and doctoral studies, which then takes 5 years, people very often change universities after completing their bachelor’s degree. I can’t speak for all departments, but in physics you probably can’t take such a course at SDSU, which ultimately means that there are no master’s students. This in turn means that there are fewer and fewer lectures with this level of difficulty. In addition, more and more lecturers have been laid off in recent years due to budget cuts, so that not enough bachelor’s lectures can be held for the students, so that they have to fall back on any master’s lectures that may still be available that are above their level. As a master’s student, you should consider going to a university that offers doctoral studies
Life in San Diego:
San Diego is a pretty nice city with something to do every weekend and the trolley ticket is an easy way to get from A to B without a car. The rents are quite high though, we managed to get a room near campus for $750+ Find NK, sometimes you pay $1000 there. You can also find rooms near the beach for $500/month, but then of course you always have to plan 3/4 of an hour by public transport.
You’ll probably have to go to craigslist.com to look for an apartment, although the search functions are really daunting at first and you often don’t get an answer to inquiries. There is also the possibility to buy used household items, i.e. ebay in small.
It goes without saying that California is simply beautiful in terms of landscape and variety and can only be recommended – just a little advice:
if you want to rent a car in winter to drive to the national parks / towards the mountains – check beforehand whether you can put on snow chains! This is not allowed at the Alamo, but in the USA snow chains are sometimes even compulsory on the Hwy’s. If you google you can also find the government websites where the Hwy’s are listed and you can query the current snow status, but you really shouldn’t underestimate that. The country is far too big for snow to be pushed everywhere.