University: San Jose State University
City: San Jose
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business Administration, English / American Studies
Study type: semester abroad
My course includes an obligatory semester abroad, so the first thing to decide was where to go. It quickly became clear to me that it should be America. I finally decided on San José for the following reasons – San José is the tenth largest city in the USA, is the capital of Silicon Valley and is considered to be quite safe. Visit mcat-test-centers.com to get information about University of Newcastle.
Unfortunately, my home university did not have a partner university in America that would have appealed to me, which is why I turned to MicroEdu. MicroEdu takes care of a lot of the work involved and makes the whole process a lot easier, plus they are always happy to help you with any questions or problems that may arise.
The required TOEFL test result of approx. 75 points can easily be achieved with a few years of school English, so no need to worry.
My flight was a bit expensive due to the fact that I booked it rather late, so I would recommend everyone to take care of the arrival really early. Furthermore, flights to San Francisco are significantly cheaper than going directly to San José, and the train is a quick and easy way to get from there to San José. The university also offers a pick-up service – a little more convenient, of course.
At SJSU, an exchange student is an Open University student, meaning you cannot pre-register for courses online like other students can. In principle, the first two weeks are very chaotic, because you wander around, go to all the courses you might be interested in and hope that the professor will give his approval. It is really advisable to look up a long list of courses that could be suitable beforehand. It becomes difficult here if you have to take certain courses.
Even though it was a bit frustrating at first to be rejected more often, I ended up getting the courses I originally wanted. The nice employees from the SAL office will be happy to help you effectively.
During my semester at SJSU there were some budget cuts, so that there were often missed classes, the so-called furlough days.
My classes were all in the morning, so I had the rest of the day at leisure.
In general, studying in America is much easier than at German universities. The subject matter is taught slowly and in detail and is usually not too complex. However, I would say that the workload at American universities is much higher. There is always a paper or a book to read, but if you work diligently and diligently, passing the courses is not difficult. I was also not used to the amount of group and team work from my home university. Because you have the chance to collect a lot of points during the semester through a lot of papers, you can look forward to the finals at the end of the semester with more ease. Many of the exams are multiple choice, which takes some getting used to, but is very enjoyable in the end.
The professors I met were very enthusiastic about the fact that one speaks their language so well and is willing to take advanced courses in a foreign country, and are generally very interested in international students.
I decided to live in the campus village, i.e. on-campus in a hall of residence, which is certainly not the cheapest option, but it makes a lot easier; the distances to the courses are very short, you are safely accommodated and make contacts quickly. It is best to take care of the accommodation from home so that you have a good start to university life without additional stress.
Despite being one of the largest cities in the United States, San Jose is relatively unknown. In general, I wouldn’t describe San José as the typical Californian party town. I don’t think it’s comparable to San Diego, for example – with lots of sun, beach promenades and sea.
Nevertheless, San José in Northern California has its very own charm.
The city is very well located, so you can take the train to San Francisco, for example – a beautiful city that offers not only sights but also a great nightlife.
It is also worth taking a trip to the beach in Santa Cruz, visiting the Bay Aquarium in Monterrey, or taking a campus tour in Stanford and Berkeley.
And then of course the “musts” when you’re in California – LA and Las Vegas.
Although I’ve never been there myself, I’ve often heard that a trip to nearby Yosemite Park would be well worth it. So there is a lot to see and experience.
I have not regretted the decision to spend my semester abroad in San José. They were exciting months in which I saw a lot, got to know many people from all over the world, became a lot more independent and my image of California was confirmed or changed in some points.
I have always felt that I was in good hands at SJSU and can really recommend San José to anyone who is interested in an interesting, cultivated stay abroad and does not necessarily want to go to a pure party university.