University: San Jose State University
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
Since there are many different things to organize, I advise you to start preparing for your semester abroad in good time. About 6 months in advance is advisable. However, the application is easy to master with the support of the MicroEdu advisors, who are on hand to offer you advice and assistance. In addition, you have to take a language test that confirms your knowledge of English. However, since various tests are recognized here and the minimum scores are also rather low, this should not be a problem. In addition, studying in the USA requires a visa, which you have to apply for at the nearest American embassy. Visit mcat-test-centers.com to get information about University of Auckland.
As is the case (almost) everywhere in the USA, so-called “ class crashing ” prevails for international students. You can read what this is exactly on the CoCo homepage; In a nutshell: You cannot select courses in advance, but have to attend various lectures during the first weeks of lectures and ask the professor to be included in the corresponding course. As a result, the first few days are very stressful and there is no certainty that you will get the courses you want. Especially if you are dependent on your home university crediting the courses, I recommend that you contact the professors early on by email. Although they cannot yet guarantee you 100% admission to their class, it makes a good impression if you can relate to the e-mail traffic in the first event. I only got one of my desired courses. But since I had several courses up my sleeve, it finally worked out to get credited.
When it comes to living, you have a variety of options. I myself lived in a room near the campus. It was pretty “cheap” by Silicon Valley standards at $640. The best way to get privately rented rooms is to contact the SJSU International Office. Visit www.craigslist.com for more offers.
Many of my friends have stayed at International House. It’s the most expensive option, includes a mandatory meal plan, but is the easiest way to make new friends. In addition, many activities are undertaken together and you will never be bored.
A third option is living in the CVB (Campus Village). It’s the second most expensive option, but one of the best for meeting other students. Here about 6-8 students share a flat share, each with 2 or single rooms. It is located directly on campus and is the most central accommodation you can get.
A few more general tips: Since public transportation in the USA is usually poorly developed, pay attention to the location of your accommodation. So if you want to take part in student life in the evenings as well, bear this in mind when making your decision. However, you do not necessarily need a car. I bought a bike and used the UBER service to get from A to B. Furthermore, the American students are very busy with their work alongside their studies. It was therefore generally difficult to establish contact with Americans. However, if you actively approach them yourself, take part in university sports or have the opportunity to live with Americans, real friendships can also develop.
The visa stipulates that you must take at least four courses. I myself have taken the Global Dimensions of Business, Sales Management, Fundamentals of HR Management and Business Valuation and Venture Capital courses” proven. In terms of workload and level, none of the courses were in any way comparable to my courses in Germany. Nevertheless, there were significant differences within the courses mentioned above: While the exams of the course “Business Valuation and Venture Capital” consisted of calculations and essays, the other courses only used multiple choice questions. The course “Fundamentals of HR Management” represented the greatest (time) expenditure, since homework assignments were due every week and by far the most midterms were written. With a bit of effort, however, you can get an A in every subject without any major problems. Incidentally, attendance is compulsory in most classes and oral participation is sometimes also graded.
San José as a city could not excite me. For the capital of Silicon Valley and such a size (approx. 1 million inhabitants) there is really little going on. In addition, there is no lively city center with shopping streets, cafes and bars. I myself was amazed at the many homeless people and the crime rate. While I’ve never had a specific problem myself, it was not uncommon for me to receive bulletins from the university about armed robberies. For these reasons, I cannot recommend the city of San José.
The fact that I was not dissatisfied with my choice of city afterwards is thanks to the perfect starting point for travelling. In the vicinity are San Francisco (about 60 minutes by car or train), Santa Cruz (about 30-45 minutes by car or bus) or Monterey (about 60 minutes by car) and many other great beaches. But not only cities and beaches are waiting for you, but also national parks with breathtaking nature (e.g. Yosemite National Park about 3 hours by car).
In addition, in the area between San Francisco and San José you will find what is probably the highest concentration of professional sports teams in various sports (Golden State Warriors, 49ers, Raiders, Earthquakes, Sharks, Giants, Oakland Athletics). A paradise for sports enthusiasts. The three nearby airports (Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose) give you the opportunity to reach destinations that are a little further away quickly and easily.
I really hope I was able to help you with my report and I wish you every success in your search for a suitable university and city. Finally, I would like to encourage you to do a semester abroad in the USA, especially in California. It was by far the best six months I’ve had so far. In addition to the many new friends I’ve made, California in particular has fascinated me with its diversity day after day. Make sure you have enough money to travel. It wasn’t cheap fun, but I don’t regret a dime I put into traveling and would do it all over again! I am sure that you too will have a great time that you will not soon forget; So don’t hesitate – apply directly;-)