University: San Jose State University
City: San Jose
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: industrial engineering
Study type: semester abroad
Choice of university:
Since I always wanted to study in the USA and of course, like most people, had the dream of traveling to California one day, I thought I would combine the useful with the pleasant. When choosing a university, the MicroEdu homepage is recommended to everyone. If you have any questions, you can always call or email the responsible person at MicroEdu (they will answer very quickly). Visit mcat-test-centers.com to get information about University of California Irvine.
I decided at very short notice to do a semester abroad and only really started planning about 4 months before the start of the semester. However, it is advisable to deal with the topic earlier. But here, too, those responsible at MicroEdu can help you at any time. For the visa you should make an appointment at the responsible American embassy in good time. Otherwise, my application for a place at SJSU went smoothly thanks to MicroEdu.
In order to participate in “real” American life, I wanted to live off-campus, ie not in one of the official university dorms. Thanks to the website www.craiglist.org you can also find a lot of housing offers. However, after looking at half a dozen apartments, I decided for a room in Campus Village for various reasons (condition of the sanitary facilities, minimum rental period of one year). I can only recommend this to everyone. I shared a room with a stranger, but you can also rent single rooms. Living on campus has many advantages. Short distances to the lectures, contact with many American students, short distances to downtown (bars, clubs).
If you decide to look for an apartment in San Jose first, you should definitely look for a place to stay for the first few days at www.couchsurfing.org. Unfortunately, I found out too late and booked a hotel room for a week.
Choosing subjects was much easier than expected. As an international student, you enjoy many advantages over local students. There were still places available in two of my four university courses. For the other two, I wrote an email to the professors in advance that I was an international student and urgently needed the course because I had to transfer it to Germany. As a result, I received a positive response to my inquiries from both of them. If you have any problems just ask the folks at SAL. Oh yes SAL, I have only taken SJSU courses and have no regrets. That’s why I can’t say anything about the SAL courses.
Otherwise, the university courses were partly at German level, but partly also significantly below. All the homework and midterms are annoying, but they also get you good grades. So always be diligent.
One of the reasons why I went to California was of course the country itself with its cities that everyone has heard of. We were a lot of international students and I went on a lot of weekend trips with them. San Jose is very centrally located and from there you can easily reach all of California by car or plane (San Jose Airport + San Francisco Airport). San Francisco is about an hour away on the Caltrain. This city is really worth visiting more often. Also, I have trips north (Nappa Valley, Mendocino, Redwood State Park, Lake Tahoe) and south Santa Barbara (a must), Santa Cruz, Route 1, Los Angeles (everyone wants to see but is within 2 days done) and San Diego done. Another very worthwhile destination is Hawaii. You still fly 5.5 hours, but it’s definitely worth it. Las Vegas and various national parks are also worth seeing and should definitely be done, even if time can be tight.
If you fly by plane, you should always book the flights early enough to get cheap flights. When renting a car, it is an advantage if the renter is already 25 years old. Otherwise, an insurance fee of approximately $25 per day applies.
Otherwise, San Jose offers 3 large malls where you can buy really good bargains, for example Levi’s jeans for $20, etc. The Gilroy Mall is also very close by and has a very large selection of clothes and the like at good prices are.
Nightlife is also not neglected. In addition to the many student parties, some of which are by invitation only, there are several clubs and bars in downtown San Jose. But you should be 21. Otherwise you can’t get into the bars.
What should of course be an important factor in your decision is the cost. With tuition fees, rent and general living expenses, these are higher than in Germany. In any case, you should try to get foreign student loans. Then the tuition fees, flight and part of the other costs are covered. The groceries are a bit more expensive than in Germany. But there is a Mexican supermarket “Mi Pueblo” on Julian Street, where you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables very cheaply. Very useful is the bus ticket that you get at the beginning of the semester and with which you can use all public transport in and around San Jose. With these you can reach all malls and otherwise the city.
It’s very cheap to eat out in San Jose or California in general. San Jose is a multicultural city and as such offers dining options from around the world. In addition to the usual fast food chains, you should definitely visit a typical American diner (eg Peggy Sue’s).
I had a great time in San Jose and can really recommend anyone who wants to do a semester abroad to do it in San Jose or California. You will not regret it : -)