San Jose on the edge of Silicon Valley is a quiet and rather unspectacular city. However, the surroundings and location make them attractive again for living and studying. In the midst of all the major technology groups in the world, you feel like you have been transported to a place that you otherwise only know from films.
The San Jose State University is centrally located in San Jose and is one of the largest in the region. That makes them cheaper than Stanford or Berkeley, but you have to be careful when choosing courses. The classic student at SJSU is the average American who has no precise idea of his professional future and enjoys student life rather than focusing on his career. This means that many courses are attended by people who have no particular interest in achieving good to very good performance. Part of the reason is that they lose a lot of time doing part-time jobs.
In my course of study, Business / Marketing, there were a few lecturers that I would like to highlight in particular. In the Colloege of Business there are many older lecturers who should be assumed to have a lot of experience. Often these men or women get a little lazy in old age and are content with teaching from textbooks instead of passing on their experiences. On the other hand, there are also professors such as. Professor Jeffrey Fadiman, who gives an excellent lecture without a Power Point or expensive text books. Because of such professors one should go to American universities. In order to find out in advance how such professors are in the eyes of the students, for example. www.ratemyprofessor.com. Visit iamaccepted.com to get information about study in Spain.
The International Office “supports” you in your choice of course. However, the support initially means numerous information events in which many things are discussed that are primarily intended for the many Asian students. Expect that over 60% of foreign students come from Asia. You already know a lot of the information, because MicroEDU does excellent preparatory work and prepares you well.
It is important that you inform yourself about the courses at the SJSU before the information events start. You get access to the student system where you can see courses and times. You have to put these together yourself into a timetable. Make sure that your home university accepts them. Then the so-called course crashing begins. You have to go into courses that interest you and ask the professorship for an admission number. It is often good and useful to write them an email beforehand or to visit their office. This increases the chance of getting a place in courses that are coveted (by American students). But don’t expect to get every desired course right away. I took 4 courses, all of which were very manageable. 4 courses are recommended for an international student and correspond to around 25 ECTS. So you still have enough time to look around California and enjoy the country. By the way, Fridays are usually free.
The people in San Jose come from different cultures, the city is very multicultural. If you are looking for the full nightlife, you will not really find it in San Jose. However, I cannot confess that firsthand, only from the stories of others. Often there is an offer to join a fraternity or sophority on campus, this is like the surrogate family, so to speak, but as an international student it is a little difficult to get into because they require a lot of commitment.
I personally lived with a host family and in retrospect it was the best possible decision. You can only really get closer to American culture in a family, if you want to. You also get to know many more American friends, and in some cases I am still in contact with some of them.
The important thing is to be open to new things and not to point out that most Americans really have no idea about the rest of the world. This gives you the opportunity to dispel some prejudices about Germany.
We recommend a few sights in the vicinity. I recommend buying a bike for the stay (available at WalMart for $ 89). To get home from university, I always used the Lightrail, the local tram. However, there are only 2 lines for a city the size of Cologne, otherwise there are buses that are poor for European tastes.
San Francisco is easy to reach with the “Cal Train”. There is an express connection that takes you to San Francisco, about 60 kilometers away, in 1 hour and 20 minutes. The city is at least as picturesque as it is on postcards or in films. In any case, you should take the cable car (tip a day ticket costs $ 14 compared to a single trip with $ 6). Exploring San Francisco by bike is a bit tiring due to the hills and steep mountains, but it is definitely worth it. If you come in summer you should try the beautiful beaches of San Francisco on the Pacific. Away from the tourist centers like Pier 39, San Francisco is an exciting and very un-American city. You definitely have to walk over the Golden Gate bridge or ride a bike, from there you have the Betse view. But beware,
Excursions in the vicinity of San Jose are definitely recommended. There are Santa Cruz for surfing and swimming, the bustling beach life, Monterey for whale watching, Big Sur for camping and marveling at picturesque landscapes and Napa Valley or the less touristy Sonoma for wine tasting.
Preparations and costs:
Such a great semester abroad also has its price. The cost of accommodation and tuition fees can easily add up to € 10,000. This does not include costs for leisure activities and shopping. There is really enough shopping to take the Great Mall of the Bay Area in Milpitas as an example.
Before the semester abroad starts, the preparations look like a mountain that is not easy to overcome. My tip: just start. Follow the MicroEDU list step by step and you can prepare for your semester abroad in a structured manner. Getting the visa and having everything ready until you take off is easy to manage if you start early enough. The earlier you book the flight, the more likely it is to get a cheap price. Then nothing stands in the way of your journey.
Finally, I can only recommend, think carefully about whether you want to spend so much money on your semester abroad, and if so, then enjoy your great time in San Jose!