University: San Jose State University
City: San Jose
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
I spent a semester in the Open University program at SJSU via MicroEdu (great!) and would do it again anytime. If you come from a German university, student life at SJSU is quite a contrast. The campus is beautiful – with many meadows, small paths, old trees and palm trees – and is centrally located in San José, so that you can always do something outside of the university campus. Visit mcat-test-centers.com to get information about University of California San Diego.
The atmosphere at SJSU is great and you quickly get used to life at an American university.
I found the lectures very interesting and the professors I had were friendly. There is a large selection of courses and if you are not dependent on certain certificates, there are also interesting lectures. However, you should be flexible, because it was difficult to get into many courses because the lecture was often full (especially in the business area). So you really had to dig deep into the course search to find ones that were interesting and had spaces left, which made the first week a bit stressful. Sometimes it also works via waiting lists (in my case, for example, in international marketing), but you shouldn’t expect in advance that you can do certain certificates.
The people in the SAL office who are responsible for the OU students are very nice and help where they can, also with other small problems and questions about university matters.
I can also highly recommend the English courses at SAL. I have never learned English in such a good way and with such a great teacher (Janice Coury) and the courses offered there are also very helpful for the many assignments that you have to do for the OU lectures.
A highlight of the SJSU is definitely the large library, from which you can also enjoy the view over the city while studying and reading.
I stayed in the campus village, which was really great because the facility is on campus and you really get to see a lot of university life. In addition, you can quickly get to all the course rooms.
Since there was an apartment left in the Faculty/Staff/Guest Building after the staff had one, I was even able to share an apartment with my boyfriend. However, this option only exists for students if there are still free apartments after all employees have one and the administration is willing to allocate empty rooms to students.
I think this is the exception and rarely possible.
But all the buildings of the campus village look really neat, and there are also apartments with a kitchen, which is very advantageous, since there is a lot of fast food in general.
In the Village Market you can also stock up on Starbucks coffee and Subway sandwiches for the learning hours!
Smaller events often take place in the Village and on the campus, such as Movie Nights or sports events.
Overall, I liked the Bay Area. San José is very beautiful – rather a quiet town but with a nice and multicultural vibe – and there is a lot to see in the surrounding area. San Francisco (approx. 1 hour), Santa Cruz Beach (approx. 1 hour), Napa Valley (approx. 2 hours), Lake Tahoe (approx. 3 1/2 hours) and much more.
However, a car is really an advantage for excursions, as the public transport network is not very well developed. You can get to San Francisco and destinations around San José by train, bus or light rail, but a car is recommended for longer tours (unfortunately, car rental is only possible from 25).
Overall, the semester was definitely worth it and I can really recommend SJSU. We have gained a lot of experience and experienced a lot. The university was interesting and fun and apart from a few minor problems with the courses, everything actually worked out. The people are really nice, California is very beautiful and there is a lot to see.
It really was a great time in San Jose and at SJSU!