As for planning, all I can say is that it’s never too early to start. There are a lot of things to organize, and a MicroEDU is really good at helping! I always felt well informed and the to-do lists and fact sheets explained everything in detail. Kudos for that!
I studied at SDSU from August to December 2014 and applied for it in January 2014. From then on the planning started – applying for a visa, looking for an apartment, health insurance, etc. When it came to insurance, I decided, like most of the others, for the ADAC (even if I am not a member), which charged € 162.50 for the semester a contribution of 50 €. Fortunately, I didn’t have to use the insurance. Find more review on San Diego State University on existingcountries.
Since I didn’t want to look for apartments on site, because everyone is looking for apartments at that time, I wanted to secure accommodation in Germany. I found my 3 roommates (1 Norwegian, 1 Danish, 1 Turkish) via Facebook, with whom I secured a room in the BLVD63, which was about 10 minutes away from the university. That was relatively expensive ($ 840 a month for a single room with private bathroom + about $ 12 electricity), but it was really worth it! We were the first to move into the apartment as the complex was under construction and so everything was new and really nicely done. There is also a gym on site, as well as 2 pools, 1 hot tub, and plenty of grills to use, and there are free shuttles that run to the university about every 15 minutes. In our apartment we had a kitchen, washing machine and dryer. So everything was there that you need! Since only students live in the entire complex (many international, but also Americans), it was also a good opportunity to get to know people.
In the week before the start of the semester, all international students attended the introductory events. There the course selection process was explained to us, which is really a bit cumbersome. We business students in the master’s degree have already chosen a special session from home, so I needed 2 courses to get my schedule full. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s not that easy! First we had to make an appointment within 2 offered days where we could speak to the student advisors and give them our preferred courses so that they give us permission to attend the courses in the first week. The best thing to do is to get the permission for 4 courses, just so that you can safely get into 2 of them! With the permission you could then attend the first courses and if you were interested you had to get the professor’s permission after the lesson to be admitted to the class. Since the business courses are relatively full and there are an unbelievable number of international business students, you have to “fight” a bit for the courses… Fortunately, I got into 2 courses that I was able to credit myself in Germany (one of them was still a special session), but it didn’t work for some. I found the three-step process a bit stressful. Fortunately, I got into 2 courses that I was able to credit myself in Germany (one of which was a special session), but with some it didn’t work. I found the three-step process a bit stressful. Fortunately, I got into 2 courses that I was able to credit myself in Germany (one of which was a special session), but with some it didn’t work. I found the three-step process a bit stressful.
The SDSU campus is really nice and has a gym, bowling alley and lots of restaurants / takeaways. Thanks to the many maps, you can easily find your way around the site and you can always ask someone, as everyone is very helpful.
The courses I took were:
- International Marketing (Special Session)
- Brand Management (Special Session)
- Creativity & Design (Bachelor course)
As expected, the bachelor’s course was really feasible – if you do all your homework and take the tests, you will almost certainly get an A. The master’s courses were more demanding than I thought, but of course they are also feasible. We had to read a lot, do project work and write papers. There was actually something to do every week, even if I only had two days at university. I was very happy that I only had 3 courses. In the special sessions 95% were Germans and the rest were Danes. In general, I got to know far more Germans in San Diego than Americans. So if you go to the USA to improve your English, you should probably choose another location.
What I would recommend to anyone studying in America is to attend the sporting events! Whether football, basketball, hockey… University games are really big there and are always a highlight! You should also take advantage of the fact that the tickets for students are free.
The cost of living in California is quite high, especially when compared to Germany. It is not just the rent that is expensive, but also activities (entrance fees are comparatively high) and, above all, the food. The products in the supermarket (especially if you want healthy things like fruit and vegetables) are comparatively expensive, and you never really know what is in there (genetically modified food does not have to be labeled). I didn’t have any money left for a car. I got by without it, but it’s much more convenient to have one available! Public transport is practical, but not always safe, especially at night (nothing ever happened, but you do come across a few strange characters). In between I had rented a car for a week and then I did a lot. For my cell phone, I got a SIM card from Lycamobile (without a contract), which I topped up for $ 29 every month.
All in all, I spent an average of $ 2,000 a month including rent, even though I’ve been living relatively frugally.
There is so much to do in San Diego, and many take advantage of its proximity to Las Vegas and LA to visit these cities as well. I have taken trips to Disneyland and Six Flags myself, which I highly recommend! In San Diego itself, I can especially recommend the Midway Museum (is an aircraft carrier) and the Safari Park! I didn’t partake very often, but of the clubs I found the Bang Bang the best.
All in all, I am very happy to have done this semester abroad! Not only did I enjoy the great weather in San Diego, I also made friends and saw America from a different side. I would recommend this experience to everyone, as it always enriches you personally!