My semester abroad started in January 2010 and for me personally it was one of the best decisions of my life so far. I came across MicroEDU through a friend who also studied at San Diego State for a semester. This in turn made the organization of the stay much easier for me: I always had the right answers to all the questions that were floating around in my head. And of course there are a lot of them. Even if you do not know exactly how everything will go at the beginning and even if you think that all the paperwork is a lot of work, I can say with a very good conscience that it only seems like that and after two days you are in San Diego has forgotten all of this and is sure that it was worth it. I had the most problems in the application process with my international student loan, because the clerks in Hamburg (the Hamburg student union is responsible for stays in the USA) want to have the courses credited in advance. So, so to speak, they wanted a confirmation from the examination office of my university, in which they announced that the courses taken in the USA are recognized. However, you don’t even know before you start your journey which courses you will actually receive and which you can take. So it was a lot of going back and forth, but in the end – even if it really stressed me – I managed everything and was able to do so with a good feeling (I received the notification that I would receive student loans three days before my flight ) leave. Read more student reviews on Act-test-centers.
When I arrived in San Diego, it was of course not that easy at first: You don’t know anyone at first, you don’t know the area, etc. However, I have to say that this changes very quickly. This is largely due to the fact that the people there are very open-minded and it really isn’t difficult to make friends right away. Basically, I got to know even more people in my free time than at university – even though there were quite a few acquaintances there.
I really liked the San Diego State campus because it was just beautiful: all the palm trees and the beautiful buildings, the bookstore where you can buy the university’s T-shirts, sweaters, etc., the green spaces, the parks… just great. Everyone on campus does their own thing, nobody disturbs anyone and everyone just lives cool side by side.
So it was very convenient that I lived on campus. My accommodation was called “Villa Alvarado” and had both international students and American students as residents. One apartment was inhabited by four people, with two people sharing a room. We also had a large kitchen, a large living room, a balcony and of course a lot of space in the bathroom. If I could choose again, I would move back there. The main reason for this is that I got to know a lot of people and we had a lot of fun together. Of course, we often celebrated together in the apartments. And another advantage is clearly that you don’t have a long way to get to university.
I enjoyed my studies at San Diego State because, on the one hand, it included American criminal law, which I had never dealt with during my studies in Germany. On the other hand, it was easier for me to follow the content, since in my opinion the subjects – even if they were in English – do not seem so complex and therefore not difficult. I took four undergraduate courses with three credit points each to get 12 credit points. The names of my courses were Women, Law and Policy, Law in Society, Criminal Law, and Crime, Law and Justice. The latter course was the hardest for me personally, as it was a course that was all about memorizing tons of information and then retrieving it in the exams. You always have two (sometimes three) exams per subject in the semester, a (or sometimes two) midterm and a final. In general, these exams are multiple-choice exams, i.e. to be ticked. Of course, that was also very new to me.
In general, most questions about the choice of course are answered at the first orientation event, at which a team also introduces itself that is responsible for looking after international students. But if that is not enough, you can write to this team at any time by email or drop by and clear up any ambiguities. They work very quickly there and really go out of their way to make things easier for you. In addition, everyone is super nice, you really don’t have to worry about that.
They say so beautifully “America is the land of unlimited possibilities” – that’s how it sometimes seemed to me. Everything there is completely different, much bigger and more staged. When I was back in Germany, my favorite sentence in my stories was “It’s all like on TV”. I really see it that way, the American lifestyle is portrayed very well in all of the films and series. Everyone there – especially in California – is in a good mood, always comes up to you and smiles at you all day. Even if the Americans are always accused of being superficial, I don’t find this kind of superficial at all bad. After all, people are nice anyway, even if they really don’t have that much interest in you. Partying is especially fun, because the parties surpass our parties in Germany by a lot. Especially LAS VEGAS – it’s a world of its own. There is much more intense dancing, everyone is even more sociable and and and. The only thing that bothers me is that the lights in the disco go on around 1.30 / 2.00 a.m. and everyone has to go home (except in Vegas, where the party continues until the early hours of the morning). This is because alcohol is no longer allowed to be served after 2 hours. You have to follow the rules there in any case, otherwise the penalties are far too high. the party continues until the early hours of the morning). This is because alcohol is no longer allowed to be served after 2 hours. You have to follow the rules there in any case, otherwise the penalties are far too high. the party continues until the early hours of the morning). This is because alcohol is no longer allowed to be served after 2 hours. You have to follow the rules there in any case, otherwise the penalties are far too high.
Here are a few more bullet points, things to keep in mind:
- Not much is possible in the USA without a car
- German driving licenses are recognized without any problems
- Do not drink or carry alcohol in public
- Always have photo ID – preferably your passport – with you
- Don’t expect too much from Los Angeles, San Diego is a lot nicer
- Universal Studios near LA and Sea World in San Diego are a must (tickets are cheaper at the university at the ticket office)
- A visit to Tijuana is a good option and definitely worth it – I regret not having done it
- You can shop very cheaply and well – in San Diego especially in the outlet center on the border with Mexico (it’s called “Las Americas”)
- I would buy food from “Food 4 Less” – good and cheap
- I can recommend “Best Buy” for electronic goods
- There is an applestore in the “Fashion Valley” shopping mall (go in there and see how many employees are walking around)
- Right next to the same mall there is the “Cheesecake Factory” – a super good restaurant that is famous for its incredible cheesecakes (sooooo many types)
- If you already have a beach in town, take advantage of it – it’s always busy
- I can recommend the following bars / clubs for partying: Bar West in Pacific Beach (my absolute favorite), Stingaree and Ivy in Downtown (both with rooftops, really cool locations)
- Entry into the clubs only with a passport and from 21 years of age, you just don’t think of forging your ID or using someone else’s, they are very reluctant to see that
Otherwise I can’t think of anything spontaneously to give you along the way. However, I can really only advise you to do this semester abroad and go to San Diego. It’s really a wonderful city, a super cool university and I had the best time of my life, which especially shaped me personally… Have fun in my favorite city – America’s Finest San Diego!