Study in San Diego State University (2)

Study in San Diego State University 2

My semester abroad in the USA

From August to December 2012 I completed a semester abroad at the San Diego State University in California / USA.

My semester abroad in the USA was supervised by MicroEDU in Germany and by the American Language Institute (ALI) of the San Diego State University in San Diego. I was very pleased with the support from MicroEDU. MicroEDU staff were on hand to answer any questions you might have about your stay abroad. Unfortunately, this did not apply to the ALI. The ALI was generally very disorganized and the staff often seemed annoyed by the students instead of wanting to help. Especially in view of the fact that such high tuition fees are paid for the semester abroad, one could have expected a little more support from the university. Fortunately, it didn’t affect me as much as other students. With my subjects English (and French) I was in the minority and therefore did not have such big problems with the choice of courses, for example, which was done via the ALI. I was one of the few ALI students who wanted to take English courses (linguistics / literature courses), which is why I ended up getting the courses I wanted. My roommate and other business students fared differently. After more than 3 weeks into the semester, some still did not have all the courses or courses that were irrelevant to their studies as the courses were excessively crowded and American students had priority. In some cases, courses were even offered exclusively for international students. Anyone wishing to study at San Diego State University should be aware
The university itself is very well equipped and offers the students a lot more than you know from German universities. The library is large and there is no shortage of books, magazines, etc. There are common rooms in which lectures, group work and presentations can be created. The 24/7 study area is even open to the students day and night, so that you can study in peace at any time of the day.

The lecturers are very nice and helpful. The “student-teacher relationship is nowhere near as rigid and formal as it is known from German universities. Rather, the lecturer and student are a team and move on the same level. You can also contact the lecturers outside of office hours and, especially if you have any questions about the exam, drop by in person in the office. I found that very pleasant and helpful. Read more student reviews on Andyeducation.

From an intellectual point of view, the semester abroad at San Diego State University was unfortunately not a challenge for me. I often had the feeling that it is more about quantity than quality. A lot of material had to be purchased without actually being used. In one of my seminars, eight books should be read and then “discussed”. It goes without saying that the topics in the respective books were only touched on or skimmed over. The historical background / framework was not even mentioned. I also found the presentations in the corresponding courses particularly shocking. Most of the time, sources from the Internet were sufficient. In addition, the presentations were read out. Journal entries, essays, creative projects, etc. were submitted weekly, however, the overall requirements were comparatively low. What bothered me the most is that the students are being deprived of all independence. San Diego State University reminded me more of school than college.

The semester abroad in the USA made sense for me for the most part. I learned a lot about the American mentality and culture and was able to see the USA from a different point of view. As an ALI student, I felt part of American culture and was able to fully immerse myself in the American lifestyle. I came into contact with Americans privately, especially through couch surfing. I have rarely met people as open-minded and sociable as in the USA. I got to know the Americans as friendly, uncomplicated and approachable. Through many interesting conversations and encounters, I not only got to know the Americans, but also learned a lot about the USA as a country: the education and health system, politics, the military and the infrastructure. This enabled me to see the USA from a different perspective. The USA was no longer a vacation destination for me, but the place where I lived and made American acquaintances / friends. Of course, I was also able to gain a lot of language and writing practice. I am fluent in English again and I no longer feel insecure. Because I had to write so many texts and essays, I was also able to improve my English in writing and increase my pace of work. From an intellectual point of view, I would still have liked a bigger development, since the requirements were comparatively low. where I lived and made American acquaintances / friends. Of course, I was also able to gain a lot of language and writing practice. I am fluent in English again and I no longer feel insecure. Because I had to write so many texts and essays, I was able to improve my English in writing and increase my pace of work. From an intellectual point of view, I would still have liked a bigger development, since the requirements were comparatively low. where I lived and made American acquaintances / friends. Of course, I was also able to gain a lot of language and writing practice. I am fluent in English again and I no longer feel insecure. Because I had to write so many texts and essays, I was able to improve my English in writing and increase my pace of work. From an intellectual point of view, I would still have liked a bigger development, since the requirements were comparatively low.

What I take away from my semester abroad are the memories of the great people I met there and who made my semester abroad what it was. I’m taking with me a newfound picture of the United States and the Americans, and I will always fondly remember five months of studying at San Diego State University. I can only recommend everyone to take the step of a semester abroad, because the effort is worth it.

Study in San Diego State University 2