Dear SDSU interested parties,
The following field report is intended to give all SDSU interested parties a rough overview of the college, the course content and, above all, life in California. Like you probably too, I read a lot of different experience reports in the preparation time for my semester abroad in order to plan the stay, I’ll just show how I spent my semester abroad, if you like the way you can do one or the other thing over there do similar. Before I start my testimonial, I would like to say “how” my testimonial should be read: The decisions to enjoy my semester abroad, party, meet new people and get to know the real American college life always had priority over studying and good grades.
I think the most important thing in preparation is the decision how and where you want to live, which is probably already made in Germany. Where you live ultimately determines your daily routine, which parties you go to etc. so this decision should be carefully considered. Read more student reviews on Educationvv.
By and large, there are only three different alternatives: student dormitories, an apartment near the beach and an apartment near the university. Which one you choose depends on your personal preferences, I lived in a shared apartment near college with five Americans and one German (so a total of 7 people) and that was probably the most important and best decision I made in my entire semester abroad have. To the different alternatives:
Student residence (e.g. Piedra del Sol, Sterling Apartments): You should choose to live in a student residence if you want to live with other international students and, above all, other Germans. A clear advantage is that you can easily apply for a place from Germany and that the apartments are close to the SDSU. I would recommend people to live in the dormitory who are not 100% fluent in their English and would like to get to know other Germans. First of all, I have to say that I also met a lot of cool people in the student dormitories and there were also some cool parties.
Living near the beach (or not near the university): As cool as it may be to live near the beach or anywhere else, it is completely puzzling to me how you can not decide on the run – to live near the university by bike or skateboard. Spending an hour on the freeways every day just to get to the only lecture you might have that day is just not worth it. There are testimonials in which people write that it is just looser people who live at college, the cool people live in Pacific Beach or the like. Please don’t believe a word of them, there is certainly a lot more going on in the College Area than in PB, Downtown or anywhere else.
Flat share near college: I chose it and it was great. After living in a hostel downtown for the first week after my arrival (Lucky D’s Hostel, highly recommended), I immediately started looking for a suitable place to stay via Craigslist. I rented a car through Alamo Car Rental so that I could check out the advertised addresses and advertisements, and I took the GPS with me from Germany.
After a few days of searching, I finally found a 7-person flat share near the college with 5 very casual Americans and a cool German as roommates.
I would recommend people to look for a flat share with Americans who want to get to know the “real” college life, want to meet lots of new people and want to experience the authentic American way of life. Through the open American Roommates I was suddenly accepted into a large circle of friends, we were together in Vegas, at parties, at football, baseball games and and and…
In my opinion, the other experience reports give a fairly accurate picture of the courses and studies. The American college system is very scholarly, attendence is compulsory in almost every subject and there is graded homework. It is actually important that you are well prepared for the midterms and tests (approx. 2-4 learning days minimum per midterm), that you do the homework and group projects reasonably conscientiously. I wouldn’t necessarily say that the American system is much simpler, the continuity of the learning volume is probably the biggest difference to the German system. You just have to be prepared to prepare either a mid-term, a mini-test, a group project or a graded homework assignment for each subject pretty much every week. These are usually not that difficult.
In the following briefly the subjects I have chosen and a short description:
Managerial Accounting 202: Prof. Chan
Comparable to the German subject internal accounting. Good professor but challenging subject. Weekly mini tests and midterms that are tough. For anyone interested in American accounting. Not recommended for math dyslexics (like me, haha).
Marketing 476 Internet / Interactive Marketing: Prof. Honea
Great subject on Internet Marketing, SEO and SEM. Very practical. I can only warmly recommend it to anyone interested in internet marketing. In addition, you learn how to design and program Internet pages in the subject. Our thesis was a complete internet marketing plan for a real company. SUPER compartment.
Management & Organiational Behavior MGMT 350: Prof. Zehtabchi
Typical boring management subject. On the positive side, attendance is optional after the first 10 minutes. I had to take the subject for my home university. I can recommend it to everyone who wants an “easy A”, a 1.0 without doing anything for it.
MGMT 357 Multinational Bus. & Comparative MGMT 357: Prof. Blue
Typical management subject again. Slightly heavier and more interesting than MGMT 350, but not worth mentioning. For everyone who needs management subjects for recognition or is looking for a subject to fill. You have to do a larger group work at the end of the semester.
On life / overall impression / conclusion
Life in California, especially in San Diego, especially at SDSU, is just a dream. Anyone who has ever studied there for a semester seriously wonders why one should ever come back to Germany to finish studying here in snow or rain. No, but joking aside, I think the semester abroad at SDSU is a great experience and I can really recommend it to everyone. Las Vegas, football games from university, surfing or hanging out on the beach, Taco Tuesday in Pacific Beach, downtown clubs, fraternity parties, the ARC gym on campus, concerts on campus, the activities and the fun you can have over there is unlimited.
Renting / buying a car over there is recommended if you really want to be completely independent. At Dirt Cheap Car Rental you can rent a Mustang convertible for $ 400 a month.
The only two points that were negative
about the stay: If you think you are a one-off over there as an exchange student, you are wrong. The SDSU is teeming with German exchange students, I personally found that a bit negative, but I don’t think it’s a major disadvantage if you live with Americans, for example.
You should also be aware that a semester abroad is expensive fun, especially if you have to pay the college fees yourself. Nevertheless it was worth every penny, and my recommendation is also try not to be unnecessarily economical when you are already there. You probably only have this chance once, and if you are already there and can do it, then do the things you need to have a nice semester abroad.
For anyone who is unsure whether they want to do a semester abroad: do it! It was a great time that I will always fondly remember in my life.
I wish everyone who decides to spend a semester abroad at SDSU a lot of fun and enjoy it!