Study in San Diego State University (5)

By | September 24, 2021

About the university

The SDSU has an incredibly beautiful campus. Compared to German universities, it is like a small town with everything you need. The dream of American college life can definitely be realized. I was particularly looking forward to the numerous sporting events of the university team (SDSU Aztecs) in advance and was by no means disappointed. The basketball games in the campus stadium are particularly recommended. In general, everything is many times larger than in Germany, 33,000 students now have to be accommodated. Nevertheless, everything can be easily reached in 10 minutes on foot.

On-site support

The American Language Institute (ALI) takes care of the international students at SDSU. The ALI basically has an entire building to itself and the staff is usually easy to reach and very helpful. They answer all kinds of questions. I got the impression that they had a lot of experience in dealing with international students, which made me feel good, especially with various forms. Read more student reviews on Ehuacom.


Since the SDSU was not offered as a partner university at my home university, I had to take care of the organization myself as a “free mover”. The MicroEDU team was a tremendous help with this. The employees are very nice, courteous and competent. They are available to answer questions at every step of the application process. However, be sure to fill out all forms in a timely manner and return them to MicroEDU. Unfortunately, this is a lot of paperwork, but it’s worth the effort.;-)

When it came to the dormitory, it was more difficult because I did it entirely from Germany. Various Facebook groups, such as MicroEDU, are helpful. Most, however, have only spot in San Diego after an accommodation sought. In the end, I was very happy with my decision to look for an apartment in Germany. Searching on site is very stressful. However, I was not happy with my choice of dormitory. I stayed at the Fifty Twenty Five, which turned out to be a big mistake. Keep your distance from it. Most of the Germans lived in the “BLVD63”, which was a modern and beautiful dormitory.

College Area vs. Beaches

That is the big price question of the semester. I lived in the college area and was very happy about it. The short distances to the university took a lot of stress off my shoulders every morning. While it is nice to live on the beach, it comes at a higher cost. On the one hand, the rents are higher and, on the other hand, you need a car to get to the university. In addition, even if you live near college, you get to the beach often enough.

Automobile? – yes and no. Cars are expensive in San Diego, usually around $ 400 a month. However, you need a car to cover the long distances in the city fairly quickly. I didn’t have a car, so I bought a semester ticket for public transport. That saved me money, but it cost me a lot of time. I recommend this option only to patient contemporaries.;-)


Regarding the lectures, it can generally be said that academically they are not as demanding as in Germany, but you still have to work a lot and constantly. Often term papers (even if short, mostly 2-5 pages) have to be handed in or material for the next lecture has to be prepared. This course design is more reminiscent of the German school system. The course size is usually around 50 students. To be considered a full-time student, you have to attend 12 units, which are usually divided into 4 courses. With 4 courses per week there is a lot of free time, which, as I said, often has to be sacrificed for work. All in all, however , other activities are of course not left by the waysidesuch as the huge gym (ARC), which ALI students can use free of charge. There are also several exams per semester. For me there were two midterms and a final, but that varies from course to course.

My courses

1. MGT 352 (ALI) – Human Resource Management

A very stressful but instructive course. The lecturer is a successful company founder and looks after the staff of several companies. It is constantly energized, which makes the course pace extremely fast and sometimes difficult to understand. Nevertheless, she has a lot of knowledge and has designed her grading system to be very fair.

2. BA 350 (ALI) – Management & Organizational Behavior

The lecturer Ms. Zhou moved to the USA as a young lady from China and founded a successful company. She doesn’t think much of classical teaching, so her motto was “learning by doing”. So we started a small company and held an essay contest, where we learned a lot. In my opinion the best course this semester.

3. BA 370 (ALI) – Marketing

Unfortunately, this course wasn’t very good. We had to buy a code for an online platform, which we used the whole semester. Before each lecture, it was our task to read through a chapter and take a little quiz about it. In the lecture she was supposed to work on the topic and add information, but unfortunately it felt like two completely different lectures. In general, the lecturer was also not very helpful. However, their grading system was very fair. She has offered to receive extra credits by participating in a marketing experiment.

4. JMS 462 – Advertising Strategy & Social Media

This course was great. The lecturer was young and dynamic and always supported her topics with visual material, which made the course extremely interesting. The content was instructive and practical. She did a small assignment four times at the end of the lecture, although you only had to take part to get full marks.

5. ENS 146 – Surfing


The surf course was the best decision of my semester. The $ 175 fee initially put me off a bit, but I still chose the course. We went surfing twice a week for most of the semester. You have the option to get a credit for it, but I already had my 12 credits together and then chose the course without credit. It was definitely worth every penny !!


An unexpectedly high cost of the semester. Wait a bit and see if the book is also used by Prof. The professor often demands that the book has to be bought and in the end it is not needed (exception: access codes for online learning platforms; they definitely have to be bought). If you really need it, you should borrow the book from the bookstore or from Amazon.


An expensive semester, but it was worth every penny and I would do it again anytime. You live the “American Dream” for six months – California, beaches, road trips. It was the best time of my life.

Study in San Diego State University 5