University selection & visa
In choosing the right university, MicroEDU in general and Aline in particular (thanks again at this point!) Were really of great help.
All questions, no matter how banal, are answered very quickly, you definitely feel that you are in good hands and looked after.
It then became clear to me relatively quickly that it would be the SDSU, the only problem was that I still had to wait for the DAAD language certificate from my university and the application deadline was pushed forward due to the strong demand. In the end it worked and I had my place at the SDSU safe.
Then it was time to get a visa appointment. It should be said here that it can’t hurt to apply for this appointment early enough so that you don’t end up running out of time.
The appointment itself (I was at the embassy in Berlin) is again not a big deal, as long as you have the required documents with you. And I tell you: you WILL have the documents with you, the nice staff there have no problem simply sending you home again if you have forgotten something. But that’s just by the way, I don’t want to scare you or anything.
Like most people, when I arrived in San Diego, I first took a hostel to look for a place to live.
I stayed at the hostel in Ocean Beach. Is not necessarily recommended if you have high demands on hygiene, volume or other things. If I were you I would probably prefer a hostel in downtown, but that’s up to you, I just don’t want to make a recommendation for the OB hostel.
There is no need to be too afraid of looking for an apartment on site. Via Craigslist (in my opinion you don’t have to use any other platforms, as Craigslist has enough offers) simply call the landlord directly and make appointments. I ended up living in the college area and have never looked back. There you can get more of “college life” and if you want to go to the beach, you just go there. Ultimately, that’s up to you, but don’t focus too much on Pacific Beach, there are other options for living.
Courses & Uni
When choosing a course, the ALI (i.e. all students who do not come to the SDSU through a university partnership) treat the exchange students in a noticeably second class. Above all, the business courses are usually full before you even get the chance to crash the courses. The crash itself then (often) looks like that 30 ALI students fight for 2-3 free places. This procedure only needs to be clear beforehand, otherwise a certain negative attitude towards the coordinators will quickly arise, as no help can be expected from this side. But in the end everyone gets (more or less) the courses they want, but be prepared for the first two weeks of university to attend an incredible number of lectures, but not be able to get a place in most of them.
I ended up taking the following courses:
- FIN323 – Fundamentals of Finance – The course was super interesting, but it was simply too much material, which meant that there was never an opportunity to have a discussion in the lecture
- FIN327 – Investments – The course builds on the course mentioned above, but it was much more interesting for me, as it was also possible to ask or discuss something -> recommended
- MGT352 – Human Resource Management – I needed the course for crediting at my university in Germany. For another reason, please do not choose the course!
- MIS302 – Supply Chain Management – I also needed the course for crediting, but in contrast to the course mentioned above, the course was really interesting
Overall, the level of the courses is not comparable to the German standard, the finance courses were still quite demanding, but you shouldn’t go to the SDSU if you value high-quality courses. In addition, you have to be aware that (I’m talking about business courses here, as I haven’t attended any others) you don’t just study with Americans, but that half the room is often full of Germans and Danes. This applies not only to the courses, but also to everyday life in San Diego in general: there are an incredible number of Germans there, so if you want to spend your semester abroad exclusively with Americans, you should think about whether San Diego is right for you.
The university is huge, they say there is really a lot going on alone on campus.
The sports teams, especially football and basketball, are of course very important. There is a huge tailgate for the first football game (highly recommended!) And the basketball games, which are played in the Viejas Arena directly on campus, are also a must for everyone, whether they are sports enthusiasts or not Do sports yourself, for example the intramural leagues in the gym (soccer, basketball, volleyball etc.) or the surf courses at the MBAC (definitely worth it and a lot of fun) I don’t say much, it has already been described in great detail in the last 100 experience reports, I’ll just list again, maybe there is something new: Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, San Francisco (including a detour to Stanford), Los Angeles,
Nightlife in San Diego
- Thursday: Party bus from the SDSU to the Ivy
- Friday: Fluxx, well-known DJs often play there
- Saturday: Whiskey Girl (bar) downtown and then Voyeur
- Sunday: Pool party on the rooftop of the Hard Rock Hotel, often with well-known DJs, but only in summer until mid-September at the latest
Choose San Diego and you will have the best time of your life!