A semester abroad in the USA is guaranteed to be a unique experience. Starting with the principle of studying, which is a little different in the USA than in Germany, to the culture and the peculiarities of the country and the people, there is guaranteed to be a lot that can be best experienced through a semester abroad. In order to get the most out of it and have the best possible experience, choosing the university is of course the most important thing.
I mainly chose San Jose State University because it offered a degree that was compatible with me (media production / film and radio, television & film in San Jose) at a comparably fair price (tuition fees). The SAL (Studies in American Language) program in combination with MicroEDU makes it easy to manage the organizational part. This is very important, because the US regulations and visa application etc. can quickly bring you to the edge of serenity, especially if you add student loans. Just don’t give up, it’s worth it!
The following is to be said about the San Jose:
The location and thus the weather (California) naturally also played a role in the choice of the university. At this point in particular, I have absolutely no regrets of my choice, San Jose has 300+ days of sunshine a year, and even small clouds are very rare. In the late winter months it cools down a bit, but everything on a very pleasant level. Apart from the weather, San Jose has everything you need to have a pleasant semester. In terms of leisure activities etc., the city is roughly comparable to a medium-sized German city such as Bielefeld, Hanover, Wuppertal etc. In other words: it could be more, but it is actually sufficient.
But one should mention that Santa Cruz (beach!) And San Francisco are in an absolutely reachable distance. Even a trip to Las Vegas or Los Angeles is no big deal with a rented or purchased car. Read more student reviews on Educationvv.
San Jose is relatively safe and clean. Relatively, by American standards! You should be careful when and where you are on the road.. Now and then people are shot etc., sad American reality! It is extremely unlikely that you will actually notice anything of this, and you can easily go to Berlin, etc.
At the point of living it was a little difficult when I got there because the university has introduced a kind of campus housing requirement for local students. If you want to live near the campus, you have to put a few bills on the table every month. Even a bit outside of the city, a room for $ 500 a month can be seen as a bargain. The problem here is that there are hardly any websites that offer flat-share offers and the like. The best thing to do is go to Craigslist.com and check the bulletin board in the Student Union. It doesn’t hurt to ask around in the SAL office! On the subject of mobility it can be said: America is a country (with a few exceptions) in which you drive when you want to go somewhere. Period. If you don’t have one The best way to get from A to B is by lightrail (provided the destination is on the route), free WiFi included. Buses are mostly reliable, but they rarely come and sometimes it is difficult to find out the times (this bus runs today: every hour! Aha..). After 12 noon, it’s best to take a taxi straight away.
Studying in San Jose is not a vacation! The visa regulations require you to study 4 courses and if you are not taking any university courses you have to take SAL language courses instead, which are similarly time-consuming. As a film student, I am used to investing a lot of time in projects (filming planning, organization, etc.), but even I had the feeling that in the states there was again a lot of weekly hours being packed on it. I also had a photography course for which I was constantly traveling whole afternoons by bus & train (a nightmare) to get stuff. If you want to know more about individual courses, check out ratemyprofessor.com (google), or comparable websites. Because of the class crashing, many have an unfounded fear of not getting into their desired courses. Think about enough alternatives and take a look at all the courses, the reality often deviates from the course description and maybe the professor is totally unsympathetic or the opposite. Writing an email beforehand is also a good idea! Also assumes that there will be little time for other things during the week once the semester has really started. Those who are hardworking can of course work out free evenings and the choice of course also plays a major role. I met a few people who had little to do. Also assumes that there will be little time for other things during the week once the semester has really started. Those who are hardworking can of course work out free evenings and the choice of course also plays a major role. I met a few people who had little to do. Also assumes that there will be little time for other things during the week once the semester has really started. Those who are hardworking can of course work out free evenings and the choice of course also plays a major role. I met a few people who had little to do.
How good the course is or what you get for your money cannot be answered in general terms. It depends on the course and the lecturer / professor.
Basically, however, you feel a little more with you than in Germany because of the weekly submissions and exercises, etc. And when the semester is over, it’s over! No exams etc. after the end of the semester.
The university’s equipment is adequate and the lecture rooms / courses are manageably small. The campus itself is really beautiful, when hundreds of students walk the small streets when the sun is shining it is really a great feeling. It’s just a real (big!) Campus, and not a concrete block or something like that, as is often the case here in Germany. The best time to do a google maps tour:-) I was received very friendly and courteous by all the people I met and sometimes even had the feeling of receiving (advantageous) special treatment in the courses.
All in all, I have absolutely no regrets about my decision to study in San Jose. I had a great time and met a lot of people. San Jose can disappoint or delight, in the end it depends on you! In any case, the prerequisites are in place and if you have the feeling that everything will be presented to you on a tray, you should better stay at home.
If you ask me, go to California and make the most of it!