Since my applications for the American partner universities of my home university were unsuccessful, I decided to go to the USA as a freemover. Because I wanted to go to the USA from the start, my university recommended MicroEDU. MicroEDU has numerous partner universities in the USA and after a little research I decided on San Jose State University because the weather in California is ideal and the location also leaves some travel options open. In addition, the fees of the SJSU for a semester abroad were relatively low, due to the cost of livingHowever, it was put into perspective again, but more on that later. MicroEDU helped me a lot with my application and also provided me with syllabi for older courses, for example. The confirmation came very quickly and you had to transfer the fees and take care of a visa. Overall, I would start preparing for the semester abroad at least 6 months before the start of the program.
Housing is extremely expensive in San Jose. I decided to live off-campus and found an apartment through Airbnb. For the small apartment without! I paid 938 € a month for the kitchen and washing machine. I had to take the bus to the university for about 20-25 minutes, but the public transport connections are really great. The prices are the same everywhere, regardless of whether it is a student residence, host family or other accommodation. Overall, it was very expensive to live in San Jose, as everyday things, such as shopping, are significantly more expensive than in Germany. Read more student reviews on Mcat-test-centers.
The university in San Jose is very modern and the campus is beautiful. However, everyday university life is in no way comparable to that in Germany. The university is simpler and reminds you of high school. I got on well with English right from the start because Americans are very nice and open people. At the beginning of the semester there was an orientation week, in which the processes of university life were explained to you. There are also some events held through the International Gateway Office. I took part in trips to San Francisco and Monterey and went to the unit team’s soccer game with other exchange students. The International Gateway Office will always help you with questions on site. On the campus itself there are many dining options in the Student Union and also many sports activities. In the following I will talk a little more about my courses.
Global Operations Strategy (BUS5 145):
The professor of the course was very funny and has impressive practical experience. The professor attached great importance to presentations and participation, which made up 60% of the final grade. During the exams he always said exactly what he was going to ask. I would recommend this course.
Global Project Management (BUS5 146):
The professor on this course was very disorganized, but also funny. It was very easy to get a good grade on this course, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.
Service Operations Management (BUS5 147):
This was the most demanding course of the semester and I would definitely recommend it. In addition to three exams, you had to give two presentations. You also learn a lot about American culture in this course.
Family Business Dynamics (BUS5 185):
This is the only course that was taught by an American, all other courses were taught by Asian professors. It was labor intensive as there was always homework, but also very interesting. In this course, many fellow students talked about their own family businesses.
Things to do in San Jose itself are limited. However, you can take the cail train to San Francisco in about 90 minutes or the bus to Santa Cruz, the nearest beach, in the same time. At the beginning of the semester I took a long-distance bus to Los Angeles, which took about 7 hours. But the price for a return ticket was only $ 40. I also flew to Seattle, Phoenix, and Washington DC during my stay. Domestic flights are very cheap in the USA if you book in good time. In addition, absolutely! Download the Uber app before you fly to the US, because Uber is a very cheap alternative to taking a taxi. If you like to party, wait until you are 21 to do your semester abroad, because the controls in the USA are very strict and you cannot get alcohol or cigarettes under the age of 21. The region is a dream for sports fans. In addition to the unit teams, with the Sharks, Earthquakes, 49ers, and Giants you have covered all sports within a short radius. During the semester free tickets for the San Jose Giants were given out again and again. All in all, the semester abroad was an unforgettable experience and I would do it again at any time.