To anyone interested in San Jose State University
I can only recommend everyone to spend half a year in San Jose, even if only a few know the third largest city in California! The location of the city is perfect for many excursions… you can reach Santa Cruz and San Francisco in less than an hour and have the beach or the actual big city with all its possibilities right on your doorstep. San Jose itself has more of the charm of a small town, although personally I was never bored! There was always something to do, whether it was football (the ultimate university event), house parties or a cozy beer in a karaoke bar.
You also have to honestly admit that the university is not time-consuming and many of the exchange students did the courses on the side. Therefore everyone should think carefully about whether it is worth the money! If you take courses, want to really learn something and want to do more than just improve the language, this is in most cases wrong. In addition, you have to “crash” the courses, ie you cannot 100% expect to get your desired courses. Here, however, the tactic applies to remain persistent and always diligently go to the appointments. However, if you want to enjoy a really great semester with lots of parties and trips through Cali, Nevada, etc., you’ve come to the right place.
To the money
America is undoubtedly expensive. You should plan around € 15,000 for this half year. Tuition fees apply, you have to pay extra for the courses on site, sinfully expensive books have to be bought (with a promise that they will be taken back… true, but only at 10-25% of the price), the gym and aquatic center cost extra for budget for an apartment between $ 600 and $ 800… and that list goes on and on. It is best to have a credit card with which you can withdraw cash free of charge and to open an account with an American bank. This is the easiest and cheapest. However, you have to make sure that only the Bank of the West does not charge any fees when withdrawing with the Visa card. Read more student reviews on Hetongdiy.
I can only recommend everyone to search on site, as there are quite expensive shacks (rooms without windows for $ 800). That worked for most of them within a week. Although the public transport network is well developed in San Jose, one should seek an apartment around the campus. This means that everything can be reached comfortably and quickly on foot or briefly get on the bus (free of charge with the student ID). Life definitely takes place on campus. Here are not only the courses, but also an event center with really good concerts, basketball games, there is a bowling alley and there is always something going on in the Campus Village (student dormitories).
On the subject of cars
The campus is in the middle of the city, which is a great advantage. Therefore, in my opinion, it is not worth buying a car. In addition, a car can be rented relatively cheaply for the excursions, especially if you are over 25.
On the subject of communication… There is a cell phone from Net 10 for $ 30 (credit of $ 30 can be used for calls). This is the cheapest way to make calls. Of course, Skype should be installed on every computer.
There is not much to do to be able to study at this university! Personally, I just applied and settled everything else in America. The most complex are the applications for the visa and BaföG (definitely apply). The TOEFL is not particularly demanding, but you should look carefully at the timing beforehand and take a practice test to get a feel for it. Of course, it all depends on how much you want to do and it certainly doesn’t hurt to write a few essays or to hear the news in English every day. Every upper school exam is more difficult, however, so don’t panic!
I am very grateful to MicroEDU, who were always on hand with help and advice! This made the application more pleasant and saved me a lot of time!
All in all, it was the best time of my life and I don’t regret living and studying there for a second! I also learned a lot about people’s lives and I hope not to forget some of the things that make life a little more Californian in Germany too!