Why San Diego?
For me it has always been a dream to experience the Californian “lifestyle” personally. The good weather and the surroundings were ultimately the main arguments why I was drawn to the sunny coastal state. The reason why I specifically chose San Diego and not another university in California was the recommendations from my circle of friends and acquaintances as well as the good “location”. Above all, it was important to me to see and experience as much as possible, which is why I believe that you’re in good hands in San Diego.
Preparation / flight
Before the real adventure begins, there are some preparations to be made. But this is less and easier than initially thought. You always get professional support from the team, especially with visa applications , financial matters and general questions .
On the subject of flights , I can recommend you to book the one-way flight first. This means that you are much more flexible at the end of the semester and you can plan your subsequent time better. In terms of price, it didn’t make a big difference to me either, since my return flight was in January and the flights are relatively cheap at that time. If you still want to book outward and return flights, you can also use the various flex options offered by the airlines.
Right from the start I decided to look for an apartment on site . It should also be as close to the beach as possible, as I believe that you don’t get the chance to live on the beach so quickly. I arrived on August 3rd and like many of my fellow students first went to Lucky D’s Hostel. From there I went looking for an apartment in the direction of the beach. Many from the hostel were also looking for apartments on the beach so that you could share Uber, for example. I got most of the contacts from landlords and agents from the Facebook groups. I would recommend everyone to join the groups as a lot of the communication takes place there. That’s how I ended up going to our house on the beach. I had a shared room right in PB. Although I was very lucky with my roommates, it is of course always a risk to move in with completely new people. We got on so well that the three of us shared a car and partied a lot together.
University / courses
Of course, the SDSU cannot be compared with German universities. The campus is so big that it takes 15 minutes to walk through it completely. Everything is very nicely laid out and the sports options are unlimited. From the gym to huge sports halls and swimming pools, everything is on offer. Of course, many of the typical student associations can also be found on campus. There is a huge food court on the premises , where there are all kinds of fast food restaurants. There are also many shops just outside the actual campus, where you can eat very good burritos, for example. However, if you are looking for a classic cafeteria, you will unfortunately be disappointed. But it didn’t bother me personally.
The courses I chose were exclusively special sessions . This gave me a very relaxed schedule with only two days of lectures a week. However, you have to be aware that these courses are only used with Germans or Scandinavians. Depending on the course, there were between 50-80 people in the lecture. Homework as well as small presentations are standard in many courses. In addition, two to three midterms have to be written per semester. Overall, however, the level was significantly lower than at my home university in Germany. Most exams can be mastered with good grades without great effort.
For those who particularly want to enjoy their time on site and shouldn’t focus too much on learning, I can recommend the courses Organizational Behavior with Lily Zhou and Investment with Prof. Do. Even Leadership Prof. Nicholson is good to master. It’s best to have a look at ratemyprofessor.com, where many professors have already been rated.
Leisure / everyday life
Everyday life in San Diego has a lot to offer and it never gets boring. Be it life in San Diego with the beaches, the parties in downtown or PB or the many sights around the city such as Potato Chip Rock, Balboa Park, Mount Soledad and SeaWorld. Of course, you can also simply enjoy the Californian sun and the “lifestyle” by simply buying a skateboard and driving along the beach with its many bars.
Of course, San Diego also invites you to travel, as most of the destinations are not too far away. San Francisco, LA , Vegas, Mexico and many of the national parks are all easy to explore over a long weekend. I especially liked Bryce Canyon in Utah. So if you are in the area, you should definitely take it with you. I can also recommend everyone to fly to Hawaii at the end or in between. You probably won’t be that close again in the next few years.
Even if California is an expensive “patch” with high costs of living , I can only recommend it to everyone to spend a semester abroad there. All the impressions and experiences made it the best time of my life for me. I enjoyed every day and already miss it.