I had a wonderful time at San Jose State University. When I was planning my trip, I never believed that everything would go well in the end. A lot of things went through my head and not everything was given in a structured way. The colorful choice of universities and the complex websites, the application for the visa, the passing of the language test, the entire cost coverage and all the time pressure cost you a lot of energy, hard work and a positive attitude. But it’s an adventure and when you’re on the plane, most of the organizational work is already done. Your website provides input and a lot of support. It is best to make a to-do list for the semester abroad and implement it immediately.
For financial reasons alone, the entire semester abroad seemed impossible to me. But then I found out that if you get Inlandsbafög, then you are usually entitled to receive Auslandsbafög. I spent a total of 13,000 euros on my semester abroad. Fortunately, the Bafögamt covered the university fees and the flight. I found the housing or the student dormitory to be very expensive. Here a single room costs around $ 1000. But in the dormitory it was very practical because you had a short way to class and because it was possible to come into contact with many students.
The cost of the visa should also be considered. Here you spend 300-400 euros on the entire application. Applying for a visa was particularly difficult for me, but in the end you just have to be precise and quick when filling out the forms. The photo is requested as described in the form. It is best to have the photographer take the picture digitally beforehand. Applying for a visa is just a matter of formality.
The choice of bank and credit card is very important. I can recommend a bank that does not charge foreign fees or reimburse them if necessary.
I chose San Jose State University because it’s only an hour from San Francisco. In addition, you have the opportunity to visit the well-known surroundings, such as Santa Cruz, the beautiful Big Sur, Santa Barbara or LA route in just a few hours. After all, it wasn’t just about studying abroad for me, I also wanted to explore the area and get to know a part of America. I also found the weather in San Jose very pleasant. I was there between January and June and most of the time we had sunshine up to 25 degrees during the day. In the evening it was very cool and even cold.
The university is located downtown and is therefore very convenient for daily shopping. There are many banks, bars and restaurants in this area. Unfortunately there are no shopping centers downtown. You have to travel a good distance by bus or preferably by car to a mall. In general, public transport in California is not that comfortable and in no way comparable to Europe. Without a car, I quickly felt lost in the endlessly long and wide streets.
What I particularly liked about the USA was the entire university concept. University life in America is more communal and therefore much more interesting. On the one hand because the university campus, all of its buildings (library, swimming pool and sports stadium, student dormitory, etc.) are clustered together like a small town, and on the other hand because a large selection of courses is offered. A lot of emphasis is placed on sport. During my studies in California, the basketball season was between February and March. The atmosphere here was very lively and entertaining. Actually as you know it from the American films with cheerleaders, mascots, the player himself and the audience.
I took my courses at San Jose State University in Art History, Archeology, Ceramic, and Volleyball. Since I study museum studies in Berlin, but this course was not really offered at San Jose State University, the alternative to study my subjects according to my interests seemed the most sensible. My courses involved a lot of homework. I had to read a lot and write homework, especially in archeology and art history. Fortunately, I also had an additional English course to improve my academic English. Of the courses, I liked the Ceramic course best. Here you had the opportunity to develop creatively in a large workshop and also get to know nice Americans. I liked the volleyball course just as much,
All in all, it was a very successful and valuable semester. During this time you make a lot of new friends, go to as many parties as possible, automatically learn the language and get an impression of the country and its inhabitants. I would like to do another semester abroad. Thanks to your website, I was able to realize my dream of studying abroad, and therefore I can recommend everyone to do one or more semesters abroad. It really is the most beautiful experience, which is priceless despite the annoying paperwork and financial burden.