After graduating from high school in 2013, I had the dream of visiting the USA , especially California . This dream was to come true in 2016, but there was still a long way to go. I started organizing for my goal “ San Diego State University – 2016” in September 2015, about a year in advance. I would recommend everyone to find out as early as possible, as such an application for studying abroad (especially as a freemover) requires some formalities that cannot be dealt with overnight.
For example, the official language certificate at C1 level. According to Medicinelearners.com, this certificate can be obtained through a corresponding result in the IELTS , TOEFL or DAAD test . I can only recommend that you find out at your own university in the language center early on whether there are other ways of obtaining a C1 language certificate. At my home university in Würzburg, for example, by passing 2 C1 English courses during the semester, it is also possible to get a corresponding certificate without a time-consuming and cost-intensive examination. I would really recommend this to anyone interested, as the IELTS & TOEFL test in particular involves considerable preparation and costs.
The visit to the US embassy required for the visa should also be booked as early as possible, as possible appointments are quickly sold out.
Another important aspect to think about early on is: “Where do I want to live “? In San Diego there are basically two alternatives: on the beach or near the university. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options. For example, it takes about 20 minutes by car from the beach to the university (without traffic jams), which means you have to have a car or a lift to get to the university, as the public transport network in the USA is generally not the best . On the other hand, it is also worth the experience to live near the beach for six months and have the chance to go surfing or play beach volleyball every day.
After a brief consideration, I decided on a residential complex near the university, from which one is relatively close to the university (15 minutes ‘walk; 3 minutes’ shuttle) & comes into contact with many other international and American students. We are talking about the notorious BLVD 63. This residential complex includes 2 pools, a fitness studio, clubhouse, study rooms, whirlpool, barbecue areas, parking garage and, above all, legendary parties. Many of our friends who did not live in this complex visited us regularly to celebrate at one of the numerous BLVD house parties on the weekend or to attend one of the extravagant pool parties.
In summary, I don’t regret for a second that I chose the BLVD 63, because here you can simply experience the clichéd American student life up close .
One point that should be noted with the BLVD 63 is that if you rent a complete apartment you will not receive a rental contract with a 6-month duration. That means you have to rent the apartment for at least 1 year. At that time, my roommates and I decided to rent for a year, but that involved a lot of effort (lengthy application, paperwork, countless financial evidence, early search for new tenants …). That is why I would recommend looking for a flat share with Americans who live there permanently and thus save yourself the stress of the tedious application and the search for new tenants. To find suitable roommates, there is also a corresponding app on the BLVD homepage or you can ask in various Facebook groups.
About the university itself: The San Diego State University cannot be compared with German universities. The campus is huge and includes various fitness studios, pool facilities, food courts, shopping facilities, basketball stadiums, idyllic parks … in other words, everything your heart desires. While strolling across the campus, you actually feel more like in a holiday resort than in the university. I’ve always felt very comfortable there and tried to spend as much time there as possible.
Since I am studying economics in Germany , I took the Business Courses program in San Diego.
During the semester I took 3 subjects (special sessions): Entrepreneurship (L.Hoffmann), Leadership (M.Nicholson) & Organizational Behavior (L.Zhou). The subjects were actually all very informative and interesting, so I can recommend them all with a good heart. I graduated in the 1, x area, and was very satisfied with it, because it is much more difficult to get such grades in Würzburg . With regard to organizational behavior in particular, it can be said that you can be sure of a loose 1.0 with almost no effort. That’s why I would definitely take this course regardless of the content.
In summary, it can be said that the six months in San Diego was definitely the best part of my student days . The city and university are simply breathtaking, and the weather is outstanding (even at the end of December by the pool). You also get to know so many new people from all over the world. The experiences that I was able to make here have definitely broadened my horizons and shaped my character.
I can only advise everyone who has the opportunity to attend this university … do it! It is a real privilege to live in such an exceptionally beautiful part of the world for six months , and it doesn’t look bad in the résumé either;).
Therefore do not miss the chance, I wish you a great time!