San Diego State University Study Abroad


Abbreviated as SDSU by abbreviationfinder, San Diego State University is located on Interstate 8, half an hour inland from the coast. By German standards, it is a relatively large area with several buildings that are used for lectures, sports, restaurants, administration, a library, etc. Bachelor students in particular visit this university whose lectures usually take place in the mornings and afternoons. Lectures for graduate students are mainly held in the afternoons and evenings, sometimes until 10 p. m. Ideally, you should have selected a few courses before starting your studies, which you can have credited at your home university if you wish. On the internet you will find the lecture time, room and organizer, as well as the “credit points” to be awarded. To take part in a course, you have to “crash” it in advance, ie if possible go to the first lecture and ask the professor to include you in the course at the end of the lecture. Sometimes this can be confirmed immediately or you end up on a waiting list. American students have priority for all lecture attendance. And only when the course is “filled” with the latter, you can participate. Foreign Bachelor students usually have more difficulties getting into courses than Master students. In my opinion, the so-called “class crashing” is not necessary for students whose universities are partner universities of the SDSU. Or if it is directly a kind of exchange program, then foreign students have the right to participate in the course without prior consultation with the professor. For every course, the professor usually recommends or demands that a book be bought or borrowed. It can get quite expensive to buy. If the latest edition is used, $ 150 can go away for a book. But there is also the possibility to borrow them, depending on the stock, for about half the price. If you already speak the English language, it is also relatively pleasant to follow the course content. However, the teaching system differs a little from our German university style. A lot of value is placed on diligence and cooperation. At least 2 exams per course are written (“midterm” & “final”) and a presentation is given, and a term paper is required. Depending on the professor, more. In general, there are a relatively large number of foreign students at SDSU. The most strongly represented nation has probably been the German for a few semesters, followed by Italians and Asians. A large part of them take language courses, the other part attend regular “graduate” and “under-graduate” courses. A highlight of the university is the very well-equipped fitness center and the outdoor pool a few meters away. Membership is free for students who applied through the ALI (see below). Swimming courses or extra group sport courses and competitions are also offered. who applied through the ALI (see below), membership is free. Swimming courses or extra group sport courses and competitions are also offered. who applied through the ALI (see below), membership is free. Swimming courses or extra group sport courses and competitions are also offered.

If the SDSU is not a partner university of your home university, you can apply once through the ALI (language center) or directly at the university. Unfortunately, I cannot say what the difference is or what effects it has. The easiest way is to apply through “MicroEDU”, a student placement organization, and ask for further information. The employees are very easy to reach, usually respond to emails within a day, can send you course syllabi and even forward your application. You will also receive all the necessary information about visas and other important documents.
Financing and costs:

To apply, you have to show some kind of assets. You can usually or at least partially cover this with the foreign student loan. The latter also pays a flat rate for the flight, as well as the tuition fees of up to 4600 euros. Depending on the booking period and flight date, flight costs amount to between 700-1100 euros. The semester at SDSU costs around $ 6000. If the savings, student loans or family allowances are not enough, there is still the possibility of the KFW student loan, which you can also apply for during a domestic semester. All in all, you should expect expenses of 1000 euros per month (rent, car, leisure time, food). If necessary, plan an extra budget for trips.


The best thing to do is to search for San Diego at www. craigslist. com or to look around for houses that are marked “for rent”. There are housing options close to the campus, but also in other parts of the city, such as “Pacific Beach” or “La Mesa”. The student dormitories are usually significantly more expensive than rooms you are looking for and not necessarily better in terms of comfort. You can find single rooms in “shared apartments or houses”, but also in the so-called “communities”. The latter are monitored and closed rental units, mostly with pools, fitness and sauna, depending on the equipment. Try to avoid “broker fees” because you can find something without a broker. Allow around $ 600 a month for rental costs for a full-size room.


Unfortunately, the car is a must in San Diego. With public transport, you are usually on the road for a long time and you do not reach your destination immediately. You can rent cars in San Diego for around $ 400 a month, including insurance. For this purpose, there is allegedly a contact person and / or a group with contact details on studiVZ. But you can also buy one yourself, either from the dealer or privately at www. craigslist. com, for example. The latter can be cheaper, but dealerships also sell cars for as little as $ 1000. You can get car insurance via www. progressive. com for around $ 400 for 6 months. After buying the car you have to go to the Californian “Department of Motorcycles”, DMV for short (http://www. dmv. ca. gov/portal/home/dmv. htm), preferably with a “smog check”, Sign in. Public transport consists mainly of buses and trolleys (trains). Since everything is quite spacious in San Diego, you should at least consider a bike without a car.


There are shopping opportunities “en masse”. The “Mission Center” and “Fashion Valley”, which are more centrally located in the city, offer a wide range of shopping opportunities. You can also find a “mall” and extra shops “Downtown”. One store after another is also lined up in “Pacific Beach”, “Garnet Avenue”. Otherwise, the outlet malls, such as “Las Americas” on the American-Mexican border, offer plenty of shopping opportunities. If you would like to learn to surf, you can choose between many surf schools. Connoisseurs will also find ample opportunities to rent surfboards and suits directly on the beach, for example “Mission Beach”. “Surf classes” are offered by the Mission Beach Aqua Center, for example. These cost around $ 160 for a full semester. When it comes to food, “fast food” is unfortunately one of the top priorities in California. You can get it everywhere and very cheaply. You can buy food for little money, for example at “Food for Less” or something more exclusive at “Ralphs”. For going out there are 3 different “areas” that invite you to go out. One “Pacific Beach”, near the beach with many different bars, for example on “Garnet Avenue”, and a club “Bar West”. Bars and clubs in “Downtown” can be found in the “Gaslamp Quarter”. “Ocean Beach” offers various bars and is known as a surfer and hippie district. Admission to bars and clubs is only possible for us with a passport, no personal ID, no driver’s license or the like, and of course only from 21 years of age. However, you can also apply for a Californian ID at the DMV (http://www. dmv. ca. gov/portal/home/dmv. htm) for around $ 20, but the waiting time can take “months” (please inquire!).


All in all, the semester abroad was a very good experience. The people are very friendly, open-minded and courteous. The weather and the landscape, coast, desert and canyons are very beautiful. Street and place names are often in Mexican. Sights are apart from the beaches and coasts, Old Town (historical district), La “Jolla Cove” for watching seals, Balboa Park (museum park) as well as the zoo and “Seaworld”. Cities around San Diego are also very worth seeing. In California alone, LA and San Francisco are well-known tourist destinations. For Mexico, opinions are divided over fears of violence. Tijuana’s center, a Mexican city on the California-Mexico border, is still worth seeing.

San Diego State University Study Abroad