You can’t go wrong with a semester abroad in San Diego! If you long for sun, beach and summer, the SDSU is the place for you, because here you can really experience the Californian lifestyle. So don’t be put off by all the paperwork and forms – it’s really worth it!
Since I didn’t feel like looking for a room on site, I applied in advance for a room on campus via MicroEDU and luckily got a room in the Piedra del Sol Apartments. I can really recommend this residential complex because the apartments were newly renovated last year and you have a single room (which is really rare, most other students share a room and pay almost as much rent). Here you live with 3 other students (usually internationals) in a furnished four-person apartment. This has the advantage that you don’t have to buy everything new at the beginning, as you are already spending more than enough anyway. In addition, the location is really great, because you live in the middle of the action. Opposite is the Aligebuilding resp. the Viejas Arena and only takes 2 minutes to the gym. In addition, the party bus leaves directly in front of the KPBS building and you can really experience the American party life. All the fraternities are located in the same street and so it is not that difficult to get to know Americans.
The SDSU is a wonderful university and the campus is simply huge. There are green spaces, seating and small fountains everywhere. The cafeteria is also large, there is even a Starbucks here. Unfortunately, I only took ALI courses, but I was very satisfied with my subjects and the professors. During the semester you often have to do homework and assignments, which can give you some extra points. In retrospect, I would think twice about buying the books for the respective subjects. These are really expensive and you rarely or never use them. The PowerPoint slides are actually sufficient, some lecturers even upload additional podcasts and other slides. Used books are best bought at KB books. According to AbbreviationFinder.org, SDSU is the abbreviation of San Diego State University.
San Diego is an incredibly diverse city, so there are thousands of ways to spend the day. At the beginning of the semester, the ALI offers a free city tour – perfect for a first impression.
The basketball games in the Viejas Arena are particularly cool. You can get tickets for free at the arena counter, but you should hurry because the tickets are in great demand. Sometimes concerts are held there and you can buy tickets for other sights. A must: Six Flags Magic Mountains, the best amusement park I have ever visited.
I would also recommend that you apply for a California ID – it’s not complicated and costs $ 27. The ID is particularly useful when going out to party because you don’t need to take your passport with you.
As already mentioned several times, the costs in San Diego are very high. To save a bit of money, I recommend going shopping at Food for Less or creating a customer card at Ralphs / CVS – that way you can save at least a few dollars. In Little Italy there is always a weekly market (farmers market) on Saturdays with lots of stalls where you can try everything, really delicious! And of course all burger fans shouldn’t miss a visit to In-n-Out Burger or Buddies Burger (College Area).
Those who like to party will definitely not miss out in SD. You can take the party bus to downtown and celebrate in the Ivy (chic club with rooftop), Fluxx or Stingaree. The intervention parties in the Hard Rock Hotel are particularly recommended. If you prefer something a little more chilled, go to MB or PB. There are numerous bars there and there is always something going on. The Typhoon (Taco Tuesday) and Beachcomber (every Thursday) are particularly popular with the internationals. If you come early you don’t pay a cover, later $ 5. However, by eleven o’clock at the latest, it gets so full that you can’t even get in. Better to come at eight or nine, eat cheap tacos and then celebrate. Otherwise there are enough house parties in the college area, especially in 5025. The frat parties shouldn’t be missed either.
As already mentioned in other experience reports, California offers an incredible number of travel options. The California coast between Monterrey and LA is incredibly beautiful! At Big Sur you can drive along Highway One along the steep coast, there are also a lot of viewpoints where you can stop. Also worth a visit: Las Vegas. Various bus tours are offered here during the semester (often in combination with the Grand Canyon) or you can go on a road trip with friends. However, it is advisable to drive here during the week, as the hotels are then partially half the price and you can celebrate any day anyway. Recommended: Tao (in the Venetian), The Bank or Marquee. You can find the cheapest hotels via booking.com and you can spontaneously book one day in advance.
All in all, it was the best decision to spend a semester in San Diego and I would have loved not to have flown home.
Have fun in the most beautiful city in America, I already envy you !! 🙂