I spent 6 months in the US, 5 months of which on the West Coast & 1 month on the East Coast. It was the best time of my life and I would recommend to everyone to do a semester abroad, because you simply win. The USA is a completely new world for me. I chose San José because it’s the capital of Silicon Valley. Here you have the opportunity to visit large companies such as Google, Facebook & Co. San José is not that famous city, but it has a lot to offer.
San Jose State University
According to anycountyprivateschools, the San Jose State University has a very large campus in the middle of downtown San José. It offers everything you need as a student such as PC pools (with iMacs), study and relaxation areas, the possibility of lending notebooks, palm trees, etc. Half of the students are Asians, I had the impression that they are always very nice and helpful. There are so many professors, but none of them are “inviolable”. They are always ready to help & answer questions. The only thing that bothered me was the ” class crashing “. As a foreign student you have no guarantee that you will get the courses you want until the beginning of the semester. In popular subjects such as accounting, one can only hope for luck.
Mobility & Leisure
The Americans have too much land and everything is very far apart, so having a car is helpful. Personally, I didn’t need one because car insurance is very expensive there & buying and removing a car would be too much of a hassle for me. The public transport system in San José is not yet as sophisticated as in Germany, but you can get everywhere. It just takes a little longer. The buses only run every 1-2 hours at night (around 10 a. m. ) and on Sundays. As a student, you travel free of charge. From San José you can get cheaply to San Francisco ($ 18 there & back), Santacruz ($ 10 there & back), Monterey, Gilroy etc.
Me & my girlfriend, who attended the same semester program as I, traveled a lot during our stay there, including Hawaii, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Monterey, Route 66, Las Vegas, Yosemite National Park, Grand Canyon, San Diego, Tijuana (Mexico), New York, New Jersey, Washington, Philadelphia, Miami etc. I want to express that you have time and opportunities to get to many places cheaply and even without a car. Travel expenses come to a generous estimate of $ 3,500.
San José offers a number of different bars & restaurants. The nightlife is not as pronounced as the clubs close at 1am. University life, on the other hand, offers a lot if you integrate yourself. There are a number of fraternities & associations, sporting events (basketball, football) are capitalized, various events & leisure activities are offered. There is a gym & pool in the middle of the San Jose State University ($ 30 / month). If you want to get involved in San Jose State University soccer team, you can forget it. It is always too full & prefers long-term students (this also applies in general to other university sports teams).
Silicon Valley is one of America’s most expensive residential areas. Student dormitories range from $ 800 to $ 900. I lived in a homestay with my girlfriend with rent of $ 1500 ($ 750 each). Advantage: You experience everyday American life, get tips & help & you don’t need to buy any household appliances, dishes, furniture, etc. Study costs such as tuition & course fee up to $ 7000 are very expensive in my opinion (but you could have them reimbursed by Bafög) Textbooks are also very expensive (up to $ 200). Filtered drinking water is free at San Jose State University. Food around $ 200 average. Other cost of living like entertainment, clothes, travel for me amount to $ 600-1000 a month depending on what.
Below are some tips and information from me that would have been very helpful to me before studying abroad in the USA:
- get an American power adapter from the front.
- VAT on purchased products is always calculated at the checkout.
- Tipping in the service, among other things, in eateries in the USA plays a major role (even shuttle bus drivers expect tips) as a rule. 10-15%.
- Instead of the cafeteria, there is a food court at San Jose State University, which is very expensive. I would recommend making the take away at home.
- the German driver’s license is accepted in California.
- avoid walking alone at night and avoid conflicts with the homeless, they can be dangerous.
- the San Jose State University system is like school. You may have homework, 2-3 tests during the semester and a final test at the end (therefore not that difficult to pass)
- the level of instruction is lower than in De in my opinion. Therefore, you may be able to do without some expensive books.
I hope the information could help you.