Information on the application process
The application process was pretty easy. MicroEDU takes care of most of the organizational work and the effort involved in applying is therefore limited to a minimum (fill out some documents and sign or print them out). MicroEDU also gives immediate feedback if a document is still missing or if the form is not accepted in America. E-mail contact with the UCSD is also problem-free. You get an answer to your questions within 3-4 days.
Studying at UCSD wasn’t too strenuous. Although the UCSD is one of the best public universities in the country, the undergraduate courses are rather simple on the difficulty level. Here I am only talking about business studies or economics courses. There, too, you can make it more difficult with harder courses, but the exams and homework are not difficult, but a lot if they are. But I’ve made a rather simple university life for myself. The Rady School of Management courses that I was allowed to attend were very cool and interesting. The remaining courses at UCSD are limited to economics courses or econometrics. As a business administration graduate, you won’t really be happy there.
To the courses taken at the host university
I took 3 courses. 2 courses at the Rady School of Management (Enterprise Finance and Innovations to Market) and one course at the UCSD (Demographic Analyzes and Forecast). The courses at the relatively new Rady School are very good, great professors and the entrepreneurship course (Innovations to Market) in particular is a great course. In America, entrepreneurship is taught very differently. But it was never a problem to get a good grade in these courses with a manageable amount of effort. Enterprise Finance was a pretty good course that consisted mostly of homework. These were quite large in size, but not really difficult. Demographic Analyzes was terribly boring and the subject matter was very uninteresting. The workload with weekly homework is quite high by American standards.
Buying the right books is recommended in all courses. They are usually very expensive and I strongly advise against them. It is completely normal for the books to cost around $ 150-200 for a course. In addition, you are always encouraged to buy the US version, which apart from the numbers in the tasks does not differ from the much cheaper international version.
For on-site support
The support from UCSD is very good. The coordinators in the Extended Studies Office are very nice and you can always reach them and are in constant contact. But I think it’s a cheek that exchange students are asked to pay for every crap. The intranet costs per enrolled course, the student ID cards have to be paid extra, just like various print cards and if you hand in your course slip even one day after the deadline, you have to pay a processing fee of $ 50 per course. Conclusion: nice, but expensive.
To search for accommodation
I didn’t live on campus because it was very expensive. The best way to search is via craigslist.com. Everything is advertised on apartments there, and the university also specifies 2-3 other homepages. I personally lived in Pacific Beach, a very cool area, with the beach and parties right around the corner, that was my focus for the time and not on university. It is about 20 minutes from Pacific Beach. Read more student reviews on Liuxers.
UCSD is located in La Jolla, which is also a very nice part of San Diego, but La Jolla is quite expensive and has fewer clubs and bars. Pacific Beach is certainly not much cheaper, but all the clubs, bars and shops are on Garnet Avenue. Living in San Diego is generally very expensive. If you also want to live relatively close to the beach, you have to calculate at least $ 700 a month. But also in the “hinterland” of San Diego, about 15-20 minutes from the beach, you pay about $ 600 a month.
To the leisure and excursion possibilities
San Diego is known as “America’s finest city” and that is undoubtedly the case. The weather is always wonderful and the people are incredibly relaxed and friendly, but also superficial here. I had an amazingly good time there. The beach is beautiful, so are the people and the waves are free. San Diego is a surfing mecca and you should definitely do it, as well as play beach volleyball or para-gliding.
Within 20 minutes you are in Mexico and can see the area there, but I advise against that because of the high crime rate in Tijuana. If you don’t feel like surfing or the beach, you can be on the ski slope within four hours and can go snowboarding or skiing.
Los Angeles is two hours away and definitely worth a trip. In Las Vegas you are in about 4-5 hours and you should have seen that too. From there you can visit the Grand Canyon within six hours by car. San Francisco is about an eight hour drive and it is wonderful to drive there because it takes hours to drive along the Pacific coast.
So there is more than enough to do in San Diego!