In fall quarter 2011 I studied English Literature and Political Science at UCSD. So here I am going to tell you a little bit about my experiences.
I started my application process a little later because at the time I wasn’t one hundred percent sure where to go. Since the first contact with MicroEDU, however, I have always felt well informed and kindly treated. Even if UCSD really took its time, I was still able to fill out all the forms. We are now convinced that the university will not reject anyone, because they are happy to take the extra income. In general, everything in the application process costs a few more dollars here and a few there, but that’s probably normal at American universities. Applying was very painless and as soon as you have the TOEFL test in your pocket, you can start. MicroEDU will always point out what is still missing and check the documents.
I had previously booked my apartment through Anatolia Housing. I found the prices a bit high, but they are quite at the level that others had to pay for Craigslist offers. If you only stay a quarter, you have a furnished room that you share or move into alone. As a result, there are no problems with reselling furniture etc and in my opinion therefore the best solution. We had a pool and jacuzzi in Costa Verde and my request to only live with “non-Germans” was responded to, so I shared the apartment with two Brazilian women and one French woman. During the short quarter we did a lot together and are therefore still in contact. I would therefore always choose this variant. A lot of international but also American students live in Costa Verde, whom you quickly get to know at one of the numerous apartment parties or at a bbq, as everyone is very open-minded. Basically, I haven’t heard anything negative about apartments I have found myself and it is quite possible to find something in this apartment complex without mediation, for example if you are lucky.
In principle, you will be looked after by an Academic Advisor during the entire study stay. During the introductory days, this gives you a brief impression and later you commit yourself to attend advising sessions where you have to report on the current state of affairs. The advisor is also given the enrollment forms, which we had to stamp (different from faculty to faculty) or have the lecturers sign. Fortunately, the three courses I chose were not overcrowded, so my primary elections could remain. In this phase, however, everything is a bit hectic due to the attendance of numerous potential courses and the decision-making difficulties that you face when you are not sure whether a place will still be available tomorrow in the course,
My three courses were 18th Century Literature, American Political Development, and Foreign Policy. Basically, I was definitely happy with my choice. However, you should think carefully about how much work you can expect during the semester, because that can quickly get out of hand. Although three courses seems a lot less, it is at least as much effort as in Germany. The fact that they take place several times a week and essays, midterms etc. tend to be the norm, means that you are very busy. Due to the great competence of the lecturers, it is really very interesting to follow the material.
If you have structured everyday university life well, there is still enough time to experience a lot in and around San Diego! LA (e.g. Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights) and Las Vegas (also with disguise on Halloween) were definitely a must. This is a good place to start during the quarter, as there are numerous organized excursions that you can join or friends with cars;). In general, a car in America is incredibly practical because the highway system allows you to get to your destination quickly and is therefore at least half the speed of buses, for example. However, there are buses and since a lot of people rent a car, it’s easy to find someone to take you with them. Read more student reviews on Iamaccepted.
In general, I have consistently been able to gain positive impressions from residents and “temporary residents” – maybe it is due to the good weather. Many of us have come to believe that Southern Californians are the friendlier, more helpful people compared to Northern California or other major cities. You can also go shopping very well (a mall right near the university-UTC), you can find outlets (e.g. Las Americas, very famous & popular), many, many different restaurants or you can go surfing (or do other sports). Different sightseeing destinations await you and they don’t disappoint, while I found LA too touristy and rather uninteresting (except for the weather;)). Thanks to numerous parties downtown (where there are very popular clubs that also like to be a bit “upper scale”
As you can already imagine, I would warmly and unreservedly recommend San Diego!:) I miss the mentality very much and, although the stay is quite short, I was able to come back through the distance and see some things from a new perspective. In my opinion, this is worth a lot and I am very happy that I took this step! I will definitely keep in touch with some people and return to California when I get the chance. Many thanks to MicroEDU for the good mediation!