The SDSU campus cannot really be compared with German campuses, everything is much bigger here and the pleasant weather, even in winter, of course also has its advantages;). In contrast to my experience at the University of Paderborn, studying is much more attractive: small courses with around 30 students (except for the very big ones like Accounting 101 etc. which almost everyone takes), orientation on (very expensive, but also very good) textbook and very nice professors. Unlike in Germany, you don’t have to beg the secretary for an appointment in 2 weeks, but the door to the office is always open and if the office hours did not fit my professors were ready to make an individual appointment. It was also very helpful to me that there wasn’t a big exam at the end of the semester, but at least 2 mid-terms + possibly smaller quizzes or group presentations. You don’t get anything for free here if you learn enough and use the textbook as a guide, but As or Bs are usually not a problem.
I have already mentioned the pleasant weather, although it can sometimes get very, very cold at night and is sometimes windy. In San Diego itself there isn’t that much to see, except for SeaWorld, the beaches and downtown. But LA, San Francisco, Vegas or Mexico are not far away. It is also advisable to rent a car if you have the necessary change. There are special student rates everywhere and if you intend to stay longer you can also buy a cheap used car. The gasoline prices don’t play a role here anyway (although San Diego is the city with the highest prices in the USA). In any case, the bus connection here, especially on weekends, is sometimes catastrophic. Sometimes I feel like I’m in the middle of a 3rd World country instead of a progressive country like the USA in terms of punctuality and reliability. The beaches are, by the way, a good distance from the SDSU, takes about 1 hour by bus, so another reason for a car.
As an ALI student, I had to “crash” the courses, but I was able to take almost all of the courses I wanted, like all the other ALI students I met here. “Crachen” means you simply go to the responsible professor and ask if there is still space available and if you have the necessary prior knowledge. Usually this is not a problem either, only in the area of marketing / business etc. you have to show some perseverance. But if you are ready to come to the 8 o’clock sections, there is always room, the Americans prefer the afternoon courses. A tip on the side: It is advisable to take the TEOFL test in Germany. Some people I met here took the test here and, despite (in my opinion) having a pretty good command of English, didn’t get the required number of points. The result: You MUST take English courses at the ALI, which means that you can crash fewer classes at the SDSU. If you do the test in Germany you may have enough time to take a second test with hopefully better results. As an ALI student, you can take a total of 12 units, which is usually 4 courses of 3 units. Only some special courses and most marketing classes take up 4 units. If you get over the limit of 12 units, you have to pay extra (around $ 175 per unit). Check toppharmacyschools to see more reviews from current students.
I can only recommend looking for a room in the dorms, as making contacts is much easier here. In any case, I’m very happy with mine in the University Towers. It’s not exactly luxurious, but at least I don’t have to worry about food, vacuuming, etc. Especially the students in the homestay families always complain that it is so difficult to get to know people. The Piedra del Sol apartments shouldn’t be bad either, you are a little more independent there. Oh yes, through my room in the UT I have free membership in the really, very, very well-equipped gym, which I also use extensively;). However, it is not exactly cheap here in the UT, around $ 1000 per month are due, and as far as I know the prices will continue to rise in the next semester. The rooms are relatively dreary double rooms, but at least with free internet access. For whatever reason, the Americans are split up separately and Europeans and Asians mixed, so the chances are pretty good that you will get a roommate from Japan, Korea etc.
Well, I liked it here very much, and I will enjoy the one month that remains for me. I can only recommend everyone to have this experience. Not cheap, but definitely worth the money in my opinion.