here I am telling you about my stay abroad at San Jose State University.
First of all, how it came about:
For me, everything was very spontaneous and tight, and yet everything worked out great. It was just before the application deadline when I decided to do a semester abroad in San Jose. My choice fell mainly on San Jose, because the university offered many courses that I could credit myself. But also the temperatures, the proximity to the sea, the starting point for round trips and the Silicon Valley played a not insignificant role.
Planning a semester abroad during the current semester seemed quite annoying to me, but when I look back now it was really not a lot of effort. Take care of your passport and visa in good time and clarify with your university which courses they will credit you.
I landed in San Francisco and built a short stop there before I took the train to SJ.
The university offers a kind of hostel on campus, which is not very comfortable, but cheap accommodation for the first few days when you have to look for an apartment. What I recommend to you all, register with Couch Surfing and look for free accommodation from Germany. You can also make new contacts directly.
The search for an apartment was harder for all of us than expected, but we all found somewhere. The rents cannot be compared with Germany, but much higher. To find a smart room you have to budget $ 700-800.
Another initial hurdle is crashing courses, this is especially true for the business administration courses. I took business administration and economics courses and getting into the business administration courses was quite difficult. However, I was very lucky because I emailed all professors beforehand and picked out more courses than I had to take. So after 3 days I had all my courses together and when you have overcome these hurdles it’s just a great, relaxed life in San Jose.
During the semester:
During the semester you have a lot of fun and not too big learning problems. The courses were very easy and the learning curve cannot be compared to mine in Germany. So if you’re reasonably fit in English, you won’t have any problems with the language at all.
Another big plus is that everyone in SJ was very open and friendly. There was also an FB group of the foreign students in which we organized meetings and so you get to know a lot of great people very quickly. I got to know incredibly great people during my time in SJ, with whom I still have contact now, 3 months later. 4th Street Pizza is a pub that also serves pizza, and it’s near the university. You should definitely stop by here, because that was the place where I probably got to know most of my American friends. The International House always organizes an evening once a week to which all international and local students are invited. Here, too, you can quickly make contact with nice people.
When you’ve made enough contacts, start traveling! A weekend at Lake Tahoe for swimming in summer or skiing in winter, camping in Yosemite Park and hiking during the day and enjoying the incredible views, visiting San Diego, LA, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon are some of the things you can’t do should be missed, so start saving;).
And if it is only meant to be a day trip, then a day at the beach in Santa Cruz is definitely recommended, I spent a few Sundays here, as it was also very easy to get there by bus from SJ. And if you rent a car there is a lot more to discover in the area such as Big Sur or the Bay Aquarium.
When I was on the way to the plane, I was really sad that this great time should already be over. You have so many experiences that no one can take away from you. And if you do have any problems, you can always turn to sjsu.edu, who will do everything in their power to help you. So I advise you apply and go to SAN JOSE !!!