I studied for a semester at San Jose State University from January 2009 to May 2009. First of all, about the location of San Jose. The city is located in northern California in the Bay Area approx. 50 km south of San Francisco and approx. 50 km east of Santa Cruz, the “surfer city” par excellence. The proximity to these two cities makes it easy to go to the beach or to San Francisco (I love SF!). It’s also quite cheap by bus and train (about $ 5 to SC and $ 10 to SF one way).
The ethnic distribution in San Jose is very much influenced by Asians (about 30%) and Mexicans (30%). In the city buses, the official language after English and Spanish was Vietnamese (!).
About 70% of the international students are Asian.
The university is quite manageable for its size (30,000 students). Your website first places you in a kind of language school at San Jose State University. You can take the language courses (English as a second language) and choose interesting electives such as “Silicon Valley Professionals”, where you can get to know professionals from the nearby Silicon Valley. The level of the courses at the language school can be classified as easy for students from Germany. If you have passed the TOEFL test with good results, you will find it easy at the language school. But you can also take a maximum of 12 units directly at San Jose State University, which corresponds to 4 subjects. This is considered fulltime. One unit corresponds to 50 minutes, freely selectable from all faculties. Attending courses as a guest is unfortunately prohibited. In general, it is very difficult to get into courses, as the local students are preferred and you have a time disadvantage in the course selection process. If you are not flexible in your choice of course, this process can be very nerve-wracking.
I took three courses (Online Marketing, Business to Business Marketing, and Pacific Rim Marketing) at San Jose State, an English course, and an elective at the language school. It was easy for me to pay attention in class as the professors are all great characters. Their pronunciation is generally very clean and easy to understand. The classmates are generally very nice and polite. Check toppharmacyschools to see more reviews from current students.
The city of San Jose is actually quite quiet for its size (1 million inhabitants), as there is no real city center with shopping streets and pedestrian precincts. Downtown San Jose mainly consists of a few nightclubs, bars and many restaurants. You can go shopping in the 4 huge malls (really huge) of the city, which are nicely distributed. I would characterize San Jose as a quiet, working-class town. If you expect a vibrant city with crowds and bright lights on the streets at night, you should go to San Francisco.
If you have money for a car, you should definitely buy one, otherwise a lot of time will be lost. You can get everywhere by bus and train, but everything takes a long time. It always took me just under an hour by bus for 12 kilometers to get to the university.
Since I lived with relatives, I can give little information about accommodation. However, I liked the Campus Village because it is centrally located at the university, which is in turn downtown. In order to get to know “native” it is certainly easier to live at the Campus Village.
San Jose has a wonderful location in Northern California. Anyone who wants to go mountain biking or to the beach without having to drive long can do that here. San Francisco and Oakland are also nearby.
The weather is moderately warm from January to April. Approx. 15-23 degrees. It doesn’t get really hot until May. It rains more often than expected. Well, I thought it never rained in California. 😉
Oh yes, if you take the bus to the university, the purchase of an I-Pod is only recommended.
I had a very exciting time. San Francisco, San Jose and the Bay Area offer many diverse places to explore and fall in love with.