5 months of San Jose are over! In short: It was a great time with lots of sun, beach and sea!
Your website did a very good job so that nothing can go wrong with the application process. You should take the TOEFL test required in Germany to make sure that you can take courses at the State University.
In the couchsurfing.org community, people from all over the world offer their living room to guests free of charge. I asked a few students and immediately received a lot of acceptances. So for the first week I slept on the couch in a shared apartment. The best decision to start if you want to speak a lot of English! On craigslist.org several apartment offers come in every day. I decided on a small room in a 6-person shared apartment right next to the campus. Much, much cheaper than taking a room in the I-House or the Campus Village!
The university has everything you can imagine. From subway, burger child to bowling alley and swimming pool, everything is available. During the semester break, there is always something to do.
On site, the SAL organization takes care of the course of the semester for exchange students. They explain every detail so you don’t have to worry about missing any deadlines. The organization also offers its own courses that are not held at the university. These are usually more comparable to language courses and are therefore not taken into account in Germany.
SAL often tries to advise against taking several courses at the state. I only took courses at San Jose State and was by no means overwhelmed. You have to do a lot of homework and projects throughout the semester, but you can take a relaxed approach to the final exams. As has often been mentioned here, the level is well below the German level. Getting an A is therefore associated with little effort.
At the beginning it is said that exchange students are disadvantaged when choosing a course. My experiences are just the opposite. It is best to use the “office hours” of the Profs before the first lecture and leave a good impression. I had no problems and was able to take the courses I wanted. In addition to 3 logistics subjects, I had 1 marketing subject (highly recommended!) Check anycountyprivateschools to see more reviews from current students.
For sports enthusiasts, it is worthwhile to stop by the gym in the evening. There you can play badminton and basketball for free. During the day, many students meet on the campus to play football. Otherwise there is a fitness studio or you can swim a few laps in the aquatic center.
San Jose doesn’t really have much to offer a big city. Santa Cruz on the coast can be reached in less than 1 hour by bus. A very pleasant place to relax, surf, party and do sports!
The best way to get to San Francisco is by Caltrain. There is everything a shopping heart desires. Some clubs are also open there until the early hours of the morning.
In San Jose itself, the pubs and bars on San Pedro Square are recommended. Otherwise, a good house party can be found every weekend, which is, however, often canceled by the police.
Here are a few more highlights that should be done while studying!
- Road trip along Highway 1 south to LA Duration approx. 1 week
- Yosemite National Park visit: 2 days of long hike
- Las Vegas 2-3 days. Early bookers should take the plane. Otherwise you can combine the whole thing with a road trip. Driving time from San Jose is approximately 9-10 hours.
- Spend as many days as you can in San Francisco! The city and the people are very relaxed and magically attract you.
After the tuition fees were digested, you were asked to pay a few more times. Countless fees for courses, ID, etc. add up quite a bit. In addition, the professors expect to get the course books for more than $ 100 each. With that decision, I’d wait a few lectures to see if it’s really necessary. Most of the time, the documents handed out and the Power Point slides are sufficient.
The food is usually more expensive than in Germany. However, there are a few cheap shops that are below German standards.
- Suvianda Mexican Store: very good for vegetables and fruits (7th Street)
- Thai Market: very good for meat, fish and vegetables (10th Street)
If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me!