Housing (costs, accommodation in general, etc.)
In general, a room in San Diego can be found very quickly. We recommend searching on Craigslist.com. Expect around USD 700-800 a month. Those who want to live cheaper can join forces with other exchange students (Facebook groups) to share an apartment close to the university. So the rent can be reduced to around 400-500 USD. Another option is to share a room, which cuts the price in half and which is tolerated by most landlords. Especially when renting apartments you have to pay attention to whether the rental agreement (“lease”) allows for monthly termination or has a term of 6 or 12 months and what happens if you move out earlier. For example, I had to together with the other apartment residents pay an additional monthly rent because of the earlier move-out. Likewise, the apartment operators often withhold a large part of the deposit, as professional carpet cleaning companies are called in.
The proximity to the university as well as the lower price were decisive for my choice to live with other exchange students in one of the university off-campus apartments (approx. 500 USD rent). On-campus apartments usually contain so-called meal plans, which represent a kind of half-board. In the experience of others, the food is often not good and does not justify the high prices of these apartments.
Off-campus apartment complexes close to the university: Dorchester, Alberts College,…
The journey to San Diego takes place with a stop in one of the big hubs, which varies depending on the airline (in my case Atlanta). You should plan about 2 hours for this stopover, as you will be questioned by US officials and security checks will be carried out.
Another option is to travel to Los Angeles, from where a train or, better still, a car can be used in the direction of San Diego.
Tips for banking
Generally I recommend the DKB – http://www.dkb.de/ (free cash withdrawal)
Grand Canyons, Copper Canyons (Northern Mexico), San Francisco
Usually t-shirts and shorts are sufficient during the day. Very rarely does it rain or get cold during the day. In the evenings and at night, however, it gets very cool from October, which is why at least a jacket or hoodie should be packed.
Alternatively, you can travel with little and buy inexpensive branded clothing in the large malls or outlets.
Mall: Las Americas
Those who live close to the university can either walk to the university or take a bus. According to Abbreviationfinder, SDSU is the abbreviation of San Diego State University.
If you live further away, you should see if there is a nearby trolley stop. In this case, the university can be reached easily and cheaply with a university semester ticket (approx. 140 USD).
It is also possible to buy or rent a car for 4 months with other students. This allows the greatest flexibility in southern California, where public transport is unfortunately inadequate.
Rental stations: DirtCheapCarRental offers inexpensive rental cars. These can also be rented on a monthly basis (e.g. for 4 months with two registered drivers and full insurance).
University (course offer, course level, types of exams, etc.)
I can send you the old syllabi on request. It is advisable to write to the professors by email in order to receive the current syllabi and to inquire whether places are available for visiting students.
The university offers a wide range of master’s courses in economics and finance. The course level varies from course to course, but overall it is not at the level of LMU Muenchen. Most finance courses are MBA courses and you get an insight into the American management forge.
Most courses end with a two-hour exam (final). In every course there is at least one preceding examination (midterm or short exams). Depending on the course, oral grades are also given, short tests written or presentations given. Overall, the system is very schooled and more interactive than in Germany.
A large library (Love Library) offers learning opportunities and group work rooms.
On campus you can choose between fast food or healthier dishes (Taco Bell, Chinese Food, Greek Food, Salad Bar,…). On Thursday evenings there are mostly African and Arabic specialties, which are offered in tents in the middle of the campus.
Attended courses at SDSU
International Monetary Theory and Policy:
- Very good course and lecturer (Prof. Gerber)
- Current popular science books are read and give a different insight than the classic theoretical economics, which often does not provide any empirical evidence
- Focus on the 2007 financial crisis and the American economic system
Financial Management II:
- Prof. Ryan is very lively and stimulates discussion
- The course is very applied and gives an insight into advanced finance topics in corporate finance.
- The course requires regular online homework and a final group presentation
Seminar in Investments:
- Prof. Gubellini is by far the best professor and combines the topics with his practical knowledge and his lively Italian manner and the Italian accent. The course gives a very detailed insight into the field of investments, supported by empirical work (various investment funds, quantitative investment / portfolio strategies, empirical applications in finance)
- During the semester you are assigned to a group that conducts an empirical study on a topic of your choice (e.g. hedge funds) and presents it to fellow students at the end.
Advanced Financial Accounting:
- The professor (Cho) is unfortunately very monotonous and the course content is presented in a very boring way