After I got the confirmation, the search for the apartment started. After a search on various websites, I found a suitable apartment offer on Craigslist.com. It’s easier to get in touch with others on campus, but I wanted to live off-campus because I wanted to come into direct contact with Americans. I had 2 roommates. That one was from New York and the other from Maine. Both have been in San Jose for several years. She could show me a lot right away and tell me about the city, for example, good restaurants and bars.
When I arrived in January, I immediately noticed the fanatical weather. So I went straight to the university so I could take a look at the campus. I loved that everything was so green and there were a lot of palm trees.
After a few weeks the orientation week began. Here was the first opportunity to make first contact. The topics weren’t that interesting, but I made 3 new friends there. On the last day there was a trip to San Francisco (one of the most beautiful cities in the USA). It was noticeable that many Asians take part in the program. The students at San Jose State University are also very multicultural.
Then the fight for the free places in the individual courses began. There is an overview of all courses on the Internet. There is also a lot of people who are currently registered for the course. If the course is full, the prospects of taking this course are poor. You can go there on the first day of the course and hope that there are still places available, but unfortunately these are always given to seniors first. You really have to be very lucky. I wrote to a few professors by email beforehand and described my situation to them and why I would like to take part in their course. This works quite well in itself. But once I did not come to the course even though I would have received an email confirmation. But overall I got a lot of my elective courses. As a tip, I would look for “elective course” as an alternative.
Studying in the USA is very much practice-oriented. There are often oral grades and a large number of projects. I have taken a great many business administration courses. It was very different from Germany. You have an almost friendly relationship with the professors and there are many opportunities to get to know all fellow students. Many professors have a lot of group work done and mix up the groups again and again so that you can really work together with everyone in the course. I also liked the fact that there was often a guest speaker who could fill the theory with even more practical experience. Unfortunately, it is difficult to forge a real friendship because many students live outside and only go to San Jose for university. But as soon as you are integrated into an American circle of friends, almost everything is done together.
San Jose is a very nice city with 3 malls and many small restaurants.
There aren’t many sights and the nightlife isn’t that exciting either. You can get anywhere by train or bus, but sometimes you have to accept longer journeys. The rides are free as a student. A car is only advisable if you want to make a lot of trips or if you live further away from the university.
During this time there were always personal highlights. At the weekend it was easy and quick to drive to San Francisco for shopping or partying.
Trips to Santa Cruz Beach are also quick and easy.
The university also regularly offers trips. But unfortunately you don’t always notice these if you only take university courses.
In the spring break week off, I flew to Las Vegas. The flight takes about an hour and is a must for anyone over the age of 21.
Overall, my semester abroad at San Jose State University was a great experience. After doing a high school year in the US, it was my second experience in the US. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in the country and the language and / or would like to get to know more practical studies. The university offers a new perspective and perhaps an alternative to German lectures.
The people in California are very nice, helpful, open-minded and relaxing. San Jose is not that typically Californian, but worth the experience. If you have any questions, I am at your disposal and, if possible, help to facilitate entry into a new country.