San Jose, a nondescript city on the edge of Silicon Valley in central California. Relatively close to Stanford, Palo Alto and San Francisco. San Jose State University is a state university and is still in the good middle field in the rankings. And yet, with the place, the location and the university, I made the best decision of my life. I am happy to have chosen the SJSU. San Jose as a city is rather moderate, despite a good public transport infrastructure by American standards. However, the central location to the big, interesting places tears everything out and the good proximity to Stanford University, Palo Alto and San Francisco, Santa Cruz are easily accessible.
Standing for San Jose State University according to abbreviationfinder, the SJSU is quite well known in California and because of its location it has good contacts to the economy. I mean, many professors are simply in contact with business, and business also means contacts to large global players such as Oracle, Cisco, Adobe, IBM and proximity to Silicon Valley (Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Tesla Motors, etc. )) are simply spectacular.
This is also how San Jose State University life behaves. You have smaller “classrooms” with around 20-30 students and the professors want to get to know you by name. In addition, it is common there to exchange ideas with your professor via email. So z. For example, in order to register for the SJSU courses, we had to email the professor offering the course in advance and ask whether he / she would accept us as his / her or not. As soon as we received some kind of code number, we were able to register manually via Jade (from the international office). Unfortunately, we are excluded from online registration for various reasons. But everything is feasible, I was even able to take all of the courses I wanted. You just have to ask politely by email and, best of all, write motivatingly why you want to take this course.
You have a lot of free time and the courses don’t really challenge you. You are used to the German university level. Well, I had z. B. only 3x week courses and yes it is true, in each course you had to prepare homework, essays and presentations fairly regularly, ie per week. However, everything was so well distributed that you could plan your weekends or excursions well. The (intermediate) exams weren’t necessarily difficult, overall I would say it’s easier to study in the USA. You can also make your life a lot easier if you speak to your home university in advance, if you want to have certain courses credited, and then choose (simple) courses accordingly. I preferred moderate courses,
I also took an English course from the International Office, and that was pretty good when you can’t write essays. This was the case in my case and I recommend choosing the “Writing Communication” course, as simple and moderately difficult essay types are explained and practiced here, which can also be used and used seamlessly for the other courses.
Food and catering were relatively expensive compared to Germany. Most of all, I missed German bread or German rolls. There is nothing decent or you pay excessive prices if there are bakers from Germany or Europe. So all in all, it was really difficult to buy the right products because it was always a question of price or quality. On average, I would say that food and housing were quite expensive. Almost 800-1,000 US dollars a month should be calculated for this alone. And if you still want to have fun, that comes on top!
Leisure and living
I had a place in the dormitory for sure, but by chance I met a host family and still swapped the dormitory for a family house, especially since I was only able to live 2 blocks behind the dormitory. Otherwise I was probably the only one with a choice of accommodation. All other foreign students probably either had to look for student dormitories and temporarily look for something for the first 1-2 weeks before the start of their studies, or even had difficulties in finding accommodation at all. Therefore, please take care of it early on, that will probably be the most annoying part of finding something on site.
You quickly get to know a lot of people from all over the world. Of course, many Germans (solely through MicroEDU , who experience the semester abroad with you), but also through the International Office and the normal SJSU courses this is not an issue. Otherwise, sports (fitness, swimming, etc. ), student dormitories (room mates) and going out are real ways of making contacts quickly and easily. If you haven’t fallen on your mouth, you quickly get to know many names and faces.
I was still in San Francisco, Palo Alto, attended Stanford University, then I was still in Santa Cruz and Lake Tahoe, the Delta, Carmel / Monterey: all very beautiful places to take good photos! All interesting places, others were also more southern like Las Vegas, LA or San Diego, Death Valley, Grand Canyon. All places that you can visit if you are organized and can easily be reached with a rental car (e. g. weekend trips or long weekends).
You also have to know that you are not allowed to drink alcohol in public and that the serving generally stops at 1. 30am. So it will be a short rather than a longer night out than you are used to in Germany. However, you quickly adapt to the rhythm and you get along well with it.
There are some restaurants and bars that you should visit. Gilroy, the city with various brands of outlets, can also be reached by car in less than an hour. Cheese Cake Factory, The Old Wagen, Johnny Rocket’s, and the Santa Row shopping streets and the Great Mall are even within walking distance or public transport. There are now and then some offers and outlet stores or you can eat and drink well. Of course, there are many other places and options depending on your taste and preferences, these are only intended as suggestions and examples.
My overall impression is overwhelming, the people and places I got to know stay in my memory for a long time. Stay in touch with many of them via email or Facebook. And overall it was worth every penny to have attended San Jose State University. Do not be put off by the preparations, these are all feasible things, with the help of the MicroEDU team you should get everything under control. There is hardly anything to complain about, except that it was all over too quickly. However, this will be one more reason to go back and enjoy more.