The first month here in San Diego is over and it felt like vacation. And it still does. Living in a town right next to the beach, how cool is that? The time passed by really fast and there is still much to see and to do for us.
San Diego is hot and it barely ever rains. When it does, there are only a few raindrops. Of course it’s still summer but we were told that the temperature won’t change much, not even in December. The good thing is that almost every building has got an AC so that you don’t have to worry about the temperature inside.
One of the first things we wanted to do was to check out the beach. The coast is very long and you can get to the beach from anywhere in town in no time. There are a lot of activities you can do there and of course one of those is surfing. You can take surfing lessons if you are a beginner or just rent or buy a surfboard and go for it and try it by yourself. Other things you can do are for example renting a bike and touring the coast or play beach volleyball.
A big thing in the USA are sports leagues and they are different to Europe. Almost every bar has got TV screens showing Football or Baseball. They don’t only show the NFL but also the college leagues or even high school matches. It’s known that US-Americans are very patriotic. Before each game somebody sings the National Anthem and you can also see a lot of flags in town.
So, how is living here different to how it is in Europe? One thing you often hear when people talk about the US is that everything is bigger. The streets are wider and if you don’t have a car it takes much longer to get somewhere.
What about Public Transportation though? Well, we haven’t used Public Transportation so far and you certainly cannot compare it to Europe. We know that there are some busses you can take but that takes a lot longer. So we would recommend a rental car for future students who plan to come to San Diego. If you share it with other students it’s not that expensive and it really pays off. The gas prices are also lower than in Europe. You get everywhere much faster but at some places you have to search a while to find a parking lot.
Most of us here pay between 600 $ and 900 $ rent per person for the apartments. There are no places which are cheaper than that, not even for students. Some Students were not very happy with their accomodations and had some trouble when they got there. So that’s one thing you should consider and try to find something before you get here.
Furthermore the prices at the grocery stores are not as cheap as we thought, especially cheese and meat are quite expensive.
There are a lot of fast-food restaurants here and many of them are rather unknown in Europe. It might not be healthy if you eat there everyday but it sure can be tasty. But if you are a vegetarian you’re going to have problems finding something.
Every Tuesday is Taco Tuesday in San Diego, where many bars and restaurants have special prices for tacos and drinks. It can get very crowded but it’s a lot of fun. Yet, if you are under 21 years old, they won’t let you inside the bars. That is because the age limit for drinking in the USA is 21. They strictly control the passports before you get in and it doesn’t matter if you look older than 21, they will only let you in, if you have your ID with you.
San Diego is not that far from Los Angeles or Mexico. Many of us have already visited Los Angeles but the city is so big that it takes time to see all of the sights. You should avoid to go to LA at the weekends because it’s really crowded.
And if you plan to go to Mexico they recommend you to drive your car next to the border, park it there and then take the bus or walk. Some car rentals don’t even allow to take rental cars to Mexico.
At the National University we only have 1 course per month which I think is good. You can focus more on each course and at the end of the month we have to write the final exam. We only have 3 lectures a week so we have a lot of spare time, which is cool. After the first week we got to know the other students from Germany, not only the ones from the Macromedia. Unfortunately we barely get in touch with other American Students, at least not at the NU, so it’s up to us to get to know people from San Diego.
The school has a Soccer team but it’s not classic Soccer that is being played there. It’s a smaller field with only 6 players on each team and some of the rules are also different. There is also the possibility to play Cricket or Tennis.
That’s my first impression of San Diego after being here for 1 month. Time passed by really quick and I’m looking forward to the time that lies ahead of us.