Two months of the semester done, two months left. After completing two courses I can see how nice the concept of only one class per month is. To concentrate on only one subject is different, but better, even though there are exams every two weeks. In every class I have had, we worked in teams for projects, or for the homework, which is nice because I definitely like working in groups more than alone. In general, for sure it can be really stressful to complete papers, study for midterms, have a final project and a final exam, all in four weeks, but the workload and experience depends a lot on your professor. Every single Professor I have had so far was/ is really nice and tried/tries to be fair. They try to make the class exciting, interesting by inviting speakers or showing course-related movies. Similarly, the final exams have been either a multiple-choice test or questions with small essays as answers—to be honest, I don´t know which kind of stress I like more, this one or the German one.
We only have two Americans in our class and all the other students are Germans. If you want to meet American people you should go out more often and be open to new experiences (outside the University). My experience so far, Americans are generally really open, which makes it way easier for us to communicate with them. The easiest way to meet Americans is to stay in a host family while you’re here. You can find them through Organizations or per Facebook. It has a lot of benefits, like improving your English, and with luck finding a second family. Staying in a housing for students is good to meet people too, who are mostly of your age and also international students. To have roommates can be fun too and you are going to build friendships. Most of the housings are really central, even though nothing is “central” in San Diego. In San Diego, you definitely need a car (or a friend with a car), otherwise it’s going to be really expensive to get around town.
There are still some places I haven’t seen yet, even if I discover something new every week. I can recommend visiting the International Student Office every month because they have a monthly schedule with great trips and offers. A few weeks ago, we visited the San Diego Safari Park for free! Such a great deal! The Park is really interesting because of the wild animals and their cages are huger than I expected. To see a dog being friends with a cheetah and living in a cage together is something you will never forget. You can or cannot book a safari trip where you are right next to giraffes for $100.00. In addition, Sea World is another trip with a huge discount offer from the University. It’s really famous in San Diego and that’s why I went there. In my opinion, it’s sad to see all the animals in such small enclosures, I expected larger ones because it’s supposed to be all about saving animals. The rollercoasters are also fun, but sometimes you have to wait in a long queue. If you want to go visit Sea World wait for an offer otherwise it’s not worth it. Balboa park is a lovely place with no costs. For people interested in Museums, they should definitely check out Balboa Park. On some days there are offers for free entrance.
The last thing I really recommend is the farmers market. There is different one nearly every day at different place. It´s a really good way to explore the culture and have a fun day. You can try everything and spend a nice time there for some hours.
The weather is still really hot, which makes it easy to explore the city and you can still go swimming which is amazing! But have in mind that the ocean is really cold.
One of the best things about San Diego is the Location. It’s next to Mexico, so you have Mexican food and culture all around. The day of the dead at Old Town is literally the best thing ever, if you have time, go there!
You will not regret it.
The summer is still not over and there is way more to explore! But time is running so fast, which is a good sign, isn’t it?