San Diego, USA: Sweet California

Hi,

I’m going to tell you something
about my life in the United States. I’m studying at the National University in San Diego.

I arrived in the United States at the 12. of august 2016. My flight landed in Los Angeles and from there we took the train to San Diego. I’m sharing an apartment, which is located 5 min away from the beach, with 3 other students from Stuttgart. Pacific Beach is a nice area to life, it is safe, the beach is kind of in front of our house and there are many possibilities to go grocery shopping and the university is just 15 minutes away by car.

At the orientation days in the university we met a bunch of new people. Most of them were from Germany but there were also a few from other countries. At the first day we got our schedule, which was totally different from that we got a few days earlier by email. At the first version we had just 1 day per week but this changed to 3 days a week. We had some games to get to know each other and many, many rules were told.  For example it´s obligatory to attend the class and you have to buy at least one book per month, which are pretty expensive.

After the orientation days we had one week off and me and my friends made a road trip to San Francisco. We took the highway 1 to get there. It´s a beautiful street which follows the cost. We had to stop at every beach because one was even more beautiful then the other. Finally we arrived late at night in San Francisco and after a few problems concerning the parking space for our car
we could go to sleep. The weather in San Francisco was pretty cold and windy. We were freezing the whole time after the sunny days in San Diego. The city has many beautiful  areas like the fisherman n´s wharf and the golden gate park but there are a lot of homeless people in the city. It´s not nice to see them living on the street, taking drugs and speaking to themselves. After 3 days in San Francisco I was glad to leave the city. We spend the next days at the Yosemite National Park. It´s definitely worth it to go there and spend as much time as you can. The nature was so beautiful and there´s a lot to see and do. Unfortunately we didn’t had that much time so we did „hiking“ the american way. You drive with you car as far as you can, get off the car, walk 100m, take a picture and go back to your car to drive to the next spot.
Visiting Mono Lake and the Sequoia National Park is also a thing you have to do while staying in California. It would have been nice to have a few more days off, there is still a lot to see.

Unfortunately when we got back the university started. Studying here is really different to study in Stuttgart. We got at the beginning a syllabus where everything is written down, what we’ll going to do each week, what we have to hand in and when our exams will be. It’s really strict and the syllabus is like a „holy“ paper where you can find all important informations. During class we have to write everything down, there is no summary at the end of the class. In the first month we have to present two presentations, write two exams and we have to hand in one essay. Furthermore we should read each day a few chapters of the bock, preparing the next class. Sometimes it’s hard to concentrate because you have to write down a lot and listen at the same time. But all in all it’s easy to get good grades because the exams are multiple choice and the grading is not that strict.

You will hear from me soon,

Ramona
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