North America Universities

San Diego State University Student Review


The SDSU is one of the three major universities in San Diego. It is located in the College Heights area and can be easily reached from the city center in around 20 minutes by car and around 40 minutes by trolley. Beaches such as Pacific and Mission Beach can also be reached in a comparable amount of time. About 40,000 students are enrolled at the university, which explains the huge campus with all imaginable facilities .

The area includes a large gym, which can be used free of charge by exchange students, an outdoor swimming pool, a bowling alley, a large library and many options for catering, to name just a few. Due to the large number of exchange students, there is an institution at the university that leads the start week, explains the bidding, shows the campus and offers help for any uncertainties.

San Diego is very spacious, which can make a car worthwhile. The warm and dry climate is a pleasant change from the cold and wet weather in St. Gallen. The city is perfect for someone who is looking for a combination of big cities and beaches . In addition, the location in California is ideal for trips to Mexico, Las Vegas and Los Angeles .

Registration process

The registration as a free mover designed quite simply These ensure that all forms are filled out correctly and submitted on time, which significantly reduces your own effort.

A TOEFL certificate is required for registration , as well as a valid student visa (first the I-20, after registration the F-10 is issued), which must be applied for at the embassy.


Basically, a decision has to be made between living on the beach or near the campus. Living close to the campus has the advantage that the college lifestyle can be experienced first hand. You can do this either on campus or in facilities directly on campus. The management of the facilities mentioned (Iconic Alvarado, BLVD63, etc.) are rather complicated and very inflexible. Still, you can have a great time if you’re lucky with your roommates.

The prices for such residential complexes as the Iconic Alvarado (formerly Sterling Alvarado) are, however, quite high at around $ 1000 per month and half-year options are not possible everywhere. However, most of them are not fully booked, although a 6 month solution can still be negotiated if you persist in asking. Iconic Alvarado has a good mix of American students as well as international exchange students. The building offers a cozy study room, two pools with barbecue facilities and a small gym.


The semester begins two weeks before the official start of the university, at which occasional information events take place, such as explanations for the bidding process or campus tours. These two weeks are far too long for these events and so this time can confidently be used for excursions. The only important thing is how the bidding works, but this is pretty self-explanatory with the corresponding slides.

There are two types of courses at SDSU: Special Session Courses , which are exclusively for exchange students and are chosen before the start of the semester, and General Courses, which are accessible to all students and are chosen via bidding. Bidding works on a first come first serve basis, with American students being given priority. However, if you do not get a desired course at the beginning, there is still a great chance of getting it, because many students enroll in various courses and then drop some events. Almost all HSG students took finance courses this semester, although the courses were already full shortly after the bidding opened.


Special session courses

Investments – FIN 327

Can be credited with 6 credits in the compulsory elective area. The course is led by Prof. Andrew Do. The grade consists of three exams, each weighted 25%, and an attendance component, which is also 25%. The workload is rather low and a very good grade is possible if you are present at the respective events. Due to the Asian origin of the professor, there may be some difficulties in understanding, but these shouldn’t be too bad.

Multinational Business & Comparative Management – MGT 357

Can be credited with 6 credits in the Reko, Hako and compulsory elective areas. The course is conducted by Prof. Robbins Blue. The course consists of three exams, a group presentation and an attendance component. The effort is comparatively great. The exams each consist of 6-7 slide sets of 30-40 slides each, each of which has to be memorized fairly precisely. For the presentation, a country has to be presented in a creative way, whereby it is important that commitment and creativity are shown and that no classic presentation is given. A very good grade is possible if the slides have been memorized thoroughly and the presentation is good.

Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship – MGT 358

Creditable with 6 credits in the Hako or elective area. In the course, topics such as start-up financing, the process between invention and end product, etc. are discussed. The lecturer gives summarized versions of the book in the lessons, which does not make the lesson particularly exciting. There were no lecture slides, which also made it difficult to follow the lecturer. A midterm and a final kept the learning curve comparatively low. Even if good grades are possible, the exams were quite unpredictable despite the multiple choice format. I would not recommend this course due to its content, format and grading.

General Courses

Fundamentals of Finance – BA 323

Fully creditable as finance. This course is offered by different lecturers, although there can be significant differences in terms of difficulty and requirements of the exams and homework, as well as the grading. Prof. Andrew Do is one of the less popular among American students, so a few days after the bidding, places will be available for him, as many drop the course. The grading consists of three exams and an attendance check. The four components are each weighted 25%. A very good grade is possible with relatively little effort.

Culture World – GEOG 312

Can be credited with 6 credits in the Reko and Hako area. The course includes three exams, each of which queries between three and four regions of the world that were previously discussed in the course. The exam can be prepared very well with the slides. However, this also involves a certain amount of effort. In addition, four map quizzes are carried out, which can be completed at home on the computer, of which the worst is deleted and the average of the three best is included in the final grade with 15%. There are also attendance checks, 10% of which are included in the grade. The remaining 75% will be divided between the three exams. With a little effort, a very good grade can also be achieved here.

Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory – ECON 320

Completely creditable as Macroeconomics II, excess credits (2) go to the elective area. The design of the lesson is extremely dependent on the chosen lecturer. At Prof. Kangoh Lee’s every Tuesday, new content was discussed and at the end of the lesson, mini quizzes were asked. The homework was discussed on Thursdays, followed by an economic update, in which current content from business and politics was analyzed, and another mini quiz on the ecomonic update. Overall, the lessons with Lee were exciting and easy to understand. Very good grades are possible with regular attendance of the course and good notes (because the “open book” exam format) with a manageable amount of effort.

Intermediate Microeconomic Theory – ECON 321

Fully creditable as Microeconomics II, excess credits (2) go to the elective area. Again very dependent on the chosen lecturer. With Prof. Steve Rockland the units were exciting but also quite crowded. However, since the content is not very quantitative, but rather qualitative, it is not a problem to follow. With 3 midterms and a final, this course was certainly one of the more complex. With good notes and occasional glances into the book, a very good grade is possible with a manageable amount of effort.

Lavin Entrepreneurship Center at SDSU