I am currently studying international industrial engineering in the master’s program in Vienna and I really wanted to experience a semester abroad again before graduating. Together with my friend, who studies something completely different from me, we started looking for a suitable university in America. We found three universities where we could both study our main subjects. San Jose State University was the university with the most consistent lectures so this one was the winner.
The application process began three quarters of a year earlier. First of all, it had to be clarified with my local university of applied sciences which lectures I had to attend and which should be completed in advance. Then the TOEFL test had to be taken. The entire application process that followed would have been impossible without your website, so thank you, thank you, thank you !!!
Living in San Jose
My girlfriend and I took a double room in a 6-bed apartment in the dormitory. I can only recommend this option for one semester. You are in the action right on campus and you don’t have to constantly use public transport to get around. We had very nice roommates, with whom we went on some excursions and who always helped us when we didn’t know what to do next.
Since I had my course specifications from home, the courses that I had to take were already determined for me. However, you should still read all the greensheets of the respective courses carefully and check whether the contents of the courses fit. I took four courses: Quality Assurance and Reliability, Operations Research, Supply Chain Engineering, Managing the Lean Improvement Program.
You have to pay a fee of $ 300 per course and you need a book for each course, which costs around $ 100. You can usually sell the books by half at the end of the semester. You can create a student account at Amazon via your SJSU email address, then you get discounts and no delivery fee. However, it is also possible to buy the books in the university bookstore, but the books are a bit expensive there.
In most subjects you have to do homework every week and write a lot of papers. There are sometimes two mid-term and one final exams. Most of the time there are also projects and presentations.
Since I was there with a friend, we bought a car. Before the start of the semester, we went on vacation to California and bought the car from a dealer in Los Angeles because we were told that everything around San Francisco is a bit more expensive. Not all dealerships will sell a car to foreigners if they don’t have a California driver’s license. But if you ask a little longer you can still find someone. You should plan at least a week to buy the car. Pay attention to the warranty of the car when buying a car. Every car needs insurance, without insurance the dealer is not allowed to hand the car over to you. Insurance can be paid for at an affordable price from insurance brokers in advance for only half a year. However, with high liability for the other cars and full coverage for your own.
If you don’t want to buy a car, you can rent a car just for excursions. If you are under 25 you also have to pay young driver insurance; this is usually not included in the price on the Internet. Check24 is a good platform, because you can have the price calculated with young driver insurance. When renting a car, you should always pay attention to what is covered by the insurance.
The SJSU gives you two stickers with which you can use all public transport for free. But always with student ID and don’t lose it, it costs about $ 100 (I almost lost mine). How to get there can be easily clarified using Google Maps.
We got to know a lot of people on campus, but we also made sure not to do too much with Germans. At first it is not bad to have contact with German speakers, but you get to know fewer locals. We made some friends through our roomates, but also through going out in town. There are a few clubs and bars in the center a few blocks from the campus. Not very exciting for every weekend, however. The best way to get to know people who have house parties.
We have often made trips to San Francisco, a weekend in Las Vegas, Yosemite and Los Angeles. But don’t underestimate four master’s courses, there is a lot to do, especially towards the end of the semester. So definitely do a lot at the beginning.