SJSU Review

Hi Guys,

Just like you guys, I really wanted to do a semester abroad in the USA. For me, San Jose had its advantages: good weather, many destinations nearby and living in California, which is a dream for many.


First of all, I would recommend attending the MicroEDU information event during the planning phase (6-8 months before the start of the semester abroad). There I learned a lot and finally decided on San Jose State. The advisors are very nice and can talk to you individually at the end of the event.

Next you have to take the TOEFL test. For San Jose you only need 71 points, which can really be achieved without much effort. If you are not so sure about this, you can also attend the preparation courses for the TOEFL. However, these are unlikely to be found in every city.

You can find all application documents for SJSU. The application is very straightforward, you just have to make sure that you pay the fees on time and take care of the visa. If you have any questions, you can always contact act-test-centers, by phone or email.

There are many options here.

Like me, you live in the Campus Village, i. e. in the student dormitory directly on the campus. The clear advantage is that you can easily get to the lectures and all the events on campus. You will also get to know many Americans directly, because most of the residents of the Campus Village are American students. In the Campus Village you can decide whether you want to live in a single or double room. You have to share the double room with a room mate. The disadvantage of the student dormitory is definitely the rental price. You will be able to find an apartment for sure, which costs a lot less. But you can only search on site, which was too stressful for me personally.

To everyone who opts for the Campus Village: book a meal plan in the Dining Commons. The price may seem too high, but only because you pay it immediately and once. I was very happy not to have to worry about food or cooking. The food in the Dining Commons is also varied and above all you can eat healthy there. I think that otherwise I would only eat fast food. As almost all (students) in the USA do:) Another small side note about the Campus Village: most of the students who live there are 18-19 years old. . . Unfortunately, I only found out there:)

The second option is to look for an apartment on site yourself. Www. craigslist. com is recommended for this. Until you’ve found something, you’ll have to stay in the hotel. I would recommend the Ramada Limited – it’s cheap, located in the center of San Jose and is good and clean.

Third: I-House. That would have been my favorite if I hadn’t received so many visitors from Germany. In the I-house you have to share a room with someone, as there are no single rooms. Otherwise, I can only say good things about it: I-House is in the immediate vicinity of the campus, there are a lot of interesting events there and only international students from San Jose State University live there. If you choose this option, you have to apply for a place to live, because the I-House carefully selects the residents. I think you have to write something like a letter of motivation. MicroEDU will surely advise you further. As a resident of the I-House, you are also obliged to book a meal plan in Dining Commons (in the Campus Village this is only one option,


Jose arrived. These people take care of all of your problems and are very helpful. First of all, you will have an academic consultation in the SAL Office, where you can decide whether you only want to learn English in SAL (they have their own program with many English courses) or also want to take courses at SJSU. As an international student, you clearly have a disadvantage when it comes to the choice of courses. American students can register for the subjects online long before the semester begins. On the other hand, we have to “fight” for a place in the course in the first week of the semester:). SAL will recommend a few professors to you who are happy to include international students in their courses. But that doesn’t mean that you have to take these subjects. I had courses who were already very full of American students and also had subjects as prerequisites that I did not take in Germany. Still, I got all the courses I wanted. So don’t worry too much about that. You came to speak to each professor personally and explain your situation.

Regarding the SJSU courses, I have to say that I did not find them particularly challenging. I took business and economics subjects and can assure you that when it comes to math, it’s much easier than in Germany. You have to do something for the university all the time (home works, group projects, presentations, midterm exams and read a lot more books than in German universities), but overall the material is simpler and is taught very differently than in Germany. Be prepared right from the start that you will have to spend a lot of money on books and actually have to read them.


Now we come to the best part:). Unfortunately, San Jose is nothing special and can be described more as a large village with many computer companies. I’ve spent many weekends in San Francisco and would recommend anyone to spend at least a week there. This city has a lot to offer and literally enchants you. After you’ve done all the sightseeing, you can just walk the streets of SF. There is always so much to discover there! You can get to San Francisco cheaply by taking a cal train. For everything else you need a car. In general, it is advisable to rent a car for the entire stay: life in the USA is actually inconceivable without the car:). First of all, it is advisable to go to Santa Cruz, to all the beaches. It is best to have a look on the internet beforehand to see what kind of beaches there are: the most beautiful ones are rather small and very difficult to discover if you haven’t asked beforehand. The typical trips you can do from San Jose (and which last around a week) are: Vegas, Los Angeles (nothing special, but everyone will want to go:)), Malibu, Santa Barbara, San Diego and Grand Canyon. If you’re there for the spring semester like me, it will probably be too cold for Yosemite National Park (unfortunately there was still snow in May). but everyone will want to go:)), Malibu, Santa Barbara, San Diego and Grand Canyon. If you’re there for the spring semester like me, it will probably be too cold for Yosemite National Park (unfortunately there was still snow in May). but everyone will want to go:)), Malibu, Santa Barbara, San Diego and Grand Canyon. If you’re there for the spring semester like me, it will probably be too cold for Yosemite National Park (unfortunately there was still snow in May).

What you absolutely have to do in the USA is SHOPPING! You can find it all at Westfield Valley Fair Mall. If you are looking for real bargains, you can go to the Great Mall. Both malls can be easily reached by public transport. If you have a car, you have to go to the Gilroy Premium Outlets. These can be reached quickly by car and there is simply every brand there, reduced by 50-70%. I would plan the whole day for this. And take a lot of money with you:).

I really hope I was able to help you with this experience report. I would definitely recommend a semester abroad to anyone who has the opportunity! You learn a lot about other cultures (San Jose is a melting pot, you meet Asians, Indians, Pakistanis and so on) and you also learn a lot about yourself!

SJSU Review