“One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.” – William Feather
The time at National University in San Diego was definitely an adventure. This is my review over an eventful and wonderful time.
National University (NU) San Diego was founded in 1972. It is a private non-profit university that has multiple locations across California. What makes NU unique is the one-course-per-month system, which means that you only have one course per month. The exams are at the end of the month, which gives you the opportunity to concentrate fully on one course instead of learning several topics at the same time. As courses mainly take place in the evening and only twice a week, there are lots of students at the university who are working professionals, active in the military and veterans, or parents, who would like to continue their education or take a new career path. Therefore it adds up to a good mix of students with variable age and diverse professional backgrounds.
My courses at NU San Diego
Since I stayed for four and a half months in San Diego, I took four courses at the NU. For all of them I could also receive credits at my program in Germany. I took the following courses: Introduction to Leadership, Computer Ethics, Survey of Global Business and Organizational Sociology. It was a really interesting and varying mixture that perfectly fits my study program in Germany. For me it was important to not only improve my English but to also learn more about the American culture – this was achieved in all courses.
Daily Life in San Diego and at National University
The great advantage at National University is definitely the flexibility of the course offer. Because of the evening courses at only two days a week, it is fair to say that you can do a lot of activities besides studying. In comparison to Germany this is a nice change. What I enjoyed most about my time in San Diego was to be outside, either at the beach, hiking in the beautiful nature or at the pool. At the end of February and beginning of March the weather was unusually chilly with around 16 degrees Celsius. There was even a little rain now and then. Nevertheless in the middle of March the temperature increased to 22 degrees average. The spring months were beautiful and had pleasant 26 degrees. Moreover, July was hot with around 36 degrees Celsius.
Culturally, the Spanish impact is everywhere: Mediterranean and Moorish architecture of houses, the language in restaurant menus and street signs. San Diego offers a lot of culinary dishes, I would even say there is almost all kinds of food: Thai, Asian, Vietnamese, Mexican, American, Mediterranean, etc. If you’re interested to know more about activities in San Diego and the area around, you can watch my video “Activities in San Diego”.
Generally I can recommend everyone, who has the opportunity, to do a study abroad term at National University in San Diego. It is not only helpful for your professional goals, but also expands your personal horizon and the understanding of different cultures. It is quite interesting to recognize and compare differences in behavior and processes. Furthermore, it gives you the possibility to reclassify and maybe appreciate your own culture more. I can recommend National University for a study abroad semester because of the interesting courses, mix of students, flexibility and the location San Diego. As for me I rather made friends with Americans than stayed in the comfort zone with other German students. The study abroad term is an adventure and the best you can do to experience the foreign culture is with engaging and getting in contact with the locals. Enjoy your time at National University in San Diego!