Student story by Luca N.
Just before New Year’s Eve I arrived in San Diego at the Airport and caught a ride with an uber to a Hippie Hostel at Ocean Beach. The very next day I used the Saturday special of the Hostel and rented a boogie board for free. Also, I watched some surfers that day and the waves can get quite big over here in the wintertime.
The choice of Living
Everybody has its own preferences but for me it turned out to have been the right decision to rent a shared bedroom apartment from Kamo Housing in the area of Pacific Beach. With this choice I got an affordable accommodation that comes with basketball and tennis courts such as a pool, spa, gym, office and other benefits which are all free to use. All this is within a short bike ride from the ocean so there isn’t even a car needed to go for a quick surf. It still is possible to live even closer to the beach, but this will need some more effort at house-hunting and probably comes with higher costs. Most international students get themselves a car for their time here. Often, it’s recommended to either go with “Dirt Cheap Car Rental” or buy an old one on “craigslist” to resell it at the end. Public transportation does not work as well as at home in Germany but can be an option if you don’t mind long rides. Biking around works well too since it barely rains and it’s possible to take a bike on the bus.
Sports and Equipment
For international students it’s always recommended to purchase things like sports equipment second hand. Letgo seems to be the most popular store and is probably the San Diego equivalent for “ebay Kleinanzeigen”. There I got myself a 6’5 surfboard along with a beach cruiser and a surfboard rack for the bike. So far, I surfed at Pacific Beach and Mission Beach a lot. In only 3 weeks I have already seen some dolphins twice while I was out surfing. One time I even caught a wave, got up on the board and suddenly the fin of a dolphin popped out of the water right next to me. San Diego indeed is a surfer’s paradise. The swell in the winter is big while the surf line isn’t crowded at all. So, for beginners it’s perfect while more advanced surfers can find more challenging spots with good breaks as well. The usual schedules of National University also support to make the most out of your daytime, whether this means going surfing for you or something else. Most classes take place in the evening and only twice, sometimes three times the week, which gives you a lot of opportunities to explore the beaches.