UCSD Reviews (5)

UCSD Reviews (5)

Going out

There are more than enough places to go out in San Diego. Pacific Beach on Garnet Avenue is more relaxed. Every Tuesday at Taco Tuesday in the Typhoon Saloon there are inexpensive tacos and margaritas. Definitely show up before 8 PM to avoid long waits in front of the door. Drinks for $ 1 are available every Thursday from 9 PM to 11 PM at the Beachcomber. Again, it applies to appear before 8 PM. On Thursdays in downtown San Diego, the Ivy Club in the Andaz Hotel is the “place to be”. Often there are party buses that can take you there. In downtown you go out more chic. This is where the party people meet at the weekend, for example in the Fluxx or in the Voyeur. Great parties on Sunday would be the pool party in the Hard Rock Hotel in Downtown and in the Wavehouse in Mission Beach.

I firmly believed that I wouldn’t need a car. But I was taught a lesson. It’s hard to imagine, but especially in California everyone (!) Has a car. Without a car there is hardly any way to get from A to B. Certainly there are buses, but these often take five times longer than a car journey and are sometimes even more expensive. In addition, these drive very irregularly and relatively seldom. I often only used the bus to get from my apartment to UCSD, as it was free of charge for UCSD students with a bus sticker that you can get in the parking office. On-campus parking was relatively rare and at around $ 170 / quarter it was also quite expensive. Like many other students, I parked my car on the sand court at the Salk Institute, which was free of charge. The only downside is that it takes 20 minutes to walk to the Main Campus at the Price Center. But parking there is free and available in abundance. By the way, I rented my car from Dirt Cheap Car Rental. Very unbureaucratic and flexible company. The car is not the best, depending on the category, but very cheap because it is fully insured.

Bank account

I had an American bank account set up at the Bank of America on site, which was also straightforward. Don’t forget your passport and I-20. The account had been free of charge and my debit card worked like a credit card, except that the purchase amount was debited immediately, similar to a checking account. In any case, it is highly recommended to have an account with Deutsche Bank. This enables cash to be withdrawn free of charge at all Bank of America ATMs. I used it in such a way that I then immediately deposited my cash back into my American account. The advantage is definitely that you save the 1.5% fees of the German credit card for every transaction abroad.


A SIM card and thus an American cell phone number can easily be obtained from the T-Mobile
Store. The credit can then be renewed monthly.

Course choice or class crashing

A few weeks before the start of the program, you will receive a request from UCSD to register on the waiting lists of the departments in which you would like to take courses. The first two weeks are known as class crashing. It is recommended to attend 3 to 4 times as many courses during this period as you actually plan. This makes it possible a) to exclude courses from the outset and b) simply to have more flexibility if one cannot enroll in one or the other course. I have courses in the Economics Department. as well as at the Rady School of Management.

  • Economics-Dept .: In the Econ-Dept. you can, in principle, enroll in all courses. The prerequisites do not apply to international students like us, but it is definitely advisable to already have some knowledge of some subjects. All courses have a maximum number of participants. After the first two weeks of lectures, you can go to the Econ-Dept.
    Enroll for your desired courses by having the “blue cards”, so-called concurrent enrollment cards, stamped. These are available in abundance in extension building. If there are no more places in the respective course, you are unfortunately out of luck.
  • Rady School of Management: Here the enrollment is regulated a little differently. You register online for the courses you want and then receive an email as to whether or not you will get a place. Here the prerequisites are taken a little more seriously, so that you can only register for courses without prerequisites in advance. For all other courses you have to contact the Rady School directly and state
    with your current transcript of records that you want to be admitted to the desired course with prerequisites.

You have to have these so-called blue cards stamped and / or signed for each individual course in order to then hand them over to your Academic Advisor, who then makes a binding registration for the courses. At first glance, the system appears confusing and complicated, but it is all half as wild. During the orientation week, everything is explained again in great detail. In addition, I strongly recommend everyone to go there, as you not only learn a lot of organizational things there, but also make contacts with fellow students. Check ehuacom to see more reviews from current students.


There are a lot of places worth seeing in California. In addition to the big cities like LA, we drove along the coast for a weekend, where there are many beautiful places as well as beaches. Otherwise, of course, you have to take the time to drive to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. Cheap flights within the USA should also be used. Good comparison options are available at www.priceline.com.


  • UTC Mall: a small shopping mall near UCSD with all the big brands, but a limited selection
  • Fashion Valley: Probably the Best Way to Shop in San Diego; very large mall with a very large selection of all the major brands
  • Las Americas Outlet Mall: Outlet mall in front of the Mexican border; definitely worth a visit
  • Horton Plaza: pretty mall in downtown San Diego, but the architecture is more impressive than the shops themselves


There are a lot of advertisements on www.craigslist.com, where fortunately I also found a very great room in the Costa Verde Apartments in La Jolla not far from the UCSD. In general, one should be careful with craigslist, because there are (unfortunately) a lot of dubious people. It is best to have a look at the apartment beforehand and clarify all the details, as you can seldom rely on the people there. Otherwise there is also the possibility of booking a room through Anatolia Corporate Housing. The clear advantage is that you have a room that is fully furnished and can practically sit in the “nest”. The disadvantage is that it is significantly more expensive than renting a room yourself. If you have no problems commuting to the university every day and like to go out in the evening, is in very good hands in Pacific Beach, PB for short. Many initially book into hostels, for example the Banana Bungalow in PB, by chance meet other nice people with the same situation and then go looking for an apartment together.


I have to admit that it was an incredibly bureaucratic effort to organize the semester abroad beforehand. From the application forms for the university to visa applications to enrollment in the courses at UCSD and much more. Nevertheless, I can recommend it to everyone without reservation! It takes you not only academically but also personally a lot further than I would have ever thought.

Center for Memory and Recording Research (CMRR) at UC San Diego

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