Study in San Diego

The cradle of the state of California, the much-vaunted „melting pot of cultures“. This is San Diego. Whereas the Californian metropolis on the border to Mexico in the 19th century was still the destination of countless gold seekers in California, today it is primarily a magnet for thousands of students from all over the world. San Diego is one of the most sought-after locations for studying in California.

There are plenty of reasons for studying in San Diego: America’s Finest City offers around 300 days of sunshine a year, miles of sandy beaches, an almost boundless range of leisure activities and first-class universities.

Although nearly 1.4 million people live in California’s second largest city, there is little sign of hectic metropolitan life. Instead, Californian casualness dominates in San Diego. While studying in San Diego, you can experience California’s lifestyle at first hand.

From Old Town to La Jolla: San Diego districts

The fact that San Diego is a multifaceted city can be seen on a walk through the different parts of the city. There are beautiful beach districts such as Pacific Beach and La Jolla, the historic Old Town and last but not least the Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego.

An overview of the most famous districts:

Gas Lamp Quarter

Those who decide to study in San Diego will sooner or later be drawn to the historic Gaslamp Quarter, because there is something going on here at any time of the day. At night, numerous gas lanterns illuminate the streets on which the district is named.

The Gaslamp Quarter is San Diego’s premier shopping and entertainment district. Live music can be heard everywhere. Numerous restaurants, cafés, nightclubs and boutiques line the streets.

Due to its growing number of first-class restaurants, the district is also a popular address for food lovers.

Old town

To get a feeling for the „old“ San Diego, you should go to the old town of the southern Californian metropolis. The first Spanish settlement in California was founded on the site of Old Town in 1769. Hispanic influences are particularly evident here. In the famous Old Town San Diego Historic State Park, visitors can follow the traces of the past and visit old buildings in the Spanish Adobes style.

The proximity to Mexico is also evident elsewhere: in the old town there are many authentic Mexican restaurants serving Mexican food at comparatively low prices.

La Jolla

La Jolla – the jewel. The name of the suburb in the north of San Diegos speaks for itself. The seaside resort is one of San Diego’s more noble neighborhoods and is located on one of the most enchanting stretches of coastline in southern California.

The numerous fine sandy beaches are therefore one of the main attractions of the district.

There is a suitable beach for all tastes: the La Jolla Shores are very popular with water sports enthusiasts. Black’s Beach is one of the best surf spots in California and La Jolla Cove is ideal for snorkeling, diving and swimming. With a little luck you can watch sea lions there.

By the way: La Jolla is home to UCSD, one of the member universities of the renowned University of California System. The UCSD campus is located directly on the Pacific coast – a real „sea value“ for students.

Pacific Beach and Mission Beach

South of La Jolla there are two other popular districts of San Diego with a high entertainment and leisure value: Pacific Beach and Mission Beach. The two districts are connected by a five-kilometre long beach promenade, which is often used by joggers, cyclists and inline skaters.

Pacific Beach is known for its vibrant nightlife, especially for young people. Accordingly, many students are drawn to Pacific Beach for their studies in San Diego.

Several beach bars, restaurants and clubs invite you to stay. It is also home to the famous Crystal Pier, which offers a fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean.

Mission Beach, a narrow strip of land between the Pacific Ocean and Mission Bay, is almost completely surrounded by water, making it another favourite place for sun worshippers, swimmers and surfers.

However, the district has also made a name for itself as an entertainment district. The main attractions: the underwater theme park „SeaWorld San Diego“ and the leisure park „Belmont Park“.

Top spots and leisure activities in San Diego

San Diego is one of the highest-quality cities in the United States. This is due not only to the relaxed lifestyle of the Californians, but also to the extensive range of leisure activities and the numerous attractions in San Diego. A small selection can be found here:

Balboa Park

Students seeking a balance to their studies in San Diego will find it in Balboa Park in the heart of the city. The park serves as a recreational area for San Diego’s residents and is the largest „Urban Cultural Park“ in the USA.

Balboa Park is not only home to beautifully landscaped gardens such as a rose garden or desert garden, but also serves as a venue for events. Concerts, plays and musicals are regularly performed here. In addition, more than a dozen museums are spread over the grounds.

A highlight of the park is the San Diego Zoo. With its lifelike enclosures, it is one of the largest and most beautiful zoos in the world.

Visit the best viewpoints in San Diego

San Diego is an idyllic place on earth. There are several locations from which you can enjoy a particularly beautiful view of America’s Finest City.

  • At Mount Soledad Memorial, between La Jolla and Pacific Beach, visitors can enjoy a perfect panoramic view of San Diego.
  • The Cabrillo National Monument is another popular viewpoint as it offers views of the Pacific Ocean and downtown San Diego and Coronado.
  • The Sunset Cliffs are located in the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, south of Ocean Beach. The direct location on the Pacific Ocean guarantees spectacular sea views. Here you can witness beautiful sunsets.

Trip to Coronado Island while studying in San Diego

Another top spot in San Diego is the Coronado peninsula – for several reasons. The small island is particularly associated with the 19th century Hotel Del Coronado. The Del „has already served as a backdrop for well-known film productions such as“ Some Like It Hot „starring Marilyn Monroe.

The white sandy beaches on Coronado Island are also ripe for film. Coronado Beach is reputed to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the USA. It has even been named the best beach in the country.

As it falls flat into the sea, it is considered family-friendly and very suitable for water sports.

Studying in San Diego and Baseball and Football Experience

Sports fans watch out: During your studies in San Diego, you will have the chance to play baseball or football.

With the San Diego Padres (Baseball) and the San Diego Chargers (American Football) there are two professional teams in San Diego. The Americans feel strongly connected to the two sports. Visiting a baseball game in PETCO Park or a football game at the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego can thus bring students closer to an important part of American culture.

As an alternative to a football or baseball game, there is also the possibility to visit other sports events. There are plenty of choices to choose from: Golf tournaments of the US PGA Tour, football matches or surf contests are just a few examples.

More attractions around San Diego

Of course, there are also countless places worth visiting outside San Diego. Since the coastal town is close to the Mexican border, a detour to Mexico is recommended, for example to Ensenada. Domestically, there are also a number of destinations that can be easily reached from San Diego. These include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Santa Barbara and Joshua Tree National Park.

The numerous field reports on studying abroad at the UCSD or the SDSU of former college contact customers provide further exciting excursion tips. They can also be of great help in preparing to study in San Diego.

Study in San Diego at top universities

San Diego offers a perfect learning environment for all prospective Bachelor and Master graduates. This is reflected in the location of the region’s largest universities: San Diego has a total of five public and 19 privately run colleges. A better location for studying is hardly desirable.

The events of the college sports teams in San Diego are a real media spectacle and the universities in the region are top performers in all scientific disciplines.

The largest universities – San Diego State University (SDSU) and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) – are located in the Pacific Beach district. This means that they are in the immediate vicinity of the beach of the same name.

The two research universities UCSD and SDSU are among the most prestigious universities in the USA. They are not only convincing because of their high quality in research and teaching. In addition, they entice with a large campus, a comprehensive range of services for students and their fantastic location.

Semester abroad in San Diego: the ideal choice for German students

Due to the tuition fees in the USA and the high cost of living in San Diego, the costs of studying in San Diego are not insignificant. A relatively inexpensive alternative to a bachelor’s or master’s degree in San Diego is the semester abroad.

There are a number of financing options for a semester stay in the USA with the San Diego location, for example

  • Foreign scholarships
  • Fulbright scholarships
  • low interest rate student loans.

During a semester abroad in San Diego, students can collect credits and have their academic achievements recognized at their home university. You will spend up to one year at the host university in San Diego and attend regular academic events.

The choice of course during a semester abroad in the USA is very flexible. After consultation with the home university, students decide for themselves whether they want to stay within their own subject or whether they want to continue their studies in other subject areas. For example, biologists can deepen their knowledge of the Pacific underwater world and ethnologists can gain special insights into the culture of the Kumeyaay.

College Contact can place students for the following semester programs in San Diego:

  • Semester at SDSU „- for one or two semesters
  • University & Professional Studies „within the framework of the University Credit Programs of the UCSD – for one to three trimester (quarter)

Since students are not placed in a specific subject semester or course of study, they can choose from all university courses of the Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes offered.