Semester Abroad in CSUSM

Application process

The application process is relatively time-consuming. You must be able to show proof of your English language skills and attendance at certain courses as well as special vaccinations. These things must be sent to the coordinator by email. However, if you have any questions, you can easily ask them by email or phone call and we will be happy to help.

The organizational support from MicroEDU was very helpful during the application process and they really made sure that nothing could go wrong! If you stick to the schedule that MicroEDU sends you are well equipped.

Studies and courses taken

Studying at CSUSM was much easier than the courses I was used to at my home university. It took a lot of memorization, but it was hardly a particularly challenging task. Very small classes (maximum 3) enabled closer contact with professors and had something of a school atmosphere. However, I strongly recommend that you choose a university with small classes, you will be more encouraged to participate and practice your English. According to AbbreviationFinder, CSUSM is the abbreviation of California State University San Marcos.

The professors attach great importance to cooperation and that homework is done properly. They are very open to foreign students and are happy to have them in class, and they often get a bonus. In general: Master’s courses are very time-consuming, Bachelor ’s courses are less frequent, so there is a lot of time left for travel and the beach.

On-site support

This was rather mediocre. For many it came as a surprise that certain courses could not be chosen after all. Be prepared that courses that appeared in your course selection list can suddenly no longer be selected. ALCI office is there for questions, but this semester’s supervisor, Mrs. Tapia, is very unpopular.

Accommodation search

The accommodation ssuche turned out for me pretty easy because I decided, at a homestay at forward. Thanks to the agency that works with the university, I didn’t have to worry about the search any further: After I had filled out a profile on which I only gave details such as: Do you smoke? Do you have certain food restrictions? A few days later I received a list of families. The description of the families was very brief: occupation, age, children, pets. A tip: If you send out your answer with your favorite families, it is wise to attach a few pictures to the mail that make it advantageous for you.


The leisure offer is huge! There is something for everyone and it is ensured that an event takes place almost every day between the courses on campus (where, by the way, food is always distributed free of charge!)

Various fast food restaurants on campus and beautiful outdoor terraces with a view of San Marcos’ sprawling hills invite you to spend some time on campus after class. To eat: There is a sandwich shop, Asian fast food chains and a hot dog shop. There is also a Starbucks and another really good café on campus, where a lot of people hang out to work.

The sports offer is called outdoor adventures and really offers everything and at very reasonable prices. I took part in the Joshua Tree camping trip, which was also where I met my best friends. Surfing, hiking, kayaking, yoga in a lagoon are also included…

Huge student centers (2 buildings), full of various student clubs, allow you to actively get involved in campus life. There is also a fitness center that is free of charge.

There are cheap bus tours to Las Vegas and various party trips to San Diego (the bus also drives the group back at night). Traveling is perfect from here: all of California as well as the Grand Canyon and Yosemite are close by, a must for all travel enthusiasts!


In addition to Germans, there were also many students from the north : Norway, Finland, Iceland and these have mixed openly with the Germans. However, if you prefer to have few Germans at the university, I recommend this university. San Marcos is very small and there is not much to do in this “city”, but in retrospect I am very happy to have chosen this university. Because there were fewer German fellow students, they sought contact with the Americans. Getting to know their culture is precisely the goal of such a foreign adventure and it is a shame when – as in the San Diego State – one is automatically drawn into the German circle.

Through my participation in a wide variety of activities, I got to know a lot of very open and warm Americans and made deep friendships within a short time.

The people in the San Diego Area are wonderfully relaxed and always in a good mood. When I look at photos, I always seem to be laughing. My memories are all happy without exception – you won’t find gray times or gray faces in California! Lots of sun and many beaches nearby make the area a paradise.

Semester Abroad in California State University San Marcos