Kristen Delmonte hat uns in Bonn besucht und uns die neuesten Infos zum Auslandssemester an der UCSD erzählt. Das war eine tolle Gelegenheit, um ihr stellvertretend für Euch ein paar Fragen zu stellen. Viel Spaß bei unserem Interview!
Q: How do international, in particular German students get to experience the typical American campus feeling at UCSD?
A: UCSD is a university with a very typical American campus, where all is in one place within a space of 5 square kilometers. With over 350 student organizations on campus, every student can find their right fit. But the „American experience” is what you make it! By joining a club, joining sports, joining a study field club, eating at campus restaurants, you will meet new friends with the same interests.
Q: Which academic programs are strong at UCSD?
A: Our strongest programms are in the fields of biology, engineering, and business. We have a wide variety of very strong and celebrated study fields, but, especially for German students, our business and engineering programs are the most popular. We are a top research university and ranked 14th internationally!
Q: You already mentioned some of the things that are particular about campus life in the US, maybe you can tell us a little bit more about the UCSD campus?
A: The UCSD location is absolutely prime. It's a ten-minute walk to the nearest beach, which is actually a hub for gliders and surfers. If you are lucky, some of your classes will have views over the ocean. UCSD sits in a super-safe, upscale neighborhood. Off-campus accommodations are walkable from campus, but most of the German students live in the nearby city of Pacific Beach with a direct bus line to school.
Q: As the International Program Coordinator you see and work with international students on a daily basis. What would you say is typical of German Students that you see every day?
A: They are early! (laughs) They are always on time, while still being prepared, extremely polite and respectful! Considering that the surrounding and school life is obviously very different, they always manage to perform very well in class.
Q: We have a lot of German students who come to the US for the very first time to attend university and they participate in the orientation week from UCSD. What is there to expect from the very first week at UCSD and especially the very first day?
A: Our student services do an outstanding job assisting our newcomers. We have 34 Student Services staff just to assist our students. The first two days are designated for orientation and registration, with guest speakers from all kinds of different areas from on- and off-campus, such as the Immigration Office or even our own Library center. The second day of orientation involves the student adviser giving them an elaborate workshop and presentation on how to enroll in courses and how to be successful at UCSD. They also receive two other student services session throughout the Quarter. We are aware of the fact that UCSD is a very large university and that San Diego is a large city, so we take extra care to ensure that students feel like they have someone by their side, throughout their study-abroad experience at UCSD.
Q: You briefly addressed what students are to expect throughout their first weeks. What is something that, especially German students, are surprised about in terms of academic expectations and others?
A: In general German students know to expect more course work, but they always seem to be taken a little bit aback during the first days when they find out what the course work includes, such as numerous group projects, individual projects, and additional papers. On a more personal level, I often find that they are surprised by the friendliness of Americans. San Diegans are known to be very outgoing and extremely friendly; they will greet you on the street! In addition to that, the size of the campus always surprises them and that they need a strong march to get around it. Many international students are surprised that professors surf during lunch! UCSD is the most surfed school, after-all, and some students bike around with their surf-board on campus.
Q: When German students apply to UCSD through Academic Embassy, what is important for you that they bring with them in terms of qualification and expectations in order to fully enjoy their academic stay at UCSD?
A: I read the personal statements very carefully and always want to see that it applies directly with UCSD and addresses anything that the student might find challenging on their transcript and expresses their interest at studying at UCSD. That really sets them apart from the others.
Q: Do you have any last advice to German students deciding to attend UCSD?
A: An important factor is that they are studying with local students and Americans from all over the US. We do have a wide community of German students studying at UCSD, but they barely see other German Students throughout their day-to-day life. We organize two parties for international students to mingle and meet and network, but most of their academic time is spent with American students in the classroom, and I believe that German students are looking for that during their time abroad.
Thank you so much for this interview, Kristen!