It has always been my dream to study at an American university. Since the UCB only has a limited number of exchange places with the USA and I didn’t want to lose another year in my academic career, the summer sessions seemed to me to be a good alternative. According to act-test-centers, UCB stands for University of California Berkeley.
I have to say in advance that Berkeley is only worthwhile because of the high costs if either the range of courses or the reputation of Berkeley really brings something to you. Since I study American Studies at home, this was the case. In other cases, I would recommend smaller universities, which are sure to offer just as good an experience.
The organization and preparation for the stay is easy (no real application, money opens all doors) and is faster than expected. With the MicroEDU checklist in particular, you can get it all organized. I applied right at the beginning and had my visa in March. Since I was traveling with a friend, we quickly decided to move into a room on campus together. We found the Residence Halls to be the best value for money. In retrospect, we would recommend trying to get an apartment in the Martinez Commons, as we always compare Unit 2 (where we stayed) and Martinez to a motel and a hotel in terms of amenities and facilities. The advantage of housing on campus lies not only in the low level of organization and proximity, but also in the fact that food is included. I don’t want to imagine how stressful it would have been to cook or go shopping every day. In addition, Crossroads has a very wide and above all good offer, where there is something for everyone – my girlfriend and I are vegetarians and we always found something fresh and delicious. With the Meal Points, which are included, you get along well if you eat twice a day most of the time and now and then three times. In addition, Crossroads has a very wide and above all good offer, where there is something for everyone – my girlfriend and I are vegetarians and we always found something fresh and delicious. With the Meal Points, which are included, you get along well if you eat twice a day most of the time and now and then three times. In addition, Crossroads has a very wide and above all good offer, where there is something for everyone – my girlfriend and I are vegetarians and we always found something fresh and delicious. With the Meal Points, which are included, you get along well if you eat twice a day most of the time and now and then three times.
In general, you just have to be prepared for a few things when you do housing on campus: The rooms at UCB are small and you have little privacy (especially if you don’t know your roommate), the cleanliness leaves a lot to be desired, there are many, different lives Nationalities together in one place and you can easily discover cultural differences where you previously thought they could be bridged, but in the end they still bother you in the long run. And security is one of those things. . . Unfortunately, it has to be said that Berkeley has a very high homeless rate. Unit 2, for example, is right next to People’s Park, where most people stay during the day and sleep at night. I would not recommend walking past there after 9 p. m. and especially as a woman not being outside in a group of less than three people.
What you also have to keep in mind is that the Summer Sessions are not a holiday camp where you can earn a few credits on the side. It’s stressful, it’s a lot of work and it’s demanding (of course, it always varies with the course selection)! In the end, everyone I spoke to had underestimated the workload, among other things because American universities simply work differently than European ones. Basically, the work load is simply greater. I had taken two courses (3 and 4 units, Tue-Thu 2. 5 hours a day per course) and could not have mastered them without spending any time during the week with university or preparation. At the weekend we tried to squeeze all of our free time into the 2-3 days we had left. On the other hand, you also get the feeling that American professors give you more back than, for example, B. in Germany. I find that most of them are much more responsive to the individual student and show appreciation. At least in the humanities, one’s own thoughts and opinions are valued. That gives you a lot of motivation.
It is of course awesome that San Francisco seems to be just a stone’s throw away (across the Bay Bridge). If you want to save money, you should always take the F bus from campus, it’s free for Cal students (like all other buses in Berkeley) and goes directly to downtown SF. In addition to the typical sights in SF, I can only recommend renting a car and going on a day trip: To Yosemite National Park, along Highway 1 to Santa Cruz or even to LA (there are also cheap flights). And of course to use the offers from the residences (please note that you can also take excursions from the International House if you don’t live there), such as Disney Land, Alcatraz, Golden Gate Park, Six Flags etc.
Of course, there is no denying that all the fun costs a lot of money. Even with travel and study costs, it is not enough. You have to keep in mind that depending on the course you will have to pay up to $ 150 in material costs. When it comes to such things, you should always see if you can get together with others (whether it is about books, washing clothes, eating, going on excursions or anything else).
Thank goodness I didn’t have any major problems during my stay and the smaller ones could be resolved quickly, but also in advance and afterwards my questions and concerns were quickly and effectively resolved by MicroEDU. It may not be necessary to do the summer sessions through an organization, but since the service is free, I would definitely use it. Ultimately, Berkeley was a once in a lifetime experience and worth every penny, if only to be able to say afterwards that you studied at the University of California, Berkeley, the third best university in the world!