University: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SANTA BARBARA
City: Santa Barbara
Continent: North America
Field of study: economics
The decision to do my semester abroad in Santa Barbara was definitely the best. See toppharmacyschools for James Cook University Study Abroad.
In short: Sun, beach, fun and party every day. It’s expensive fun, but worth every penny! Anyone who claims otherwise has not really lived there. Now in more detail:
Beautiful campus with a lot going on. Everything is wonderful to reach on foot or by bike.
The courses are extremely easy compared to German universities, which makes the whole quarter feel like a vacation for you. I myself took 3 courses and ended up lecturing 50 minutes a day.
However, enrolling in the courses is problematic. As an international student, you cannot pre-enroll via the internet. You have to get an overview of the courses, which ones come into question and when they take place. This is all explained to you in emails beforehand. You can also get advice on site from the international office.
Then you have to “crash” the courses and get signatures from the lecturers and their TA (teaching assistants). If you have this, you can pay for the courses individually and you are officially enrolled. However, I got all the courses I wanted. Many students make a fuss about nothing beforehand. I was able to get credit for all courses.
Probably the biggest shortcoming. If you want to experience the real student life at UCSB, you can’t avoid living right on Isla Vista (about 20 minutes from SB Downtown by car). (The place directly adjacent to UCSB). This means that you don’t need a car after looking for an apartment, because you can reach everything with a beach cruiser;)
In the Fall Quarter there are no housing options from UCSB and you are on your own. All landlors in IV only make rental contracts for 9 months, which of course involves the risk of flying back to Germany in the end and still having to pay rent in California. Many tell you about the possibility of signing this contract and then looking for someone to take over the room (sub-lessee) at the end of the day. That was too risky for me and I got a lot out of it.
Unfortunately there is only one hostel in Santa Barbara and it costs $50 per night for 12 people in a room (actually in September until the 23rd when the quarter starts – pure rip off!).
There is another motel in Goleta (next place to IV) which can be shared with 4 people and where you end up paying the same.
Finding a place to live seemed just a matter of luck. First come, first served. I was lucky myself and met 7 nice girls on the street in IV who let me live with them on the couch for 3 weeks. Later, at the last moment, I found an apartment on Craigslist from an American who is going on a semester abroad himself. As a result, I didn’t have to pay a deposit and I was able to pay the rent in cash with ease. So look at Craigslist SB under Subleases!
In addition, there are always 2 to 3-bed rooms. You get used to it very quickly.
Ps: Anyone who attaches great importance to hygiene is wrong here. IV is dirty. However, if you do everything right, you will be outside most of the time anyway.
You don’t have to say much about this. Project X and American Pie are a joke against the parties you experience every day in IV. Introverts may be shocked. We took the “Bills Bus” downtown every Thursday. A bus that has loud music playing all the time and drinking is allowed. This picks you up again at 2 a.m. and drives back to IV. On the other days there are house parties until you drop. Large terraces over the cliffs right on the beach where 200 people dance and party – house to house. Not to be found in Germany. So if you go to UCSB to have a good university on your CV – in reality just want to party like never before – you’ve come to the right place.
It’s expensive to live in SB.
Living around 500-750 dollars. Many I knew still had to post a few hundred dollars bail.
Groceries are very expensive and due to the extremely large amount of free time, you have to factor in some money for celebrations.
In any case, you should calculate a total of 10,000 euros for everything. If I had had more money I would have stayed longer.
I hope one or the other has found my report helpful and will then apply to UCSB. You will never regret it. And California is super nice to live in;). Don’t put too much emphasis on the university there (you pass all the courses anyway), but on having a good time and enjoying the sun – you will miss it as soon as you get back.