University: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SANTA BARBARA
City: Santa Barbara
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business
Study type: semester abroad
First of all, kudos to the MicroEdu team for making the process of applying for a semester abroad much easier. I found out about this after talking to exchange students for the first time, who applied independently and without help. See toppharmacyschools for University of New Brunswick Study Abroad.
In principle, it is made really easy for you. You get in touch with MicroEdu and everything is set in motion. First you get material that describes the complete procedure and prepares you for what to get and what to take care of as soon as possible. This should not be underestimated, because it involves many forms and certificates, which are often not easy to obtain.
Once you have these, simply send them to MicroEdu or upload them to the website so MicroEdu can forward them to your chosen university. If you did something wrong (wrongly filled out, wrong form, etc.) you will be informed and have the chance to send a new form, which saves a lot of time.
After some of these processes, such as proof of solvency, you will then receive a form from the UCSB personally. (I -20 form) which contains the basic data (length of studies/university address etc.) and which is necessary for applying for a visa. If you have this, you can simply go to one of the embassies in Germany and apply for a visa. (Unfortunately there are only 3 locations in Germany, Berlin/Frankfurt/Munich).
Once you’ve done that, you’re good to go! I was lucky enough to know someone nearby so I didn’t have to book a hotel, but almost all other exchange students did to start with to have time to look for a place to stay. To find housing, you can either contact UCSB or use Craigslist.org. Craigslist is a pretty simple search engine for pretty much anything you can think of, you type in exactly what you’re looking for and hopefully you’ll find it. In this case, simply the region “Isla Vista” (residential area directly on campus), the budget you can afford and any other demands you make. You really can find everything. For example, I lived in a house with 5 other roommates, but you can also find single rooms, which then of course shoot up in price. However, one should be careful with the actual “visiting” and payment. I would advise you to take a close look at the house/room/whatever and also to read the leases carefully. I’ve heard from many people that there were high additional costs as well as uncomfortable conditions. If you want a little tip, like to go out at the weekend and don’t avoid a sea view, I can recommend you to live on “DP”, which is actually the party mile of the UCSB! that high additional costs as well as unpleasant conditions were the case. If you want a little tip, like to go out at the weekend and don’t avoid a sea view, I can recommend you to live on “DP”, which is actually the party mile of the UCSB! that high additional costs as well as unpleasant conditions were the case. If you want a little tip, like to go out at the weekend and don’t avoid a sea view, I can recommend you to live on “DP”, which is actually the party mile of the UCSB!
The lectures then begin with an information event for all exchange students, where you will be informed about course choices, the university itself, but also about visa-related things. For example, it is very important to hand in a small document, which you get stuck in your passport when you enter the USA, when you leave the country in order to prevent the American authorities from thinking that you are still in the country. So be careful, there are many more things to consider. Another, in my opinion, one of the most important points is the so-called “price crashing”. As an exchange student, you are not guaranteed a place in modules at UCSB, since UCSB graduate students always have priority. The crashing means that you have to appear for the first lectures of your chosen courses and have to discuss with the lecturer whether there is still a place available or whether the course is already too full. Tip: As long as you are not sure about the course, always go to the events to show that you really want exactly this module. However, you can also get disappointed and not get a seat, so it is advisable to always have more courses in mind. The minimum number of courses that you have to take is always 3 courses per quarter. If you are studying economics like me, it will be even more difficult because UCSB is known for exactly this area and therefore has many students in this area. But once you have secured your courses, found a place to stay and got to know the first people, you can really get going and enjoy beautiful Santa Barbara and the many surrounding things to do. In addition to the beautiful city, Los Angeles is only 2 hours away, which is always good for a weekend trip, but of course you can also just lie on the beach and enjoy the sun.
My time at UCSB was one of the nicest I’ve had so far and where I made many important experiences. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who is considering but not sure.
Best regards and have fun with your semester abroad!