University: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SANTA BARBARA
City: Santa Barbara
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Psychology, English / American Studies
Study type: semester abroad
In general one can say that a lot of preparations have to be made before you can go to Santa Barbara. So I can only recommend starting at least a year in advance. The preparations include the application to the university, the TOEFL test and of course the visa. But that’s not all! You need bank confirmations, transcripts from your home university, the flight and, if necessary, accommodation for the first few days or a room in a shared apartment. It took me about 1.5 years – from thinking about a semester abroad to the actual trip. See mcat-test-centers for California State University Fullerton CSUF.
I can only recommend booking a flight to Santa Barbara directly! The airport there is very close to the university and it is much less stressful than landing in LA and then taking the Santa Barbara Airbus to Goleta. That’s what I did and found out afterwards that a flight to Santa Barbara was only €100 more. If you fly to LA, the Airbus alone costs almost €50. In addition, I had to wait 2 hours for it after landing and it took more than 2 hours until I was finally in Goleta. I booked a room in the Motel 6 in Goleta for the first four nights, because only then could I move into my flat share. The motel is very nice and clean but not very cheap, especially on weekends.
Thanks to Facebook, I found my shared room in advance. I took it over from another German who studied in Santa Barbara in the winter semester. The rents in IV are very high and it is almost impossible to afford a single room. I also had a shared room that cost me $600 a month. In addition, the deposits are very high and you should pay attention to the condition of the apartment beforehand and speak to the landlord. I met other Germans who stayed at the Studio Plaza Apartments Goleta or the Santa Ynez Apartments. These two options are also highly recommended!
The crash in prices was quite a disaster for me. I couldn’t get an English or Linguistic course because they were all full and Americans had priority. That’s why I took an extension course, which was cheaper after all. However, there were almost only Germans in this course… Then I decided to take a German course (German History), because apart from me there were only Americans there. I also chose a psychology course, which was also very interesting. All the courses were a lot of fun, even if they probably won’t bring me anything for my home university… In my experience, you shouldn’t take courses that are too difficult, because a semester abroad in IV means sun, relaxation and partying : ) It’s better not to gain weight ahead and enjoy the semester to the fullest!!! The campus is incomparably beautiful and you feel more like you are in a holiday resort than at a university. If I were you, I’d also buy a Rec Center card for the semester as soon as you arrive. This only costs $60 and you can use all sports facilities. The offer there is great. Sometimes they also offer weekend trips, such as to Yosemite. So be sure to inform us right away.
Life in Santa Barbara or IV is just awesome!!! It is something very special to have the beach right on your doorstep. The beach in Santa Barbara downtown is particularly recommended and can also be easily reached with the free 24x bus to downtown. I found groceries to be very expensive, especially in IV Market I would only buy something if something was urgently needed. Traders Joe in Goleta has good stuff, but it doesn’t come cheap either. In my opinion, the cheapest way to get here is to go downtown. Because there is a Ralphs right across from the bus stop, which is usually cheaper than Albertsons or Vons. Partying is definitely not neglected in IV either, especially at Del Playa it’s party time without end and you should think about whether you want to live right there: ) The apartments there are pretty much all very dirty and very expensive. In my opinion, testing this out at house parties over the weekend is enough. There is also the option of taking Bill’s bus downtown for €10 and partying there. You should know, however, that at 1: 30 they close everywhere in Santa Barbara.
All in all, I can say that the time in Santa Barbara was the best of my life. I met great people and enjoyed everything to the fullest. Going to UCSB was definitely the right decision and I would do it all over again.