University: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SANTA BARBARA
City: Santa Barbara
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
I took care of the visa about half a year beforehand, that’s enough. You need an F1 visa for the stay.
You are insured as long as your studies are officially via the UCSB, but since the insurance does not cover everything and you probably do not start exactly on the first day of study and tear off on the last, I can only recommend additional international health insurance, and it is not very expensive either.
In addition, I placed an ad myself on craigslist in advance for the purpose of looking for a flat, which is highly recommended, and I have already written to people by email. I received few replies to this, but afterwards I heard the tip that the response frequency increases significantly if you have a.com email address instead of a.de. See mcat-test-centers for California State University San Marcos.
I arrived about 4 weeks before the start of my studies, which I can only recommend. I then also found my spot via said self-placed craigslist ad. I lived in IV, on DP. I can only recommend IV to everyone, beautiful by the sea, only young people and therefore a very relaxed atmosphere and of course at an ideal distance from the university. I had my doubts about DP at first because many other testimonials said it was too crazy. In retrospect, however, I believe that I did everything right. Probably because the 67 block isn’t that crazy in general. I shared a house with 13 people, including – but that was coincidence – also with two Germans and a Frenchman. Everyone in the house was very nice and accommodating and welcomed me well, the mood was good and we did a lot together. You can certainly say that you can also live more quietly, but if you have a 50 square meter terrace on the cliffs from which you could spit into the sea, it is certainly worth it.
I can also highly recommend arriving early, so I could get to know the area in advance, understand how life works there and make friends with my roommates.
In general, life in IV is relatively expensive, especially groceries and rent. In the beginning we almost always ate in one of the many small, good food stalls in IV, but if you eventually find a healthy balance and cook something yourself, that’s fine.
You can save on the rent if you are willing to live alone, unlike in Germany. I had a triple room but probably lucky with my roommates. But even if you don’t become best friends, I think you can share a room for a good three or four months.
You can choose between the regular academic courses and extension courses. You can register for the extension courses online, the “normal” courses have to be crashed. This means that in the first two weeks you attend about twice as many courses as you want to do to make sure that you can ultimately take the required number of units. It sounds stressful, but it’s actually not that bad. In the first two weeks you have a normal, “German” frequency of lectures, so to speak, and once you’ve secured your courses, it’s pretty relaxed.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get all the courses I wanted to get, so you have to be a bit lucky.
What I can recommend to business administration students in particular is the Strategic Business Professional Certificate program, which has only been around for two years and with which you can still experience some business administration at the very economics-heavy university.
General life and leisure
In one word outstanding. Starting with said terrace. Have breakfast outside with the most direct sea view in the morning, then swim a lap first. At the Excursion Club in IV you can rent surfboards and wetsuits as often as you want for the entire stay for $30 and then only have to carry them for about 4 minutes before you can try them out. The Excursion Club also offers joint excursions and other activities. You can get a RecCen membership for 60 dollars and you can fully live out your sporting skills with the best equipment and everything you can imagine. The whole thing under palm trees and at 20 degrees until December. I was very upset when, after a 2-month stay, I suddenly had to put on long trousers for the first time.
IV also sets new standards in terms of celebrations and fun. I recently watched Project X and apart from the complete burning down of the house and the surrounding area, I didn’t see anything in the film that I hadn’t seen in IV before. Only that nobody calls the police here because only students live on a square mile. 15,000.
The UCSB is certainly not the worst starting point for starting expeditions. With a bit of luck, it takes less than 90 minutes to get to LA, and it’s another two hours to San Diego. It is about 5 hours to San Francisco, if you choose the beautiful Highway Number 1 it takes about an hour longer. When renting a car, I can recommend doing it from Germany via the ADAC, they will then just send you a voucher with which you can go to the rental and pick it up. But I’ve also met many who have done it here, so it’s not such a big problem.
If you are willing to invest a certain amount in your stay abroad then I can only recommend the UCSB. Here you get the full load of the Californian way of life with longboarding with sunset views, surfing (with dolphins if you’re lucky) and a whole lot of fun and life experiences.