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, I would like to state that the decision to study in Santa Barbara was one of the best of my life and I would not want to miss a day in “paradise”. But it’s definitely not a place for everyone. UCSD is very attractive for surfers, academically UCLA is superior in many areas. What makes Santa Barbara unique is the community of ~20,000 students who together create an atmosphere that cannot be described. If you don’t want to live closely with many people, you’ve come to the wrong place. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who doesn’t like to go a little crazy and party. The sports facilities on campus are excellent, but most good universities share that. See mcat-test-centers for Newcastle University.
As far as prices go, I find most of the complaints unfounded. It is by no means a cheap project, but compared to other universities of the same level, it is one of the cheap alternatives. California isn’t cheap.
Now for those who have already chosen UCSB:
I enrolled for a quarter through MicroEdu, but quickly realized that that wasn’t enough for me and extended it to a full year (3 Q’s). This makes returning all the more difficult as it feels less like the end of vacation and more like leaving your new home. Everything is so exciting in the first quarter that you hardly get to enjoy the time and really get to know the people. But again, everyone has their own opinion and budget.
Firstly, since it was a long time ago and secondly, there is already a lot to prepare for in most reviews, I will omit this. I arrived in Santa Barbara 2 weeks before college, rented a car, and moved to the hostel downtown. I made acquaintances there that have lasted throughout the year and beyond. Definitely recommended. Individual nights are expensive, but the weekly rate is extremely fair. Alternatively, I can recommend the Motel 6 in Goleta, where four of you can stay in a 2-queen bed room for $100 a night. If you are not too fussy, you can couchsurf, there are more than enough providers before the start of your studies (sometimes for a small fee).
Finding an apartment is not entirely stress-free and you should be prepared for a few surprises. Neither the quality of living nor the value of an American promise is comparable to ours. I would still recommend everyone to stay in Isla Vista – you just miss too much outside. After a few visits, I decided not to live directly on the beach (on DP) – too expensive and too dirty. The first few streets directly behind are much more pleasant and still right in the middle. But that’s a matter of taste.
As for the course itself, you will be given plenty of information on site. The only tip: Before you buy a book, make sure that you really need it. More than half of the courses can be mastered without the absolutely overpriced books of the professors! Almost all of them can be borrowed at short notice from the library.
Get an American bank account. It’s a half hour thing and it’s free (over 25 it was like $5 a month I think). A transfer costs ~10-15 euros, but that’s far better than the unavoidable credit card fees.
Find friends with a car. Or at least friends/neighbors. You save a lot of money if you do your shopping in the big stores (Albertsons, Trader Joes, Ralphs) and not in the shops in Isla Vista. I brought a 6 pack of each as a thank you for the car and have never had a problem borrowing one.
Join the UCSB Facebook groups. It is worthwhile for subleasing, ridesharing, buying/selling or party invitations.
Use the beach. I’ve noticed it myself and heard it from many others: if he’s there all the time, the attraction is less and less. But once back home, that’s what’s missing the most. Even if it’s just for a nap or an hour’s jog. We also recommend the beach a little further towards downtown, which is ideal for BBQ’s. Difficult to reach without a car.
Don’t miss the obligatory trips to San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas. Likewise, I can only recommend spending the holidays (Thanksgiving, etc.) as American as possible and not staying in SB. Otherwise it is worth looking through the offers of the Excursion Club. Many of the weekend trips are fun and bring many new acquaintances.