University: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SANTA BARBARA
City: Santa Barbara
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business
Study type: semester abroad
Application and visa
I really spontaneously decided to do the semester abroad at UCSB and I really didn’t expect everything to work out on such short notice. See toppharmacyschools for University of New South Wales Study Abroad.
I first got in touch with MicroEdu at the end of September and at the time I wasn’t even sure which university I wanted to go to in California (ultimately the direct beach location just won me over !). At this point, a huge thank you again to Lisa Bradler and the other girls from MicroEdu, who helped me so much, without you I probably would never have been able to study in the USA!
I didn’t send my application until the end of October, and just one (!) week later I was accepted for the Winter Quarter from January to March.
The application itself was really easy, and since the UCSB has recently started accepting the DAAD language test, I had no problems with that either.
I was a bit worried that I might be too late for the visa, but everything went really smoothly there too and I was able to get an appointment at the American Embassy in Frankfurt within three days, most of the forms have to be filled out beforehand anyway fill in online.
flight and arrival
I booked my flight through a friend in a travel agency. At first I wasn’t sure whether I should book the return flight directly, but I can only recommend it to you, since the price for the outward and return flight together is significantly cheaper than if you book the return flight separately later. And should your plans change spontaneously, just ask beforehand how much the rebooking will cost.
I flew to Los Angeles and since I only got there in the evening, I stayed one more night in an airport hotel. The next day we went on to Santa Barbara, from LAX airport with the “Santa Barbara Airbus”, which is really the cheapest way to get to SB. It’s best to download the Uber app in the hotel, which is the easiest way to get from the bus station to the apartment.
In the run-up, I often read that many foreign students first look for accommodation on site, but that was too risky for me personally. I can definitely recommend you to join the Facebook group “UCSB Housing” because there are daily posts from people who want to (sub)rent their room. I finally found what I was looking for at the “Meridian Group” and then asked there directly. I have to say that most other landlords only accept 6 or even 12 month rental contracts, so my 3 month contract was really perfect!
I even had a single room with my own bathroom, which to be honest was really important to me! The rent wasn’t exactly cheap at $1,200 a month, but the other rooms can hardly be under $1,000 if you don’t want them to look completely run down. I was really lucky with my house, everything was clean, it was only a 10 minute walk to the campus and 5 minutes to the center of Isla Vista and my housemates were all super nice and helpful!
university and courses
In advance, I had the information from MicroEdu that you can only register for the extension courses at UCSB and that you have to crash the regular university courses via the “Open University” program. I then picked out the courses that really interested me and went to as many courses as I could in the first week of lectures to see which ones I liked at all and also help me professionally.
To be on the safe side, I also picked out a few extension courses, but they all only started a week later. In the end, I decided on “Personnel Economics”, “Law and Ethics” (both Open University), “Strategic Branding ” and “Understanding Organizational & Individual Behavior” (extension courses). All in all, I can say that only the normal university courses can be compared with those in Germany. Of course you have to learn a lot to keep up and, unlike at my university in Germany, there are several exams spread over the semester.
In the end, I was able to take all the university courses that I had chosen. It is usually enough to ask the professor nicely if you can attend the course and most of them are also happy when students from Germany are there.
The real ” college life ” as you imagine it, you get a lot more of in the normal courses, since the extension courses usually only take place in the evenings or even at the weekend, when everyone else is already enjoying their free time.
I can only recommend a semester abroad at UCSB! The time there was really great, so if you have the chance, take it! What I can still say is: Do the semester alone! Of course it’s great to start the USA adventure together with friends, but in my opinion you benefit much more from having such an experience on your own because you’re really on your own at the beginning and can simply develop even more. But don’t worry, you’ll make friends very quickly and you’ll probably have the best, most exciting three months (or more) of your life at UCSB!