University: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SANTA BARBARA
City: Santa Barbara
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: economics
Study type: semester abroad
All I can say about the city of Santa Barbara is that it has everything you could dream of from a real West Coast city! See mcat-test-centers for Sonoma State University SSU.
About 20,000 students are enrolled at UCSB. Over 90% of these come from California, so it is a real Californian university.
There are five Nobel Prize winners among the professors, four of them in physics and chemistry and another in economics. But the university is not only well positioned in these subjects, but also in many others. At this point, however, the business administration students should be told that the business offer is limited to finance and accounting. Otherwise, the range of economics subjects consists mainly of economics lectures, but more on everyday student life later. You should keep your hands off the extension courses; these are better housewifery courses, the level of which is far below the campus courses. Nothing for students!
The campus is right on the beach on a lagoon and is simply fantastic, not only because of the location on the beach and the adjacent biotope, there is a gym, shops and much more. People often get around on campus by skateboard or bicycle, otherwise the distances on the huge site are usually too long. Otherwise you can get along well with these two means of transport in connection with the bus within Santa Barbara, at least I didn’t need a car.
The academic year is divided into quarters. That’s good because you can choose the right times and don’t have to wait about three months after the end of the semester here until things finally start in America. As usual in the USA, you don’t just write a single final exam at the end of the semester or quarter, you usually also get intermediate exams, tests and even homework. In the end, the foreign students perform superbly, while the Americans brutally pull the average down.
Each course is assigned a certain number of units, the number of which indicates the workload and which are similar to credit points. Most courses consist of four units, which usually corresponds to three lectures per week. The minimum number of units is twelve. I didn’t take any more personally, I didn’t just want to study.
Choosing a course was initially difficult: as an external student, you cannot register for a specific course in advance. (There may be changes in this regard now, but you will see that.) If this is then taken, and this is often the case outside of the summer sessions, you have to try to “crash” the course, ie you have to be in the first lectures always ask the professor for admission. You shouldn’t give up right away, even if the course seems hopelessly overcrowded in the first hour. Patience is extremely important!
A course unit cost $185 in 2005; so at the minimum of twelve per quarter it makes $2220. There are of course other fees, such as the $800 DYO fee per quarter, etc.
The cost of living is slightly higher than in Germany, at least for groceries. Living in Santa Barbara is quite expensive, you have to calculate at least $500-800 a month. The homestay arrangement is also in this price range. If you live in Downtown SB, you are relatively far away from the university and it always takes about 30 minutes by bus or car. Goleta (west of the university) is cheaper because it is closer. Isla Vista (IV) is even closer, being right next to the campus. IV definitely offers the coolest and most authentic college life of all the places mentioned, because this town of 18,000 is almost exclusively populated by students who once helped UCSB gain the reputation of being the party college par excellence in the USA. And although the cops have been tightening their checks for a number of years, it’s usually still pretty crazy. There’s always a party going on at the weekend. Anyone who has lived there for a while believes that all the US college comedies a lá “American Pie” are based on fact. There’s only one thing: Get involved! *G
Admittedly, apartments are quite difficult to find, except in summer. The halls of residence are only open to extension students in August. Apartment listings can be found at santabarbaranewspress.com. Most of the time you can always fall back on the homestay arrangements. You can usually find something locally. If you stay longer than a quarter, you can do it like me: first spend a quarter with a host family and from there look for a new apartment, e.g. a place in a real Californian student flat share in Isla Vista – highly recommended, thanks to the high Fun factor;-) Studying
in Santa Barbara is absolutely awesome, the time I spent there was amazing, simply “awesome”! yeah dude…