University: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SANTA BARBARA
City: Santa Barbara
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: mathematics, statistics
Study type: semester abroad
UCSB has a beautiful oceanfront location just minutes from the beach. Most students ride bicycles or skateboards and pedestrians tend to be less considerate if they want to cross the bike path. See mcat-test-centers for Universidad De Chile.
The crashing of the courses can be quite annoying. The problem I had in the Winter Quarter was that I couldn’t attend many lectures because these were advanced courses from the Fall Quarter and I was therefore missing the first part of the lecture content. But you just have to be persistent and attend every lecture that interests you, in the end you will definitely find something.
Compared to Germany, there is a lot of homework that is also assessed and the grade is calculated together with the midterm and the final. So you have to prepare and learn a lot every week, but overall it’s easier than in Germany, so that you always do well in the end.
A book is required in almost every course, but since these are always very expensive, I decided not to buy them and always borrowed them from the library. The library is very large, has a 24-hour study room and is very crowded, especially during the finals. If you only want to use the computer, I recommend going to the lab above the Extension Office, which also has a printer and, compared to the library, you will definitely find free computer space there.
My courses were mostly Chinese, which made it difficult to get in touch with the Americans, but I assume it varies from subject to subject. However, I noticed that most of the students just sit “silently” in their places and you have to speak to them yourself if you have questions or need help.
In addition, there are a lot of Germans and Norwegians on campus as well as in Isla Vista, so there is a high probability of meeting these two nations rather than Americans;)
I would recommend everyone to live in IV (Isla Vista), in the student area right next to the university. It is like a small village with several places to eat and close to the beach. On the other hand, if you live in Goleta or downtown Santa Barbara, you simply miss out on too much of college life and it’s increasingly difficult to get home from parties, which tend to take place in IV. However, this student life also has its price, so you have to pay $500-$800 for a shared room. Unfortunately, many apartments are not as clean and well-kept as you are used to from German conditions, although there are of course exceptions here too. Overall, Santa Barbara is an expensive area, which is also reflected in the prices of groceries. Fresh fruit and vegetables in particular cost a lot here.
Student ID cards give you free bus routes, making it easy to get to downtown Santa Barbara, which itself is fairly manageable. But it is a good starting point for trips to LA, San Diego, Las Vegas or San Francisco and if you don’t have your own car, you can also get everywhere by Amtrak or Greyhound bus. IV isn’t just busy at weekends, there are also happy hour and “pitcher” offers during the week. If you want to go downtown, the best way is to take the “Bills Bus” which is a $10 round trip from IV to Santa Barbara and back. However, there isn’t that much selection of clubs and bars there, and since everything closes at 2 a.m., you should start partying in good time;)
A negative point about the area is definitely that you always have to have your passport with you. Whereas in Vegas or SF you can easily get in with a German identity card, in IV/SB it is not even accepted when buying alcohol.
- Every Tuesday: Free Movies in the IV Theater
- Open Mic Night in Giovanni’s Pizzeria (there’s always free pizza!)
- Try Cookiewich in the IV Drip!
- Santa Barbara, Sailing Center : Whale Watching and Sunset Cruise for $10 (student price)
A big thank you to the whole MicroEdu team, especially to Aline Meyer for all the help and support and for answering the many questions! : )