University: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SANTA BARBARA
City: Santa Barbara
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: social sciences
Study type: semester abroad
The application process was uncomplicated and quick. MicroEdu is really helpful because all my questions could be answered quickly and I already had an idea of what to expect from the testimonials. On site, too, the employees of the UCSB Extension are courteous and willing to help with questions and problems. You can easily reach them by email or in person at their office. See mcat-test-centers for University of California Los Angeles.
UCSB offers both extension courses (these are mostly taken by international students) and courses found in the Schedule of Classes (ie courses taken by UCSB students). However, the extension courses are cheaper. There are hardly any extension courses in the “Humanities” area, so I only have courses that appear in the Schedule of Classes. Here it makes sense to email the professors in advance, as they often do not know exactly how international students register. The process is a bit complicated. You can’t register for courses in advance (which many professors don’t know and then ask why you haven’t already registered in advance via the “GOLD” platform and are on the waiting list). For the course registration of international students, it is necessary for the lecturer to fill out a form and thus confirm that you can participate. On the first day, you often get the information that a decision on acceptance or rejection can only be made during the first week. To get on for the visa In order to get the necessary number of units, it makes sense to attend several courses in the first week (this does not apply to extension courses, for which you can register online). Therefore, once again, the advice to ask before the first day of the course whether participation is even possible.
I looked for accommodation locally. Even though I was a bit scared at first to fly to California without knowing where I’m going to live, in the end I’m glad I made that decision. Finding accommodation is quick and easy with the UCSB HousingFacebook group !
UCSB is notable for its large, clean, and green campus, private beach, lagoon, and events of all kinds held throughout campus. The students here are very open-minded and helpful, so that you can quickly and easily make great friends without much effort (Princeton Review’s 2020 List of Colleges names gauchos the “happiest students in Cali”). In addition to many opportunities to get to know a unique party culture (college life, which I only knew from films and didn’t think was very realistic, actually exists here!), UCSB also impresses with renowned professors and research.
I used holidays and vacations to travel. The best travel destinations are just around the corner! In addition to city trips (especially Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas and San Francisco), California impresses with its many national parks, which I can highly recommend (in Death Valley you can even see the Milky Way with a bit of luck, the starry sky is unique). But state parks are also worth a visit because they are often less well known and therefore less touristy: Camping ¬– with a campfire and s’mores¬ – in the Montana del Oro State Park is one of my highlights. The Angel’s Landing Hike in Zion National Park is also highly recommended. Antelope Canyon is also not far away. Here it is necessary to book a tour in advance. You can’t just spend beach days in California, after a short drive you can actually reach ski areas, a unique experience! Mexico is not far eitherand worth the trip. Because domestic flights are not too expensive, I used vacations to travel to different states. It’s interesting because the states are more different than I thought (so I was glad I chose California). Hawaii is also recommended. I spent Christmas on Maui and I am more than enthusiastic about the nature and the beaches.
But Santa Barbara also has a lot to offer. Downtown is incredibly beautiful (although in summer I felt like I was surrounded by more Germans than Americans; German tourists seem to love Santa Barbara, and rightly so). The IV party bus takes students there cheaply and is worth a (college) experience! Santa Barbara also offers hiking opportunities (Inspiration Point, Seven Falls, Lizard’s Mouth and for those who like rock climbing, Arlington Peak). Santa Barbara also has a lot to offer culturally: there are many concerts in the Bowl with a unique view and the Granada Theater is also special.
Overall I had an incredible time at UCSB, I’m coming back to Germany with a lot of great memories and I’m grateful to have studied at UCSB for a year. College life here is unique (even American students say so: there is nothing like IV (Isla Vista) anywhere else) and is definitely worth the experience!