University: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SANTA BARBARA
City: Santa Barbara
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: economics
Study type: semester abroad
I myself started dealing with the matter 1 ¼ years earlier and you are faced with a mountain of questions that can all be solved with the MicroEdu team. This university has a “first come, first served” principle. A certain number of places are available and these will be allocated according to the receipt of applications. No letter of motivation or recommendation is required for this either, so you only have to submit the evidence required in the application and then have it sent via MicroEdu. See mcat-test-centers for University of California San Diego.
I was in Santa Barbara during the spring semester and extended my stay to a total of 5 months. If you should also drive in time: Take warm clothes with you! That it is always only warm in SB is unfortunately an absolute fallacy.
I arrived 4 weeks before the start of the university, which was perhaps a little too early, but 1 to 2 weeks is definitely recommended. I lived in Isla Vista. If you don’t look for anything there to save money, it’s your own fault, because all your future friends will live there and there’s always something going on. I myself lived with a German woman, which certainly has advantages and disadvantages. The apartment was of course in great shape as a result, but you have less contact with Americans. The apartments of some of them look catastrophic, but if you are not quite so squeamish, you can endure the time there quite well. The main hub is the website “craigslist.org”!
Compared to German standards, the university is really big and maybe a little confusing, but over time you learn to orientate yourself. Overall it’s pretty pretty too, but despite the high tuition fees, it’s pretty let down. As an international student you always have to stand at the end anyway and half of the courses I had previously chosen were forbidden to “crash” from the start. So you have to go to the courses that the Americans themselves don’t want to go to, which has given me a very busy semester because American professors like to give homework and take intermediate exams. That’s why I recommend staying in California for a few more weeks to be able to travel around a bit.
In my experience, extension courses are a bit easier than the normal Academics courses, but are preferably in the evenings (note: some courses take place in Ventura, you can’t get there without a car!). Incidentally, after a short time you no longer have a problem understanding the professors.
The town itself is really pretty, but it’s also a 20 minute express bus ride away. The mountains are great for hiking and mountain biking. Of course, you can also go surfing in the Pacific, although the wave quality isn’t outstanding, but it’s certainly not that bad for beginners! If you sign up at the Excursion Club, you can borrow a board and suit for free!
People in the US are always super friendly, but also pretty superficial. You learn the common phrases very quickly, but it is very difficult to develop a deeper friendship with Americans, they also know too well that you will be gone after a relatively short time. The best way to get to know them is at parties in the evenings, but these usually take place in IV. On Thursday evening, “Bill’s Bus” always goes downtown to the Students Night, where you can really party in the numerous clubs. On Friday and Saturday there are house parties everywhere, to which one is very quickly invited.
(Unfortunately) you will also meet numerous Germans (about 100 in my semester), so that you are inclined to do something with them. This is certainly at the expense of the English language, but it brings you friends you won’t want to be without.
You have absolutely no idea what the costs will be for this semester abroad. In addition to the already expensive university, you then have to plan your flight, visa, apartment, travel and living expenses. The latter in particular are significantly higher than in Germany. Anything related to food (unless it’s the really unhealthy ones) is pretty expensive. Alcohol is comparatively cheap, but can only be bought in self-service with presentation of the ID. All in all, the 5 months cost about 15,000 euros, although I kept most things relatively inexpensive, except for the apartment.