University of California, Santa Barbara Review (82)


City: Santa Barbara

Country: United States

Continent: North America

Field of study: business administration

Study type: semester abroad

University of California, Santa Barbara Review (82)

UCSB is not only one of the best universities in the world academically (5th best public university in the USA), but also the unofficial number one party university. Combined with its location on the Isla Vista Peninsula, where all the students live, it didn’t take me long to decide on UCSB. See mcat-test-centers for University of Canterbury.


A language test at the required level is important for the application. The best thing to do is take the DAAD test at your German university, it’s relatively easy and only costs a few euros. It is important here, however, that you best reach the required level in all categories. If not, you will need to take an English course at UCSB for the parts where you didn’t reach the required level (e.g. reading comprehension). I have heard from those who have taken these courses at UCSB that the courses have been of little use and are very expensive. So it’s best to save it and make a little effort at the DAAD. You must also send a current transcript to MicroEdu so that it can be checked whether you meet the technical requirements, i.e. grade point average and credits completed in Germany. Then you can already apply. And don’t worry, as far as I know, no one’s ever been rejected,

For the visa you have to collect a few documents and travel to the embassy or consulate with them.


Since there is no pure business administration at the UCSB, but only economics with a few finance and accounting specializations, in addition to these courses at the “USCB Extension” there are other more classic business administration courses such as HR, business development and marketing available. However, these courses are attended almost exclusively by (mainly German) exchange students and a few working Americans and therefore mostly take place in the evenings.

Since these courses usually do not require any previous knowledge, they can also be taken by non-business students.

However, you should not expect too much from these courses, as the level is rather low. But these courses are only about half as expensive as the normal UCSB courses. I had two courses at UCSB Extension and one at regular UCSB.

My UCSB course, on the other hand, was pretty much the best I’ve ever seen at college! I took Financial Accounting Analysis (ECON 118) with Prof. Kulper. The professor is totally committed and has also worked in the areas for a long timeand always invites all students to his office hours if they have a question or just want to talk to him about business, politics or stocks. In addition, in the first few minutes of each lecture, in which there are only about 50-60 people, current topics on the stock market or in politics are discussed – very interesting! Otherwise, every week (two lectures per week) a test is written on a chapter of a book and a homework assignment has to be completed. But both are also very interesting, usually with a current reference. A large group work then runs through the whole quarter, which is presented at the end instead of a final exam.

So I would definitely recommend you to take at least one regular course, even if they are significantly more expensive and involve a lot more work. This is the only place where you get the real college feeling and get to know many American students.

You can or must buy the UCSB Extension courses online before they start, but you can “crash” the regular UCSB courses in the first few days of the quarter. This means that you just sit in the lecture like any other student and then you can decide which course to stay with and which one to stop attending.


Finding a nice, affordable and above all clean place to stay in Isla Vista is really difficult. There are apartments outside of Isla Vista, but you definitely want to live in IV!

However, be prepared that you will usually share your room with at least one other person and that the other students are really not the cleanest and tidiest – really not at all! At first, I and many other Germans were really shocked by the conditions under which most people live in IV, but you can get used to it yourself! Especially if you don’t have to live there permanently!

The best thing to do is try to find a bed to sublet. There are also the Facebook groups Free & For Sale (UCSB), UCSB HOUSING and IV Housing for UCSB Students. In any case, try your luck there and write to everyone who posts something and post in the group yourself, even if it is all very tedious. If you’re lucky, your biggest semester abroad problem will have been solved afterwards. You can also contact College Contact or the UCSB Housing Office for additional ideas. Many houses in IV are owned by real estate companies who, if a tenant moves out or goes abroad, take care of the (interim) letting themselves and not via Facebook. It’s best to call them directly, even if it can cost a few euros from Germany, before you spend days writing emails back and forth. It’s also no problem if you fly to the USA without having a permanent home. Most of the time it is even easier to clarify something like this on site than from Germany.

It is also important to know that not only students from UCSB live in IV, who also complete a hard study at a good university, but also students from SBMicroEdu Santa Barbara City College. Even though this college is located in downtown Santa Barbara, most students still live in IVs and put up with the 20-minute drive to live in the party hub. The SBMicroEdu students I got to know tended to have different priorities than the UCSB students, especially in the final season. So it’s best to find out beforehand what and where your future roommates are studying and what their habits are, since you’re sharing a room after all.


You are in the Golden State! There really is everything here. With the beach and the sea right on your doorstep, you will definitely spend a lot of time on or in the water. Be sure to sign up for the Excursion Club. This is one of countless clubs for just about anything you can imagine at UCSB. For a fee of 30 USD for a quarter, you can rent surfboards, wetsuits, kayaks, SUPs, tents, etc. almost directly at the end of the beach for free and you can also take part in excursions, which are also mostly free of charge, e.g. hiking, climbing, camping etc.. Also the “Snow Club” is recommended. In addition to ski trips, they also organize very good parties in IV.

Be sure to also drive to Lizards Mouth, a viewpoint in the coastal mountains with stunning views of IV and the sunset. You do need a car though, so ask one of your American roommates (everybody has a car there), and the last 300 meters is a bit of a climb, but it’s definitely worth it!


Congratulations, you have just found the university where you want to spend your semester abroad. If the points good (party) university, good weather, good location and an English-speaking country as well as a reasonable price are also important to you, the UCSB is perfect! You’ll live the campus life you’ve always dreamed of (and it’s even better). If you have any specific questions, please feel free to contact me. Good Trip!

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