University of California, Santa Barbara Review (84)

University: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SANTA BARBARA

City: Santa Barbara

Country: United States

Continent: North America

Field of study: Cultural Studies, Social Sciences, Economics

Study type: semester abroad

University of California, Santa Barbara Review (84)

Around this time last year, I decided to apply to UCSB. The reasons were, on the one hand, the positive testimonials about the university and the surrounding area from MicroEdu as well as from other students who had already studied there. On the other hand, to be honest, I wanted to escape to the sea and the cold winter months in Germany and study in a warm place. One last reason is that I had originally planned to spend my semester abroad somewhere else, so I didn’t have much time to take care of the application. Since the application process through MicroEdu is quick and easy, that was a relief for me. I didn’t have to submit a letter of motivation and only had to take the TOEFL test. MicroEdu gave me all the important information, e.g about the visa and health insurance, so that I no longer had to research very much on my own. In addition, it was very likely that my application would be accepted, since MicroEdu had 120 places available and there were only about 40 applicants. See mcat-test-centers for University of Melbourne.

It was generally recommended to look for accommodation locally, so I traveled to Santa Barbara two weeks before the start of the semester and stayed at the Motel 6 (highly recommended) in Goleta for the first few days. With a rental car, I went through all the apartments from the apartment ads (you can find them at www.craigslist.com; only possible if you have an American cell phone number, so get them right at the beginning!). Unfortunately, it turned out that many shared rooms were not suitable for me. Many were only available on a 10-12 month contract and most rooms were either for 2 or up to 4 people to share. However, since I wanted my own room, I had to look further. I am then 5 minutes from Isla Vista, the student area, moved into an apartment with another American woman and in retrospect I can really recommend you not to live directly in the party stronghold Isla Vista or if you do, then to live further away from the street del Playa (unless you enjoy partying all the time;)). I was glad that I could come back to my quiet apartment after the parties – but it’s a matter of type. If I had to look for accommodation again, I would look locally again, even if it is a bit difficult at first. Because being shown an apartment via Skype and then signing the rental agreement in advance is practical – but it can’t be as nice as hoped and I’ve heard that people have been ripped off in this way… Be forewarned : it is expensive to live in Goleta/Isla Vista. Expect to pay between $800 and $1000 for a single room. However, if you share a room then about half.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to choose my courses in advance. Like all other extension students, I had to crash the courses. It was a rather strenuous procedure. You had to look for many courses that you could imagine taking, then attend all the lectures and tutorials and hope in the end that the professor and the tutor (sometimes the signature from the department necessary) accepts me into the course. It wasn’t difficult to get into two courses, but in one it took more than two weeks before I knew whether I was allowed to choose the course or not. There was a contact person in the Extension Office at UCSB who always helped you if you had a question (whether it was about choosing a course or a visa). Finally I have the courses: Global Political and Socioeconomic Processes (GLOBL 2), Introduction to Environmental Studies (ENV S 1) and Environmental Economics (ECON 115). The first two are introductory courses and therefore undergraduate level. The latter is a graduate level course. I can actually recommend all of the courses. Especially the pros from ENV S 1 and GLOBL 2 are really good! However, what I hadn’t considered before choosing my courses is that when I take undergraduate level courses, most of the other students are not my age. So I was often 3-4 years older than the others, which wasn’t really a bad thing, but was often noticed in discussions. when I take undergraduate level courses. So I was often 3-4 years older than the others, which wasn’t really a bad thing, but was often noticed in discussions. when I take undergraduate level courses. So I was often 3-4 years older than the others, which wasn’t really a bad thing, but was often noticed in discussions.

Learning for these three courses was very different from what I am used to. There is a query almost every week, homework to be given in writing and many midterms, so that you are actually busy for the whole semester. It wasn’t difficult in terms of level, just reading and remembering a lot.

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy life around the university. Between classes you can go to the beach, sit in a café in the student district or stroll along the lagoon. There is the possibility to register with the Excursion Club ($30) and choose the right one for you from a wide range of sporting offers. There are surf lessons, climbing courses, 3-day kayak excursions and you can also rent surfboards, wet suits and kayaks. Otherwise we also got together in groups and drove to LA (Malibu Beach), to the Wine Country and to Las Vegas in a rental car. I would recommend buying a car if you are going to be there for more than one semester. Makes a lot easier! But there are buses that go to LA. and drive to Santa Barbara. To Santa Barbara it’s approx. 30 min (UCSB is in Goleta, a town next to Santa Barbara). Otherwise there are many clubs (e.g. Environmental Affairs Board or Gospel Choir) and not to forget a very large range of sports! There are suitable sports fields for actually every type of sport and you can also register at the beginning of the semester and play in the respective teams. I played in the intramural volleyball. Many teams play against each other and at the end of the semester the winning team is chosen. There are suitable sports fields for actually every type of sport and you can also register at the beginning of the semester and play in the respective teams. I played in the intramural volleyball. Many teams play against each other and at the end of the semester the winning team is chosen. There are suitable sports fields for actually every type of sport and you can also register at the beginning of the semester and play in the respective teams. I played in the intramural volleyball. Many teams play against each other and at the end of the semester the winning team is chosen.

Overall, I really liked the university and life there (especially the nature! But sometimes too many parties). I would have liked to get to know more people my age, since there were a lot of younger students there (under 20 years old). So if you are looking for beach, sea, party and a good university, you are in good hands there;)

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