First of all, a big thank you to the great advice and support from MicroEDU, without which the whole thing would not have gone so smoothly. Special thanks to Annika Uhlig, who always stood by me with an open ear and responded quickly to my questions.
Why Berkeley some ask? For me it was like that I had planned to go abroad for some time and I was also sure that it should be California. On the one hand, Berkeley is enormously renowned as a university, on the other hand, I found it pretty practical that you get the opportunity to get to know the atmosphere of studying in another country even in summer. A summer session is shorter, but also associated with lower costs. Another benefit at Berkeley was that there was no need to take a TOEFL test. So again saved time and money 🙂 I finally decided on Summer Session D and attended the History of Information course. More on that later.
When it comes to the visa, you have to decide how many courses you want to attend. I only attended one course, which meant I was a part-time student. I was able to enter the country with the tourist visa without any problems and only had the SEVIS fee i. H. v. To pay 15 euros. The full-time students need the F1 visa, which you have to obtain from the relevant embassy.
Now to my course: I am studying communication and media studies and can also get credits from abroad at my university, so that I have selected a course according to my degree program. So I only took History of Information with Arthur Suermondt and Alex Braunstein. Both were quite young and super relaxed. The lectures were pretty interesting and easy to follow. There were weekly quizzes as well as regular mid-term exams and presentations. Overall, it really wasn’t as much as I thought it would be. The professionals really tried hard and I found the communication with us really great. I’m not used to that from my university. We just had to buy a fat reader and read it, and we didn’t need any more books. Find more review on University of California Berkeley on hetongdiy.
There are numerous possibilities how and where you can live. I had actually planned to live in the Student Cooperative Houses. After I received the message shortly before my departure that everything was booked up there, I spontaneously looked for a couch surfer. I was able to stay with him for a week, which was super pleasant. He was able to show me everything and made the first few days there a lot easier for me. By chance I met a student with a friend who happened to have a free room in his shared apartment. No sooner said than done 🙂 That was unbelievable luck, because we hardly had to pay anything and were able to save an incredible amount of money. But over time I noticed that there are really many who are still looking for people, especially in summer. Often there are signs in front of the houses, etc. So be relaxed when it comes to living there. You always find something.
There are numerous restaurants, bars and cafes around the university and also at the university. You are well taken care of every day. There is everything from burgers to Chinese and you can eat healthily. For $ 10 I signed up for fitness and there you can attend courses or work out on the machines. I can recommend this to anyone who has the time and inclination to do so in addition to university.
It’s not hot, but it’s not cold either. Always around 22 degrees, which I personally found very pleasant. Because it is always windy, it often feels cooler than it actually is. The further south you go, the warmer it gets, of course. But San Francisco, which is only 30 minutes away by BART (subway), has a very pleasant climate.
Since I didn’t just want to stay in the land of unlimited possibilities for 6 weeks, I was already there 2 weeks earlier and then traveled another five weeks along the west coast. I can only recommend it to everyone, because during your studies you unfortunately don’t have enough time to see all the beautiful things and on the weekend you have to study a lot. I especially loved San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Laguna Beach, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. And that’s only a small part of what I’ve seen. We borrowed a car and traveled alone. We looked for accommodations by means of couch surfers, which I can only recommend to anyone who wants to travel cheaply. So 3 months were up and I had to go back to cold Germany.
If you have the opportunity to go abroad, do it! The best thing I’ve ever done and which I hope to do again in the near future.