I completed Session D in 2010. In the 6 weeks at UC Berkeley I only took a marketing course because I wanted to improve my English. You could also have taken a second course, which is a lot of work during the week. The marketing course was held at the Haas School of Business. According to the Marketing Professor, the Haas School is one of the 3 best faculties in the world. The course was very intensive and easy to understand and with a little work you can get good grades. The classes had between 60 and 70 students and thus had a good learning atmosphere. You could choose between a morning class and an afternoon class. I had the morning class, which was very timely, because you then have the rest of the day to follow up on the class and there is still enough time for leisure and sport. There are events every week like campus tours or trips to San Francisco.
The campus itself is very nicely designed. Everything is very well maintained and in very good condition! There are enough libraries to have a very good working atmosphere. When the weather is nice, you can sit down on a bench on campus or on one of the numerous meadows to work.
To live at UC Berkeley you could either stay in one of the Residence Halls or the International House. I had a two bed room in the Residence Halls and can only recommend it. The rooms are not too big but you are actually only there to sleep and that’s enough! There are three residence halls with 4 buildings each. In each hall there is a fitness room and a computer center under the Courtyard. You can also borrow billiards and table tennis equipment. On campus you have the opportunity to practice numerous sports. The fee for the gym is only 10 dollars for the entire summer. The equipment is clean, but you should be careful not to go to the gym at 7 or 8 a.m.
Berkeley is about 20 miles from San Francisco and can be easily reached by bus or the Barth (S-Bahn). The Bay Area is very nicely located. You can see the sea from the campus. I don’t want to say so much about the attractions in San Francisco now, because you can find out very well elsewhere. There are many different parts of the city, each with their own charm. I liked China Town best. What I can only recommend is to book Alcatraz early enough, as the tours are very popular and fully booked early. San Francisco is very interesting and very beautiful. I also made a trip to Napa Valley. The wine region is very large and you can test wine in every vineyard. The landscape is well worth seeing and definitely worth a visit. For example, if you want to go to Las Vegas you can rent a car. Note that it’s an eight hour trip. After Los Angeles it is still a tick but worth the trip!
At the beginning of the summer session, we were made aware of security. You shouldn’t walk around outside at night, if only in a group, which of course isn’t a problem. There are already a lot of homeless people but you don’t have to be afraid.
Don’t underestimate the weather! It’s not really warm and not really cold either. You should definitely not forget sweaters and long trousers. Until the afternoon it is mostly cloudy and a bit cold. When the sun comes out it is very pleasant.
The food in the cafeteria is so mediocre. Quite varied at the beginning, but after a while it’s always the same. You get meal points that you can find in the cafeteria and in other locations. There is, for example, the Golden Bear where you can get great sandwiches! You can also get other little things there.
I hope I was able to give you a little insight into life at UC Berkeley. I can only say that I had a great time and met a lot of new people.