University of California Irvine Student Review
I have from 02.08. – 08.09.2010 participated in the Summer Session II of the UC Irvine. Since I am studying life sciences (Bachelor) and I want to complete my master’s degree in the biomedical or microbiological field, I applied for the courses Virology and Analytical and Applied Epidemiology (AAE). Unfortunately, AAE was canceled during the first week due to illness of the lecturer. Instead, I then took Brain and Dysfunction . Since the supervisor of the summer session, Chris Vetter, was competent and helpful, the necessary change of course (to keep the F1 visa status) was very straightforward. Find more review on University of California Irvine on hetongdiy.
My two lectures were very good. Virology in particular brought a lot of new things to me personally, the lecture was well structured and the lecturer always took time after the lectures, in addition to her office hours, for the students’ questions. (American students ask significantly more questions than Germans, even during the lecture.) The lectures are generally more interactive and there is (more) dialogue. Aside from homework that wasn’t there, I felt a little like back in school. In Brain and Dysfunction in particular, we watched a lot of films and always got a “Question of the Day”, which all later came up with in the exams.
For my two subjects, the lecture slides were completely sufficient to prepare for the exams. The lecturers put them in before the lecture at EEE (read: triple I) so that they can be viewed or printed out before the lecture. There was hardly a student who had not printed out the slides beforehand. Printing is free in the Housing Office (directly at the Arroyo Vista dormitories). You just have to bring your own paper.
In general, it is customary to buy books for the lectures and then sell them for half of the course at special stands on campus. In the library ( natural sciences ) the lecturer can have books put back, which can then be borrowed for 2 hours (!). (Trick: borrow the book after 6 pm, then the “2 hours” do not end until the next morning at 8 am when the library reopens. If you hand in the book too late, you have to pay properly: $ 2 for every started hour that has been exceeded). To get a book that has been put back, you just have to tell the reception about your course, the books are stored there. Of course there are also “normal” books. The plastic ID card is also your library card.
The midterm exams were written after two weeks, the finals on the last day of the summer session. To prepare for the exam, the lecturers created a study guide in which all the topics of the lectures were compiled and the types of tasks were presented with examples. In addition, (almost) the entire lecture before an exam was used for repetition and for questions.
Accustomed I have with other Summer Session students and language students in a house in Arroyo Vista residence complex. There were double rooms with a shared bathroom. The living room and kitchen were used by all of the residents – around 30 people. Of course, the state of cleanliness always depends on the users. (Anyone who knows German dormitories knows roughly what I mean.) A cleaning crew was responsible for cleaning the dormitory (except for the rooms) and did their best.
Since all internationals (summer session students and language course participants) were brought together in one house, we were quite isolated from the American students who made up the main students at the summer session – there were only 15 international summer session students in total. Also all events and excursions were only for the internationals. Therefore, the contact with the Americans was unfortunately minimal. It is difficult to start a conversation before or after the lecture. You say hello and smile at each other, but that’s about it. I won’t be with a student from San Diego until Monday of the last weekgot into conversation while buying a coffee. (It is highly recommended, by the way; “Café Espresso” at Rowland Hall.) Although I hardly met any Americans, I did meet students from Taiwan, India, Denmark, Brazil, Spain, France, Italy and Germany.
You could get a little insight into the “American way of life” in the supermarket and in the fitness studio. The use of the Anteater Recreation Center is free for Summer Session students ! As soon as you have your plastic ID card, you can use everything there. You only have to enter your data manually at the information desk each time – it takes about 30 seconds.
Arroyo Vista is about 20 minutes away from Rowland Hall and about 13 minutes from the Extension Office, if you know the “secret routes”. I walked the way to my lecture hall buildings with a fellow student the evening before the start of the courses, which turned out to be necessary, because at the beginning you get lost on the huge area with a “map” (overview plan that you get when you move into the dormitory) can.
The distances are sometimes immense and the public transport system (www.octa.net) cannot be compared with the German one! It takes about 1 hour by bus to get to the beach in Newport for about 7 miles (if all goes well). The buses only have approximate departure times, so you should definitely be there 10 minutes earlier. The money for the ticket that is bought from the driver must always be appropriate, as it is not possible to change. There are also no stops announced, only the intersections between which the stops are. Especially if you take the bus in the evening, ask the bus driver to let you know when you get on at your bus stop and let them out. Where the stops are
In addition to the poor connections and timetables, it should be mentioned that mainly poor people use public transport. Without your own car you are practically no (halfway wealthy) person – even short distances are not covered on foot. You stand out running and driving the bus in any case. On the other hand, I saw a lot of the country and its people. It was of course a little bit of adventure to hike through Newport and the surrounding area without a map…..
Renting a car for the duration of your stay is worth considering. At Zip Car (http://www.zipcar.com/uci/) you can rent cars for $ 8 an hour including gasoline. There is a one-time registration fee of $ 35. Unfortunately, we had found out about it too late, but if several people join together right at the beginning, it could be a cost-effective alternative to the taxi, which is the quickest way to get to the beaches and, for example, the shopping center in Costa Mesa. Ordering a large-capacity taxi is not always easy, because some taxi companies do not seem to want to understand you when you emphasize several times that you need a taxi for 5 people. But experiences are priceless and if you wait for the taxi with the right people, it’s just fun and you never get angry. At the latest when the taxi driver starts to discuss pre-implantation diagnostics with you, it will be exciting.
If you don’t always want to go on tour on your own: the Activities Center offers excursions every weekend, for example to Universal Studios, Disneyland or San Diego. They’re well organized and inexpensive, making them a convenient way (especially without a car) to see some of California. However, you shouldn’t be blinded by the enthusiastic presentation of the Activities Center during the introduction – the support for excursions on your own initiative is zero – regardless of what they tell you beforehand.
From the registration via MicroEDU to the sending of the official transcript after the summer session , everything went smoothly. For every question and problem there was a suitable contact person in Germany (Annika Uhlig) as well as in Irvine (especially Chris Vetter).
I can only recommend the pick-up service offered, as you are brought directly from the airport to the dormitories and meet new people on the way.
Since you only have LAN internet access in the dormitory, it is best to bring a LAN cable with you from Germany. Otherwise you have to buy it in the bookshop on campus first. You have WiFi on campus.
After my summer session, I traveled around 2 weeks to see the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Las Vegas, Yosemite National Park and San Francisco. The more time you have, the better. (Unfortunately I had to take an exam in Germany immediately afterwards, which is why I couldn’t stay there any longer.)
I had deliberately not booked a return flight before my trip to Irvine so that I am flexible. I assumed I would get to know someone there with whom I can still travel around. That also worked out wonderfully. I booked my return flight after the first 2 weeks when the basic planning for our trip was in place. For this it is advisable to order a tour set from the ADAC (free for members), because good travel guides are included in addition to the maps.
We had my parents book a car for us through the ADAC in Germany, because then all insurance is included and it doesn’t get that expensive if you’re under 25. (The conditions for renting a car in America differ significantly from those in Germany.) An international driver’s license is advisable.
Since there are still so many things that could be important or that might be of interest to you, I am now ending my report here. If you want to know more, please send me an email, MicroEDU can give you my address.
The summer session at UC Irvine was a complete success, both professionally, linguistically and personally, for which the costs and efforts (visa, etc.) were definitely worth it.