First of all, I have to say that I advise everyone to do their semester abroad far away or in a certain special place that is not so easy to travel to again. I can only recommend to everyone, to the University of California Riverside in California to go!
The application process was one of the most complex. MicroEDU has a while but helped a lot and was a good support. First you had to fill out application documents for the university, then forward them to MicroEDU and they then sent them to the university. After a few weeks, the university was accepted. Now you had to wait for important documents from the university that were sent from America (including the I-20 form, which you need for the further course and entry). After that you have to go online for one Apply for a visa (F-Type). After a few days you will also get a confirmation here and now you have to make an appointment at the US embassy in Germany. Here you have an interview, which is very overrated because you are only at the embassy for about ten minutes. When that’s all done, you have to take care of finding accommodation and flights.
The study on the UCR is very good. You can choose between courses on the Main Campus and at the Extension Center (all international students). We had courses at the Extension Center and they consisted of about twenty students. The courses could only be chosen on site. I took courses in marketing, supply chain and leadership. All of them are definitely recommended. The effort that has to be made and the level can roughly be compared with my university in Germany. However, you have a lot of team projects and weekly donations here. The professors there are all very nice and cool. Find more review on University of California Riverside on hetongdiy.
The on-site support is very good. At the very beginning, everyone in the Extension Center introduces himself and you can always contact them and help. However, we didn’t have much contact with the supervisors because you don’t necessarily need it.
The search for accommodation should definitely be done as early as possible. I only started a month before my outbound flight and was lucky enough to get a place in a student dorm (in the Grand Marc). The student residences are highly recommended because you can make contacts quickly. However, you should be aware that in many dormitories you get a contract that often lasts longer than three months and that you still have to find a new tenant. But if you start looking early enough, you will find one.
Leisure and excursion possibilities:
In any case, you should get a subscription for the university’s leisure center for three months. Everything in sport is offered here. From ball sports to gym to dancing or boxing. In addition, it is recommended to go to campus in your free time and spend time there and chill out with all your friends. The university also offers small excursions which you can then take part in in a larger group (ten to twenty people). But we usually rented a car over the weekend and then went to many places and sights drove. There are also enough national parks in the area that are incredibly beautiful.
General Dos & Don’ts:
Here I recommend that you first go to AVIS in town if you want to rent a car. The staff there is very nice and offers you students good discounts if you just have a little small talk with them. With that you have enough free time to see a lot. So make a plan for when you want to see what and often go away for a day or two. Motels that are reasonably priced and very good for one or two nights are very suitable for this.
There is the possibility to choose an online course at the university. I only recommend this to you if you can write many essays well, because you have to submit a total of around six pages of essays per week.
Also make sure that you go shopping with the car or Uber at Aldi, Walmart or Costco, because these are the cheapest. The food in America are compared to Germany expensive, especially in smaller supermarkets or convenience stores.
Finally, it was an amazing time living and studying in Riverside, California. I recommend everyone to take this step because you won’t regret it. The only negative is that the time goes by very quickly and these three months have really passed by in a flash!