UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BERKELEY
The summer school is a very good alternative to a semester abroad. Nevertheless, I can only advise everyone to do both.
I was in Berkeley for 6 weeks (6.7.-13.8.) And not only learned US corporate law and improved my English, but also met a lot of incredibly nice people. These came primarily from Asia (especially China and South Korea) and Europe. US-Americans did not take part in the summer school, which was a bit of a shame, because you can learn English better from them and get to know the American culture than from the Chinese or Germans / Swiss / Austrians. There were quite a few students from the German-speaking area, which on the one hand can make it easier to find one’s way in a foreign country, on the other hand there is a risk that one only moves within one’s own mother tongue. Groups quickly formed according to the language, be it in the dormitory or in the lecture halls. So Dutch and Flemish-speaking Belgians, French and French-speaking Belgians as well as Germans, Swiss and Austrians. Personally, I have always eaten with different groups to get to know new people and not always speak German. As soon as you join a group, you usually change to English out of courtesy anyway.
My course was “Legal Aspects of Management” and I can recommend it 100%. Although it is run as a business course, it is an introduction to US corporate law, i.e. something for those interested in law, whereby no previous legal knowledge is required. Alan Ross was my professor and I would like only professors like him. Funny and didactically great. Didn’t win an award in teaching for nothing. Very entertaining and time went by quickly and a lot stuck. Nevertheless, the course is quite exhausting. For each lesson one had to prepare, on the one hand by reading and on the other hand by summarizing cases. During the lesson, the students were called and that in quick succession. You had to be focused all the time because you had to expect every second to get to it. So not a course in which you can sleep. (Yes, there should be something like that according to the stories). Overall, I would do the course again at any time. The book “Business Law” required for this was, like all books in the USA, very thick and very expensive. New costs $ 240. In this context I would like to warn you urgently against Ned’s Bookstore. Incompetent, unfriendly and very expensive. They wanted to sell me the used book for $ 180, but it was the old edition! Whether it was on purpose, according to the motto “The foreigner doesn’t notice it anyway”, or just a mistake does not matter, because both variants are completely unacceptable. When I pointed this out to the clerk, she persisted with the inflated price. When I wanted to get rid of my used book after 6 weeks, I was only offered $ 67. When I wanted to act the saleswoman said snippy, I could try to sell the book elsewhere. I sold it anyway because the otherwise highly recommended CalStudentStore had offered me even less. I had bought my copy before on the Internet and I can only recommend it to you. Order the book at amazon.com or abe.com, which saves you a lot of money and doesn’t throw money down the throat of the “Ned”. All you have to do is order the book when you are in Berkeley. That saves excess baggage and with “one-day shipping” (amazon) the book is with you the next day. Read more student reviews on Liuxers.
I was negatively surprised by the bad weather. Foggy up to noon and not particularly warm afterwards. Fleece jacket is an absolute must! In addition, I was lucky enough to experience the coldest summer in 40 years. A small consolation: The weather in San Francisco was usually even worse than in Berkeley.
My final conclusion is very positive. Top university with a good supervisory ratio, good professors and open-minded students from all over the world. Excellent excursion opportunities in the Berkeley area. In my opinion, trips to the more distant surroundings, especially Las Vegas and Los Angeles, are also a must. Disadvantages are the aforementioned cool weather and the – normal for the USA – high costs, both in terms of the books mentioned as well as the tuition fee and the dormitory.
Last but not least, the excellent support from MicroEDU should be mentioned, and it’s completely free! Many thanks at this point! I will recommend MicroEDU, just as it was recommended to me.
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BERKELEY
Berkeley & Campus
Berkeley is a small, manageable, and liberal city. The people are very friendly, tolerant and helpful and thus contribute significantly to the “Berkeley Feeling”. There are plenty of cafes, fast food restaurants, small supermarkets and shopping opportunities on and around the campus. There are also a few pubs and bars nearby, a BART station from which you can get to San Francisco quickly and easily, and many international restaurants. I was personally very impressed by the campus, especially the main library and the beautiful gardens are impressive. The lecture halls are all very well equipped, especially if you are attending courses at Haas Business School. The university also has a great range of sports facilities, including a large fitness studio and several swimming pools. Membership for one semester costs only ten dollars and you can use almost everything for free. In Berkeley, every student can take the bus for free and there is even a line to San Francisco.
I attended the two courses Health Economics (Session C, 3 Units) and Marketing (Session D, 3 Units; Prof. Bauer) and can only recommend both. In Health Economics a lot of emphasis was placed on group work. Every day we had to solve tasks together in international teams in which we had to apply what we had previously learned. Furthermore, you had to solve “problem sets” together and prepare a presentation. In addition, essays on scientific specialist articles and a final exam had to be written. The workload is quite high, but you will be optimally prepared by the lecturers. In marketing, the focus is heavily on the book, which is queried at an MC mid-term exam. In order to apply what had been learned in practice, case studies were drawn up and a presentation in the group was prepared. I was particularly impressed that the professors were very well prepared every day, were always up to date, were able to convey the material very well and, thanks to their professional experience, brought many practical examples. The special thing about the courses is that, despite communication problems, you learn to discuss specialist topics with students from all over the world and get to know different perspectives.
Accommodation & meals
I lived in the International House and can only warmly recommend it to everyone. The unique thing about the International House is, as the name suggests, that students from all over the world live there and you can get to know people of all nationalities. To make it easier for you to get to know each other, there are many events (coffee hour, dance and sports courses, lectures, parties, excursions…) and a café open to the public in the house. The house has a unique flair that you will not find in any other student residence in Berkeley. The International House is right next to the Cal Bears Football Stadium and all buildings on campus are within easy walking distance or a free shuttle. The rooms are small and the bathroom is like everywhere in the hall, but the experiences and all the acquaintances you make there,
There is a buffet three times a day with salads, fresh fruit and dishes from different countries. There are also regular BBQs in the courtyard of the International House. Since tastes are known to be different, I do not want to go into detail about the food. I can only say that the quality is absolutely fine and I was satisfied with the offer.
Berkeley and the surrounding area
There is a wide range of sports in Berkeley, many restaurants, cinemas, a diverse range of cultural activities from the university and regular concerts at the Greek Theater. San Francisco is only 20 minutes away by subway and is easy to get to. But there are also many worthwhile excursion destinations in the Bay Area and in California (e.g. Stanford, Yosemite National Park, Napa and Sonoma Valley…), beaches (Half Moon Bay, Stinson Beach, Santa Cruz etc.) and shopping malls ( Emeryville, Vacaville and Gilroy Premium Outlets…).