Hello Summer Session interested parties,
I took a management course and a computer science course at the University of California Berkeley during Summer Session D 2012 and lived off-campus . With my experience report, I would like to make it easier for you to make the most important decisions for an unforgettable semester abroad in Berkeley.
Where should i live
Many of my international fellow students rented a room in the iHouse and were also satisfied except for the food. However, I chose an off-campus apartment. Since I already
noticed during my semester abroad at UC San Diego that it is not easy to come into close contact with American students in the lecture hall or on campus. Most of the time, every student arrives just in time for the start of the lecture and then disappears immediately afterwards. However, if you live in a shared apartment with American students , you can quickly make friends and experience the “American way of live”. There is also no better exercise for your English skills than with your flatmates
The iHouse is sure to be a good place to stay with many international students from all over the world and the location is great. However, I would recommend that you also look at the alternatives to the on-campus apartment.
For example, I lived in a 6-person flat share with three American students (http://www.campanilecourt.com/) and was very satisfied. The apartments are new and well equipped.
The courses at UC Berkeley or at American universities are more time-consuming than at German universities, but the effort is well distributed over the entire semester. Most professors give homeworks / assignments and reading for every lecture. Due to the very short period of the summer session , you usually have two lectures per course (2.5 hours each) and one or two discussions / labs (comparable to exercises), at which you should also be present , since the lectures are held interactively will. The grades usually consist of homework, attendance, participation, midterm (intermediate examination) and final (final examination). Read more student reviews on Ehuacom.
Considering that you probably want to travel around California a bit, you shouldn’t expect more than two courses. If you plan to see a little more of the west coast, one course is probably sufficient.
Car yes / no?
If you live relatively close to the university and are not afraid of driving on the bus with sometimes strange people, then you are not necessarily dependent on a car. The bus connections to the university are free and okay for students.
Of course, a car is necessary for trips, but you can rent it relatively quickly if necessary and then, for example, share the costs with the other travel participants. If you are under 25, you will have to expect an extra daily fee from most car rental companies. As far as I know, you can’t get a rental car under the age of 21.
Where should I go?
California is hard to beat when it comes to the multitude of attractions. Here are my favorites:
Lake Tahoe: Fantastic lake and worth a 1 to 2 day trip. You can rent boats and jet skis there. Nice bike tours are also offered.
Yosemite Park: the national park par excellence! You should definitely invest 1 to 2 days and enjoy the very beautiful hiking routes.
Highway 1: Probably the most beautiful highway in the world. It runs right along the coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles. If you have a week to spare, you can take pretty much anything with you on this tour (Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Malibu, LA, San Diego). An absolute must!
What can you do in terms of sport?
The university has a great range of sports. From basketball, gym, swimming to tennis, almost everything is offered. Unfortunately, you can’t learn to surf in Berkeley because the next surfable waves are a few hours away.
Anyone looking for a sporting challenge should register for the San Francisco Marathon in late July. The route over the Golden Gate Bridge and through Golden Gate Park is awesome.
No one has heard of Crossfit in Germany. In America it has been the sports trend for several years. This is a special type of workout with only functional exercises that are performed at high intensity in a group are executed. I was registered at this Crossfit gym (http: // berkeleycrossfit.
Com /) and a trial training session is free.
Should I really?
Absolutely! With the ingenious support from MicroEDU you can’t go wrong and I’m sure you will be totally amazed. Because the chance to study at the best public university in the world and at the same time to experience a summer in the wonderful Bay Area around San Francisco is simply unique.
I wish you a lot of fun and wonderful impressions at your summer session;)