Hey My degree in English studies generally requires a stay abroad, but it was already clear to me beforehand that I definitely wanted to study on the west coast. Since I had already taken a long vacation to the western US states a few years earlier, I have been drawn to California again and again. So I took the chance to study 2 quarter at UCSB after my intermediate diploma. Since the possibilities at my university were unfortunately somewhat limited, I inquired about the Internet, and from then on everything went really well 🙂 After a very good phone call, the flight was booked and everything else was arranged .
What made me decide to go to UCSB?
Every university in California offers a great climate. I didn’t want to buy a car and since I knew that self-service bikes and buses are quite easy to manage, this was a big factor for me. In addition, not only the university, but also SB itself is very well located: an average of 2 hours to Los Angeles, 6 hours to Las Vegas as well as San Francisco and other (numerous) sightseeing spots. On one side the Pacific Ocean, on the other side the Santa Ynez Mountains – simply perfect location .. I had heard from a friend that the university itself is quite respected, but that on the other hand the UCSB offers a great student life. First of all: I haven’t regretted this decision for a minute!
I had already inquired about apartments a few months beforehand, mainly under craigslist, which should also be the number 1 contact point. However, I hadn’t found a suitable apartment before my departure, which was also due to the fact that I didn’t want a host family but just enjoy student life. Then by chance, as it is in life, met a student from Germany who was also in Motel 6 for the first few days and we were able to share the room costs. After days of looking for an apartment and the onset of despair, the apartment that was perfect for me turned up. Under no circumstances let it get you down! Almost everyone with whom I was looking for an apartment sooner or later set in disillusionment. But everyone gets an apartment! Tip here: University Housing Office takes very good care of students looking for apartments, renting questions, etc. Then I had an apartment in Isla Vista, THE student place in general. Had my own room, which is recommended if you don’t feel like partying … However, it was a bit more expensive and unfurnished so that I first had to buy furniture at the IKEA con LA. A bit annoying, but at least new furniture and own furnishings. Alternatively, go back to craigslist where there is simply everything … From Isla Vista you can get to the university in a few minutes by bike (absolutely get it !!). Shops are also in the immediate vicinity. Where would we be on the next topic … ) in a few minutes at the university. Shops are also in the immediate vicinity. Where would we be on the next topic … ) in a few minutes at the university. Shops are also in the immediate vicinity. Where would we be on the next topic …
Living in Santa Barbara
Groceries are very expensive. You think twice about what to do for lunch. But if you have a membership card from Costco or Albertson, with a little experience you can get a bargain or two. If you don’t have a university, you have an incredible number of recreational opportunities. Here are some incentives that have taken up my time:
- Jogging on the cliffs (especially at sunset)
- Bball, tennis, soccer on the courts in front of the Recreation Center
- Membership in the Recreation Center (fitness equipment, other activities, pool)
- Surfing (buy a wetsuit, buy a board, and off to sea!)
- Barbecue on the beach
- Camarillo (shopping)
- Six Flags, Universal Studios, etc.
- SB downtown (shop or just enjoy)
There are really many offers for everyone that one could not use all in life; the university also offers many excursions and other activities. And with the excellent weather, you just have to do something outside.
In the 7 months that I was in SB, we tried to see as much as possible, and that is feasible with appropriate (spontaneous) planning.
To name a few:
- Los Angeles
- Las Vegas
- San Francisco
- San Diego
- National Parks (Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Zion, etc.)
There is really a lot to see. We had found cheap flights to Hawaii and Jamaica, so we could visit both places. Pretty much every place is easily accessible from LA 😉
In any case, you should go downtown on Thursday evenings, there you will find a great nightlife, preferably reached by limousine or Bill’s bus. However, the clubs are only open until 2 a.m. and of course you have to be 21 to drink alcohol.
It is more difficult to get into the courses that you want to take. Since you are not enrolled as such as a student, enrolled students have priority, and it is not uncommon for a course to be full, so that you have to crash the course. In my experience, a conversation with the professor before or after the first lectures is enough to show his interest. Since some American students still switch their courses in the first few weeks, a place will then be free and you will slip into the course, which is still full. The English courses were very interesting, but quite reading-intensive, not comparable to the courses here in Germany. However, such a book is much nicer to read by the pool or on the beach …
In most courses you write a midterm and a final exam, and presentations or other homework may also be required. Ao you are actually busy with the material for your courses every day. Check mcat-test-centers to see more reviews from current students.
Everyone should make their own experiences and enjoy university life at UCSB as long as possible. Just do it!