I decided on the University of California Riverside (UC Riverside) pretty quickly and in May 2013 I filled out my application documents and had them sent to UC Riverside via MicroEDU. In July 2013 I received my confirmation of admission to the UC Riverside. After I had secured my place, I got my visa left a little time and applied for it in November 2013. It is important to know that the visa application takes time. You have to do some payments and fill out additional forms before you can finally make your appointment at the embassy. So you should plan an afternoon for this. I then had my appointment in Frankfurt at the embassy in mid-December 2013. My tip: You may have to plan waiting time here, so leave early enough. You will receive the visa by post after a few days. The most important information for the visa application will get you in an info sheet from MicroEDU with your membership application, this has me very well helped.
Flight and arrival
My flight I only booked in December 2013. I would NOT recommend that to you. As soon as you know when the semester starts, book your flight. The earlier, the cheaper. I booked the flight through STA-Travel, also here my tip: Get an offer sent to you, but check again online for a flight yourself. I would also book a direct flight from Frankfurt in the future. I had a stopover both on my way there and on my return trip. With such a long flight, you’re just happy when you’ve landed and don’t feel like getting on the next plane. Also think about whether it is better to book the outbound flight only, so that you are flexible on the return flight and do not incur “unnecessary” rebooking fees. Since you often only find out when your courses are over on site and after the final course selection, you can plan the return flight from here better than from Germany. Unless you know specifically that you will still have visitors or that you are still traveling, etc. If you have yourIf you spend semesters abroad in Riverside, you have the option of flying to Los Angeles or Ontario. LA is 1-1.5 hours from Riverside, depending on traffic, and Ontario about 30 minutes. Tip: If you can book the return flight flexibly, book it back from New York. Domestic flights are cheap and New York can be seen 3-4 days before the journey home, if time and financially fit.
After I finally landed in Los Angeles after the 15 hour journey (flight, stopover, flight), I took a shuttle to the hotel. There are various shuttle providers (e.g. SuperShuttle) that are cheaper than the direct shuttle from UC Riverside.
- Check topschoolsintheusa for more about The Bourns College of Engineering at University of California Riverside.
House hunting and car
I lived in the hotel in Riverside for the first few days because I wanted to find my place to stay , after all, I should feel comfortable there for three months. Nevertheless, looking for an apartment here was initially more difficult for me than I thought. In the end, I chose the Sterling Highlander. Opposite are the Stater Brothers supermarket and the Kmart, to be compared with Karstadt. I lived in a four-person apartment, which means: I had my own room and bathroom and shared my living room and kitchen with the other three girls. I was really lucky with my roommates. Two Americans and one Belgian, perfect for speaking English. I paid $ 700 which is fine but not cheap. As far as I know, the rents here will also be increased from July 2014 and the rents are probably already at “785 $ + 120 $ short-term fee”, which I personally would not spend on the sterling. The advantage is that it takes about 15-20 minutes to walk to the university from here. However, you have to consider, in the room there is a desk, a bed + mattress, 2 dressers, 1 bedside table and a wardrobe. However, no bedside lamp, hangers, bed linen, towels and shower curtains. You have to / can buy these things on site. Depending on which roommates you have, you also have to take care of your dishes and cooking utensils. I had the luck, that I was allowed to use that from the American women. Come here as an additional In addition to costs that I had not planned or had not even thought about, for example.
But my tip is to rent an apartment in Moreno Valley in the Tuscany Hills. The 3-person apartments there cost between $ 1400- $ 1510 a month. However, the apartments in the Tuscany Hills are unfurnished, but you can rent the furniture for the time and that is absolutely not expensive (should be called cortfurniture). Here, too, you have to buy crockery, cooking utensils, bed linen, towels and whatever is already listed above. In addition, you have to take care of an internet connection. This is not a problem as there are many internet providers in Riverside or the Moreno Valley Mall, which are also cheap. In addition, you definitely need a car in the apartment complex! Moreno Valley is practically a neighboring town to Riverside and it takes 10 minutes to get to the university via the highway.
Here is the next tip: The cheapest option is to rent a car in San Diego at Dirt Cheap Car Rentals. The three of us share the car here for 3 months and pay $ 640 a month (this includes a GPS and the third driver). If the car is only driven by two people, the rental price is $ 600 (with a third driver, the young driver fee of $ 75 in total is added because only two drivers are included in the price). I think that’s perfectly fine. With a car you can plan a trip at short notice or drive quickly to a mall, to the bakery or anywhere else. For us it is definitely worth it to have a car and I would definitely recommend it.
Uni and courses
It is possible to choose courses on the main campus as well as at the extension center. Personally, I chose the Extension Center courses because they were more pleasant in terms of time and the degree of difficulty was very easy to master. After attending the Main Campus course, I knew that this was not for me. The courses take place in lecture halls with up to 80 students. It was different at the Extension Center, there the courses were small, between 12 and 25 students attended a course. So there was a personal, pleasant learning atmosphere. By choosing a course at the Extension Center, I only had university three days a week and was able to spend the remaining days at the pool or plan trips.
A recommendation from me, if the course “ Marketing You – Personal and Career Development Strategies ” is offered at the Extension Center, choose it! The lecturer Grant Doster was just amazing. His lessons were a lot of fun and everyone got something for themselves from the course. Other courses I took were International Business Strategy, Business Operations, and International Marketing. The courses were okay, but things were partly repeated in the different courses.
Importantly, speak in advance with your university on how many credits you need to keep it at the home university credited will. Because the tuition fees only include 12 credits, each additional credit costs an additional $ 250.
The biggest perk to UC Riverside and the City of Riverside in California is location! Riverside itself is not a great city and you don’t experience much there either. But almost everything in California can be reached from Riverside. The following cities, sights, beaches and malls are easy to reach by car (that’s why my tip above, rent a car, it’s worth it !!!). The times vary depending on the traffic. It’s 1.5 hours by car to LA, 1.5 hours to San Diego, 2.5-3 hours to Santa Barbara, 4 hours to Las Vegas, 6 hours to Grand Canyon, 1 hour to Joshua Tree National Park., Laguna Beach 1.5 hours, Santa Monica 1.5 hours, Huntington Beach 1 hour, Desert Hills Mall 30 minutes, Ontario Mills 30 minutes, Gallerya at Tyler 15 minutes…
There is of course the possibility to book a hostel in LA for 3 nights and from there take a day trip to Santa Barbara and take Santa Monica with you on the way back to Riverside. Of course, you can also go on a road trip to San Francisco via Highway 1. Here, however, I recommend planning 6-7 days and making intermediate stops. If you’ve never been to the US, it’s a great experience. Pick out 2.3 beautiful towns on the map and book a hotel for one night. Another option is to fly to San Francisco. Expedia sometimes has great deals for flights and 4 star hotels. Also: take Hawaii with you! Who knows if you’ll be back here anytime soon.
I was able to take a lot with me from the semester abroad and I am glad that I decided on the quarter at UC Riverside. I thank MicroEDU for the support!