Berkeley Center for Middle Eastern Studies

UC Berkeley Reviews (2)

North America

What is quite annoying is getting the visa, as you have to answer the same questions repeatedly and the whole process is very tedious. At the embassy you have to wait about 3 hours and you will be processed in a minute and then usually have the visa.

I attended session D from July 6th to August 14th. As already mentioned in other experience reports, it is worth arriving a few days earlier in order to be able to look at the Bay Area in peace.

It is also recommended to visit the summer session alone (without friends), since those who already knew each other usually formed groups and therefore hardly until no new people have met. One can make good contacts in Berkeley, but especially with international students.

From the airport or downtown San Francisco but also from Oakland Intl. Airport is easy to get to downtown Berkeley. Whether you want to live in the Residence Halls, privately or in the International House is often a matter of taste. I lived in Residence Halls Unit 2. Good things about the Residence Halls are the excursions and activities that the supervisors take with the students (BBQ, sailing, musicals, shopping centers, baseball games, etc.). The cleanliness in the washrooms in the hallway is less good. Since I had a triple room, it was often very cramped, but okay for the 6 weeks. However, you come into contact with people so quickly, and the supervisors of the Residence Halls also make an effort to do so. It should be noted, however, that Asian students often go to bed very late (around 2-4 a.m.). It is also uncomfortable that so many bums are around Unit 2 and in the city itself. The food in the dining hall and the restaurants where you can redeem your points is okay. But it very often consists of Asian, American and Mexican food.

I was fortunate that my roommate took the same course. My courses were Intl. Trade (Prof. Wood) and Financial Information Analysis (Prof. Stanton).
Intl. Trade is relatively easy if you have some knowledge of economics. However, you should not underestimate that you have to do a lot for the courses (problem sets, group work, homework) that were in addition to the exams. In this course there were mostly Europeans and Asians. For many courses, prerequisite courses are given that do not apply to international students, but which should nevertheless be observed, as otherwise you can quickly get difficulties with understanding. Check andyeducation to see more reviews from current students.

For the Financial Information Analysis course you should definitely have an understanding of US-GAAP. I had next to none and it wasn’t very easy because of that. If you have a clue you can easily get an A (I have a B-). In this course mainly Asians were present (7 Europeans). There was also a discussion session for the course, whereby our instructor was sometimes quite upset, although he has been in charge of the discussion session for 4 years. On the other hand, it was positive that there were mock exams and additional tasks.

The I-House offers trips to the region but also to all of California. But you can also organize this yourself. I was with a few others in LA (about $ 280 the weekend, staying in Beverly Hills), Stanford and Santa Cruz (day trip). Since I had so much to do with my courses, I couldn’t do it again during the session. That is why it is better to do extensive trips before or after. It’s often very cool in the Bay Area, and I often didn’t take off my sweater before lunch. The car rental should be made via a German website, since the insurance for the car etc. is then also included there. In addition, you should reserve the car relatively early (approx. 1 week) otherwise you can go empty-handed.

The costs for the 6 weeks are around 5000 €. Depending on the type of room, flight, courses. Books are very expensive I bought two used books in the Student Store and spent about $ 300 (including taxes). Fortunately, these can be sold again (for about $ 117).

The time in Berkeley was really great. The university’s spirit is particularly great. The whole city is behind the university. I even saw someone get this tattooed. You can also buy university fan articles all over the city, from glass to blankets and clothing. The warnings to go out alone at night (the sun goes down around 8:45 p.m.) should be taken seriously.

Berkeley Center for Middle Eastern Studies