During my three-week Summer Session E at UC Berkeley, I attended two courses. On the one hand “Advertising in America” and on the other hand “Shopping & Consumerism”. Both courses were based in the “American Studies” faculty, as their content had specialized in the USA. However, this does not mean that they have only dedicated themselves to conveying America-specific facets of the subject areas – rather, a balanced mix of theoretical (general) content was achieved, which was reflected on after the specific circumstances in the USA. This created an interesting symbiosis of theory and culture-specific considerations. Both courses were very well prepared and prepared in terms of content, organization and method. The teaching units were very interactive and exciting. The performance assessment was carried out in both subjects by means of a final paper (approx. 4 pages in length on a given question), attendance and a final exam in the last lecture unit. The group size in the two courses can be approximately 50 students each. These were both visiting international students (summer sessions) and UCB students, who can earn valuable credits during the summer months through the summer session courses. In summary, the courses are interesting both in terms of language and content and, over long periods, quite intellectually challenging, especially in view of the performance assessments to be provided. Check iamaccepted to see more reviews from current students.
The campus atmosphere is very cosmopolitan and inspiring. On the one hand, due to the beautiful location on the Bay of San Francisco, the ocean can be seen from the campus, and on the other hand, due to the beautiful design of the surrounding parks. Most of the faculty buildings themselves are very modern. In the beginning, orientation on the campus can be a bit difficult, as it is very spacious and offers the potential to get lost. However, you can counteract this with a campus map. The many libraries on campus offer sufficient opportunities to retreat to research, study or read in peace. There are a total of 37 libraries that are located and specialized in the various faculties. The Bancroft Library is to a certain extent the main library and offers enough computers to research online sources such as journals or the like. There are also a number of shops on campus that offer books and general articles of student interest (e.g. writing materials, paper, etc.). Bancroft Avenue runs along the eastern edge of the campus and is full of cafes and shops.
My accommodation in the International House was on the northern edge of the campus. From there, the entire campus can be reached on foot. My room was on the 7th floor and was appropriately furnished with a bed, bedside table, desk, chest of drawers and chair. Unfortunately, the noises from the hallway in the room could be heard very well through the somewhat older, semester-long wooden doors. There is one toilet / shower facility for men and one for women on each floor. These are cleaned once a day (mostly in the morning) and are generally mostly clean. The I-House offers full board packages for the summer sessions, which include breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets. On Saturdays and Sundays, breakfast and lunch are combined into a brunch. The food offer is very international and also includes freshly cooked food as well as a generally balanced range of soups, starters, main courses and desserts, a salad buffet, drinks and coffee as much as you want. There is also a library in the I-House where you can withdraw to study. The lobby offers comfortable seating for socializing and a large TV. The laundry room is on the first floor, where you can do your laundry. To do this, you need tokens that you can buy in the attached shop, which also has other everyday items. The I-House Café also offers a cozy opportunity to enjoy a coffee or to have a drink in the evening. A bus station is right in front of the I-House. This bus goes to the BART station in Berkeley. The BART (Bay Area Rapid Transport) is the fastest way to get to SFO. With the Campus Card, however, you can use the local buses for free. This also includes the F bus, which goes to SFO. Arrival in SFO is at the Transbay Terminal – right after exiting the Bay Bridge and a few blocks from the Embarcadero. If you take the bus, you can already enjoy the ride and get a wonderful view of SFO while driving over the Bay Bridge. The beard travels underwater in a tunnel. which goes to SFO. Arrival in SFO is at the Transbay Terminal – right after exiting the Bay Bridge and a few blocks from the Embarcadero. If you take the bus, you can already enjoy the ride and get a wonderful view of SFO while driving over the Bay Bridge. The beard travels underwater in a tunnel. which goes to SFO. Arrival in SFO is at the Transbay Terminal – right after exiting the Bay Bridge and a few blocks from the Embarcadero. If you take the bus, you can already enjoy the ride and get a wonderful view of SFO while driving over the Bay Bridge. The beard travels underwater in a tunnel.
SFO itself is very beautiful and worth seeing. Very touristy in summer. I do not want to go into the attractions in SFO at this point, only that you should reserve Alcatraz tickets as early as possible, as these are usually sold out 2 weeks in advance in the summer months of July and August. The I-House Program Office sometimes offers excursions that are usually cheaper than booking them with local tour operators (e.g. Supersightseeing). Supersightseeing tours are still very recommendable because they are very informative and allow you to visit the main regional attractions in a relatively short time. Day trips from SFO with various tour operators lead e.g. to Napa Valley, Monterey, Carmel (Highway No. 1 southwards), Yosemite National Park etc.
In summary, a summer session at UC Berkeley is definitely recommended, as it opens up new horizons not only in terms of content, but also culturally and socially. The content, linguistic and socio-cultural benefits of a summer session are definitely worth the financial investment. The Berkeley spirit, namely: “Berkeley is students who are willing to learn and professors who are willing to teach” can be felt everywhere and offers unique opportunities in an inspiring atmosphere.