University: University of California Berkeley
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: Summer Sessions
“You will study the wisdom of the past (…), the life of mankind (…).
Here is the high enterprise, the fine endeavor, the splendid possibility of achievement,
to which I summon you and bid you welcome.”
At the latest when I come across this quote, which is emblazoned in capital letters on the Berkeley Law School building, I get goosebumps – I get to spend a summer studying at one of the best universities in the world….
After my internship abroad in Spain (which was the best time of my life until this summer) I knew that I absolutely had to go abroad for a while. Since the application for the Summer Sessions was also possible at relatively short notice, UC Berkeley was the obvious choice, especially given the good reputation and the fact that German applicants (including Swiss and Austrians) do not need a TOEFL or similar for the application was, made the decision easier. In principle, I only had to clarify the crediting of my courses with my home university and with the help of Annika (MicroEdu) I was able to register without any problems. In total, I spent Session A and Session D in Berkeley, ie about three months, because I think that all the effort for six weeks is hardly worth it. Visit jibin123.com to get information about Semester Abroad In Thompson Rivers University.
Regarding the visa, there are two options: Either you are a full-time student and take at least 5 units per session (i.e. two courses) – then you have to apply for an F1 student visa at the consulate and pay SEVIS fees and visa fees – or you are a part-time student and occupies less than 5 units per session (ie only one course) and can stay in the USA for up to three months with the normal visa waiver/ESTA, which can be easily applied for over the Internet and costs less than 15 euros.
My problem was that I only wanted to take one course per session, but I still wanted to stay longer than three months in the USA because a trip was planned afterwards. I found out on the Internet that there is a so-called B1/B2 visa, which is mainly intended for tourist purposes, but also for part-time studies. This worked wonderfully and also cost less than the F1 visa.
With regard to international health insurance, I can recommend MLP to you. The Student Global Care only cost me about 40 euros for almost 5 months and has no deductible.
As already mentioned, my courses were credited to my university. In Session A I took UGBA 178 (Introduction to International Business) with Prof. Tumlinson. At the beginning of the session I was glad that I had only chosen one course, because the workload was enormous: After each lesson we were supposed to read several case studies and chapters in the book, and a quiz was written every week for which you had to study. In order to get a good grade, a group presentation and participation in class was also expected.
In session D I registered for UGBA 103 (Introduction to Finance) with Prof. Verma. The difference from the previous course was stark: the professor kept monologues and didn’t expect any participation in class, so many students didn’t show up at all or slept during the course. But if you paid attention, you could see that the professor can actually explain the facts very well and is also open to any questions. The midterm exam was unexpectedly easy, but the final exam was extremely demanding.
A tip for buying books: If you already know which books you need before you leave, you can order them here at amazon.de for much less. For example, I bought the book for the international business course new in Germany for 47 euros – in the university bookshop it cost an unbelievable 230 dollars (and even used it was 170 dollars).
During the three months I lived in a double room in the Residence Halls. I was pleasantly surprised by the rooms – the furnishings were fairly new and clean. My roommate was German, which of course made it easier to understand each other, but also meant that I didn’t speak as much English as I would like.
The food in the canteen was better than expected. Surprise: You can also eat healthy in the USA! There was plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables every day, as well as a salad bar. But you can also just put up with gaining a kilo or two and grab pizza, sandwiches or burgers… : -)
You could train off the kilos again in the RSF, the university’s fitness facility, which really leaves nothing to be desired ! I regularly took part in courses such as cardio kickboxing, abs and back, zumba, cardio dance or cardio hip hop and always had a lot of fun!
If you don’t take more than two courses, you can save the weekends for excursions in the surrounding area, eg Napa Valley, Lake Tahoe or Yosemite (must-do!). Some have also gone to LA or Las Vegas.
Due to the short distance, San Francisco is always worth a bus ride, even during the week. You can travel into the city for free with your student ID (line F). Within Berkeley, I’ve often used the 51B line, which makes it easier to get to nearby supermarkets, for example.
I can only advise anyone who still has money left after this expensive fun not to fly home immediately, but to travel through the land of opportunity for a few more weeks. I stayed seven more weeks and did Hawai’i, LA, San Diego, Las Vegas, Orlando, Ft. I got to know and love Lauderdale, Miami, Key West and New York.
Now I’m broke like never before, but I’ve had so many incredible experiences that I don’t regret a single decision.
Study at Berkeley for three months: $8,000
Take home many incredible memories: PRICELESS
PS: I would like to thank my parents for giving me a generous credit line and of course Annika from MicroEdu, who always answered my annoying questions with incredible patience! : -)