University: University of California Berkeley
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business Administration, Entrepreneurship
Study type: semester abroad
UC Berkeley Extension
The course at the UC Berkeley Extension started in January and I graduated in mid-May. I’m 22 years old and I’m studying “corporate law” in Mannheim ( law as a major and business administration as a minor). Before coming to Berkeley, I completed my fourth semester and am now in the middle of my bachelor’s degree. I decided to do a semester abroad to deepen my knowledge of business administration and to improve my English. Impressed by the reputation and opportunities at UC Berkeley, I applied for a place there. MicroEdu helped me a lot with the application helped and explained in detail all steps of the application / visa etc. Visit jibin123.com to get information about Semester Abroad In University of California Santa Barbara.
The UC Berkeley Extension is affiliated with the institution UC Berkeley and uses its name, but you do not study together with the regular students, do not take the courses of the UC Berkeley and the building of the UC Berkeley Extension is not located on the UCB campus. Classes are held in a relatively modern building on the 2nd floor in downtown Berkeley. There are almost ten classrooms, a lounge and computers that can be used.
Course content & fellow students
I took the Entrepreneurship & Small Business Management course, which is offered in the spring semester. Here you have different subjects such as leadership, building a business plan or social media marketing. The subjects are all taught by experienced teachers (all have practical experience, most have either founded a start-up or at least worked in one). Our teachers were all very nice, competent and helpful. The course teaches the basics of business administration (like finance or marketing ) and soft skills (like business negotiation or Excel), all related to entrepreneurship (ie we often formed teams and came up with an idea for a start-up and wrote a business plan for it, for example). In my opinion, the course is more suitable for students who have little or no previous knowledge of business administration and are considering founding a start-up. The course is a great fit for Berkeley, where you really notice the influence of Silicon Valley (there are start-ups everywhere, almost everyone knows their way around the high-tech industry, innovation, investors, etc.).
One teaching unit is 3 hours, mostly we had 2 units on Mondays and Wednesdays and 1 unit on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Friday was our day off and so we could often use the weekend to travel or for team projects.
Now at over $11,000, the course isn’t cheap (especially since many Germans are used to very low tuition fees ), but the Extension Team puts in a lot of effort and it’s all very well organized. At the beginning of the course we received about 10 books that we were allowed to keep. We also did a full day field trip to an accelerator in Silicon Valley.
Our class consisted of 30 international students (China, India, Russia, Brazil, France, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia…). I really liked this variety and you make friends very quickly (for life)! We have done many things together, such as round trips, an international dinner or parties. There are no nightclubs in Berkeley itself, but San Francisco is only a 20-minute subway ride away (although the subways stop running after 12pm…). But there are many bars with karaoke, billiards and sports bars. In addition, the so-called “Frats” (fraternity houses) organize student parties.
The UCB Extension program is an undergraduate program, so you don’t need a bachelor’s degree. Our class was very mixed, some are in the middle of their bachelor’s degree, others have already acquired an MBA. The age of the participants was between 20 and 30. The fields of study were also very different (from business administration to pharmacy and engineering ).
Half of our course were “continuous students”, who have already spent the autumn semester at the extension. After the spring semester, it is also possible to do an internship (usually in a start-up). The extension team provides a few start-ups for which you can apply. But it is also possible to search for a start-up yourself. As I understand it, due to visa regulations, this internship can only be carried out in cooperation with the extension. This requires a fee of $3,000 for the organization of the internship.
The UC Berkeley campus is about a 10-minute walk from the Extension building. He is very tall and beautiful. UC Berkeley offers many sports facilities (a gym, four outdoor pools, four tennis courts…). These options are also available to extension students for a fee of around $150. The library can also be used for $25 per semester. But there is also a very nice public library. In addition, for example, private tennis lessons can be taken or sailing or windsurfing courses can be completed for an extra charge. It is also possible to join various student groups if you have the appropriate qualifications (e.g. tennis team, football team, finance club).
I lived in the Telegraph Commons just off campus (about a 20 minute walk from the Extension building). This small room with shared bathroom and kitchen was very expensive at almost $1,400 per month for a single room, but I was able to book it from Germany and the location is perfect for students (5 minutes walk to campus and gym). You can also stay in a twin or triple room and save money as they are cheaper. Many of my fellow students also lived at Companile Court. There are very nice flat shares with about 5 rooms per flat share. However, the location is not ideal (also about 20 minutes on foot to the extension building, but further away from the campus and gym, but there are buses). Another alternative is the I-House. A lot of international students live here, but also a few Americans. If you rent a room there, you also have to buy the meal plan and thus have a daily food buffet included. Some had also rented apartments, for example via AirBnB, or some had already been in Berkeley the previous semester and were able to look for an apartment locally. In general, rental prices are extremely high. Some have also rented an apartment in Oakland because the rents are cheaper there (but I wouldn’t recommend it, otherwise it’s a long walk to the university every day and you almost need a car).
San Francisco & California
SF is 20 minutes away on the BART (subway). There are many opportunities and sights there (in my opinion one of the most beautiful cities in the United States). My highlights were the Golden Gate Bridge, Union Square and the View Lounge at the Marriott Hotel overlooking SF. California also has great landscapes such as Yosemite Park and cool cities like LA and San Diego. Road trip from SF to San Diego via Hwy 1 is a must do;)!!