University: University of California Berkeley
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business administration, journalism
Study type: Summer Sessions
In the summer of 2008 I took part in the Summer School program at UC Berkeley, where I took the 8-week “Introduction to Mass Communication” and the 6-week “Introduction to Financial Accounting” (Haas School of Business). The combination of a “D” and a “C” course seemed ideal, as it gave me the opportunity to get used to campus life in the first two weeks and the real “workload” only started later. Visit liuxers.com to get information about SUT study abroad program.
The Mass Communication course did not meet my expectations. According to the syllabus, the course should depict an “introduction”. I therefore expected a much more pronounced theory part. Instead, we had to write film and advertising analyzes without any help and were only informed about the possible procedure and structure after submission. Despite the bad experience and the resulting motivational problem, I have to say afterwards that the course made me much more critical of advertising (which was definitely one of the lecturer’s goals) and that the course left its “marks” after all.
The accounting course was very good. The organization, the pace, the demands, the lecturer and the methodology fitted together perfectly. I can therefore only recommend the course. My impression was (also from the stories of the other students) that particularly good experiences had been made with the Haas School of Business and that the summer school is therefore particularly worthwhile for students specializing in economics / economics / business administration / accounting etc.
Accommodation was in the Residence Hall (Unit 2, Griffith Building). The rooms are very simply furnished (bunk beds, hardly any hangers, no lamps by the bed). However, the space was completely sufficient. The mixed bathrooms took a bit of getting used to. On our corridor there were a total of 12 double and triple rooms and a study lounge. A bathroom with four showers, 3 toilets and 4 sinks was available for everyone. Due to the enormous use, the bathroom was often very dirty in the morning. In the basement of Unit 2 we had a small gym with cardio equipment and a computer room. Both were very popular.
Compared to the International House, also known as the I-House, living in the Residenz Hall is much quieter, the percentage of Asians is much higher and the average age is lower (under 20 years).
We mostly ate at the Crossroads, a kind of canteen where you can pay with mealpoints. There was breakfast, lunch and dinner. The quality and variety was remarkable. For breakfast there were already over 10 types of cereal, various types of milk (each with (typically American) different levels of fat plus soy milk). We also had bagels, cream cheese, fruit, yoghurt, boiled eggs, jam, scrambled eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers and, depending on the day, waffles or pancakes (syrup, powdered sugar, etc.) to choose from. At lunchtime and in the evening you could help yourself to the rich salad buffet or the 5 to 6 hot dishes (and dessert bar). At all meals there were various soft drinks, tea, juice, coffee and iced tea.
In addition, you could shop with your ID card at numerous places on campus and stock up on snacks such as chips, ice cream and biscuits, tea, coffee, cold drinks, smoothies, sushi, sandwiches, some hot dishes and so on.
BERKELEY & VICINITY
In addition to the big tours that can only be done on weekends, such as a trip to Los Angeles or Las Vegas, the Bay Area offers many small destinations for day tours.
Of course, San Francisco is particularly recommended (very easy to reach by bus). You can schedule several days for this. In addition to the classics that can be found in every travel guide, such as Lombard Street, Chinatown, Alcatraz (register in advance!), Golden Gate, Pier 39 and Cable Car, I really liked the following things:
Union Square with all the shops and not far away is Market Street with the Westerfield Shopping Center (the http: //www.westinstfrancis.com/ hotel is right on Union Square if you take the elevator from Union Square (outside elevator on the building) you have an amazing view from above) or you go to the Carnelian (http: //carnelianroom.com/themaindiningroom.asp), which is very expensive and you can enjoy the amazing view of the city from there. The CheeseCakeFactory, which is located in the Macy’s department store on Union Square, was particularly popular with us. More tips for SF and the surrounding area:
- Cliff House – Restaurant (http: //www.cliffhouse.com/index.htm)
- Alamo Square – from the hill there is a good view of SF and the typical Victorian houses (as depicted on so many postcards)
- Sausalito – small exclusive place 1 hour from SF
If you are traveling by car, it is sometimes simply impressive to drive along Van Ness Street, for example. From there you can see the many hills even better than if you were just walking!
We particularly liked the “Napa Valley”, a wine region about 1.5 hours from Berkeley. We rented a rental car in Berkeley for this. It is worth picking up the rental car relatively early, as it has been shown that a large number of people use this service and that the waiting time has therefore often lasted up to 2 hours.
In the Napa Valley, we got maps and tips (including offers for discounted wine tastings) from a tourist information center. The people were very friendly and competent and also took “small budgets” into account when providing information. If there is still time left after the wine tasting or the tour of the wineries, then it is worth stopping by the Premium Outlet Center.
Not far away are the Jelly Belly factory and Budweiser in Fairfield. Both companies offer guided tours and product samples (please check opening times online beforehand).
It’s also worth taking a day trip to Stanford to see the stunning campus there. For two dollars, visitors can climb the tower and enjoy a unique view of Stanford.
Within an hour by BART is Walnut Creek, a very nice little place. There are no other special attractions there, but I made Walnut Creek my favorite place because of the cozy and exclusive atmosphere.
Half Moon Bay is recommended for those who would like to go to the beach. Unfortunately, it’s usually pretty cold there, so you can’t swim. You should also check the weather forecast in the morning, as it is often still very cloudy and the view is limited in addition to the wind (better: call the hotels in the morning, for example the Ritz, and inquire about the weather forecast).
This is just a small selection of possible destinations. There is so much to see in the Bay Area and it is a beautiful area. However, since the workload for the courses should not be underestimated (at least for the summer school), you should think about taking extra vacation time so that you have enough time to look at everything in peace afterwards!