University: University of California Berkeley
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: statistics
Study type: Summer Sessions
Berkeley is less a city than a way of life!
This apt description from a book about California combines the interesting history and flair of Berkeley that I will remember from the summer of 2012.
I had a great and impressive time in Berkeley and can highly recommend this adventure! I took Summer Session C and opted for the Game Theory course, which is equivalent to three credits. So I was in Berkeley for two months (from mid-June to mid-August) which flew by and in retrospect feels like a surreal story. In my opinion, the Summer Sessions at UC Berkeley, which many rank as the top US public university, are a unique opportunity to study in the US. Visit mcat-test-centers.com to get information about University of Sheffield.
The application process was made much easier for me by the excellent support from MicroEdu, because you get detailed instructions and even a to-do list before you start your trip. For this reason, you can calmly decide which courses to choose in which session. In particular, the visa regulations were explained in an understandable way, so that no doubts remained. What I particularly like is that you don’t apply for the Summer Sessions until the beginning of February, because that way you can arrange a stay abroad very spontaneously and don’t have to apply a year before the start, as is the case with the Erasmus program, for example. Also, apart from the limited places, there are no special requirements that you have to meet. As a German you don’t need a language certificate like TOEFL, so that every adult can register for the Summer Sessions at UC Berkeley. However, a credit card is required for the application process, the limit of which must of course cover the course fees.
I opted for a three-credit course because I was able to relax as a tourist without a special visa and had enough time to explore the region and meet a lot of great people while studying. In addition, the course fees for three credits are of course somewhat cheaper than for more extensive courses. I chose the “Game Theory” course (STAT 155) because there is an equivalent subject at my home university and it combines mathematical demands with current practical relevance, such as Lloyd Stowell Shapley’s award for this year’s Nobel Prize in Economics for his achievements in game theory To take. The “Shapley Value” named after him was even a topic of the lecture. There were 4 lectures per week, a discussion section in which examples and questions were clarified, and a homework assignment that was included in the overall grade. This gently encourages the student to continue learning. If you work ambitiously on the homework, which was sometimes very time-consuming and difficult, you collect points for the final grade and are best prepared for the exams. I was impressed by the excellent support situation at UC Berkeley, because both the professor and the trainer offer appointments for individual help several times a week and they are very patient. Overall, I can highly recommend the course if you are interested in mathematics (with proofs), because I am also very satisfied with my final grade. I got the impression that many regular Berkeley students take this course in the Summer Sessions, because I was the only European. So it was a representative event to get to know the university operations at a first-class university in the USA.
In my opinion, accommodation in the International House is the best choice, because it is comparatively cheap and you can basically meet new, interesting and nice people from all over the world every day. It’s sort of the place to be in Berkeley. An Icebreaker event was also offered at the start of my session, so it was easy to socialize right away. In the I-House it never gets boring because of the Gambling Room, Game Room and the Great Hall with a large TV, but the in-house library also offers enough peace and quiet to work and study. The Program Office also organizes inexpensive trips for residents, for example to Yosemite Park, Alcatraz and the San Francisco Symphony Hall. The rooms are OK and the food at I-House is good. Of course it’s nonsensical expect excessive variety for several months. You get a meal card with 10 meals per week, which you can also use in the International Café if you “miss” breakfast. I consider this amount to be optimal, because you can and should try out a lot of culinary delights in Berkeley, for example on Durant Ave or in the “Gourmet Ghetto”. The weekly coffee hour in the Great Hall on Wednesday evenings with delicious cookies was also a fun highlight. The location of the I-House is very close to the campus, so that in principle all courses can be reached on foot. Apart from that, taking the bus as a student of the Summer Sessions is not a problem because it doesn’t cost anything.
You should go to San Francisco as often as possible (take the free bus or take the fast and comfortable BART train). Crossing the Golden Gate Bidge by bike and exploring the bars on Polk Street is a must! At night, unfortunately, only the bus goes back to Berkeley, but the entertainment value of the nocturnal journeys is considerable.
The region around Berkeley offers other stunning excursion possibilities such as the Napa Valley, Lake Tahoe or Santa Cruz as well as Los Angeles.
I can recommend the Summer Sessions in Berkeley to anyone who dreams of a (short) study visit on the other side of the world and wants to meet lots of nice people and gain great impressions. However, the adventure is very expensive, because the flight alone cost about 1000 euros, living in the I-House for 2 months was about 3000 dollars, the course fees (for 3 credits) were about 2000 dollars and for the daily Living (and the obligatory parties) easily pays more than $500 a month.
In my opinion, it’s good to have at least two credit cards with you in case you have trouble with one.
In addition, I would only recommend students who are at least 21 years old to stay in the USA, as many clubs and bars do not allow entry or the purchase of alcohol beforehand.
Finally, I would like to thank MicroEdu for their exemplary support.