In the spring I decided to go to the USA for a summer session at relatively short notice. My intermediate grades weren’t good enough for me to hope for a scholarship or paid study abroad, so I decided to pay myself and use some of my money for my studies. I do not regret it.
First of all, Berkeley is really beautiful. The campus is great, I haven’t even seen anything like this in pictures before. San Francisco is amazing. But be careful, it’s not warm! Bathing in the sea is impossible because the water is too cold. However, if you drive a little inland, it is 10-15 degrees warmer.
Also the costs, which amount to about 6000 € for 7 weeks (1000 € flight, 2000 € dormitory accommodation including food, 1500 € course fees and 1500 € pocket money). Visit mcat-test-centers.com to get information about Russia higher education.
At the time I was staying in the IHouse (International House) and I would recommend it to everyone despite the relatively poor food and the somewhat expensive rent. It’s impressive how quickly you can make friends all over the world. OK, the English you learn there is maybe with a little French or Japanese accent, but there are also enough locals
there, the language is not neglected. It’s a bit of a shame that over time, groups from the same countries (i.e. Poles with Poles, Germans with Germans, etc.) form. If you still remain intercultural, that’s not a problem. Back then I just rarely joined the Germans and was forced to speak English. But if you don’t want this, you can get by almost without English, i.e. only with German;-).
I would only recommend a maximum of 2 courses. Otherwise there really won’t be any time for anything else. The library in the IHouse is also very cozy. What I would definitely not do is take part in the trips organized by the IHouse. In my opinion, these are insufficiently organized. You have far too little time at the respective stations and ALWAYS wait for some group member who is late. So my tip: Renting a car yourself and driving off with a group is much nicer and cheaper!
I found it very optimal to book a university course for session D and an advanced language course for session E. This allowed you to get used to it and then really get started with the university.
MicroEDU helped me a lot with the preparation. Very detailed e-mails and very nice phone calls gave me the best possible information about the necessary steps. A detailed document that summarized the steps to be taken helped to tackle them quickly and purposefully. One two minor difficulties should be taken into account, but by and large one should NOT be put off by the organization!
So, if you have the money, I would definitely recommend a stay. My english has gotten a lot better. Now I have a Toefl result of 98 points and can finally say: “I CAN speak English”.