University: University of California Irvine
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: biology
Study type: Summer Sessions
As is usual for an application to an American university, the process of applying for a visa (including an interview appointment at the embassy) and all the documents to be filled out was relatively time-consuming. The necessary information and the respective upcoming steps will be announced or reminded by MicroEdu in a timely and clear manner. This brings “light into the jungle of documents and applications” so that nothing can actually go wrong. Visit existingcountries.com to get information about California State University San Marcos student review 2.
Studying at the UCI is a dream. This ranges from the infrastructure and the equipment of the premises to the extremely friendly and helpful lecturers. There are all cafes, restaurants and supermarkets (partly a bit more expensive than large markets outside). All seating groups (sofa, chairs, tables…), which usually even have sockets, invite you to study and discuss. The lecture halls are equipped with everything you could need. Here, however, the air conditioning runs regularly (so you should have a sweater with you). The lecturers are very welcoming to international students, have a “warm” lecturer-student relationship and are always open to questions.
I took a Molecular Biology course, which focuses on transcription and translation. The course was relatively labor intensive. In preparation for each day of the course, a number of pages in the book had to be read and, based on this, a “prelecture quiz” had to be completed online. Homework was given once a week. There was also a weekly exam. Here you were allowed to take the notes from the lecture and the summaries from the book with you. However, these had to be handwritten and hardly helped to answer most of the questions. The (prelecture) quizzes, homework and attendance were included in the evaluation along with the “final exam”. Overall, I would only recommend the course ifalready have prior knowledge of the subject matter. Furthermore, there should be interest in experiments (their design and interpretation), because the theory is preferably explained through the experiments. On the one hand, that changes the point of view again, on the other hand, I also felt that there was a bit of a lack of structure.
The second course I took was The Brain and its Disorders. The lecturer of this course speaks relatively quickly, but she also has great slides and a whole list of definitions of terms that are very helpful for the tests. Basically, almost everything can be read in the materials. Your lecture is very varied and interesting.A book was not necessary, only the so-called “I-clicker”. This answers the multiple-choice questions asked in the course of the lecture. If you have achieved a sufficient number of points (whereby it is not a matter of the right or wrong answer, but of participation), you will receive additional points for the final grade. Here, too, quizzes about the previous lectures take place once a week and at the end the “final exam” follows. All results are calculated together and result in the overall grade. In terms of content, the brain is considered as an organ in this course and its anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and pathology are explained. Based on the basics, individual clinical pictures (from the field of neurology and psychiatry) are also discussed.
The ladies and gentlemen in the Summer Session Office are very helpful and try to find a solution for all possible “problems” or to find answers to all questions. Every two weeks, the office offers free trips to nearby beaches. After a short guided tour you can spend your free time individually or in a group. I have participated in all these tours and had a lot of fun doing it. The so-called “Resident Advisor” is available at all times for questions about housing. This is a student who lives in the “International House” and has “an eye” on everything. Also on the part of the housing worthwhile leisure activities. In addition to helpful fellow students, there are “TAs” in the courses (actually as a link between student and professor). MicroEdu also gives out a number of phone numbers, as well as emergency numbers. Here there is also a possibility of contact to Germany at any time.
I stayed at the International House (Arroyo Vista) through the university. This saves you having to look for an apartment outside of the city and is probably also cheaper. Although the communal kitchen is left a bit adventurous after one or the other cooking party, one can be satisfied all in all. Cleaners come daily to clean the shared spaces (bathroom and kitchen). The rooms are practical and well furnished. In summer it can sometimes get a bit warm in the housing. It’s probably the only place in America that doesn’t have air conditioning…
Leisure and excursions
The free time and possibilities for excursions are almost unlimited. In the vicinity there are many beautiful coastal walks and beaches (Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach), but also small national parks (Red Rock Canyon). Irvine as such is also nice to look at. Other options are, of course, Los Angeles and San Diego. To visit the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, San Francisco, you have to cover more distances.
I had booked a few meal plans in the canteen in advance. I can highly recommend that. There is food in buffet form (all you can eat) and there is also a sufficient selection and individual design options. You can also take something with you from the canteen (a certain amount/number). It is therefore advisable to have a plastic box or similar with you. For all excursions, you should always bear in mind that the figures are in miles and, to be on the safe side, convert them to km. In most cases, the journeys take much longer than expected, also due to the high volume of traffic.