University of California Riverside Review (14)

University of California Riverside Review (14)

North America

University: University of California Riverside

City: Riverside

Country: United States

Continent: North America

Field of study: logistics management

Study type: semester abroad

Hello future international students!

With this experience report I try to give you some insights and insights into life at UC Riverside.


Based on experience reports, I decided to live in a hotel for the first week of my stay in order to then look for accommodation for the next three months from there. After the first visits, the following student dormitories were available as an alternative:

  • International Village at UCR
  • Sterling Highlanders
  • University Village Towers

My favorite was the Sterling Highlander. You pay $100 more per month compared to the University Village Towers, but you also get a lot more on offer here. The sun shines all day on the pool and many Californians live there. It takes about 15 minutes to walk to the university. The problem here, however, was that there were only 6-month leases at the beginning of a semester (I was only there from January to March). The only option is to find a new tenant or to look for alternatives. Visit to get information about University of Canterbury Study Abroad Part Ii.

However, if you come for a quarter and spend your semester abroad from April to June or from September to December, for example, you can sign a 3-month leasing contract. Unfortunately, this option did not exist for me. I chose UniversityVillage Towers for this reason. The building is right next to the freeway, but you hardly hear it in the rooms. The pool there isn’t particularly attractive due to the noise from the freeway. In terms of price, however, this is the cheaper alternative. The way to the university is 10 minutes if you walk. The International Village at UCR doesn’t really offer an option in terms of value for money. However, the security service and the short walk to the university (about 5 minutes) are great here.

Basically, I was satisfied with the University Village Towers – not a luxury, but not a dump either. I didn’t like that there was no ceiling light in the room. At least that’s what I would have expected. But a $25 lamp from Walmart did the trick.

The University

The university grounds are very nice, although I was here relatively rarely. The international students are sent to the UCR Extension and the only option was to choose a course on the main campus. But I didn’t do this. The extension is generally relatively small and full of international students. In addition, there are Americans (often middle-aged) studying alongside their jobs. In any case, the claim there is limited. The main campus is much more demanding. In addition, there is the possibility of choosing a course as an online course, which ultimately leads to having more free time. I arranged my 4 courses so that I only had university on Mondays and Tuesdays.


Public transport is available in Riverside, but not particularly well developed. Basically, I recommend renting a car. Sixt at LAX airport has some good deals here if you are under 25 years old. With other providers, there are enormous price differences due to insurance for “young drivers”. However, depending on how long you are in Riverside, it may be worth buying a car. You can certainly buy a car for $2000-$3000 (which is what a three-month lease costs). Here you have to take out the insurance yourself. Right from the start I rented a car with three students from my course and thus saved costs. Everyone paid about 600 euros for three months. Since we had a few breakdowns with our car, it was definitely worth having a contact person with Sixt. We got a new car three times and were upgraded in the vehicle class several times. : D


Life in California is very easy to get used to. I had a lot of free time and met a lot of nice people. In any case, what I can recommend is to keep an eye on the euro versus the dollar. I would have preferred to change more money beforehand as the euro had dropped 25% during that time so going shopping was really expensive. A $6 pack of mushrooms at a near 1: 1 exchange rate isn’t exactly funny. Afterwards it was cheaper to get something to eat in the restaurant than to cook for yourself. In addition, you can use the time you have to spend shopping, cooking and washing up much more sensibly.

Riverside itself isn’t very busy. When it comes to partying, head to Los Angeles or San Diego. A car or a ride is therefore essential. One has clearly felt that Riverside is not the safest place in America. There are a lot of security services on the road and you should honestly not walk the streets alone late at night. It regularly happens that students behave recklessly (smartphone in hand) and are mugged on the street. Basically, I felt safe and I haven’t heard from any student that something like this happened to them.

You should also buy water in gallons, as this is significantly cheaper than the 0.5 liter bottles. So you can certainly save $50 over three months. If you ever get hungry in Riverside near the university, you don’t have to worry. There are a variety of restaurants there that can be recommended. It’s a good idea to go on a road trip after the semester. Highway 1 from Santa Barbara to San Francisco is the most beautiful route I’ve driven in my life. You drive along the coast and there are always places to stop, with small beaches where there is almost no one.

With this in mind, I wish you lots of fun and success in your semester abroad!

University of California Riverside Review (14)