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Semester in University of California Berkeley

University choice

The University of California Berkeley was my first choice when I went to college for my summer session. I think the location and the atmosphere are perfect. Right across from the unique city, San Francisco. Get more information about University of California Berkeley on educationvv.

But let’s start at the beginning: The online registration for the respective summer session was no problem with the guidance and help of MicroEDU. Within a short time you have filled out the forms and selected the respective courses that you should already know at the time. After all fees have been transferred, you are officially a student at UC Berkeley, which is a great feeling in itself.

Preparation

Now that the official things were done, we started looking for accommodation and flights. I booked my flights through a travel agency and around four months in advance you can get hold of really cheap flights. For the accommodation, I thought for a long time whether I wanted to live on-campus or off-campus. Because I wanted to spend some time in Berkeley before and after the summer session, the decision went in the direction of off-campus. I found a room with a super nice family through AirBnB, whose house was only a ten-minute walk from campus.

The approach to landing at San Francisco International Airport is impressive, as you are flying directly over San Francisco and have an incredible view of the entire Bay Area. I came a few days early to acclimatise and get an overview of Berkeley.

Orientation week

My first trip, of course, was to the UC Berkeley campus. When I got there, I got my student ID at the “Cal1 Card Office”. You also get a “Student Clipper Card”, which you can top up with money at any BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station and then use the BART with it. The BART is a subway for the whole Bay Area. Then I explored the unique campus, which has its own charm and has impressed me every time anew. What I noticed right away was that Berkeley is very well equipped in terms of cuisine. Almost on every corner a restaurant or pub where you can eat great. Unfortunately the prices for food and groceries are up not cheap.

Courses

I chose the course ” ESL-English for Science and Engineering “. This was divided into smaller classes and this created a very pleasant atmosphere and direct contact with the lecturer. In the first lecture everyone was given a syllabus, which is, so to speak, a timetable for the summer session. It says what has to be done each week and when the respective work is to be submitted. For me it was perfect because you can divide your time very well and you can’t forget anything. All communication and the submission of the respective work goes online at UC Berkeley via “bcourse”. There you can see all of your courses and deadlines and you can contact the respective professor directly if you have any questions. In general, the professors at UC Berkeley are very open to questions, and they also take their time after the lecture if you have questions or concerns. At the end there was a bigger project that you had to do together with a fellow student.

Free time activities

Leisure activities, what can you say, you are right next to one of the most beautiful cities in the USA and the whole Bay Area is just for exploring. San Francisco is ideal to reach with the BART, from downtown Berkeley the drive takes about 30 minutes and you are right in the financial district. San Francisco has so many sights to see. But personally I liked to just walk through the city, there are many buses that also take you directly to the respective attraction, but when you go you just see so many places that you would otherwise not see. To explore the Bay Area, I kept getting a rental car for the weekends. I can only recommend Oakland, San Jose, Santa Cruz and Monterey to drive. Of course, I also went to Silicon Valley, to the headquarters of Google, Apple and Facebook. When you’re already in the region, I made a detour to Stanford University. The strong college football rivalry between the Cal and Standford is felt everywhere. After the summer session, I traveled to Los Angeles and Las Vegas, which I can recommend to everyone if you’re already in California.

Conclusion & tip

Finally, a little conclusion and tip: The summer was one of the best I have ever had, all the people I have met and the experiences I have gained cannot be replaced by anything. I recommend everyone to go abroad. And I will definitely travel to Berkeley again and then reminisce as I walk across campus.

One thing I find important is traveling alone. Jump into the adventure alone, you will get to know so many people and gain so many experiences that will develop you personally.

Semester in University of California Berkeley