After the first shock over the mass of German participants in the summer session at UCLA was over, we could start. 6 weeks of summer, sun and studying in Los Angeles.
I lived in the Rieber Hall (On Campus Housing). The room was quite small, but honestly, you’re only there to sleep anyway. There are enough “study rooms” in the building itself and on campus and if you don’t learn, which for most of us has probably made up the majority of the time, you’re out and about anyway. Get more information about University of California Los Angeles on educationvv.
The sanitary facilities take a bit of getting used to, but as soon as you get to know the people in the hallway, the shared showers and toilets are no longer a problem at all.
But don’t expect too many Americans. Germans and students from Europe in general made up what felt like the largest part of the summer students.
On the second evening there was the second “shock”, the rules of the dormitory. As Europeans in particular, you may not take the rules that seriously, but at the latest after the RAs (Resident Assistants) have made their “power” clear for the first time, you change your mind. You are not subject to these rules with Off Campus Housing. But it has to be said that the RAs in our corridor saw the whole thing rather loosely.
For food, I had chosen the option of 15 meals / week, which in my opinion was completely sufficient. The first 2 days you are impressed by the wide range in the Dining Hall, but relatively soon you notice that there is actually more or less the same thing every day. The quality was good, however, and there is worse because of the large selection.
The campus itself has a lot to offer. In the vicinity of the Rieber Hall / Saxon Suites there are pools where you can relax well and study less well in fantastic temperatures and otherwise the sports offer is excellent.
UCLA is the ideal starting point for excursions. Even if the bus system in LA is notorious, there are buses to every important destination in the vicinity that bring you there cheaply when they come… a car is always more pleasant, but for short trips (Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Venice, Getty Center…) really not necessary.
If you want to go on more trips, it is a good idea to rent a car, which is never really a problem, because there are always enough people to fill a small or larger car. There is an organization on site that offers excursions, but the self-organized excursions are (almost always) much cheaper. There is also a ticket center on campus which (mostly) sells for students at reduced prices.
The area around the university (Westwood) is also very beautiful. There you can find everything from supermarkets and cinemas to small cafés and pubs. And of course also small shops if you don’t want to go to Santa Monica.
A clearly negative aspect is the “health system”. Better not get so sick that you need a doctor. All medical expenses are covered by health insurance, but getting to a doctor is a real problem. The Medical Center directly on campus may not be used by Summer Session participants and the waiting lists in the “hospital” are incredibly long and only with a lot of luck and persistence can you get a quick appointment. In addition, the cost of medication that is not covered by the insurance is very high.
Finally, a few words about the learning conditions. Compared to what you are used to, the lecture halls are pure luxury. Likewise the library.
The professors who held my courses “Firm Organization and Strategies” ECON 106I and “Management Accounting” MGMT 122 were very motivated and tried hard to convey the course content. However, I did not have these courses in this constellation right from the start, which was a bit unfavorable, since choosing the new course lost “valuable” lecture time, as the offer in summer is not as large as one can take a course without problems finds, which is potentially also credited in Germany.
Learning shouldn’t be underestimated too much either. The workload was not nearly as great as in Germany before an exam, but that is more of an individual aspect. In both courses, however, a midterm exam or two large homework assignments and a final exam each were written.
As part of the credit point system, both courses from my German university were counted towards my diploma grade.
All in all, the 6 weeks at UCLA were a time that brought me many beautiful and valuable experiences, not only in relation to my studies, but also personally, which I definitely don’t want to miss and for everyone with a small impression of life Want to get in LA, can only recommend it.
So, overall, the stay was really great.
The courses were great, the lecturers very committed and competent. But there was also a lot to prepare (2-3 hours per lecture) and to learn for the exams. They were easier than in Germany, but not to be underestimated.
The premises, the campus and the PC facilities were also excellent. For example, a pool is on campus! And a fitness center that is extremely well equipped. Everything is free of charge, of course, except for the courses in the fitness center.
LA is amazing. You can look at all the tourist things like Walk of Fame, Rodeo Drive, etc. and go out in the evening. The clubs are really cool, even if it’s very difficult for men to get in. JIt’s best to only go with girls
It’s also great that it’s so easy to get to know people. The Americans in the courses are really open-minded and very friendly. I mainly did something with my roommate and her friends and with the German girls I met at the orientation event.
The dormitory, on the other hand, was really SHIT. I can’t think of anything else. I had a construction site right in front of my window! They built a new building there and were happily on hand from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. with an excavator, jackhammer,… Hello?!?! I could neither sleep nor study in my room, let alone open the window. I couldn’t move because the thing was completely booked out. That was outrageous. And then I paid so much money for it. Really a joke. In every vacation I would have got the travel price reimbursed. The room itself wasn’t worth the money either, even without a construction site. Relatively dirty, especially the carpet.
The second major negative was the food in the dining hall. Gag! Not at all better than our cafeteria meal! Luckily it was a buffet, so you could eat as much salad or whatever until you were full. Some dishes were really inedible, and that’s what the Americans said, so it couldn’t have been my taste… And here again: I paid so much money for it! Another outrage.
Conclusion: I would recommend a summer session at UCLA to everyone, but you should live off-campus. Then you don’t have to do shared washrooms (although they were actually quite clean, but not my cup of tea).
As for the support from you, I was very satisfied. Everything went smoothly and quickly! Thanks!