University of California Berkeley Study Abroad

1. Campus life

The UC Berkeley campus is one of the best I’ve seen so far. The buildings themselves are just as impressive as the terrain around them. Large green spaces and various study opportunities in the many libraries offer the ideal environment for studying. Added to this is the impressive number of students who study at the university during the summer sessions. Another particularly interesting aspect of the summer sessions is the large number of different nationalities and fields of study that promote cultural and professional exchange. According to, UCB is the abbreviation of University of California Berkeley.

I have chosen the courses International Trade (C course = 8 weeks, Economics) and Integrated Marketing Communications (D course = 6 weeks, Business). Two courses with very different emphases.

First about the International Trade course. The level of difficulty of this course was very high and required a good basic macro and microeconomic knowledge. The content was strongly aimed at theoretical topics. Various different economic models were discussed. In addition to the lectures themselves, capital in the recommended book had to be worked through. Further teaching materials were readings and power point presentations. The final grade consisted of five homework, two intermediate exams and one final exam. This led to a considerable amount of work in addition to the actual lectures. A disadvantageous point, which was composed of two individual factors, additionally increased the workload: 1. The lecturer (Ricardo Cavazos) held this course for the first time and strongly adhered to the script of his predecessor (Ann Harrison). By simply comparing the course content with the lecture notes that Ann Harrison found on the Internet for her course in the previous year, strong parallels can be found. The proficiency of the lecturer cannot be doubted, but he could not even follow his addresses on the blackboard because he worked so closely on Ann Harrison’s plan and had not prepared the lecture on the basis of his own materials. 2. An enormous amount of different topics was processed, which caused a certain speed with which the content had to be processed. Below-average explanations in combination with a large amount of content led to the increased need to repeat content outside of the lecture or to have to work on it yourself. Especially because the final exam is again cumulative and the lecturer made almost no restrictions on the chapters. I can say that this course was about 70% of the time I spent studying.

The second course (Integrated Marketing Communication), on the other hand, was very practical. Even if the lecturer (Trudy Kehret-Ward) has not yet worked in a company, she still tried to advance the course with practical examples. Theoretical content provided support, but was not a central topic and mostly led to practical application. Accordingly, the intermediate and final exams were both heavily focused on transfer benefits. There was also a group project that was also part of the final grade. This was also very helpful to build up cultural competence, as teams were always made up of different nationalities. Instead of a textbook, many readings (around 40) were named as compulsory content by the lecturer. Overall, however, one can say that the course took far less study time than the first course. I can only recommend this combination of courses (C course, D course). This is the only way to maintain a balance between study and leisure. More or more intensive courses (for example two C courses) lead to too much work.

  1. Accommodation & meals

The accommodation in the Residence Halls was good. The furnishing of the room was sufficient. The sanitary facilities were a bit dirtier at times, but this is by no means such a big surprise as it is student accommodation and students aged 18-28 are not necessarily the demographic group of people who handle the sanitary facilities most carefully. The laundry facilities were also good. It is particularly interesting that the unit repeatedly organizes a wide variety of events. Be it a trip to San Francisco, a night campus tour or a hike in the adjoining small mountains.

Without making a direct comparison, I would rate the food as one of the best at American universities. In addition to the main canteen “Crossroads”, there are various other dining options where you can pay with the “Mealpoints”. The “Crossroads” offers a variety of different dishes every morning, noon and evening. In addition to traditional dishes such as hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, sandwiches and French fries, there are salads, vegetables, types of meat and fish, desserts and drinks. Absolutely first checkout can only be said. For particularly stressful times, there is also the possibility to take your food with you. The only downside to the Residence Halls was, and I can’t even give an exact reason for it, that the exchange with other students could have been even better. The International House,

  1. Environment

The bay area offers an ideal environment for various activities. Student life pulsates in Berkeley itself. Bars, cinemas and restaurants are just a few of the alternatives. In addition, there is the particularly favorable option for students to use the extensive range of sports on offer. For a fee of just $ 10, students have access to the Recreational Center all summer. In addition to a classic gym, this includes basketball, volleyball, squash and badminton courts. In addition, courses are offered every day that can be attended at no additional charge.

Of course, Berkeley cannot be compared to San Francisco, which is about 45 minutes to 1 hour away. The countless sights, shopping opportunities and other leisure activities really leave nothing to be desired. Egak whether it’s a bike tour, Alcatraz visit, Shipperman’s Wharft, cable train ride, Nikecity, Chinatown, financial district, Golden Gate Bridge and Park, jungle café or the many discos and bars. San Fransisco can be reached easily and cheaply via bus or BART. Transport within San Francisco is easy and inexpensive (you can take a bus from one end of the city to the other for 1.50 US dollars).
In addition to this colossal city, the smaller suburbs such as Oakland (e.g. with the football stadium of the Oakland Raiders) or Emeryville (e.g. with its shopping center) have their charms.

With the help of a rental car, other very interesting places are also easily accessible. Napa Valley, California’s impressive wine region, should be mentioned here, for example. But also the beautiful coastal village of Monterey or the huge shopping complex in Gilroy are hardly more than 1.5 hours drive from Berkeley.

University of California Berkeley Study Abroad