About two weeks before the start of the semester, I flew to Los Angeles with a fellow student from Germany. British Airways offers the largest selection of flights, with connections at London Heathrow. It is approximately 70 miles from LAX to Riverside. It is best to rent a car directly at the airport, as the UCR pick-up service is quite expensive. My tip would be Enterprise car rental – if you book online earlier, you can get a cheaper offer and, above all, negotiate on site to upgrade for a larger car. When I arrived I stayed in a cheap hotel in Redlands (about 15 miles from Riverside) for the first week. There is also the possibility to stay a few days in the International Village for $ 30 per night until you have found something.
Depending on how long you want to study in Riverside, I would consider different housing alternatives. Living in the International Village is far too expensive for just one semester. The monthly rent for a space in a double room is $ 900! If you wanted to live alone, you would pay twice as much. For this reason, I would strongly recommend finding your own apartment or moving in with someone who has already rented something. I rented a nice apartment with a friend of mine. The apartment was about 60m2 and the rent was about 1200 $, half of which we shared. But if you intend to organize an apartment yourself, you should remember that the landlord very often requires a bank statement (account statement), which runs in our name and shows a certain amount permanently on the account. In addition, the apartments are usually not furnished and you have to pay additional costs for the equipment. When we moved in we rented a bigger car and got all the equipment from the Ikea (the next one is in Covina – about 40 miles away). However, if you are going to study at the UCR for at least two semesters, what the International Village has to offer is not that bad. The longer contract means that you pay significantly less and have advantages such as a perfect location near the campus and cost savings, as the rooms are fully furnished. Furthermore, from the experiences of my acquaintances, I concluded that that living with the host families runs in a friendly atmosphere and that you can have a lot of positive experiences. When it comes to on-site mobility, I would recommend renting a car to everyone. We bought one, but it was rather a bad decision as the car was unreliable and in the end we didn’t get a good price for it. According to AbbreviationFinder.org, UCR is the abbreviation of University of California Riverside.
I took two economics, one business and one English courses at UCR. The University Credit Program offers the opportunity to take both campus and extension classes. The second are mainly English courses that take place in the Extension Center (near the campus and right next to the International Village). I was very satisfied with my courses, but it should also be emphasized that most of the courses are not as difficult as in Germany. The biggest problem with course selection and registration is that the local students have priority and it can happen that you don’t get a place if the course is already full. If you absolutely need a course, you have to go to great lengths and negotiate a lot to get the place you want. In my opinion it is very badly organized and if you are paying such high tuition fees you should also have the opportunity to choose the courses. One should also note – the tuition fees have to be paid in one day! In addition, one should take care of a higher credit card limit beforehand or think about how to withdraw the money. I always got the money at Bank of America from my Duetsche Bank account without any fees and it always worked wonderfully. one should take care of a higher credit card limit beforehand or think about how to withdraw the money. I always got the money at Bank of America from my Duetsche Bank account without any fees and it always worked wonderfully. one should take care of a higher credit card limit beforehand or think about how to withdraw the money. I always got the money at Bank of America from my Duetsche Bank account without any fees and it always worked wonderfully.
The on-site support for the exchange students is very good and can be very helpful. On the first day of the semester there is always an information event for all foreign students. There everything is explained in detail how the whole study system works and you get to know a lot of new people from all over the world. When I was there there were a lot of students from Germany, which has both advantages and disadvantages. After the beginning of the semester you are not alone with your own problems – the international coordinator Christian Kindschy is available at all times. If you have any problems, always contact Christian, he will surely find a solution.
Leisure and excursion opportunities
You certainly won’t get bored in California! There are thousands of ways to spend your free time. The top travel destinations for everyone to watch out for are: Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Las Vegas, and the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Personally, I liked San Diego best – an awesome city! Since it is right on the ocean, the weather is very different there (colder in summer and warmer in winter). All the other cities are definitely worth seeing, only I wasn’t that enthusiastic about Los Angeles. You should definitely plan a little more time for Grand Canyon and San Francisco, as the two places are quite far from Riverside. But if you have the opportunity – definitely go there – it’s worth it! When it comes to on-site leisure activities, UCR has a large recreation center. You can do almost all kinds of sports there. I signed up with the table tennis club. It was really fun – we once did a competition in San Diego. However, you can only do everything for fun and you don’t have to be part of a team. The Recreation Center has long opening hours and everyone is sure to find something for themselves.
I would highly recommend studying abroad in California to anyone. It’s an amazing experience, especially if it’s your first time in the US. You can visit a lot of interesting places and you get to know a lot of people from all over the world. The university in Riverside has a good reputation and offers a very wide range of courses. On the other hand, however, the city is not that interesting and can be dangerous even at night. But you spend most of the time with other students – so that’s not supposed to be a big problem. The American parties are just amazing – take the opportunity to go to Santa Barbara – the neighborhood near the university right on the ocean is a party paradise on weekends!