Applying for the summer session was child’s play, for which a big thank you to the MicroEDU team. Thanks to the detailed instructions, all forms were quick and easy to fill out. The support with problems and questions was very good. E-mails were usually answered competently and helpful within a few hours.
I can’t say much about the student dormitories, I looked for an apartment on site through Craigslist. You have to take a few days to do this, but then you can easily find something that is considerably cheaper than the very expensive UCLA student apartments. But you have to be careful not to get ripped off. In any case, you should take a look at the apartment beforehand. When it comes to cleanliness, you usually have to compromise, I have the feeling that the Americans are simply a lot dirtier. The area around Glenrock / Landfair Ave would be ideal.
UCLA campus is great. It’s very clean and the buildings are all very nice. Students at UCLA can use the relatively well-equipped gym, including racquetball courts, an indoor swimming pool and an outdoor pool, free of charge. Rooms with computers and copiers are also available free of charge. Furthermore, there are many fast food stalls and food courts so that you neither starve to death between lectures nor have to eat the same thing over and over again. Read more student reviews on Act-test-centers.
I can only say the level of teaching at UCLA is, at least in the courses I have chosen (ECON 11 and ECON 101,) just a joke. You have to do homework regularly in many subjects, but otherwise the workload is very low. All the better for people who want to see other things from the USA besides university. But I would still make sure that you keep Friday or Monday free if possible so that you can go away for a long weekend. How the grades are made up mostly depends on the professor, but mostly a mid-term in the fourth week and a final in the last week and homework also play an important role in the grades.
There is so much to see in California (and the US in general). If possible, you should take a few days before / after the lecture period to take longer trips. In any case, you should visit San Francisco and Las Vegas, and you can also take a detour to the Grand Canyon, it’s worth it. But there is also a lot to see in LA itself. Santa Monica and Venice Beach can be reached in just 30-60 minutes by bus and are definitely worth a visit. If you like TV shows like Two and a Half Men or The Big Bang Theory, you can watch a show for free. But be careful, the tickets are available 30 days before the show and are usually fully booked after a few hours. Furthermore, a visit to SixFlags (an amusement park with sick roller coasters) and various sporting events (especially basketball) is highly recommended. I was really happy that I had already completed a quarter at UCSB before the summer sessions. There is just so much to see.
In my opinion, a car is not necessary in LA, but you need one if you want to drive to more distant destinations. A rental car costs around $ 40 / day, if you are under 25 there is a fee of 15-25 $ / day for most rental cars.
Make sure to get an American sim card as early as possible. Most Americans prefer texting and talking on the phone than Germans.
Almost all of the larger stores have customer cards that grant huge discounts without an account and without any further obligations, simply ask at the checkout when you shop for the first time.
If it can be set up, make sure that you have an ID on which you are over 21. In the USA, controls are very strict. And you miss a lot if you can never really celebrate.
Violations of the law are punished very severely in the USA (much more severely than in Germany). For example, you have to pay $ 250 for parking in the disabled parking lot, the same for open alcohol (drinking in the open street) or speeding for which we only have to pay a fine of € 20. In any case, inform yourself beforehand what you are allowed to do and what you are not allowed to do.
All in all, I can only say that a semester abroad is definitely worth it and that I would do it again at any time. California and Los Angeles are just fantastic, even if I have to say that I thought my first section at UCSB was a lot better. Organizationally, thanks to MicroEDU, everything went much easier than I had assumed. But you shouldn’t calculate the costs too tightly, everything is quite expensive there (except maybe clothes).
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES
I have decided on the summer session because the lectures are compressed in 6 weeks and I can have the subjects I take in Germany count towards me. I went to Los Angeles with two friends and did the same classes with them. In retrospect it might have been better to have had the experience alone, as you are “forced” to get to know more people yourself. Nevertheless, it was a very nice experience that I will keep fondly.
There is not much to say about the lectures in general. I had two classes and the week was full Monday through Thursday. Although the lectures only last 2 or 3 hours, the effort afterwards should not be underestimated. Our professor in the management course (Mgt 180) was called Prof. Ullmen and was really nice! In the lecture hours we had to interpret scenes from films and, in group work, write out the most important points from the books to be read and present them to the whole class or play them out:-)! That was really funny every now and then!
As homework we had to read these 3 books in stages. At the beginning you have a hard time if you didn’t speak English as well as I did, but after a week it gets easier and you just start paying attention to the meaning. Unfortunately, I don’t know exactly how the grades are formed. But I believe that they come from the presence and the group work ?! But it’s very easy to get an A!
In my opinion, the English course (ESL 32) was more demanding! In addition to the 6 hours that the course has per week, you have to allow at least 1.5 or 2 hours for homework after each lecture! These homework such as discussion leading, listening logs, native speaker survery, conversational analysis assignment and also the participation and the punctual appearance flowed into the grade! I don’t know exactly how strict she was in evaluating, but this course has helped me more to improve my English!
UCLA campus is beautiful and as a student you can use the gym for free. The cafeteria at UCLA was great but not set up like a normal cafeteria in Germany! In the building were next to the Panda Express, a salad bar, a Mexican, Italian and another snack bar. So you had a lot of choice!:-) There were also small coffees distributed around the campus where you could get something before the lecture or during the break!
The three of us friends shared an apartment near UCLA. This small 2-room apartment was completely sufficient. The only problem was that we had a full kitchen but no dishes, no pans and it was also relatively expensive. Two friends I met in LA did not book the apartment through Campus College but went looking for it themselves on the Internet. Her apartment wasn’t further from UCLA than ours, but it wasn’t that expensive!
We left Los Angeles almost every weekend and drove to the most important places for us in California and the surrounding area (Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Frisco, San Diego). It was relatively easy for us because we had rented a car for the whole 6 weeks! In my opinion you also need a car, otherwise you only have to rely on the bus and unfortunately I have had bad experiences with it and it takes you forever to get to your destination! But you can also rent cars on site over the weekend or during the week. But I have no idea how much is charged for it. What is also important: In the US you can only rent a car from the age of 21 and up to 25 you have to add around $ 25 extra to the rental every day.
All in all, it was a very, very nice stay in the US and I would recommend everyone to go abroad for at least 6 or more!