The UC Irvine was chosen for the following reasons :
- I wanted to go to California (weather, beaches, places to visit).
- The UCI Summer Session II did not conflict with my course plans in Germany.
- I only wanted to go to the USA as a part-time student, i.e. only take one course (advantages: you don’t need a visa and you have more time for excursions etc. – in retrospect this was absolutely the right decision [many fellow students envied me for it], because the courses in the USA I had to read a chapter in a book before every lecture (there were 2 per week), take a test, which was included in the final grade, and also work out case studies into it!
Although I had already completed a similar course in Germany , I learned a lot of new things. This was due to the fact that a lot of the content also related to the situation in the USA or in American companies. Whether this is useful will vary from case to case. But it is always interesting to see the differences and similarities. It was also noticeable that, unlike in Germany, a very large focus is placed on cooperation. The actual content should be worked out individually in advance with the help of the book. The lecture serves more for discussion and deepening.
Basically, the UCI was well equipped. There were several libraries, study rooms (although I always preferred Aldrich Park on campus), my own bookstore, etc. There was only one fact that annoyed me very much. Until the end I couldn’t get an internet connection in the room because a certain client had to be installed, which for unknown reasons never worked properly with my laptop (and it wasn’t just me!). I can therefore only recommend that you take an installation CD for Windows with you so that you can reinstall the operating system in an emergency. Fortunately, there was WiFi in the community center (5min walk), but unfortunately not in the accommodations. According to Abbreviation Finder, UCI is the abbreviation of University of California Irvine.
In terms of accommodation, I decided on the on-campus variant. In terms of price, I found it unbeatable. You have to share the room with a fellow student, but personally I didn’t find that annoying. Much more important was that I would immediately follow up with all international summer session students would have. You were never alone, you had people to talk to at all times and there were always evenings together. In addition, the sports facilities, which were absolutely free, fully equipped and fully usable, are located in the immediate vicinity of the Arroyo Vista buildings. Shops and restaurants are also within walking distance. Nevertheless, I couldn’t wait to finally pick up the rental car, because it takes about 1 hour to get to the beach by bus or you have to budget $ 30 for the taxi (one way).
Of course, the fun depends primarily on everyone. Arroyo Vista Housing offers a great basis for this. The UCI also tries to offer an extensive leisure program (Las Vegas trip, beach trip, Disneyland, baseball…). Personally, I didn’t use any of it (apart from a Friday brunch outdoors… I can only recommend that!), Because I had already booked a lot in advance and was much more flexible with my own rental car. Nevertheless , I always found the offers to be well chosen and also reasonably priced. I would also like to note that the UCI “took you by the hand” at the beginning (guided tours of the site, introductory lectures…). I would particularly like to highlight the two ice-breaker events – the pizza evening after the first day (pizza for free) and the following day you can prepare pasta completely yourself. Surprisingly, that was a lot of fun and, more importantly, you have already been able to make a lot of contacts. That was not entirely unimportant for me because I came alone. Later it turned out that besides me there was only one German in Summer Session II (there were a lot of Italians and Asians, but also a Brazilian, a Lebanese, etc.) I found that to be a positive thing because I was so forced became able to speak English anytime and anywhere.
You quickly notice that nothing is free in the USA and that you usually have to dig a little deeper into your pocket. The UCI charges a decent penny for parking on campus – I had to pay around $ 90 for 4 weeks. Food was also noticeably more expensive than in Germany. This is also one reason why I also took advantage of the extremely extensive and incredibly cheap fast food restaurant offer (be sure to try the soft drink Dr. Pepper ;-)) Overall, I can only recommend: Plan your trips in advance so that give her a rough idea of the cost have. Make sure to use the discounts for tickets on the UCI-internal website or the shop and book your rental car in advance (www.Hertz.co.ie with CDP [e.g. 1261109] – was relatively cheap and you get fully comprehensive insurance without self-service). I can also recommend using sites like bnb.com to find cheap accommodation.
- Use the pick-up service. It was cool that the driver – Peter – was an emigrant from Germany and was able to give me good insider tips right from the start. But one thing should be noted: The pick-up service only applies to the journey. You have to organize the departure yourself (I personally thought until the end that this was included and was then a bit surprised – but we were supported in the search – Gabriella and Michael with their extensive team of students have always given us their best! )
- Don’t forget your LAN cable!
- Try to borrow the course book in advance from your home library, because the books there are very expensive. You can find out via the UCI Bookstore.
- Take a jacket with you to San Francisco 😉
- Definitely try corn dogs!
- Read the Summer Session Manual !!!!
So much in a nutshell. If you have any questions, feel free to write to me by email.
Overall, I can recommend the UCI without any compromises and would also like to thank MicroEDU for the great support.