So are you considering going to Santa Barbara?
I can only tell you one thing, do it! Today when I think about how I wrestled with myself where to go, I can only shake my head. Going to UCSB was the best decision I could have made. The university, the people, the location and the weather make this area one of the best places in the world and I haven’t met anyone who would have contradicted me!
When I decided to study in the USA, I came across your website and at first I wasn’t entirely sure because everything seemed too good to be true. But I have to admit there is no catch. Choose a university, meet the requirements (TOEFL, etc.) and send off the complete application documents. Then you have to wait a few weeks and you’re done! Now you just have to get your visa, which is not difficult but a bit expensive and book your flights, here the earlier, the cheaper. Otherwise I can only recommend looking for a place to live on craigslist.com beforehand. It’s not easy, but I was lucky, for example, and found something quickly. You just have to be persistent.
So I chose Santa Barbara and would do it again and again. The university is really good and the location couldn’t be better (right by the sea and the mountains). The professors are very nice and take good care of the students. In addition, my courses were very small, which made learning a lot easier. Unfortunately, if you go to UCSB, you are not a regular student but only an extension student. This means that you have to “crash” all UCSB courses. Unlike other students, you cannot register for your desired courses in advance. which is a bit annoying, but not that bad. Nevertheless, I got all of the courses I wanted, although that probably varies from course to course. A bicycle is also important for living and studying at UCSB.
Thanks to its good location, life in Santa Barbara is also quite expensive.
I decided to live in Isla Vista, a cute village next to the university (Santa Barbara is about 15 minutes by bus from the university). Isla Vista is my personal student paradise, only students live here and the atmosphere is accordingly relaxed and open. Everyone is welcome and welcomed with open arms. But it is not cheap to live here either, which is why I decided to move into a real American flat share and, as is customary, to share a room. It wasn’t cheap anyway, but that way I came into contact with the local students straight away. So I immediately had someone to help me find my way around and give me advice for university.
In the end I didn’t want to leave because I found a second family there. Now I’m back and all that’s left are memories of all the nice people, great parties, beer pong, walks on the beach, surfing, climbing, etc. In Santa Barbara you can do anything if you want.
What you should definitely do is check out the rest of California as there is a lot to see.
My tips are: San Francisco (the only city that could possibly compete with Santa Barbara), Yosemite, Las Vegas and San Diego. If you still have a little extra time, a trip to the Grand Canyon is an absolute must.
I would go back to Santa Barbara in a heartbeat and hope that I could convince you that UCSB is really the university you should go to. I’ve seen a lot of California and I have to admit that no city was as beautiful as Santa Barbara.
So don’t think twice, go to UCSB!