I’ve always wanted to study abroad for a while and wasn’t sure if it would be something for me. I have now been in Berkeley, California for a total of seven weeks . The application process for the summer session was really simple. I think if you apply directly, you have a good chance. There was a form to download that explains the application process in detail. So the preparation was very easy for me. At first it seems like you have to take care of a lot, but thanks to the download forms it’s really easy. There are some To-Dos in the University of Berkeley Tool that you have to work through before your stay.
Accommodation and bus
My accommodation I have searched myself through this website: https://housinganywhere.com/de/
University of Berkeley has some links for apartments, but I have had no luck there. When there was something, it was very expensive. So I went looking for it myself. There was a commitment from Berkeley Housing and International Housing, where the rent for 6 weeks was more than $ 3,000.00. For 7 weeks of rent I only paid $ 900.00 in total, so I still had money for other things. I was also very satisfied with my apartment. It was only a 15-minute walk from Berkeley Downtown Station and from the university campus as well.
By chance I ended up in a student dormitory. I had rented the room privately, but it turned out to be a dormitory (kasa PROPERTIES) for students. Even if you walk around town in Berkeley, you will find signs that say “rooms available”.
With “the beard” you can easily get from the airport to Berkeley Downtown for $ 10.30. Accessibility is really great. At the university you get a Clippercard with which you can use all of your own buses, “Bear Transit”, the university and even AC Transit buses.
Excursion possibilities & free time
There are so many possibilities for excursions in Berkeley. In Berkeley itself there is the stadium, a botanical garden, Berkeley Marina, Sather Tower, Lawrence Hall of Science, everywhere you can get there by bus.
You can get to San Francisco and Richmond both by bus and by “The Beard”. The neighboring city of Oakland can also be reached by bus. San Francisco was pretty impressive. You can get around San Francisco on foot or by bus without any problems. From Fisherman’s Wharf, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Pier 39, Baker Beach, Lands End, Chinatown or Lombard Street, you can see everything in San Francisco for little money.
So about the campus of the University of Berkeley, I can only say: WOW, absolutely impressive . Not to be compared with my German university. The university campus is huge. Gorgeous big old buildings mixed with modern ones . The university itself has a lot in its program. Sports offer for $ 200 per month as a flat rate. Whether yoga classes, Zumba, fitness studio, the swimming pool, nothing to be desired at the university. Regarding the courses, I can say that the professors go to great lengths to try to involve the students. You can make new contacts quickly , especially in the courses .
The libraries have in some cases even up to 09:00 PM. There are many opportunities to withdraw from university and learn. Some even with a wonderful view .
The university itself has a huge baseball & football stadium , which is worth a visit as its teams are a really important part of the university. So visiting an event there is worthwhile.
Life & Cost
In San Francisco itself you can go shopping really well. There is actually nothing there that is not there.
Regarding the food in California, I can say that it is very, very expensive.
- University: $ 1,500.00
- Rent: $ 900.00
- Bus & Train: $ 300.00 (Unfortunately, the shuttle service costs extra)
- Travel: 1200.00 € (plane tickets)
- Food + shopping + furnishings: $ 2,000.00 (food is very expensive in Berkeley, even in the supermarket)
A summer session (America – California) is super expensive, but I think it was still worth it. The experience you gain there is not available anywhere else and you keep learning more and more. Personally, I always find it exciting to make new contacts and experience new things. So I would say that all the money was worth it and that I would have been willing to spend more. I can only say to everyone: make your own experiences, you will definitely not regret it! This incredibly beautiful time will be with me for the rest of my life. I will not forget California anytime soon and I will miss the sun and palm trees very much in Germany too. Such a step is associated with mixed feelings. The anticipation of home and the family is great, but Berkeley has been a beautiful period in my life. Have fun in Berkeley-San Francisco-California!