As part of the dual study program, I had the opportunity to study full-time abroad for one semester . Unlike in Germany, where I work full-time and attend lectures in the evenings and on weekends , I was sure that this would be a great experience !
Since I had already spent a year in high school in Venice, I really wanted to go back to Los Angeles and UCLA there , known as a renowned university with a great campus and a wide range of courses and clubs . Do you want to know how it was? Then you should definitely read on!
Compared to many friends who have spent a semester abroad or a degree in another European country, the bureaucratic effort for the USA is higher and you should therefore start early to organize all the necessary documents and services, including …
… for the application :
- Motivation letter
- Letter of recommendation from a professor
- TOEFL (at least 100 points)
- Financial statement attesting that you or your family about the tuition + living expenses has
… after confirmation:
- F1 visas
- possible course choice
Because I had lived in LA before, I had the opportunity to stay with my host family in Venice , where I was only 5 minutes from the beach in my own small apartment in the garden – so I had nothing to do with looking for accommodation. Despite the large number of other students and the problem of distance, it is not impossible to get a suitable place to stay in Westwood before arrival. Westwood is where UCLA is located- Nestled between Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, it is a great and friendly district with many students and a correspondingly diverse range of bars, restaurants and shops. Los Angeles is a huge city, which is mainly due to the fact that it is built flat and wide – because of this and the extreme traffic jams, all trips are long and time-consuming and you should ideally live where you spend most of your time and also your friends live – probably in Westwood! Since you can only live off-campus as a Study Abroad student, you should look around for accommodation on the following pages:
It is recommended that you open an American bank account . All major banks like Chase, USBank, Bank of America, WellsFargo, Citi or CapitalOne offer free debit accounts for students that don’t differ much in their services. ATMs from all these banks can be found all over the US and their VISA debit cards are widely accepted.
I chose Bank Of America because it is a partner bank of Deutsche Bank and I was able to use my German card to collect cash free of charge at the current rate, which I then deposited into my BofA account. So I was able to save quite a bit of transaction fees.
The range of mobile phone tariffs is huge ; it depends on which services are important to you and how much you want to invest. You should only make sure that your German cell phone does not have a SIM lock.
You have already read in the other reports what a great university UCLA is. I can only agree!
However, since the Study Abroad Program is supervised by the UCLA Extension , there are occasional hiccups in coordination and communication. The introduction organized by the extension is only for organizational matters , such as health insurance , course selection, etc., and not for a get-together to get to know, as is offered at many other universities. Your initiative is needed here! With 40,000 students, UCLA is one of the largest colleges in the USA and, because of its size, is also more anonymous than it is perhaps the case at a college with 2,000 students. Don’t be shy or too proud to approach people and get to know them! Be it at the introduction, which is probably the same for most of the people, in the courses or on campus speak to people and get in touch with them . Americans are friendly and happy when you approach them.
With over 1000 clubs, UCLA also offers the opportunity to get to know people outside of the courses. The EuroBruins are a club for European students at UCLA who regularly organize events and throw sensational parties!
I was also on the Men’s Soccer Team, UCLA’s second team, and had a social bid from a fraternity so that I could go to their parties! If you want to know more about frats and sororities, please contact me!
The UCLA offers an incredible range of events, groups and activities not wait that somebody comes to you, or that the extension you are such information, but asked yourselves why the advice to you – that is not communicated by the UCLA Extension at UCLA, ask and approach people! During Zero Week there is an Activity Fair on campus, where all clubs are represented with a booth, you shouldn’t miss it!
Regarding the course selection, the best thing to do is to inquire about any restrictions or current events directly from Topmbadirectory.com. In general, I recommend that you take as many courses as possible at UCLA (College of Letters & Sciences), as these are during the day together with UCLA students and, in my opinion, the academic level is much better. The achievements and their distribution that ultimately lead to the final grade are different in each course; However, the weekly homeworks, a midterm and a final are mandatory. I have taken the following courses :
- M134 – Environmental Economics (UCLA)
- A33 – Culture and Communication (UCLA)
- MGMNTX X433 – Fundamentals in Investing (UCLA Extension)
The general restriction of business administration / economics courses can be avoided in some cases, as some courses are offered in several departments. For example, the ENV ECON course is offered jointly by the Econ and Environment Department, so there were no problems taking this course. However, you shouldn’t stick to 3 or 4 courses, but ideally check as many UCLA courses as possible with your home university for creditability , so that you can react flexibly and choose if you do not get the course you want. Talk to the lecturers, explain your situation and be flexible – I have always found an open ear at UCLA and the professors stand up for you!
Be aware that a semester in the USA is not cheap and that you plan enough money for accommodation, living costs and travel / leisure time in addition to the tuition fees. Los Angeles is expensive and the temptation is huge because of the many shops, restaurants and activities!
The time at UCLA and SoCal was amazing ! Please be aware that UCLA is not the cheapest university and that the support from the extension could be better. But as already mentioned, with a little initiative and the necessary bite you can integrate yourself completely as a Bruin and experience a unique time! UCLA fight fight fight!