The UCR campus itself is very beautiful and exactly how you imagine the campus at an American university. The area is very spacious and green. Many buildings are (relatively) new and everything is well maintained and kept clean. Even if you get lost a few times at the beginning and the campus seems huge, you can quickly find your way around and most of the buildings in a faculty are close together so you don’t have to walk too far.
Between the lectures, the students cavort in the so-called hub in the middle of the campus, where various fast food chains ensure that you eat a few more calories than you actually wanted. There is also always something to see around the Bell Tower, the symbol of the UCR, from the stands of student associations to break dancers. Learn more about University of California Riverside on andyeducation.
The lecture halls are very different in size (between approx. 50 and 300 seats), but they are all technically well-equipped.
In a quarter, foreign students can take courses with a total of 12 units, which in most cases corresponds to 3 courses. These are chosen in the first two weeks. As already noted in other experience reports, it can get pretty chaotic until you finally get your courses approved. In general, whoever comes first (ie after the “normal” students), first serves. In any case, it is advisable to approach the professors in a friendly manner and explain the situation to them in detail. You can also negotiate with the Dean, who makes the final decision, if you have a few alternatives and show that the courses are really important to you and that you have relevant prior knowledge of Germany. So if you are not dependent on getting exactly THE three courses,
Many courses are divided into the actual lecture and a discussion in which the content from the lecture is repeated or exercises are done. In addition, there are tasks or case studies that have to be done at home and a large number of tests, presentations and quizzes are distributed across the quarter. In the last week there are still the finals. All in all, that sounds like a lot of work and there is sometimes a lot to do at once, but the level is in most cases – compared to that at German universities – very high! low and there is still enough time to get to know the country and its people. Especially if you choose the courses “strategically favorable”, so that, as in my case, you only have to go to university on two days.
There isn’t much to say about Riverside itself. Life takes place around the university, there are a few bars, a small cinema and of course plenty of options for dining. These are the only things that can be easily reached on foot and, above all, safely. Otherwise, Riverside celebrates at self-organized house parties or you drive (by car) to where things are going.
The great advantage of Riverside is its central location in Southern California, so that you can reach all major cities and attractions relatively quickly by car and easily check out these destinations one after the other on day or weekend trips. These include LA with Hollywood and Universal Studios, San Diego, all beaches in between and of course Las Vegas. So you are not tied to one place, but can decide spontaneously whether you prefer to go to the beach or a player’s paradise.
Overall, it can be said that Riverside is a good choice for anyone who wants to see as much of California as possible and has a university with a good reputation (the business school is one of the top 25 in the USA). If you want to party in the bars and clubs right in front of your house every evening and have no problem meeting about as many Germans in America as in Mallorca, you should go to San Diego or Santa Barbara.
Here you have to choose between university or private accommodation. The university offers the International Residence Center (IRC) and the International Village (IV) for foreign students. According to experience reports from those affected, the IRC is not advisable in any case, the IV is recommended under certain circumstances. It is recommended for people who want to have their accommodation safe in Germany as easily as possible and are willing to pay a lot for it. I had a room in the IV myself because I was concerned that it would not be easy to find something on site. In addition, I didn’t buy a car for 3 months and therefore wanted to live as close to the campus as possible (big advantage of the IV).
If I could go again, I would definitely take the risk of looking for an accommodation on site, because it is definitely worth it in terms of costs and you usually get much better offers from other accommodation on site.
Regarding IV: I lived in a single room, which means that you have the bedroom and bathroom to yourself, but have to share the kitchen and living room with a roommate. In the studio you have everything to yourself and in the double room you share the bedroom and bathroom with one other person and the kitchen / living room with up to three other people.
The rooms are equipped with a bed, a desk, a chair, a chest of drawers and a walk-in closet (without hangers), that’s it. The kitchen has a refrigerator, microwave, stove and oven, everything else you have to do yourself. Regardless of whether it is a knife, fork, saucepan or detergent. A television is only available in the common room of the IV (but can be bought cheaply via craigslist.com, for example). In addition, the ICR and IV are probably the only accommodations in all of California without a swimming pool, which is painfully noticeable by April at the latest. In a pinch you can always find someone in the other accommodations who lets you in to use the pool.
The costs for a quarter at the UCR add up quite a bit. At the other American universities, however, it looks no different.
For the university you pay around $ 4000 with all fees. There is also about $ 200-500 for books and other equipment, depending on the course. The accommodation in a single room in the IV costs around $ 4000 !!! Flights, meals, additional health insurance, travel, visas, etc. also cost a lot. The whole thing quickly becomes even more expensive if you don’t want to look at the money for every little thing. A total of $ 10-15,000 should definitely be budgeted for.
All in all, in my opinion, a semester abroad at the UCR is definitely recommended and in the end you can meet nice and less nice people everywhere and make your experiences with the USA and the Americans. The implementation of the semester abroad with the help of MicroEDU is definitely recommended, as the employees try to help at any time, whether with the organization in advance or questions and problems on site. It was a great experience, thank you very much!