At the beginning of the semester abroad you have to apply to the university, which is quite easy to do with the help of the documents and instructions provided by MicroEDU. Merely looking for the required documents and evidence sometimes turns out to be more time-consuming than initially assumed. After receiving confirmation of admission from the UCD and the corresponding visa form, an appointment can be made at an American consulate. This is cheaper on the Internet than via the telephone hotline, and the current waiting times can also be viewed on the Internet. For the actual appointment you should arrive as early as possible in order to avoid long and uncomfortable waiting times.
Flights from Germany to Sacramento are much more difficult to find than to San Francisco. My recommendation is therefore to book a direct flight to San Francisco and from there to drive to Davis by rental car. Depending on the traffic, the journey takes about one and a half hours, but it is an excellent opportunity to get a first impression of the area. Here I recommend booking a rental car through German tour operators, in my experience this booking is usually cheaper than booking directly with the rental car providers. Furthermore, the latter can often incur annoying additional costs such as one-way rentals. The rental car is initially very useful not only for airport transfers, but also for looking for an apartment / room. A shared apartment offers the ideal opportunity to make first contacts. The website http://www. craigslist. org is the most frequently used contact point. For accommodation offers in Davis, choose ‘Sacramento’ as the city, click on the link housing or sublets (for subletting) and search for ‘Davis’. Rental prices ranged between $ 400 and $ 800 per month, depending on the type of accommodation, location and distance to the UCD which stands for University of California at Davis on abbreviationfinder.
Opening an American bank account on site enables cashless payments with the bank’s own debit card and rental payments by paper checks. If you have an account with Deutsche Bank in Germany, you can withdraw money free of charge from ATMs of the Bank of America in the USA. Incidentally, the same applies to withdrawals from the American account at Deutsche Bank ATMs in Germany. The Bank of America student account is free of charge.
The specialty and at the same time a major disadvantage of the International English and Professional Program is that as a student you are enrolled in the Extension Center and not in the UCD itself. This means that your hand-made student ID is practically unusable except for the bus ticket stuck on the back. For example, there are additional fees for using university sports, whereas for regularly enrolled students access to this facility is already covered by the tuition fees. If you take 12 units of regular courses in the Open Campus program (this corresponds to approximately 12 hours per week and corresponds to the maximum), you are exempt from English courses at the Extension Center. From the basic tuition fees of ~ $ 3190 you have relatively little. Access to these regular courses varies greatly depending on the progress of the course and the type of subject. I was able to take my graduate courses in engineering without any problems, whereas other students had difficulties with admission to bachelor’s business administration courses, since the actual students have priority and the enrollment period ends several weeks after the start of the lectures. In order to be able to enroll in a course, you need an application form from the Extension Center. This must be presented to the professor giving the lecture for signature. Subjects from the engineering field also require another signature, namely that of the department chair. The level of the courses was roughly the same as in Germany. The homework and frequent exams in the form of midterms and finals, however, took some getting used to. Contact with professors is more direct and personal than in Germany, for example e-mails are answered quickly and easily.
University sports in the form of the Activities & Recreation Center (ARC) leaves little to be desired in terms of sports and facilities and is very popular with students. In addition, the Outdoor Adventures offers sports activities in the great outdoors (rafting, hiking, climbing, etc. ).
Davis is a small town with around 65,000 residents. The UCD makes life very student-friendly. However, the small size of the city also means that you can see everything that is worth seeing very quickly. Fortunately, Sacramento and San Francisco are very close, which can save you many a weekend. Weekend trips along the west coast (Santa Barbara, LA, San Diego), the Yosemite National Park and trips to Las Vegas are a more than welcome change from life in Davis.
In conclusion, I would like to say that the stay in Davis and especially in California was personally very worthwhile and I am very grateful for the help from MicroEDU. However, I would advise students interested in studying abroad in California to choose a university in a livelier city (e. g. San Diego)!