UCSB Study Abroad

UCSB Study Abroad


Enrollment for a place at the University of California, Santa Barbara is handled by the German provider “MicroEDU “. The support is very friendly, helpful and even free of charge during the entire process. Only the TOEFL and visa are the student’s personal responsibility. Since the UCSB is a very popular international destination and the study places are allocated on a “first come, first served” basis, the application should have started at least six months before the start of the exchange. Note: University of California Santa Barbara is also known as UCSB on abbreviationfinder.

Course planning

In general, it is helpful to know that the UCSB does not plan its academic year according to semesters, but rather follows a quarter system and that some teaching content is therefore very condensed.

A fixed course selection before the start of the exchange semester is not possible. Since the local students have priority, exchange students have to “crash” courses during the first two weeks and try to find the remaining places. Only the courses of the economics department are newly (!) Allocated by lottery, so that direct enrollment via professor is not possible. Fortunately, I was assigned all the necessary courses so that I could take GLOBAL I, COMM 166 and ECON 100B.


This subject deals with the development of modern civilization in the light of different cultural perspectives. In the very generous (!) Written compulsory reading, topics such as politics, religion and culture are reflected in a historical context. The professor is characterized by very amusing personal debauchery and a marginal anti-European-imperialist view of history. Attendance at the lecture, contributions to the associated exercises and three in-depth papers all contribute to the final grade.

COMM 166

The practice-oriented “Marketing Communication” deals with various corporate communication strategies and combines them with the basic theories of marketing. In addition to some guest lectures and a rudimentary compiled theory, the course content consists largely of the professor’s personal experience. Attendance, two exams (multiple choice) and a very extensive written practical project, which includes the entire marketing strategy of a sample company, contribute to the grade.


“Advanced Microeconomic Theory” is counted as a counterpart to Mikroönomie II. The course content is moderate, but should not be underestimated because of the more demanding exams (3 midterms, 1 final). However, the grading is curved very fairly and the professor answers the questions that arise in a very helpful and committed manner. The only disadvantage of curving: The very sociable American students and their European exchange fellow students are clearly outnumbered in this course.


The living situation is a little more relaxed in the spring semester than in autumn. Free rooms are offered via “craiglist. org” and sublet for a few months without any problems. The prices for a double room vary between $ 500 and $ 1750, depending on the level of hygiene and care (there are three apartment complexes with an all-round carefree package – including bed rest). Anyone who chooses the inexpensive private variant must completely suppress their demands in terms of order and hygiene. If you like it a little quieter, orientate yourself outside of Isla Vista, but you are actually at the wrong (exchange) address. After a short stay as a couch surfer in a commune, I also found what I was looking for and quickly settled in in the middle of “Isla Vista”.


The university effort is not higher than that for courses at the HSG, but the very broad extracurricular offer can ensure cheerful conditions: Even as an exchange student at UCSB, you belong to the group of “gauchos” – the community of all current and former UCSB students with a high degree of identification that is typical for American standards. The first two parallel streets to the Pacific are characterized by a very wide audio-visual entertainment program – 24/7! Catchy movie scenes sometimes seem understated in comparison. Therefore, the exchange with local students was very intensive from the start and was by far my greatest pastime. Contact is made casually and in very large numbers.

The university sports program is broad and has two well-equipped sports centers. In addition, the “Excursion Club”, a student-run organization, offers a variety of excursions (hiking, kayaking, parachuting, motocross, camping, etc. ) and permanent rental of surfboards and camping equipment for a membership fee of $ 30.


The following destinations are in the immediate vicinity and can be explored on the weekends: Los Angeles (2h), Santa Cruz (3h), Big Sur (4h), Sequoia National Park (4h), San Diego (5h), San Francisco (5h), Yosemite National Park (5h), Las Vegas (5h), Death Valley (7h), Grand Canyon National Park (10h). Since the visa is still valid for a few weeks after the exchange is completed, you can even take the opportunity to explore the country from west to east as far as New York.

UCSB Study Abroad