In the summer of 2010 I attended 8 weeks in Berkeley Summer Session! Here are my experiences:
After the flood of paper and the visit to the consulate were behind me, I was relieved. Being allowed to enter the USA and study there is different from just going camping in France. There are also some forms at the airport, but with a little patience they can all be filled out without any problems. I still find it negative how much money is spent on a small piece of paper in the passport, around 250 euros. Welcome to the USA! When I arrived in San Francisco, I was picked up by a bus, but the BART is also the perfect means of transport to campus if you are traveling by yourself! Just take a look at the website. Get more student review on University of California Berkeley on jibin123.
I lived in Residence Units 2, House Cunningham. Without further ado, even knowing college dormitories, Unit 2 was more purpose than anything. There were a lot of students, although my hallway was not particularly open-minded. The mixed bathrooms are an absolute no-go for me, especially since they weren’t clean. On the other hand, I have had positive experiences with the I-House (International House). Here you have to walk up a slope every time (which can be a torture with luggage at the beginning) but in my time there were more European and older students, in contrast to a lot of boys in Unit 2. Especially groups of students who also lived there for a time. The food is more diverse in the I House and in several places in Unit 2, however, I found the food at the I House very good too. You just have to eat there almost all the time, as you can’t pay with your “mealpoints” at university shops. This only allows unit 2.
I wanted to use the summer to get to know something else and have chosen 2 non-subject courses. Overall, I think this type of entry-level course is fun, but it is better to choose a shoe that is a size too big rather than too small. Lesson learned: Calmly choose something apart, Berkeley opens up new ideas and thoughts that you can transfer to your career and your life at home. Here is a summary of my two courses:
Introduction to City Planning 110:
This course focuses on contemporary issues in urban planning, and provides a basic understanding of the key debates of drive urban development, policy and planning. It comprehends urban planning comprehensively, and introduces students to a range of ways of thinking and acting in and on urban space.
This course is divided into two sections – the first three weeks, which will be a crash course in planning history, ideas, terminology, theory and institutions, – and the remainder of the course, which is an innovative and interactive case study method will be used to teach students how to think like a planner and to analyze situations using current examples from ongoing planning.
Although some lectures and reading may include examples from countries outside the United States, it mainly focuses on examples in California and the Bay Area. Students with interests outside the region will be able to explore these in more depth through their recent projects.
The aim of this course was to get an impression of what a city planner is and which factors are related to urban planning. Interesting for all kinds of professions, actually for every citizen! Legal, environmental, economic, historical and also political references. Case studies about Berkeley, Detroit, Richmond were interesting and left space for your own focus. The claim was definitely there, but you could determine the work intensity yourself. The exams were already demanding, learning little but thinking well is required! The final paper is completely free of form and subject, which gives you a chance to deal with personal interests. Exams were open notes & open books which means that you don’t have to memorize anything.
People and Environmental Design (ED1):
Environmental design involves the study of integrated, natural, global, and virtual environments. Various forms of practice include architecture, planning, urban planning, and social and environmental activism. This course provides an overview of the relationships between people and environments, designed and not constructed, with an introduction to literature and professional practice.
This course should be a mix of design and planning. However, an important note: if you have art and creativity only diluted in your blood, you should only choose this course to a limited extent. The lectures were always about very interesting things, but the “assignments” that I have every time are limited to handicrafts. Collagen is the main ingredient here. You don’t necessarily have to be artistically talented, but you should have fun and patience. There were mostly young students in this course. The demands in the exams are low to medium. Exams were open notes & open books which means that you don’t have to memorize anything.
Do not worry! You will definitely meet enough people in Berkeley! The very international student image (especially in summer, I think) offers many opportunities to do great things with many people. Thanks to the courses, but also everywhere else, you can quickly get into conversation. Berkeley is a small world! Meet at the Blakes on Thursday at the latest!
The F bus runs from Telegraph / Bancroft to SF every 30 minutes. Here you have to unpack your travel guide, put on comfortable shoes and take warm clothes with you! And refill your wallet beforehand! Celebrating in San Francisco, in particular, is expensive, as is the case in all major cities in the United States! I especially liked the Cheesecake Factory and the bars in SF. Tip: Do yourself a favor and take a taxi back to several of you. The bus is no fun at night. Cost per taxi: about $ 40-45.
I would definitely want to experience a summer in Berkeley again and recommend it to everyone! Anyone who can manage the costs has definitely not only done something for their résumé, but also for themselves!