University of California, Berkeley Student Review

Summer in Berkeley was a great experience! The preparations with the help of your website were not too extensive and done fairly quickly and there are no major requirements to be met. I spent 6 weeks (Session D) in Berkeley. The selection of courses (literature and humanities in general) was not very large, mostly 1-4 courses per area. The courses are actually all lower division, there are a lot of high school kids in the courses who want to see how it is in Berkeley or who, in the case of Berkeley, start in Berkeley. I had 2 courses, both from the Department of Comparative Literature, one in literary studies which was fairly simple but interesting, and a film course which was more challenging. Both were taught by PhD students. The courses took place 4 days a week and the assessment was made up of umpteen small exercises, tests and essays. You should definitely not take more than 2 courses, actually – I think – one is completely sufficient. The intensity of the courses and the regular examination of the topics through homework etc. was definitely a valuable new way to deal with the course content – especially because I only had seminars and no lectures. I was required to be present all the time and I was only allowed to be absent once without excuse. In large lectures, however, attendance is probably not that important. The intensity of the courses and the regular examination of the topics through homework etc. was definitely a valuable new way to deal with the course content – especially because I only had seminars and no lectures. I was required to be present all the time and I was only allowed to be absent once without excuse. In large lectures, however, attendance is probably not that important. The intensity of the courses and the regular examination of the topics through homework etc. was definitely a valuable new way to deal with the course content – especially because I only had seminars and no lectures. I was required to be present all the time and I was only allowed to be absent once without excuse. In large lectures, however, attendance is probably not that important.

The last week with the final exams was very intense (study sessions until 5 a.m., every day), but that was not so bad because you didn’t have to suffer alone. I lived in the Resident Halls and can only say positive things about it. Even if you share a room with one person, the rooms are big enough, on every second floor there is a study lounge, in every building a main lounge with TV, table tennis and pool table and there are organized excursions and a small fitness room. The accommodation is not particularly cheap, especially because you pay for full board. The food in Crossroads (the cafeteria, so to speak) is all you can eat and quite extensive and varied, at the beginning, after 2.3 weeks it gets pretty boring, But you can also get food in other cafes on campus, I think you have 600 dollars that you can spend in 6 weeks – clearly too much if you want to eat somewhere else every now and then, so that in the end all yours Hit meal points for useless stuff on the head. From all I’ve heard, the Resident Halls are better than the International House in terms of both rooms and food. No matter where, you get to know people very quickly in Berkeley because almost everyone is new and mostly only there for the summer. The atmosphere in the city is great. Close by is a large park and swimming lake and a botanical garden. There are a few concerts, nice (fast food) restaurants (Yoghurtland, Ici, Chez Panisse, La Strada ..) and bars and one or two clubs that all the students flock to. You can also get into the club under 21. As almost everywhere in the States, it is at 2 o’clock but the parties are over everywhere, including the parties from the connecting houses and all bars close. The fitness center is quite large and for 10 dollars you can use all equipment, swimming pool, squash, tennis, badminton and attend a number of courses. You can take the bus for free (even as far as San Francisco, which takes about 30.40 minutes). On the weekends you can also make many trips to Santa Cruz, Yosemite National Park, wine-growing areas, etc. Use badminton and attend a number of courses. You can take the bus for free (even as far as San Francisco, which takes about 30.40 minutes). On the weekends you can also make many trips to Santa Cruz, Yosemite National Park, wine-growing areas, etc. Use badminton and attend a number of courses. You can take the bus for free (even as far as San Francisco, which takes about 30.40 minutes). On the weekends you can also make many trips to Santa Cruz, Yosemite National Park, wine-growing areas, etc.

I would not book anything in advance, but find people there spontaneously and take part in organized tours or rent a car (at Hertz with student discount). Many people go to San Francisco in the afternoon or over the weekend (definitely partying on Mission Street, strolling through the hippie district of Haight Ashbury, checking out Pier 39, driving the cable car, etc.) There is also a good art museum and film archive in Berkeley. The campus is great, with lots of meadows and cafes to chill out and lots of libraries with beautiful reading rooms, PCs, etc. In the Resident Halls, you can also use and print the PCs free of charge.

At the beginning there is a compulsory meeting in the International House, where all paperwork is done. Otherwise everything is super easy, you organize your student ID and can switch back and forth between courses in the first week (at least officially, but to be on the safe side you should always check with the professors to see how long you can switch to a course). In the I-House you can reach someone at any time to clarify problems with visas, grades etc.
6 weeks was a good time, I would definitely not do less, rather more, e.g. 10 weeks! Berkeley is just awesome!

UC Berkeley School of Information