North America Universities

University of California Los Angeles Student Review

All in all, the preparation for the summer session turned out to be easy. Your website was always available to answer questions and made the organization a lot easier.

The visa application for which we had to drive to Berlin turned out to be more complex than anything else. But it must also be said that the requirements of the American embassy sound worse than they actually are. The actual issuing of a visa in Berlin was completely unproblematic afterwards.

Since I took part in the summer session with 3 friends, we used the time after the German exams and before the summer session to visit Chicago and Las Vegas. This was a good idea, as American airlines sometimes have the option of doing stop overs. So we made stop overs of several days from our flight to Los Angeles in Chicago and Las Vegas for € 60 each.

I can only recommend Chicago. Las Vegas is worth seeing, but it can also be easily reached from Los Angeles by car or plane.
We arranged our arrival in Los Angeles in such a way that we no longer had to stay in a hotel and therefore moved directly into our apartment. To be honest, I didn’t like Los Angeles as much as Chicago. The city is huge and the area where the university is located is really nice and safe, but you will probably be disappointed with the rest. In particular, the tourist highlights such as Hollywood etc. are “well marketed” on television.

We had originally planned to live on campus in one of the dormitory rooms, but shortly before our arrival we received an email that this would not work. Since the university has shown itself to be very cooperative with regard to our meal plan, this was not a problem either. Off campus certainly has the advantage that the apartments are larger than the dormitory rooms and you are more independent, since the dormitories have left the impression of a large youth hostel with appropriate surveillance. The disadvantage is that depending on the dormitory, you can walk to the campus for up to 20 minutes. There is nothing in the apartments except for the furniture. So if you decide to cook yourself, you really have to buy everything. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone, the supermarkets in Westwood are really very expensive. If you want to keep the costs under control and don’t want to eat fast food for 6 weeks, I can only recommend the cafeteria. A meal plan is not absolutely necessary, as you can also pay for the meals individually and that is not necessarily more expensive. The cafeteria cannot be compared with Germany and is certainly far better than comparable facilities in Germany.

The campus itself is very impressive and, above all, large. We certainly only walked 1.5 hours a day to get to everything.

I did 3 courses, and American students 2 courses are normal. The workload certainly depends on various factors and, in particular, on previous knowledge from Germany. In Management Accounting, the effort was very limited, as actually only material from the German undergraduate studies was repeated. The other two courses were more complex, which in one course was certainly also due to the professor. All in all, I would say the workload for 3 courses was manageable. If you work consistently 4 days a week you can take 3 days off and then it is easily enough for an A or B. A C (in most cases a requirement to get credit for the courses in Germany) you get without any problems.

Learning English tends to be limited. Through the lectures and self-study you learn a bit of the technical vocabulary, otherwise you meet Germans or Austrians everywhere and also tend to do something with them.

All in all, I would do the summer session again under the same conditions. The prerequisites for me are that it is really in the semester break and that I don’t have to do without German exams. That was only the case for us at Summer Session C at UCLA. Second, you should clarify in advance how the American exams are credited to the German course and there should be at least 2 certificates. Otherwise I would recommend a tour of the USA for the money, because you will definitely get more of it.

UCLA – Institute for Planets and Exoplanets