The support from the staff at the Extension Center is first class. In the first few days before the start of the semester, all important information is presented bite-sized at information events. With all problems and questions that arise later, you will be helped quickly, friendly and competently with little bureaucracy.
The UCR offers two different dormitories for exchange students: The Extension Center and the International Village. In the International Village you pay $ 900 per month to reside in a 4-person flat share with two bedrooms and a living room including a kitchen. The Extension Center is a bit cheaper but also much worse in terms of equipment. There are other apartment houses in the area that offer accommodation.
I stayed at the International Village and can highly recommend it, at least for shorter stays. Thanks to his 3 flat-share partners, you can immediately connect and since they have usually lived there for a long time, you get to know many people from all over the world very easily and very quickly through them. There are several parties every weekend (including clichéd red plastic cups) to which people are always happy to be invited. The only point of criticism is that it is difficult to get to know local students there, as they make up no more than 10% of the residents.
The course selection takes place in the first three weeks of the semester. During this time you have the opportunity to visit various events and get an impression before you make a decision.
In general, a distinction must be made between the courses at the Extension Center and those at the regular university. The Extension Center has the character of an adult education center and accordingly the audience consists of exchange students and people of all ages who want to further their professional development. There is a wide range of courses, especially in management and foreign languages, and lessons are held once a week, mostly in the evening, in small groups. In my opinion, this is a good opportunity to devote yourself to very specific, practical topics that are not offered at the UCR. Unfortunately, the level leaves something to be desired. The content is conveyed rather superficially and if there are any exams, they can be mastered with minimal effort. The three courses According to AbbreviationFinder, UCR is the abbreviation of University of California Riverside.
The courses at the UCR correspond in every respect to the level that one is used to from a good German state university. With mostly two lectures per week and a discussion group, the time required is considerably higher than at the Extension Center. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for different achievements to be made during the semester: exercises, reading notes, presentations, case study projects and of course the midterms are included in the grade together with the final exams. If you accept this effort, in the end you also have the feeling that you have really learned something and also have the opportunity to make contact with American students. Unfortunately, access to the events at the UCR is not always easy for exchange students,
In addition to the classic student parties, there is a wide range of leisure activities. The Extension Center offers organized trips to theme parks, sporting events, etc. However, it is much more fun to design your free time yourself. Due to the central location in Southern California, all options are open. Los Angeles and San Diego can be reached quickly and offer everything you would expect from a big city. After San Francisco you are a little further away, but this city in particular is worth a longer visit due to its unique flair. We recommend taking the Route One coastal road from LA for the trip to SF. It takes a little longer, but you will be rewarded with a wonderful view. And of course there is Las Vegas. I think, that I don’t have to describe the advantages of this city in detail. You should plan at least $ 500 for a weekend if you want to stay in one of the better hotels, like to party and are not completely averse to gambling.
For all of these things you definitely need a wheeled stand. If you do not want to buy a car for the duration of your stay, you can fall back on one of the many car rental companies in the vicinity of the campus. However, this becomes very expensive if you regularly spend your weekends on excursions. In this case, Dirt & Cheap Car Rental in San Diego is the ideal solution. You can drive a Ford Mustang convertible here for a month for $ 1,200. If you have the opportunity to get another person to do this, it’s worth $ 600 for a little more style.