Are all UC Berkeley classes big

University of California Berkeley

UC Berkeley Extension

The course at UC Berkeley Extension started in January and my graduation was in mid-May. I am 22 years old and am studying “corporate law” in Mannheim (majoring in law and minor in business administration). Before my stay in Berkeley, I completed my fourth semester and am thus in the middle of my bachelor's degree. To deepen my business administration skills and improve my English, I decided to spend a semester abroad. Impressed with the reputation and capabilities of UC Berkeley I applied for a place there. College Contact helped me a lot with the application and explained all steps of the application / visa etc. in detail.

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The UC Berkeley Extension is affiliated with the UC Berkeley Institution and uses its name, but you do not study together with the regular students, do not attend the UC Berkeley courses and the UC Berkeley Extension building is not located on the UCB campus. Classes take place in a relatively modern building on the 2nd floor in downtown Berkeley. There are almost ten classrooms, a lounge and computers that can be used.


Course content & fellow students

I have the Course "Entrepreneurship & Small Business Management which is offered in the spring semester. You have different subjects such as leadership, building a business plan or social media marketing. The Subjects are all taught by experienced teachers (All of them have practical experience, most of them either founded a start-up or at least worked in one). Our teachers were all very nice, competent and helpful. The course teaches the basics of business administration (such as finance or marketing) and soft skills (such as business negotiation or Excel), all with reference to entrepreneurship (that is, we have often formed teams and come up with an idea for a start-up and, for example, one Written business plan). In my opinion, the course is more suitable for students who have little or no previous knowledge of business administration and are considering founding a start-up. The course fits in perfectly with Berkeley, you really notice the influences of Silicon Valley there (There are start-ups everywhere, almost everyone is familiar with the high-tech industry, innovation, investors, etc.).

One teaching unit is 3 hours, mostly we had 2 TU on Mondays and Wednesdays and 1 TU on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Friday was our day off and so on we could often use the weekend to travel or for team projects.

At over $ 11,000, the course is not cheap (especially since many Germans are used to very low tuition fees), but the extension team tries very hard and everything is very well organized. At the beginning of the course we received about 10 books that we were allowed to keep. We also did a full day field trip to an accelerator in Silicon Valley.

Our class consisted of 30 international students (China, India, Russia, Brazil, France, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia ...). I really liked this variety and you find friends very quickly (for life)! We did a lot together like tours, an international dinner or parties. There are no nightclubs in Berkeley itself, but San Francisco is only 20 minutes away by subway (but the subways stop running after 12 at night ...). But there are many bars with karaoke, billiards and sports bars. In addition, the so-called "Frats" (fraternity houses) organize student parties.

The UCB Extension program is an "Undergraduate Program", so you do not need a Bachelor's degree. Our class was mixed, some are in the middle of their bachelor's degrees, others have already earned an MBA. The age of the participants was between 20 and 30. The subjects were also very different (from business administration to pharmacy and engineers).

Half of our course were "continuous students", they have already spent the fall semester at the extension. After the spring semester, it is also possible to do an internship (usually in a start-up). The extension team provides some start-ups for which you can apply. But it is also possible to look for a start-up yourself. As I understand it, this internship can only be carried out in cooperation with the extension due to the visa regulations. This requires a fee of $ 3,000 for the organization of the internship.


UC Berkeley

The UC Berkeley campus is about a 10-minute walk from the extension building. He is very big and beautiful. UC Berkeley offers many sports facilities (a gym, four outdoor pools, four tennis courts ...). These options are also available to extension students for a fee of around $ 150. The library can also be used for $ 25 per semester. But there is also a very nice public library. You can also take private tennis lessons, for example, or take sailing or windsurfing courses for a surcharge. It is also possible to join various student groups if you have the appropriate qualifications (e.g. tennis team, soccer team, finance club).


Living

I lived in the Telegraph Commons right next to campus (approx. 20 minutes walk from the extension building). This small room with shared bathroom and kitchen was very expensive at almost $ 1,400 per month for a single room, but I was able to book it from Germany and the location is perfect for students (5 minutes walk to campus and gym). You can also stay in a two-bed or three-bed room and thus save money, as these are cheaper. Many of my fellow students also lived in Companile Court. There are very nice shared apartments with around 5 rooms per shared apartment. However, the location is not ideal (about a 20-minute walk to the extension building, but further away from the campus and gym, but buses run). Another alternative is the I-House. A lot of international students live here, but also a few Americans. If you rent a room there, you also have to buy the meal plan and thus have a daily food buffet included. Some had also rented apartments e.g. via AirBnB or some had already been to Berkeley for the previous semester and were able to look for an apartment on site. In general, the rental prices are extremely high. Some have also rented an apartment in Oakland, as the rental prices are lower there (but I would not recommend it, since otherwise you have a long walk to the university every day and you almost need a car).


San Francisco & California

SF can be reached with the BART (subway) in 20 minutes. There offer themselves many possibilities and sights (one of the most beautiful cities in the United States in my opinion). My highlights were the Golden Gate Bridge, Union Square and the View Lounge in the Marriott Hotel with a view over SF. California also has great landscapes to offer such as Yosemite Park and cool cities like L.A. and San Diego. Road trip from SF to San Diego via Highway 1 is a must;) !!