When I started studying at UC Berkeley, I was surprised by the size of the campus, almost the size of a small town. Fortunately, I was spared starting difficulties at Berkeley. The smaller problems that arose were solved in a very short time with the help of MicroEDU and the local staff of the SummerSessions.
The entire area around the campus is in a very beautiful natural spot. I woke up every morning at the International House with a beautiful view of the peninsula on which the city center of San Francisco is located. In very good weather I could even say good morning to the Golden Gate Bridge!
As the name suggests, the International House and its residents are very international and intercultural. I got to know fellow students from Norway, India, Japan, Finland, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Spain and Holland. You get to know all kinds of people very quickly. Mainly while eating in the huge Dining Hall or during one of the many interactive offers in the I-House.
Studying at the Haas School Of Business was very exhausting, but I was able to learn a lot there. Not only was knowledge imparted, but also a different style of teaching. The exclusivity and the reputation of the Haas School Of Business did not make the exams any easier, but with a lot of ambition and will you can do anything!
About the program The postgraduate course at UC Berkeley Extension in the area of Global Business Management is a very time-consuming program. This is mainly due to the ten courses, in which, in addition to midterm exams and final exams, there are also many group work, essays, tests and homework assignments to be completed. The Global Business Management program includes a total of ten subjects with content related to international business topics such as International Finance, Global Marketing Strategies, International Business Law or International Negotiation, of which three to four subjects run in parallel in blocks.
- Check topschoolsintheusa for more about The School of Law at University of California Berkeley.
The seminars take place daily (Mon-Fri) exclusively in double hours, i.e. three hours, and in course sizes of around 20 to 25 students. The entire program includes around 240 hours of lessons. I attended lectures and seminars an average of 24 hours a week and often needed more than the same amount of time to follow up and prepare for the courses (reading and assignments), to prepare for exams and for group work. Evenings and weekends were therefore rarely or only limitedly available for leisure and travel activities. The International Diploma Program promises the advantage of studying with small groups and close contact with the professors. Theoretical content is reflected more vividly through case studies and role play than through pure memorization. Above all, the course Global Business and Marketing Strategy should be mentioned here. Three different programs competed with and against each other over the entire semester in teams of three in order to manage their own company (from the fashion industry) and position it in an internationally profitable manner.
In addition to this very interactive and intercultural course, there were a number of other group work in my program, but unfortunately only two very short presentations in total. Unfortunately, the opportunity to improve one’s soft skills in intercultural presentation in a small international group (e.g. getting to know different presentation techniques in Asia, Europe and America) was not used sufficiently. I also found it to be a disadvantage that the case studies, as independent analyzes and thinking skills, were usually not included in the final grade of a course as much as the exams, which at times consisted of pure multiple-choice tasks. The top priority of the courses is and was, moreover, great practical relevance. This was not adhered to by every lecturer (the marketing course unfortunately hardly worked with current examples) and is not always possible, for example when it comes to the topic of entrepreneurship, but it was mainly in finance, accounting and negotiation Courses very instructive case studies and role-playing games that were closely linked to practice. Above all, the negotiation course should be mentioned here, where the students played through intercultural negotiation situations in each hour and then reflected them critically. Even though the lecturers have very good theoretical knowledge in their subject area and some lecturers come from practical experience, I always had the feeling that they were strongly bound by guidelines that had to be met. Sometimes I got the feeling that the basic understanding of the course is more like a school lesson, where there is not always room for your own approaches and ideas in the given curriculum. Nevertheless, I have to say that almost all professors have tried to respond to the students’ individual questions.
In addition, the administration was quite bureaucratic. Despite all the criticism, the program is very instructive, especially because of its international component – my program included a particularly large number of Latin American and Asian fellow students. In retrospect, in group work, in class as well as privately, I was able to learn a lot from the culture – not just from the economic culture – especially in everyday interaction and I made new international friendships.
About the environment In addition to the possibility of moving into one of the student dormitories in Berkeley or staying with an American host family, you could opt for an apartment or a room in a shared apartment. The placement of MicroEDU worked great. I decided on the flat share option. So, as requested, I moved into a shared flat for two with a Turkish fellow student who was attending the marketing program there. Our apartment was in a residential complex where only International Diploma Program students from different nations (Spain, Brazil, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Japan and Turkey) lived. This way you can quickly get in touch with fellow students of other IDP programs.
The monthly rental cost of the apartment was $ 900 and a rental deposit of $ 500 for the conditions on average. In terms of the quality of the apartment, however, below average. At times we had a recurring ants problem, an extremely poor insulation of the house wall (which drove up the heating costs especially at the end of the program in December), a badly worn kitchen and a very badly maintained bathroom. All of this was certainly due in part to our predecessors, but in fact there was no inspection or handover by the landlord.
But the location of the apartment is very good. In a quiet residential area with classic American single-family homes, it was only a five-minute walk to the university and downtown Berkeley. From downtown Berkeley there is a subway to downtown San Francisco every 15 minutes, one way taking about 15 minutes and costing around $ 4. Berkeley as a city itself is shaped by the university and student life. In addition to the really beautiful and traditional university campus and a few streets with nice cafes, student bars, restaurants and 3 (!) Cinemas around the university, Berkeley has little else to offer. For recreational activities, people usually go to San Francisco. As already described, there was little free time due to the many group work and homework assignments.