After I had decided the bureaucracy war against RWTH for myself, submitted my bachelor thesis on time and also successfully delivered my final lecture, I was finally able to get on the plane from Frankfurt via Reykjavik and Seattle to Sacramento and thus begin my stay abroad at UC Davis. The organization had taken about 6 months and what felt like 80 hours of work to date. The free support from MicroEDU GmbH has proven to be extremely helpful and therefore highly recommended proven (the costs incurred are borne by the participating universities). Without the help of my contact person there, I would probably have been lost in the jungle of visa applications, apartment websites and university offices.
- Check topschoolsintheusa for more about The College of Engineering at University of California Davis.
But the effort was worth it ! I will always have very positive memories of my stay and I do not want to miss the professional, interpersonal-cultural or scenic impressions that I was able to gain during my time in California.
Accommodation in Davis
The University of California at Davis (UC Davis) is a campus university, but only first and second semester students live in the dorms on and on the campus. All other students are either accommodated in rented apartments or with host families. Most of the apartments are extremely comfortable and many have a pool, air conditioning and their own fitness and study rooms. I stayed with a host family myself and in retrospect I do not regret this decision. However, I was also very lucky with my host family, as my host was an excellent cook thanks to his French roots and I could look forward to a first-class dinner every day. Other students have had rather negative experiences with their host families (lots of rules, bad food, small rooms, etc.). If you are interested in living with a host family, I would definitely recommend Davis Housing Services (http://davishousingservices.com/)! The service on offer here is excellent. In addition to arranging host families, there is also a bike rental and the option of renting a mobile phone including a prepaid SIM card (but without mobile data).
The University of California at Davis (UC Davis)
The climate at the university is excellent. Due to the relatively small courses – especially in the graduate programs – there is a close relationship between professors and students. For example, it is common for professors to invite the best participants in their courses to dinner. Also alternative teaching and learning methods such as group work, lectures, presentations, overnight-papers and educational games are very popular. Overall, I had the impression that many teachers do not take themselves and their subject as seriously as their German colleagues. However, this has by no means led to a poorer learning environment, but in my opinion even had a motivating effect.
I found the technical level of the engineering and business administration courses to be very high. However, the exams are much easier than usual at RWTH, for example. As a result, many students focus more on leisure than on university life. However, if you can discipline yourself enough to do something for the university, you will quickly be rewarded with excellent grades. I also had the feeling that the study load was distributed very well over the quarter due to the frequently asked homework and mini-tests.
Overall, the learning climate at an American university can be clearly distinguished from that at a German university. The system as a whole “verschulter”. This brings the advantages of an even learning workload and easier exams with the same learning success; however, this is done at the expense of the students’ independence. However, those who have already successfully completed a few semesters at a German university will be reminded of “the good old school days” and quickly learn to enjoy more free time.
In addition to the relaxed climate at the university, I was particularly impressed by the open nature of the “Davis People” and the pleasant weather in California. Right from the start you could feel that everyone is happy to welcome an international student as their guest. This applies equally to all American and international students, as well as the Davis residents I have met.
All in all , I can only warmly recommend a stay abroad at UC Davis. I wouldn’t stay too long, however, because I can imagine that studying at a German university will be felt to be too arduous afterwards. I can only recommend that anyone planning a stay in California plan enough time to travel. The area is beautiful and perfect for a road trip lasting several weeks!