Life as an International Liberal Arts Student at UC Berkeley

What happens after you get into one of the most selective colleges in the US? In my previous article, I had written about my college application (admission) journey. In this post, I am sharing what’s there on the other side.


Life as an International Liberal Arts Student at UC Berkeley


I set out on an adventure in August 2018 and came to the intellectually diverse community of UC Berkeley. I have had a learning experience like no other so far. Feel free to connect with me.


Flexible Curriculum


Engaging in a completely new kind of studying than the one I had had in India, the curriculum at UC Berkeley has given me a different frame to look at my journey. One can take a variety of courses in diverse areas ranging from Business and Economics to other STEM and humanities fields.


It is a very broad scope of education that is found in UC Berkeley. The entire curriculum is set in such a way that one gets to experience all these areas while giving the opportunity to specialize in one or two, if double majoring. Berkeley also offers a multitude of minors including summer minors that can be completed in one or two summers.


Campus Life and Research Options


The campus offers a number of activities like student groups, the student government, sports, and other one-off events by eminent speakers. Read more about campus life at UC Berkeley.


Besides, Berkeley is renowned for its research endeavors.  Being a student at Berkeley, one can get an opportunity to engage in research with some of the most prominent faculty members in the world. The options to research also are many. There are positions in the STEM areas but also in the social sciences and humanities. There is also a large presence of Greek organizations like fraternities and sororities that are popular amongst the students.




The Bay Area, where the UC Berkeley campus is located, is a relatively expensive area than the other cities in the US. The housing is also on the more expensive side. However, there are various ways to control expenses and stay on a limited budget.


Once a student has settled in for a few weeks, I believe it is easier to navigate on this front. Moreover, the entire procedure for education in America is expensive for an Indian due to the current vast difference in the exchange rate with the Indian rupee and the US Dollar. However, that being said, it is an education worth a lifetime and a big exposure and opportunity for an international student.


Related Article: How to Finance Your Education and Save Money While Studying Abroad


Berkeley as a City


Berkeley as a city is known for its free speech and liberal approach to things. The campus is always bustling with life and is spread over vast acres of land. There are thousands of students studying on campus and being a public university, the school is larger than the other smaller liberal arts and private colleges in the US.


There are a number of attractions to visit in Berkeley. The university itself owns a large number of buildings in the city of Berkeley and there are some of the world’s most famous libraries located on the campus. In fact, there is a stream flowing through the campus!


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UC Berkeley also has the UC Botanical Garden, which is a must-visit attraction and there are the famous Campanile and the Sather Gate. The Cal Bears is the way to call the UC Berkeley student community and sports athletes.


The university is part of the PAC-12 and has a number of stadiums for sports such as tennis, American football, soccer, baseball, field hockey, swimming, and much more. Berkeley is also home to a number of restaurants and cafes, with some specializing in Californian food.


Vicinity to the Silicon Valley


Berkeley is also close to San Francisco and Oakland, two urban cities famous in the US. San Francisco is the hub of tech and Berkeley’s location in Silicon Valley proves its popularity amongst many students across the world. Besides, there are a number of national parks and hiking is quite popular amongst the population here.


Related Article: Top Student Cities in the US Outside the Silicon Valley for Tech Jobs


Finally, safety is a must on any campus. So, one is responsible for one’s own safety. It is vital for students to stay secure in their communities by adhering to the regulations given by the university.


Related Articles:


Undergraduate (Bachelor) Degree in India or Abroad?

Top 85 US Colleges that Offer Maximum Scholarships to International Undergraduate Students

How to Get into Ivy League Schools after 12th?



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