Hello Sookmyungians. I am a student from the Department of Education who went to University of California, Davis for half a year; i.e., the Fall and Winter Quarters, as an exchange student. UC Davis is located in the city of Davis and offers students a pleasant study environment. Since Davis is located close to San Francisco, throughout my life as an exchange student, I experienced both study and leisure together. I would like to recommend UC Davis and provide you with information on various elective courses lectures the university offers besides its required major courses; namely, I will detail the planting class and teaching assistant intership at an elementary school. The most important thing about UC Davis to keep in mind is that it does not provide its exchange students with dormitory rooms. Still, living alone in a foreign country can be an enjoyable experience all on its own, so I highly recommend it. I recommend UC Davis for people who are positive and confident and want to have a meaningful exchange student life.
UC Davis, a Place of Convenience and Diversity
The university is a California state university located in the city of Davis. The city is close to Sacramento, and it takes just an hour to get to San Francisco. Davis is a small and quiet place built around the university, so overseas students may relax their worries even if it’s their first time abroad. UC Davis is famous for majors such as agriculture, stock breeding, economics, and medical science. The campus is very big, and there is grass everywhere on which students can often be found lying, napping, eating, and doing club activities. Also, the university can boast students’ career development because the school offers a very good internship program that is related to students’ courses. This is the main reason I applied for the UC Davis exchange program. In fact, one of my upper year classmates recommended UC Davis to me over a year ago and enticed me with tales of her life stories there at the university. It was really after hearing about her experience that I firmly believed I needed to go there as well. By attending lectures related to my major in English, I hoped to improve my English skills and widen my thoughts. UC Davis is a school that offers various lectures and chances to engage in discussions with students of different races without restriction and segregation, which are the main reasons I applied to UC Davis.
Planting Class, a Time of Joy with Nature and Friends
There are plenty of lectures to choose from once you enter UC Davis as an exchange student regardless of your major. When I was at UC Davis, I took 24 credits over 2 quarters and among the courses, I highly recommend enrolling in Planting. It is actually quite a popular course at the university. I know some of you may think: “A planting course at university?” but as I previously mentioned UC Davis is known for its Department of Agriculture. In particular, the Planting course is famous both on and off campus. For me, since I would never have the opportunity to enroll in a planting course in Korea, I wanted to experience it, so I signed up for the class. In the course, students learn about farming and have the opportunity to harvest a crop. The course is only open during the Fall and Spring quarters, but luckily I was able to enroll during the Fall semester. During the class, I grew many plants like lettuce, kale, garlic, cucumber, Chinese cabbage, spinach, flowers, and many others. This lecture was fun and exciting. The professor was pleasant, and at the end of each lecture, watermelon, which the professor brought to class, was sliced and eaten by students. In addition, on field trips, students were allowed to pick pumpkin, grapes, and walnuts. Since the course required students to participate in activities out of the classroom, it gave students plenty of opportunities to meet and make friends with local people. It was a great chance for me to meet and get to know local area students. I made one of my best friends from this course. We are still constantly in touch even now, and she is planning on visiting me this summer in Korea. The lecture makes gardening fun as it is done with friends.
Killing Two Birds with One Stone : the Internship Program
Since my major is education, I wanted to enroll in the UC Davis internship programme, which ran 6 months at UC Davis. After finishing the program, I recommend the internship to everyone, not just education majors. Briefly, students work as teaching assistants at kindergartens, elementary, middle, and high schools near UC Davis. The program, in addition to being an internship, grants students credits for enrollment every quarter. Since it is a P/F course, there is no burden placed on students from exams. Students are only requested to submit a journal and final paper. Many students partake in this internship, and the working period of an assistant differs according to the homeroom teacher they meet. In my case, I worked as a teaching assistant at Pioneer Elementary School teaching 2nd grade students, and it was a valuable experience. The homeroom teacher was very kind, and I was very close to the children. When the internship period was over, we had a hard time saying goodbye. I enjoyed a Halloween party with the kids, and I was given the chance to introduce Korean culture to them. Through this internship, you can learn about U.S.A’s education system, which is both similar and different from Korea’s. If you have ever wanted to learn more about US culture, I advise participating in the internship.
Tips for Future UC Davis Exchange students
Despite all of the great things about UC Davis, there is one disadvantage. UC Davis doesn’t let exchange students stay at its school dormitory. You will need housing, but it will be hard to find a place on your own because the method of finding a place differs from Korea and there is the time factor. However, on the homepage realated to housing, it suggests places that are good and reasonable. At first I was uncomfortable having to live off campus, but it was actually much more fun. Looking for a house, I feared living with other foreigner students, so at first, I sought housing with a Korean host. However, by living students from other nationalities, I learnt about their cultures. Talking about our culture similarities and differences, I improved my knowledge, but more importantly I was able to make life-long friendships. Indeed, an exchange programme offers you a chance to improve your English skills, but I recommend you do more than that. I hope you are active. Being active and positive are the means to a happy life overseas. If you talk confidently, you’ll make many friends and finish the exchange period happily. Another tip is to get a driver’s license. It is hard to live in California without a car. Since the car rental system is very convenient, so if you can drive, you’ll have more fun. For students who are going to the US on an exchange, it is my hope that you make good friends and good memories.