Study Abroad Tips for Berkeley

Dear Berkeley newcomers,

To collect some tips and tricks for getting acquainted with Berkeley I have interviewed a couple of my friends in Berkeley who were also on exchange here.

: a Cypriote civil engineer studying at the University of Bristol

  • One word that captures the ‘spirit’ of Berkeley:
  • What is the best place to study?
    “The best place to study is outside in the I-house patio”
  • What is the best thing to do to relax?
    “Swimming at Strawberry Canyon Pool, it’s free with your Cal (student) ID”
  • Best place to eat?
    “The I-house dining hall has pretty good food. It is all you can eat and it is also worth the money ($8-$10)”


Pavan: Astro-physicist from Leeds

  • One word that describes Berkeley for you:
  • What’s the best late night snack?
    “The best night snack has to be ‘Artichokes’, they serve massive American slices of Pizza, my favourite is ‘meatball’.”
  • Best weekend/day trip?
    “For me that is Las Vegas, we took the bus but it’s a lot quicker if you fly.”
  • Your personal insider tip to studying abroad in Berkeley?
    “If you want to study you should do it in Campbell hall, the astrophysics hall. It’s usually very empty and you’ll definitely find a seat.”
  • Best coffee?
    “You can find the best coffee at Philz coffee. There is one in North Berkeley on Shattuck Ave. and another one more in the South on the bottom of College Ave. They serve lots of different coffees, my personal favourite is ‘philtered soul’ but one of their classics is their ‘Mint Mojito Iced Coffee’.”


Julian: mechanical process engineer from the University of Darmstadt

  • What is the best place to live in Berkeley?
    “As an exchange student the best place to live in Berkeley is the International house because it is so easy to meet people both from all over the world and America. You are continuously surrounded by so many unique personalities and their diverse life-stories.”
  • What is the weirdest thing of Berkeley?
    “It’s the hippies on Telegraph avenue”
  • Berkeley in 1 word:
  • Your favourite spot in Berkeley?
    “My favourite spot is on top of the Campanille tower overlooking the campus, the bay and San Francisco’s skyline.”
  • What was the hardest thing during your experience at Berkeley?
    “Saying goodbye…”


Andreas: Masters in Engineering, Physics and Maths at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology

  • What’s the best drink in Berkeley?
    “The best drink is Fireball – a firey cinnamon whiskey.”
  • What is the best way to stay physically active in Berkeley?
    “Be part of the recreational sports. As a UCEAP student you will get free entry to the gyms and pools around campus, so you will have everything you need. I also had a lot of fun by joining an intramural soccer team, where I played in the 6s and 11s.”
  • What do you need to do when you arrive?
    “You should set up an American Bank account and get an American phone number as soon as possible. Also, go to Ikea (or Target) to get everything you need to settle in.
  • Your Nr. 1 study tip?
    “Make friends with your classmates so you can work together on problem sets.”
  • What is the best way to get around?
    “Take the BART (the Bay area train) especially if you are going to San Francisco. In Berkeley all busses are free with the AC transit sticker you have to collect with your Cal (student) ID at Lower Sproul. Also as the Bay area is the home of Uber and Lyft they are also very popular and easy to use, but more expensive though.”



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