Study Abroad in University of California, Davis

By | October 11, 2021

Davis – Green bicycle city on the periphery of the metropolis

Sunshine, beaches, the sea and the “big city feeling” – when you think of California, many people immediately think of Hollywood and Co…. If you should also belong to this group, I would like to ask you at this point to reconsider your decision to travel to Davis, because Davis is not your typical sunshine state city.

I would now like to extend a warm welcome to those of you who are mentally as well as intellectually ready to take on intensive studies embedded in the atypical, adventurous charm of a small American town! Davis is exactly the right choice for you, or as the natives say it: If you don’t like it, you will love it !!!

Despite all the uniqueness, Davis is of course still in California. The capital Sacramento can be reached comfortably by car within 20 minutes (provided you don’t get caught in a traffic jam), San Francisco in two hours and a trip to LA – with about eight hours driving time – is quite conceivable. However, depending on your studies, you will spend a large part of your stay in your new home, which is why I would like to strongly recommend you to compare your exact ideas of a stay abroad in the states with the experiences in this report, as faithfully as possible described, in this way to minimize the likelihood of a potential wrong decision.
Like everything else in the world, life in Davis has its advantages and disadvantages. To make it easier for the reader to make a decision, I will start with my list with the disadvantages, so that personally preconceived exclusion criteria may come into play.


Davis is very small by American standards with about 63,000 residents. In addition to cinemas, restaurants and plenty of space to do sports, the small town therefore doesn’t have too much to offer in terms of leisure activities. The most popular “clubs” Graduates and KetMoree cannot compete with the discos in big cities.
About this the UC Davis is in academic circles as, inferior to the “big” universities in the UC system (UC Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD).


Despite all the boredom, the standard of living in the university town of Davis is unusually high. The residents are educated (2nd place in the education ranking of CNN Money Magazine, 2006), the air is clean, the area is green and the crime rate is among the lowest in the country. Furthermore, Davis is USA’s bicycle city number 1, so that the time-consuming process of driving license processing for a stay in the agricultural city is often unnecessary. The UCD Extension also organizes day and weekend trips to LA, Sacramento and the famous Yosemite National Park every quarter – good opportunities to explore the area with your new friends.

Speaking of new friends, friendships can be made with ease during a longer stay in Davis, as the open-mindedness of the citizens, which is so characteristic of small towns, has its roots here as well. True friendships cannot be limited geographically. In contrast to the anonymized culture of many large cities, the favorable living conditions and the resulting daily routines and mentality of the residents in Davis certainly create a more constructive atmosphere in this regard, which influences the entire integration process, in most cases even shortened it.

The above-mentioned arguments are of course only a representative selection, e.g. T. subjective, impressions. Nevertheless, I hope, with this radical contrast, to have made the last choice easier for one or the other undecided.
For those of you who have made a conscious decision to go to UC Davis, here is some information and help on the specific preparation process.


Caution! The successful completion of the TOEFL ibT is officially required by the UCD (min. 79 points). However, there is also the option of taking an internal English test in the UCD extension instead – an alternative that most international students use. In view of the fact that the TOEFL costs up to $ 225 ibT, but the replacement is not only a lot easier, but also free of charge, I recommend that you not take the TOEFL ibT at this point.


The application for the semester abroad runs directly via After receipt of all the completed forms at, you can expect to receive a notification from UC Davis, the I-20 specially issued for you, within 4-8 weeks. All questions that you send to the team by email are usually answered within 24 hours, so that you always have a competent contact person.
You should plan enough time from submitting your documents to the actual departure abroad, at least 3 months are recommended.

Embassy visit:

Visiting a US embassy or consulate is compulsory. An early effort to arrange the appropriate appointment – ideally immediately after receipt of the I-20 form – is recommended, as a waiting time of up to 30 days can usually be expected. You should also bring enough time for the visit – the actual conversation then only takes about 15 minutes, the processing takes two days.


My last tip is about getting insurance. It is true that there is a nerve-saving and time-saving option to take out health insurance at the UCD. From a financial point of view, however, it is not profitable: taking out foreign health insurance in Germany is the better choice here!

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