Yifu - University of California (Berkeley)

I saw a different lifestyle and study approach. I don't regret it!

Academic experience

I studied econometrics, machine learning, investment banking, and venture capital. 

The academic system is similar, but at UC most courses do not have recordings, and I feel the professors are more approachable, and we talk a lot more than just the course material. I need time to do things more than study, so less time is left for study and I can not do every work perfect, then I realized the easiest way is to lower my expectation and effort, say 95%, but keep doing it constantly. I still got a very good result, Provost Honors and two recommendation letter.

Personal experience

I would say I have experienced a lot of outdoor activities, surfing, rock climbing, bag packing etc, and friendships as well as better understanding of the American culture as result. I also trained my learning approach to do well in a wider content.


I lived in Ihouse, an on-campus accommodation. The part I enjoy is that there are a lot of events nearby. Advice is to take an on-campus accommodation, so events and classes are much easier to attend, and take to top floor because the floor at Ihouse is so noisy and everyone complains about it, besides, you can see the ocean from the top floor!


Accommodations on campus along with food are around 5000 US dollar.
Public transportation is free for students, but you don't wanna use it.
Travel expense is similar to Australia.


It is the noise floor that disturbs my sleep, and I have tried to talk with admins and related people but there are not many accommodations left, and each one of it has some problems associated. I have talked with the person living above me too, she is considerate but she also sleeps very late, and as a result, I overcame half of the problem and I had to ignore the other half.

Professional Development

All the courses I have learned gave me a new perspective of seeing the world.
Econometrics and machine learning skills give me very helpful tools and ideas for utilizing the data.
Investment banking and capital finance show me how the finance work in practice, and the nature of it.


I think its the fact that I balanced my study and life very well, I have learned a lot academically while I have traveled a lot of places and tried a lot of activities I have never done before.
This highlight gives me a lot of highlights.

Top tips

Choose and research the courses and accommodation wisely, because you will need to bear them for a semester.