Applying to the University of California for GEXP only allows you to rank 4 preferred campus choices and the UCEAP (University of California Education Abroad Program) will then assign you to one of your choices afterwards. UC Merced was my second choice, as it operates on a Semester system, compared to the other campuses’ Quarter system, which will result in you having to overload once you come back from Exchange.

Here’s an overview of a Day in a Life of a UC Merced Exchange student looks like! I managed to take 4 classes over the Spring semester, and was lucky enough to land a spot in all the classes I registered for.

5.40am: Wake up and hit the gym! The weather in Spring is pretty cold, with lows of -1 degrees Celsius and highs of 7 degrees Celsius, which is perfect for getting a good workout in the morning to start your day.

8am: Breakfast at the Pavilion. There are 2 dining halls at UC Merced, the Pavilion, known as the Pav, and the Yablokoff Wallace Dining Center, fondly called ‘the DC’ by most students. The former opens at 7am on Weekdays till 9pm at night and provides an all-you-can-eat service for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. The DC opens at 3pm till 12am and is a famous spot for Supper.

10.30am: First class of the day! My schedule is pretty spread out, with 3 classes on Mondays and Wednesdays, and only one class on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, which gave me a lot of time to relax.

11.30am: Lunch!

12pm: Second class of the day! This is one of my favourite classes, Component Design, a core class for Mechanical Engineering students.

5pm: Dinner time~ The day gets dark pretty early, with sunset at around 5.30pm, so you tend to get hungry faster and sleep earlier as well.

7.30pm: Last class of the day. My Introduction to Psychology classes are scheduled at night. As people start getting sleepy after an hour into the lecture, the Professor tends to end class early and let everyone off before the last bus goes off for those living off campus.

That’s all from me! As you can tell, the classes are pretty spread out with a chill schedule, leaving a lot of time for you to attend other activities on campus and explore the area.


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