Now that you have been accepted to the University of California you will have to make a decision about which campus to apply for. In the application of the University of California itself, you will have to give your top 3 preferred campuses. Here is a little more information on each of the 10.
Berkeley is the oldest UC campus and it is therefore also called ‘Cal’, short for California (if you hadn’t figured it out yourself already). The Berkeley campus is known to be very academically striving. At the same time it flourishes with intellectual discussions, spirit of pluralism and political curiosity. On top of that it has the fourth largest library holdings of the USA. As the city of Berkeley is located in northern California, Berkeley is not the typical beach city you may expect of California. Yet, it has plenty of second hand shops, hills that give you some of the best views over the Golden Bay and it is only half an hour away from the fast paced city of San Francisco. My first choice was Berkeley and I am so happy to say that I am spending this incredible year in such a unique environment.
- San Francisco
Close to Berkeley there is also UCSF, however I don’t think this is an option for us GU students to study abroad.
- Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara is located right on the Pacific coast; this is one of those Californian beach places. This campus is known to be a party place. The main mode to get around is by cruising on your bike.
- Santa Cruz
Apparently Santa Cruz has a focus on using new knowledge and technology to improve the planet, such as by trying to increase the efficiency of solar cells and cancer treatment. Although Santa Cruz is only 1.5 hours away from Berkeley, it is a lot more So-Cal (southern California). Located between the pacific ocean and the redwood forests, Santa Cruz has a lot of sun and several great beaches for surfing.
- San Diego
UCSD is the campus that is furthest down south and very close to Mexico. It is the second largest city of Caliofrnia and with that it is the eight largest city of the USA. San Diego is a great place to be outside and be active – to either hike the dunes or the mountains or surf the waves. Eve, who is there on exchange right now, describes it as: ‘beaches, sun, surfing & relaxed’.
UC Irvine, just south of LA in Orange County, has been ranked by the Times Higher Education as the number one university in the USA that is under 50 years of age. Its location allows for lying at the beach, hiking and visiting the mountain reserves. Their mascot is ‘Peter’ the anteater!
UC Davis is situated close to sacramento, namely in… ‘Yolo’ county! So, as you only live once, it is a great opportunity to make the most of you study abroad year at UC Davis. The city itself is not too big (population: 68,000) but within 2 hours you will be in sight seeing in San Francisco, skiing in Tahoe and sipping wine in Napa Valley.
UC Merced opened in 2005 as the 10th campus of the UC system. This campus is super close to Yosemite so you will have the chance to fully explore all the brilliant views and hikes. There are more than 6,600 undergraduate and graduate students, so it is a relatively small campus. Nonetheless, this still have nearly 200 different clubs and student organisations.
- Los Angeles
The UCLA campus has the highest number of students (43,000) of the UC system. At the same it is also the most ethnically diverse – this makes it into one big buzzling campus, nearly like a little city within the ‘city of angels’. The academic status of UCLA is currently also quite high in the world. LA is a massive city and is built for cars. When I was there we spent most of the time in our car, trying to get to places, as there are also no other options for public transport. Nonetheless, there is a lot happening here – lots of music, theatre, film stars, fashion, beaches and museums… so you shouldn’t be getting bored at any point.
UCR is the only university that is located inland of southern California. This makes the campus located close to the desert, LA, the coast and mountains. UC Riverside has 22,000 students so you can compare it to the size of the University of Glasgow.
I know that I am a little subjective and you can tell my excitement about Berkeley. So, have a look at the older blogs from the previous years. Some of the SASA were located in a different UC campus, so that might be useful to explore. Any questions let me know!