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Exox
 
Any [M]embers at University / Live in California? v. San Diego (Updated)

UPDATE:


So I found out yesterday that I've been accepted to study at San Diego, which is great news

Next step is looking for somewhere to live.
My options are the 'UCSD International House', 'On-Campus housing', or Other Non-UC housing.

I'm going to apply for the International House and On-Campus housing as soon as the applications are available in May & June. But obviously these are by no means guaranteed places, so I'll need to be researching back-up options, just incase.

If anybody has any personal experiance of living in/near the UCSD campus, it would be great to hear from you. Also any particular areas of the city which I should try and avoid, or make sure I look at.

The news hasn't really sunk in yet and I don't quite believe that I'll actually be going. 5 months seems like such a long time, but I can't wait. I'm sure it'll be one of the best experiences of my life.



-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A couple of weeks ago I applied to the Study Abroad program at my University. The only choice of international universities I had was California, as that was the only one available that allowed full-year exchanges. (Thus, California is usually the most over-subscribed of placements)

Anyway, yesterday I got an e-mail saying that they had accepted my application to the program, and the next step was to start the Californian application process.

Of the various campuses at UC I need to choose my favorite 3 to apply to, and providing I don't royally fuck up my exams in January, I'll definitely be offered a place.

So this is what I want advice with, if anybody is currently attending any of the UC campuses, or lives/works near them, I would really appreciate it if I could ask a couple of questions. (via PM or e-mail or AIM, or whatever)

At the moment my first-choice campus is Santa Barbara. Their Physics department seems strong, the environment/facilities/scenery looks awesome and according to the preliminary info. I've been given by the Study Abroad coordinator at Uni, it doesn't seem too expensive to live in.

Obviously there's no guarantee that I'll be placed at my first choice, and I need to be prepared to spend a year at any of my top 3.
My grades are high enough to apply to Berkley or LA, but the structure of the Physics course at Berkley doesn't really match closely enough to the one I'm studying at the moment, and would probably cause unnecessary hassle.
UCLA would be a better match, but I've been told that it's the most expensive of the campuses to study at, any first-hand information would be helpful here.

The other main options are Santa Cruz and San Diego. I haven't really researched these as much yet, but they both seem like nice places to study, even if they aren't as academically strong as UCB and UCLA.

I haven't looked at all at any of the other campuses yet, the 5 above are my priorities at the moment.

Like I said before, if anybody lives or works in any of the areas mentioned above, or are actually attending any UC campus, it would really help me a lot if you could answer a few questions.

Thanks

Cliffs:
  • I'll be spending next year at the University of California.
  • Need to pick top 3 campuses to apply to.
  • Never been to the US, need info. about the various places.
  • Help me out

Last edited by Tom Cruise; 04-03-2008 at 08:08 AM..
Old 12-20-2007, 08:04 AM Exox is offline  
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Psilocybes
 
UCB or UCSD
Bay Area (berkeley, oakland, san fran, ect) and San Diego are just great fucking places to live. I grew up in Berkeley and i'm trying to move to SD as we speak.
I don tknow much about UCSB.

edit
LA sucks, avoid it.
Old 12-26-2007, 01:29 AM Psilocybes is offline  
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Old 12-28-2007, 01:43 PM keer sucking gewk is offline  
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Exox
 
Thanks for the info and advice guys.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psilocybes View Post
...
edit
LA sucks, avoid it.
What is it about LA that makes you think it sucks? Aside from the extra expense it sounds like a pretty exciting place to live. Unless you're talking more specifically about the UC part of the city..?
I can see how it might distract me from any work I need to get done; but I've never been to the US so that's probably going to be true of wherever I happen to end up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psilocybes View Post
UCB or UCSD
Bay Area (berkeley, oakland, san fran, ect) and San Diego are just great fucking places to live. I grew up in Berkeley and i'm trying to move to SD as we speak.
Quote:
Originally Posted by keer sucking gewk View Post
I go to UCSD (freshman, coming up on 2nd quarter), couldn't be happier.
Thanks I'm going to start researching SD more seriously.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Cruise View Post
...If it was me i'd apply to: UCLA, UCSB and UCB. UCLA for the Lougbrough UK equiv, except its actually in an awesome city!! UCSB party hard but still keeping up academically (I guess similar to Manchester, Cardiff etc great schools just not old enough to be considered the BEST ) and UCB as the more traditional academic intsitution (possibly oxford, durham and imperial).
Thanks for the comparisons. I'm at Manchester at the moment so I'm pretty sure I'd love it at UCSB, that's still gonna be my top choice I think. The thing about UCB that was putting me of was that maybe it was going to just be non-stop work with little time for anything else, and seeing you compare it to Oxford has kinda reinforced that idea. I'd applied to Oxford after college and went down there for 3 days for an open day / interviews, and I really didn't like it all that much. It seemed too... serious and work-oriented (just my first impression) which was why I eventually chose Manchester.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Cruise View Post
...but if this isn't going to have a huge effect on your real degree i'd say go for UCSB - it'll probably be the most enjoyable lifestyle you'd get but i'm sure you'll still receive a great education!
Unfortunately it probably will have quite a big effect on my degree . Usually my 3rd yr would be worth 40% of my total degree, but because the courses don't match exactly at UC my year there will only be worth 30-35% ... long story short, there's a significant risk that spending a year abroad will lower my final grade at the end of my degree.
But this is certainly going to be the only chance I'll have to spend a year at UC without paying all the ridiculous International Student fees, so I'm definately going to take it.

At the moment I'm leaning towards UCLA and UCSD being my other two choices, thanks for the advice so far, any other info will be a big help.
Old 12-29-2007, 07:04 AM Exox is offline  
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khergan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exox View Post
Thanks for the info and advice guys.

What is it about LA that makes you think it sucks? Aside from the extra expense it sounds like a pretty exciting place to live. Unless you're talking more specifically about the UC part of the city..?
I can see how it might distract me from any work I need to get done; but I've never been to the US so that's probably going to be true of wherever I happen to end up.



Thanks I'm going to start researching SD more seriously.


Thanks for the comparisons. I'm at Manchester at the moment so I'm pretty sure I'd love it at UCSB, that's still gonna be my top choice I think. The thing about UCB that was putting me of was that maybe it was going to just be non-stop work with little time for anything else, and seeing you compare it to Oxford has kinda reinforced that idea. I'd applied to Oxford after college and went down there for 3 days for an open day / interviews, and I really didn't like it all that much. It seemed too... serious and work-oriented (just my first impression) which was why I eventually chose Manchester.


Unfortunately it probably will have quite a big effect on my degree . Usually my 3rd yr would be worth 40% of my total degree, but because the courses don't match exactly at UC my year there will only be worth 30-35% ... long story short, there's a significant risk that spending a year abroad will lower my final grade at the end of my degree.
But this is certainly going to be the only chance I'll have to spend a year at UC without paying all the ridiculous International Student fees, so I'm definately going to take it.

At the moment I'm leaning towards UCLA and UCSD being my other two choices, thanks for the advice so far, any other info will be a big help.


I used to go to UCLA and I'm going back there for my much delayed sophomore year in winter 08. It's an amazingly nice campus and is probably the best UC or tied with Berkeley depending how you look at it. The only issue with it is that it's in a very VERY nice part of town that costs a shitload to live in. I'm wrestling with that problem right now, how I'm going to go about paying for it or do I commute, etc.
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Old 12-31-2007, 06:51 PM khergan is offline  
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Exox
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by khergan View Post
I used to go to UCLA and I'm going back there for my much delayed sophomore year in winter 08. It's an amazingly nice campus and is probably the best UC or tied with Berkeley depending how you look at it. The only issue with it is that it's in a very VERY nice part of town that costs a shitload to live in. I'm wrestling with that problem right now, how I'm going to go about paying for it or do I commute, etc.

Yeah, the cost is the only problem I have with definitely putting it as one of my choices. The info I was given originally suggested that is could cost up to $18k to spend the year there, but the UC website at the moment says over $19k, and to allow for a 10-15% increase. Is this approximately what you spent while you were there? I assume accommodation is the most expensive thing, but how is it for food/drinks/general living?
Old 01-03-2008, 07:35 AM Exox is offline  
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Exox
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Cruise View Post
if it is going to count, i'd recommend avoiding UCLA or UCB, can imagine they're tougher academically, i'm sure coming from the british system you wouldn't find the work hard, but you'll be in a foreign country, the system will be different and it'll feel strange. You'll be going into the third year aswell, so its not like being a fresher and being given time to settle, everyone else will be well on their way to getting their degree. Seriously look at UCSB i think it would be a great place to experience, and the money you save from avoiding UCLA you can go and visit Los Angeles for a couple weeks and have an AWESOME time

UCSB is definitely going to be my first choice. But like I said before, I have to pick my 3 favorites, and California will allocate me one based on my application; so I need to be prepared to go to any of the 3 that I choose.
At the moment 2nd and 3rd will probably be UCSD and UCLA.
UCB doesn't interest me (although the area seems like a nice place to live) and none of the other campuses seem to compare to the ones I've picked.
Old 01-07-2008, 05:06 AM Exox is offline  
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The main problem you will have at UCLA is travel. Los Angeles is extremely spread out. If you dont have a car it can be very difficult to get around. UCI is located 1 hour south of UCLA and is a commuter school because the whole area is setup for commuters. LA is bad without a car, but the area around UCI is 10 times worse than LA is. That being said, the whole area is bad WITH a car too. Traffic is a problem 7 days a week. Locals will give distances as the amount of time to get to where you want to go, relative to the time of day.(ie, at 1pm it will take you 20 mins to go 10km but at 8pm it will take 5 mins to go to the same place) If you go to UCLA, you will get very familiar with the bus system and walking. Also has been mentioned is that the area around UCLA is very expensive. It is surrounded by the communities that movie stars and the Hollywood elite call home.

UCSD. I have lived all over California. You will not find a better place in the United States that has the whole package in terms of weather, city layout, variety of culture, and things to do. The weather here is amazing and even puts LA to shame even though its only 2 hours south. I have lived here for 2 years now and dont plan to leave any time soon. There is a trolley and bus system to get around if you dont have a car. Traffic is rarely bad except for morning and evening commute times on certain stretches of freeway. Bars are everywhere. The beach is very close by (legal again to drink on the beach too!). The water is warm enough to swim in with just shorts from July through September. There are also 3 universitys in the area which brings a college student population nearing 75,000 in a relatively small metro area. This = lots of fun.There are many venues all over the place to see bands and shows for relatively cheap. If you come here, you will likely become very very familiar with the Pacific Beach area which is pretty much where all the college students hang out at. Another cool thing is that the Mexican border is 15 min away. While you dont want to go by yourself, this is a fun and cheap place to spend an afternoon/evening. Its $2 for a beer and 3 tacos. Cant beat that. Being a foreign citizen, if you leave the US make sure you bring your passport and if you have it a copy of your student visa or student ID card. Thats all you need to get back in. I have a friend from Australia and a friend from South Korea and have crossed the border with them several times with them with no issues getting back.

UCSB: Its a party school. Its very easy to get off the academic track and spend way to much time partying. Go to google and search for "isla vista" and you will see what I mean. While the area is extremely beautiful Santa Barbara is two things, a college town and a rich person's resort community. Thats it. As such, the options for entertainment are much more limited when compared to a place such as LA or San Diego. Thus why people party so much.



Anyway, that is awesome that you are getting away from home and studying abroad. Doing that was one of the best things I ever did in college. While I grew up here, I have traveled the US and to other continents and I cant think of a better place to visit and live in for awhile.

Last edited by tunaman; 01-12-2008 at 01:07 PM..
Old 01-12-2008, 01:02 PM tunaman is offline  
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Exox
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tunaman View Post
Anyway, that is awesome that you are getting away from home and studying abroad. Doing that was one of the best things I ever did in college. While I grew up here, I have traveled the US and to other continents and I cant think of a better place to visit and live in for awhile.

Awesome post, thanks for all the info.

UCSD sounds like a fantastic place to live. I'm sure I'd love it there.
The only thing stopping me placing it as my #1 choice is that the Physics department at Santa Barbara looks stronger and the courses i'd be taking are a better match to what I'd be studying for my degree at home.
I guess I'm gonna have to decide which is more important.

Thanks again tunaman
Old 01-13-2008, 07:07 AM Exox is offline  
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Exox
 
UPDATE:

So I found out yesterday that I've been accepted to study at San Diego, which is great news

Next step is looking for somewhere to live.
My options are the 'UCSD International House', 'On-Campus housing', or Other Non-UC housing.

I'm going to apply for the International House and On-Campus housing as soon as the applications are available in May & June. But obviously these are by no means guaranteed places, so I'll need to be researching back-up options, just incase.

If anybody has any personal experiance of living in/near the UCSD campus, it would be great to hear from you. Also any particular areas of the city which I should try and avoid, or make sure I look at.

The news hasn't really sunk in yet and I don't quite believe that I'll actually be going. 5 months seems like such a long time, but I can't wait. I'm sure it'll be one of the best experiences of my life.
Old 04-03-2008, 07:45 AM Exox is offline  
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DomSkynetLabs
 
Lived everywhere in cali my whole life and live in san diego now and I could not agree anymore with every single thing he said

Quote:
Originally Posted by tunaman View Post
The main problem you will have at UCLA is travel. Los Angeles is extremely spread out. If you dont have a car it can be very difficult to get around. UCI is located 1 hour south of UCLA and is a commuter school because the whole area is setup for commuters. LA is bad without a car, but the area around UCI is 10 times worse than LA is. That being said, the whole area is bad WITH a car too. Traffic is a problem 7 days a week. Locals will give distances as the amount of time to get to where you want to go, relative to the time of day.(ie, at 1pm it will take you 20 mins to go 10km but at 8pm it will take 5 mins to go to the same place) If you go to UCLA, you will get very familiar with the bus system and walking. Also has been mentioned is that the area around UCLA is very expensive. It is surrounded by the communities that movie stars and the Hollywood elite call home.

UCSD. I have lived all over California. You will not find a better place in the United States that has the whole package in terms of weather, city layout, variety of culture, and things to do. The weather here is amazing and even puts LA to shame even though its only 2 hours south. I have lived here for 2 years now and dont plan to leave any time soon. There is a trolley and bus system to get around if you dont have a car. Traffic is rarely bad except for morning and evening commute times on certain stretches of freeway. Bars are everywhere. The beach is very close by (legal again to drink on the beach too!). The water is warm enough to swim in with just shorts from July through September. There are also 3 universitys in the area which brings a college student population nearing 75,000 in a relatively small metro area. This = lots of fun.There are many venues all over the place to see bands and shows for relatively cheap. If you come here, you will likely become very very familiar with the Pacific Beach area which is pretty much where all the college students hang out at. Another cool thing is that the Mexican border is 15 min away. While you dont want to go by yourself, this is a fun and cheap place to spend an afternoon/evening. Its $2 for a beer and 3 tacos. Cant beat that. Being a foreign citizen, if you leave the US make sure you bring your passport and if you have it a copy of your student visa or student ID card. Thats all you need to get back in. I have a friend from Australia and a friend from South Korea and have crossed the border with them several times with them with no issues getting back.

UCSB: Its a party school. Its very easy to get off the academic track and spend way to much time partying. Go to google and search for "isla vista" and you will see what I mean. While the area is extremely beautiful Santa Barbara is two things, a college town and a rich person's resort community. Thats it. As such, the options for entertainment are much more limited when compared to a place such as LA or San Diego. Thus why people party so much.



Anyway, that is awesome that you are getting away from home and studying abroad. Doing that was one of the best things I ever did in college. While I grew up here, I have traveled the US and to other continents and I cant think of a better place to visit and live in for awhile.
Old 04-03-2008, 10:31 PM DomSkynetLabs is offline  
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