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University of California-Berkeley

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What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about your school?

I brag about my professors as well as the surrounding city. There is nothing that illustrates my pride more than my mass email to my friends and family explaining the new role of one my economy professors in the new presidential administration. Additionally, the campus' geographical and philosophical connection with Lawrence Berkeley Labratory is something I take pride in. The head of the Lawrence Berkeley lab also recieved a position in the new administration, which gives me confidence that Berkeley is an notable institution where the best are plucked out for some of the most important tasks in history.

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Washington Monthly ranked Berkeley 1st in its 2009 National University College rankings. Many of the professors are Nobel Peace Prize winners. Berkeley places an emphasis on independent thinking, rather than following what everyone else is doing. Not only are our academics stellar, but our sports teams are phenomenal as well. Many of the Cal football alumni are currently playing on NFL teams. We have a strong school spirit and a beautiful campus that people travel across the world to see. It is one of the best colleges you can attend for your money, especially if you live in California.

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I brag about the variety at Berkeley. I talk about how I’ve taken classes on Sumerian, Greenlandic folklore, Dinesen the Danish writer, and bioarchaeology. And those are only a handful of the classes available; there’s something in every subject. Plus, you can work for a professor on their research, with options ranging from raising an octopus, to studying insects, to databasing Italian clays (which I did and loved). If that’s not enough, there are campus jobs in the many museums, bookstore, and everywhere. Whatever interests you, in class or outside of it, it’s at Berkeley.

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Berkeley is a very diverse place with students who come from all around the world. There is a huge opportunity to meet people from a variety of backgrounds and learn about their different cultures, something you wouldn't strictly learn in a classroom environment. Because of this diversity people are extremely accepting of one another, making uniqueness something to be proud of rather than being embarrassed and worried about being judged. People aren't afraid to be who they really are, a trait that I think is difficult to find among a large group of people.

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I tell everyone who intellectually stimulated I am at UC Berkeley. It is easy to find smart, opinionated people that you can have a real discussion with, which is something I had never experienced before arriving at my new school. I enjoy the cornucopia of people with varying interests and points of view. I think a rich culture is one of the most attractive aspects of the university, because without it, the community would not be as engaging. The minds of the students all around me are inspiring, and lead me to work even harder in my studies.

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In my last two years, I've spent most of my time taking classes in the civil and environmental engineering department. I am always amazed at how tightly knit the CEE community feels, despite the size of the University. I tell my friends that our professors, student organizations (ASCE, Chi Epsilon honor society, SWE...), and students all interact with each other daily. Our biggest student group, the ASCE, has its own office in the department building. I don't know many other schools that give their student groups that kind of real estate!

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The University of California, Berkeley is the nation's number one ranked public univeristy. It is the olderst of the UC campuses and the most prestigious. Cal is filled with bright individuals and ambitious high achievers; I have liked to describe the student body as taking the valedictorian, salutatorian, (and other intellectual students) from each high school to make the students there. Fun fact: Berkeley is ranked as the world's greenest university; the proffesors use chalk to write on the chalkboards). Also, the weather is excellent.

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The student section at the football games is amazing! The students are spirited, the Mic Men keep up the cheers, and the section is on the 50 yard line. Also, Cal is very supportive of students' learning what they want to learn. The Democratic Education at Cal (DeCal) program lets students create, teach, and take courses for college credit. You can take classes on Harry Potter, the Simpsons, Radiohead, belly-dancing, or sustainable living to name a few, and if there isn't a course you like, you can start the course yourself!

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When talking about UC Berkeley, I tend to brag about the plethora of opportunities attending school here has given me. My professors are at the top of their fields and are enthusiastic about teaching. The campus brings incredible people as speakers and holds many lectures, seminars, and other intellectually engaging events. The students here are enthusiastic about their interests and there are hundreds of possible activities to get involved in. The atmosphere at UC Berkeley is intellectually and culturally engaging.

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I like to mention that I'm in the College of Chemistry, the top school for Chemistry in the nation. The academics in the College of Chemistry are really rigorous, but with only 200 or so freshmen, there is a strong sense of comraderie, and the freshman chemistry lecture for College of Chemistry students is always very lively. The labs are intense and interesting, the lectures are engaging, and the tests are about the right level of difficulty. I am so glad to be in the College of Chemistry, since I love chemistry!

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