The best thing about the University of California Berkeley is the vast ethnic, racial, religious, cultural, socio-economic, political (etc.) diversity across the campus. UC Berkeley is one the most accepting and least discriminating universities in the entire world. As one of the finest public institutions on the national level, UCB accepts students of any background that are persistently pursuing an enriching experience in higher education at the most academic level. Berkeley accepts a large percentage of transfer students who unfortunately can't afford four year's tuition at a University, but seek the benefits and advantages of higher education.
The best thing about UC Berkeley is the presence and availability of extracurricular activities and student groups. When I started attending UC Berkeley, I joined many student groups, including the Undergraduate Economics Association, Circle K International, Tennis at Cal, and Hillel. These groups have many ways to get involved: in Circle K International, I do community service and serve on the Newsletter Committee; in Hillel, I go to Jewish Student Union meetings and help make food for barbecues; and in the Undergraduate Economics Association, I help plan and attend events. These student groups make student life interesting and fun.
Berkeley is really the whole college experience. Whether you want world-renowned faculty, breathtaking libraries, dynamic students (and I mean of every kind), parties every weekend, stadium-shaking football games, coveted speakers (Alice Walker anyone?), or a beautiful rolling campus - it's all there. Berkeley not only gives you educational opportunities that expands you to the edges of the world (quite literally!) but also allows you to meet inspiring characters who will help you discover your wings. To "Live Berkeley" is to love every moment and to work smart towards your dreams. Because with Berkeley, anything is possible.
There are so many incredible things about Berkeley and that is because of one thing: student diversity. It feels very cliche to say but every single Cal student is a unique and exciting individual. Everyone is motivated to follow their dreams and work to make the world a better place. Diversity also makes classroom discussions and debates very interesting- in my Philosophy class last semester we had Agnostics, Atheists, Christians, Muslims and Buddhists engaging in a reasonable discussion of issues such as abortion, taxes, stem-cell research and the War in Afghanistan. Where else can you find that? Go Bears!
I think that the multicultural community is best thing about Berkeley. For underrepresented students resources such as Bridges Multicultural Center and the Recruitment and Retention Centers as well as the Multicultural Student Development Offices act as sanctuaries for people of color and community issues. I love that I can come to these brave spaces to have my voice heard, become politically aware and responsive, and serve to motivate other underprivileged people to pursue higher education. These spaces comfort me after a long day; to be in the company of others I know truly care about my experiences.
The best thing about UC Berkeley is the combination of all types of people centered in one place. Berkeley is a melting pot. There is not one majority of people but rather an eclectic mixing of race, culture and personalities. Berkeley allows individuality and the opportunity to learn not only from professors but from our peers. Combine the above with nobel laureates teaching challenging curriculum, living in the heart of an urban city, Berkeley's impressive history, and the beauty of campus and it makes for an unforgettable, irreplaceable, educational experience.
There are a great deal of people here from all over the world! If you get involved in the campus community, it's a huge learning experience and plus for your future: doors for career paths will open, entrepreneurs thrive, friendship, and an overall eye-opening experience of diversity functioning relatively harmoniously. I like how accepting the students are here, and that the priorities do not include your wardrobe or parties. You can find that here if you want... but it's not the focus. Lots of great ethnic food is available nearby, as well as music venues!
I love Berkeley because I can form my experiences to fit my personality. There are so many different opportunities at this school, ranging from sports to research to theater groups to political activism, that I can find a niche for every one of my interests. Also, Berkeley provides a very healthy dialogue and a friendly degree of competition that forces students to be their best and stay polished and professional. Cal is a school where students, who are mature enough to deal with it, blossom into the people they have always wanted to be.
Berkeley has always been diverse, which I consider is the best thing about my school. Whether it is the diversity celebrated through the races or all the different foods options available or even the students and their experiences, Berkeley has provided an environment condusive to learning and celebrating all walks of life. Through my interactions with my classmates both inside the classroom and in various organizations, I was able to broaden my horizons by learning about their stories, while simultaneously sharing mine.
Being part of the school choir - the University Chorus under director Marika Kuzma. I have been singing since I was little, and this choir really expanded my horizons. In addition to getting to debut unusual pieces, such as Hindemith's "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed," we also got to sing in so many different languages. Most enjoyable of all was Prof Marika's directing - maintaining a high standard yet caring for us as singers. It is undoubtedly the best experience I've had.