I'm an international student (yep, you knew that), and I knew virtually nothing about UCLA coming here other than the fact that it was 1. a good academic institution, 2. That is was in the city (I couldn't not go to a city. That would've killed me). I'd actually never been here until I arrived for orientation. I had to learn many things through trial and error which was sort of inefficient (I am way over the unit maximum here becuase I took many useless classes that I thought I had to take but didn't. This was because of my orientation counselor who was useless when it came to international students). This was sort of frustrating. Anyway, some random things I forgot to mention. The dining hall food here is really great; there are so many choices. Inevitably, you get sick of it during your stay at the dorms, but if you move out to an apartment where you much now cook for yourself, there is nothing you will miss more (which is why forming close connections with younger students who have access to and may sometimes treat you to dining hall food is of utmost importance). Also you get a lot of free food and stuff during your first/second year here. Victoria's Secret gave out a bunch of goodies to girls (and boys) during my first term here, and there is always free food during finals week (cookies, bagels, drinks, fruit etc. ) If that isn't enough, donate blood to receive coupons for free movies or burritos!
University of California, Los Angeles has excellent academics, good social reputation, amazing environment, and renowned psychology program. UCLA is ranked number 2 in nation's top public universities (US News, 2010). Moreover, UCLA stresses both education and social life of students; when surveyed, most students responded they enjoy life at UCLA. Its campus is not difficult to navigate around and has many beautiful buildings. Some of them were even used in movie settings. Lastly, the realization that UCLA is among the top five schools in the psychology field strengthened my decision. UCLA provides opportunities and bright futures for its students.
Most universities within the national academic system, specialize and become known for having specific field expertises. This is the universal, characteristic examined when students are applying for college. UCLA is the only top-ranked university within California that offers both a strong law program and a cutting-edge study in the field of genetics. For someone who desires to become a lawyer in the field of bioethics, UCLA meets the unique standard necessary to equip me for the future. Unlike the other colleges I considered, UCLA was the only school that promised great athletic, academic, music, and volunteer programs.
Los Angeles is a city bursting with a vibrancy and energy that manifests itself in art, politics, and lifestyles, among other areas, and in being situated in such a place, UCLA adopts that selfsame feeling and regenerates it to students in the form of resources enabling higher education, classes stimulating provoking discussions, and a menageries of subjects to study, to name a few. Outside the school campus, opportunities for exploration and fun abound, from concerts to beaches to museums. Most importantly, in coming and living here, the people and the students too infuse that vivacity into their own lives.
UCLA's energy on campus is certainly unique. I have visited over a dozen universities, including public and private schools in California, public and private schools in the Midwest, and private schools on the East Coast, and no where have I found the same energetic, inclusive sense of community that UCLA has. The students and faculty are passionate about ensuring all succeed academically, socially, and professionally, and place a strong emphasis on helping others at UCLA, in the Los Angeles community, and worldwide. I have never found such a happy, productive, and compassionate group of people anywhere else.
I based much of my decision on UCLA's ability to challenge me personally as well as academically, its focus on fostering diversity, and its research based community who see more career options than simply getting a job upon graduating. I felt that UCLA was more a leader of culture and community and challenged the status quo than other schools I considered. UCLA has breadth of humanity and culture that few schools could contend with and its attraction to top rated students from around the world and top rated professors create an engaged atmosphere that I didn't see elsewhere.
UCLA is very much a research-based university. Because my major is within the biological sciences, the school's emphases matched mine fairly well. Also, of the universities I knew of during the application process, it had the most college feel in my taste, in terms of school spirit, but also something as trivial as the flawless architecture. People line up days in advance to get tickets to the basketball games, and their spirit is infectious. Also, the professors are most certainly experts within their field, and they know what they are talking about even though you may not.
What's unique about the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) is that as a student, you literally have everything at your fingertips. The campus itself feels like a city with a state of the art gym, diverse students, beautiful architecture, and museums. However, living in Westwood allows me to experience city life in the aspects of art, theater, entertainment, and culture. In addition, UCLA is such a prestigious university, that I walk around and feel special to be part of a community filled with brilliant people walking around me. This school feels like home to me.
UCLA is not only a beautiful campus but the reason I chose to attend this school was because it offered the major I was interested in: Political Science. I also learned about the many resources UCLA has to offered like a program called AAP which offers tutoring to AAP Scholars and scholarships and helpful workshops. UCLA makes a student, especially a freshman welcomed. Even as upper classmen students still have the opportunity to seek many resources they need. All around campus you'll see peer counselors at their tables willing to answer your questions.
UCLA is a perfect mix of academic rigor and the whole college experience. The courses and competition are tough and very challenging, and the students here are really smart, but everyone is also friendly and has a social life. Having the most NCAA titles in the country, UCLA also excels at sports. What makes UCLA unique is that it provides the perfect blend of a friendly, well-rounded student body, excellent sports, and a neverending number of ways to have fun and to enjoy college! I love being a Bruin and am lucky to be part of the Bruin family!