University of California-Santa Barbara Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?


The best things about UCSB is Santa Barbara (the beach, the weather, the palm trees) and Isla Vista (one square mile of fiends, parties, and fun). If I could change one thing, I would take the oil rigs of the coast. The size of UCSB is just right, not too large, not too small. When I tell people I go to UCSB, they challenge me to a drinking game; and I usually win. I spent most of my time sitting in the sun on campus or shopping at the University Center. COLLEGE TOWN ALL THE WAY. The administration is great. Biggest controversy on campus while I was there was the Iraq war. There is A TON of UCSB school pride. Everyone uses acronyms (FT, DP, IV, btw, wtf, ect.) I will always remember Cinco de Mayo freshman year, the friends for life that I made in the dorms (FT 03'!) and the shenanigans we shared. Most frequent student complaints is being hungover in class.


Hands down, the beach is the best thing that UCSB has to offer. Take any afternoon in spring quarter, and wander down Del Playa beach, where you will find thousands of hott, young, college students. Nothing else to say to that. The one thing that I think the school could do better about is somehow provide better parking structures on campus...finding parking can be such a bitch.


i like the beachy, laid-back vibe, but it can get overwhelming sometimes, especially when you start to concern yourself with world events- the rest of the world seems much more productive. as an out-of-state student from a major city, moving to sb was a really big challenge, and it still is. sure, i've found great friends, but i'm used to more hustle-and-bustle. and i hate having to drive everywhere, or at least being dependant on a car, just to do something as simple as getting your nails done or going to the art museum downtown. when your friends can drive home on a whim, it really sinks in how far away from home you are. people often think ucsb is actually IN santa barbara, but that's not the case: it's about a 15-20 minute drive to state street. also, coming from a small, private school was really strange. i really am a number at ucsb, and there is a ton of administrative bullshit that you have to deal with. and academic advisors? what academic advisors? it's pretty difficult to get anything done around here, especially in comparison to my friends at private (or at least smaller) universities. i'm abroad right now and had to figure out EVERYTHING myself. you're really only helped if you go through EAP (the uc-sponsored abroad program). i had to withdrawl from the university, petition my classes (which takes weeks), and i still don't know if i'm getting credit for everything. when i saw one of my friends from bucknell actually had a checklist devised for the study abroad students by the university, i was definitely angry. when i tell adults i go to ucsb, they usually ooh and ahh. and i usually say, "rough life," with a laugh of course. adults are taken by the beauty of santa barbara (they definitely have no idea we live in the shithole of isla vista), but students my age react differently. on my abroad program, whenever i say ucsb, guys look at me a little longer and usually want to buy me a drink. so that's that. isla vista, as i said earlier, is a shithole with mostly bad 70s architecture. parts of DP (del playa drive) are a dream, so at least they have that going for it, but the IV bubble can get pretty tiring after awhile. there is school pride, but not very much in the sports sense. our soccer team is amazing, but wouldn't it be more fun to watch football? we also don't play very athletic schools, so that takes a lot of the fun out. everyone has sb sweatshirts, which are worn on cold days.


Best thing: right on the beach. I'd change: the way the lagune smells- bird feces and oil rigs make it stink. School too large. People react to the stereotypes about partying. I spend most of my time at the Dining commons and my res hall. IV is a college town, Santa Barbara not really. UCSBs admin is not helpful, too bureaucratic, students just numbers, too consumed with money, not with students or education. I personally hate dealing with admin because it is so difficult, there is a lot of run around, and they are generally rude and not helpful. And the regents decide a lot with out input or consideration of students. Biggest controversy: raising fees to $10,000, and UC funding war in iraq. not a lot of school. Nothing too unusual. I will always remember my experiences volunteering and as an RA. Most frequent complaint: raising fees


UCSB is awesome. There are a million opportunities and services that can make you're college experience more than worthwhile. Though idiots make it by, there are many respected majors at UCSB that can launch you into any career you want. Research opportunities are available to basically every student, and the career center is rated as one of the top in the nation. Isla Vista is probably one of the safest, funnest college towns in existence. Overall, people are down to set up study sessions, their willing to come hang out on the weekends, and I really can't imagine a better place for a social scene.


iv is definitely a college town, which is awesome because you always see people you know and everyone understands the college culture. there's not too much of college pride tho. maybe this has to do w/ the lack of a football team... people do get into soccer, and some into basketball, but the main pride of ucsb is in drinking/partying the academic advantage to ucsb is that there are some smart ppl around, but not an overwhelming amt. you have the opportunity to be intellectual if u so choose, but the classes arent so competitive that you cant get good grades if u want them.


ucsb is the perfect school.. not too big, not too small, right on the beach, great party and social atmosphere, respected as being a UC school, caring administration, tons of school pride and the best college experience i could ask for.


I love the campus and the people at UCSB. The campus is gorgeous and the people are friendly and easygoing. Isla Vista has it ups and downs, but living off campus in an apartment is just as close (if not closer) than living in the dorms.


Isla Vista is a bubble. You will probably never be able to afford property this close to the beach later in life. Take advantage of this city, go hiking, go swimming, learn how to surf, and soak it all in. It's a lovely area, the campus is beautiful and will continue to be updated.


Best thing: the campus is RIGHT on the beach. One thing I'd change: the environment of Isla Vista. School is just right. People are a bit surprised when I tell them I go to UCSB. Most of my time on campus = Lab where I have my internship College town = Isla Vista. Yay! :D UCSB's administration = sucks. Biggest controversy on campus = possible increase of minimum class units School pride = yes but not in the same sense like UCLA. We're just proud to be Gauchos Unusual about UCSB = not that I can think of One experience you'll always remember = First time getting drunk the most frequent student complaints = cost of textbooks


Serene Environment. I would change the reputation. Size of school is perfect. People usually say, "wow, party school." Spend most of my time outside stuyding by Santa Cruz Dorm. Definite College town. Great administration for the most part, except for some math professors I have had. So far, the War in Iraq. A LOT OF SCHOOL PRIDE!! Especially at soccer games.. my favorite. Nothing unusual that I notice. I will always remember singing the National Anthem for the CAl POLY vs UCSB soccer game! The crowd was incredible!! Great energy! Well in the dorms it would have to be the noise level sometimes.


When I mention that I go to UCSB to someone, their reaction is usually something to the effect that "oohhh that's a very big part school right? I bet all you do is study though!" The UCSB administration is pretty good I think. It just has a few obstacles that seem usless when trying to get a hold of any particular administrator.


The best thing about UCSB is the location: right next to the beach, near mountains for hiking, downtown SB for shopping. People usually say, "Oh, a party school" with a smirk or "Santa Barbara is beautiful" when I tell them I go to UCSB. I spend a lot of time at DLG dining commons, the library and at the UCen when I'm on campus but not in class. Santa Barbara is absolutely not a college town. Goleta's not too much. But IV is. It's all apartments and places to eat. I love it. There's a lot of school pride, especially at soccer and basketball games. Even though I don't use them yet, the research facilities at UCSB seem to really stand out compared to a lot of other schools. Bike paths are a frequent student complaint. They get really crowded during the rush hours between classes and people who are new to the campus walk on them which is really annoying.


best thing about UCSB has to be able to wear shorts year round and having the beach right there on those extremely nice days. I think it's a good sized school, not to many and the campus definetly isn't too big. When I tell people I go to UCSB a lot people congratulate me because it's a good university and it is climbing up in the rankings. It is definitely a college town. The closest and easiest access for off campus is Isla Vista which is basically a student community. Although it is easy to go to other places in Santa Barbara, the campus is sorta isolated(except for buses). The administration is actually pretty good and actually care about students. There is some school pride only in big sports like soccer and basketball.


I think UCSB is a really laid back environment, but one that also encourages people to be social too. Obviously the mentality is working. The one thing I wish UCSB had was a football team. I think that would make it seem like more of a "big school" atmosphere. I don't think it would matter if we were really bad. I think UCSB is just right as far as size. It was huge when I first got here, but getting to know the campus better was key. A lot of people give me a "knowing" smile when I tell them that I go here because of its reputation as a party school, but being a poli sci major, I know how to argue and sway opinions. I think people need to hear the facts before they pass judgment. The biggest recent controversy on campus was the anti-war political rally that resulted in a lot of news press and several arrests. I definitely think there is a lot of school pride.


The best thing about UCSB is that it’s a laid-back, welcoming atmosphere on campus. Everyone there is really smart and goal-oriented but not pretentious or snobby about it. It’s just not cool to act that way. However, sometimes I do wish that my everyday and weekend conversations were more intellectual. When people hear I go to UCSB, eight times out of ten they’ll comment on how beautiful Santa Barbara is. And they’re totally right. The weather is unbeatable and most students, at one point during their college careers, live either on or a couple of blocks away from the beach. Isla Vista or IV, the town right next to campus where the most students live, is the ideal college town. It’s a one mile by one mile block of pretty much all college students. You can bike or walk anywhere. The food is a little expensive but it’s pretty decent. Since I live in my sorority house with most of my close friends, I pretty much hang out there or at the Starbucks down the street in between classes or tutoring. As far as on campus, the administration is sometimes inaccessible. They appear to be really helpful and available but when you’re really in a bind, you can sometimes feel like a number. The key is getting to know your department really well. I love the English department because it’s small-medium sized, compared to the other majors on campus and the administration and counselors are really helpful with everything. UCSB students are definitely activists. Major issues are free speech, tuition costs, gender and sexuality, and various minority issues. It’s cool because different opinions are expressed openly and I feel like I’m learning about groups I wouldn’t normally be exposed to. There’s a joke among UCSB students that drinking is our school sport because we don’t have a football team. We have a really good men’s soccer team and the games are pretty widely attended. Mostly sporting events are just another excuse to drink. Nevertheless, there is a lot of pride in UCSB among its students. We know we’re lucky to be here.


When I tell people that I go to UCSB, they usually think that I go to parties eery weekend and spend all of my time at the beach. In the past, I have tried to correct their assumptions of my school, but I have found that no matter what I say, stereotypes will always exist. My favorite part about going to UCSB is living in Isla Vista. Isla Vista is a small neighborhood filled with college kids and being surrounded by my peers makes me feel more at home. I think that my school is just the right size. Its big enough to let you disappear into the crowd, if you want to, but also just small enough that you will know a lot of the other students in your major classes. I spend most of my time on campus, either in class or in the CAB office. UCSB students are usually very relaxed people. We do not get in your face with our school pride, but when challenged we will fight back. We would probably have more school pride if we had a football team.


When I came to UCSB I was pretty worried about the "party-school" reputation as I don't really drink! But I knew it was a college town, which is exactly what I was looking for. I also was worried about the ridiculously good-looking student body; it must be the fact that we're on the beach, but everyone is pretty tan and good-looking. However, UCSB lived up to more than these stereotypes, which was a huge relief for me. When I came to school here I met six other girls through Real Life (Campus Crusade), who share a lot of my beliefs and now we're all living together this year. There is always something ridiculous going to keep us entertained. One weekend we spent the day at a huge fair the Residence Halls put on, had a dance party at night, went to Freebird's (which has the best and biggest Mexican food around!), causing mayhen which resulted in our friend's foot being run over, and then walking around the beach at night. This school is so great simply because it offers such a great blend of academics and social life!


You cannot think about UCSB without thinking about Isla Vista (IV). IV is UCSB's immensely populated and condensed college town that is literally across the street from campus. At first glance, it may seem run down, full of homeless people, and a bit crazy. That's because it is. But at the same time, for many UCSB students it's home and we're proud of it. The homeless become your friends, you get used to the "run downness" and paying way too much rent to share a tiny room, IV has some of the best food (including Freebirds and Silvergreens), and everyone you know lives there. Isla Vista intimidated me at first and I was positive going into college at UCSB that I would never life in IV. But its been two years since my habitation in IV and I can condidently say that you WILL feel left out if you never live in IV and trust me, it's worth it. Where is the place to be on campus? The UCEN (university center) and the Arbor. Both of these main spots are filled with students throughout the week. In a school of over 15,000, you're bound to see someone you know at one of these spots during the day. The walkway between Ellison and the library is also a beautiful place to nap, eat lunch, or just take a stroll on. Is there anything unusual about UCSB? While UCSB's campus is on the beach and BEAUTIFUL, there are a lot of awkard looking buildings and mismatched architecture. I guess you chould say that it gives the campus some variety, but I personally think we cannot make up our minds as to what we want the campus to look like. Some are modern, some are very old and out of style, and some are very new and aesthetically appealing (HSSB or Kohn Hall). The library could use a makeover as well. Overall, the trees, grass, and beach make up for any visual/physical flaws the campus may have.


-Best thing about UCSB: So many... --great size: big enough that there are a lot of activity choices, selection of classes/majors, etc. But small enough that I always see people I know when i'm walking around IV or campus, and there is usually someone I know or recognize in my classes. Also, classes really are not that big once you get past the lower division ones. --Teachers really want to be there and go out of their way to help students. I rarely have trouble getting into interest, and teachers will do all they can to help you out --Best location EVER!!! Right on the ocean, amazing weather (I went to the pool yesterday and swam and tanned--it is the middle of Feb!), IV is the perfect small college town but when you want more, you are only 15 minutes away from downtown Santa Barbara, and an hour and a half away from Los Angeles. -Where do I spend time on campus? --Studying: Library. 4th floor is the social floor, always see someone you know, place to be during midterms and finals especially. 8th floor is more quiet, my personal favorite, has an amazing view of the ocean. --UCEN: Jamba juice between class, study on the couches in front of the bookstore, sit out on the grass in front of the lagoon on a nice day. -Experience I will always remember? --Hillary Clinton came to UCSB a few weeks ago. I heard her speak and shook her hand! It was awesome having the opportunity to hear a politician speak in person.


I absolutely love UCSB. One of the things I really like about it is all of the people here--faculty, staff, and students are all very friendly and easy to approach. I like the size of our campus alot we have around 18000 undergrad and 21000 total (so 3000 grad. students) and it always surprises me how many people I recognize or know around campus. One thing I'd change is the grading system. You can get +'s and -'s on your grade (which can definitely work to your advantage sometime), but for example getting 3 A's and 1 A- is not a 4.0 and sometimes it can be disheartening. The food here on campus is great, even in our cafeterias or "dining halls." I do wish there was a little bit more flexibility with the meal plans such as being able to swipe twice during a meal period (especially when only 2 meals are served on weekends & holidays). One of my favorite reactions I got about going to UCSB was at Northstar. I was on a ski lift with my friend who goes to UCLA and a man and his son from Connecticut. He asked us where we went to school and she mentioned first she was in the nursing program and UCLA and then I told him I was a Communications Major at UCSB. He reacted to me instantly and said "you go to UCSB?! You are so lucky to go to such a great school in such a beautiful environment! I'm incredibly envious." One of the things that I actually really like about UCSB is that we haven't had a football team in years. The running joke is that we have been undefeated since 1992 (the last year we had a team). It's also really nice because I am huge soccer fan and that is the biggest sport on campus. Sometimes over a 3rd of our school will go to games and the best part is that all regular season sports games are free for UCSB students. It's amazing going to school on the beach. If i ever get stressed out just a quick walk down to the shore really calms me down and it reminds me how lucky I am to be going to such a beautiful and amazing school.