The men’s basketball team went against our rivals, the USC Trojans, this last Saturday, March 7. The game took place at USC’s home court, each team competing neck to neck. Neither team trailed or led by more than five points for the entire contest. Unfortunately, our Bruins didn’t take the win losing by two points and breaking their seven-game winning streak. No matter if they won or lost, our Bruins held their heads high and finished the game strong. Final score: 52-54
Studying abroad is something many people see as the best part of their undergraduate experience. It can definitely be very daunting, because being in a foreign country where you know no one is a really scary thing. However, if you do decide to study abroad, it will definitely be something that you will never forget. If you have any interest whatsoever in studying abroad, there are some things that you should consider and figure out.
Should I Study Abroad?
The first thing that you should do once you have any slight interest in going abroad is decide if it’s something that’s actually right for you. There are many factors to take into account. The first thing you should think about is if studying abroad would be financially possible for you, as some programs are much more expensive than UCLA. Once you figure out finances or are at least informed on the different variations of prices, you should decide whether being in a country you’re not familiar with is something you are comfortable with and ready to embark on your own. You should also take into account whether or not studying abroad is right for your major or if it will deter your path to a 4 year graduation. Sometimes studying abroad can make it easier to graduate in four years, but in other cases it can slow down your pace. Another thing to think about is whether or not you actually want to leave the UCLA campus and surrounding area. It seems like a trivial factor to take into account, but if you’re really invested in the Los Angeles lifestyle and couldn’t imagine yourself being away from the things LA has to offer, then studying abroad might not be for you.
When and Where Should I Go?
If you ultimately do decide that you do want to study abroad then there are some more decisions that you need to make. These decisions need to be made pretty far in advance, so figuring out what your plan is quickly is crucial. To put it in perspective, applications for Winter 2021 open as early as January, with some programs being first come first serve. The first thing you should do is decide where you want to go. There are a multitude of options that UCLA offers through UCEAP including but not limited to Argentina, Australia, Botswana, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom. When deciding where you want to go you might want to think about how familiar you are with the language spoken in the area and the weather you would be happy with. It might also be worth it to take into account whether or not the place you are going to is convenient for travel to other areas and countries, as you may want to travel when you have ample free-time.
Once you decide where you want to go, the next step is to decide when you want to go. There are options for one quarter, a semester (you would miss either Fall Quarter or both Winter and Spring Quarters), or a full year. Some programs have limited options for times you can go, while others give you more leeway to decide which parts of the year you would like to miss. Figuring out when you want to go abroad also affects your living situation for when you will be at UCLA. You will have to figure out finding an apartment and subletting with people who will be there while you will be away and vice versa. This is a little more of a logistic problem, so you will need to talk to your friends and see if renting an apartment together would work out. Although, if your friends do have different schedules and an apartment with them doesn’t seem to be the best option, there are always advertisements for sublets on UCLA Facebook pages.
Once you figure out these first crucial steps, the next thing to do is to go to the UCEAP office and figure out the logistics and actually begin to do the real planning and put everything into place. This includes figuring out how course credits transfer for your major and learning more about the cost of your trip and the room and board options you will have. This is a perfect time to learn more about the finances of studying abroad and really solidify your decision to go.
Studying abroad seems like a lot of planning, but if you are organized in the way you do it and do everything in advance, you will have no problems and will be one step closer to a truly incredible experience.
With Memorial Day coming up soon, it’s time to think about what you’re going to do with your weekend of freedom. This three day weekend is the calm before the storm in the quarter system, as Week 10 and Finals Week are not so far off from Memorial Day. So grab some friends, gear up, and plan a road trip to one of these great destinations in California.
Newport Beach: Newport is a beach town that is only an hour and a half drive from campus. It is known for its great local beaches and Lido Marina Village, a great area to walk around which many people find themselves going to for the sole reason of taking an Instagram photo. If you’re an Instagram feind, then this is the place for you!
NEWPORT, Photo by Adam Reeder, Flickr Creative Commons
Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara is just an hour and a half north of campus. It is a small coastal town known for its shopping, wineries, hiking, and Spanish architecture. Santa Barbara is a very quaint town and is definitely a place to check out if you want a relaxing Memorial Day weekend.
San Luis Obispo: SLO is three hours from UCLA and is near Pismo Beach. The city is known for its “college town” feel and beautiful scenery. It has great hiking trails and other opportunities for recreation. There is also a famous Bubblegum Alley on a street in the downtown area.
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Photo by emdot, Flickr Creative Commons
San Diego: San Diego is two-and-a-half hours from campus and is definitely a place you should visit if you have not before. It has beautiful beaches, great restaurants, and several other interesting spots, such as the USS Midway Museum, a historic aircraft carrier with exhibits, and the Gaslamp Quarter.
SAN DIEGO, Photo by Phil Dickinson, Flickr Creative Commons
Big Bear: While Big Bear is known as a popular ski and board destination during the winter, it transforms into a lake community during the Spring and Summer. It has all the typical lake activities you could dream of: kayaking, jet-skiing, boating, as well as hiking, zip lining, and so much more. This would be an ideal Memorial Day weekend destination, as there is something for everyone, and you have the added bonus of being able to stay in a log cabin.
BIG BEAR LAKE, Photo by Don Graham, Flickr Creative Commons
Over the past few years I’ve lived in Los Angeles, I realized that there are so many things to do in Downtown LA other than barhopping. I started to make a list of places to go with my family and friends who would visit from overseas or out of state and now that list is three pages long!
Here are a few ideas for the next time you want to be a tourist in your own city.
Walk from Grand Central to The Broad
Grab a quick bite at the historical Grand Central Market. There are so many food vendors that you could choose from, including diverse options reflecting Los Angeles’ rich cultural variety like German, Thai, Chinese, Mexican, and so much more. I recommend DTLA Cheese or Eggslut. When you’re done eating, you can take the famous Angel’s Flight trolley on South Hill Street to start heading towards The Broad Museum.
Angel Flight is a railway that is 117 years old and costs $1.00 to get to the top in less than a minute. In the past, it connected the tenement communities of the city, and after being closed for awhile, it’s a can’t miss spot! Alternatively, you could take the never-ending stairs if you’re feeling like doing a mini workout.
When you get to the top, it will be a short walk to get to The Broad museum.
Make sure to reserve tickets online (it’s free) ahead of time to avoid a line! The Broad has some of the most influential modern art from artists like Ragnar Kjartansson (beautiful music installation), Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha, Roy Lichtenstein, and of course the instagram-worthy Robert Therrien & Yayoi Kusama.
Insider tip: If you take the glass elevator down to leave, go back up the stairs to get a sneak peek of where the museum stores their art! This place is called “the vault” and it’s pretty cool to look at.
Arts District and Little Tokyo
On the eastern edge of Downtown LA is the Arts District and Little Tokyo. These two locations are for those who truly love galleries and boutique stores. I love visiting this part of the city because there’s always something inspirational that you wouldn’t expect to find. The last time I visited, I went to Hauser & Wirth and was deeply moved by the works of Alexander Calder.
Nearby, there is also a cute store owned by a married couple called Poketo. This place is one of my favorite stores near Little Tokyo. They have cute stationery, accessories, and home items that are sensible and aesthetically pleasing.
If you’re feeling hungry, I recommend Wurstküche for German sausages and dessert at The Pie Hole in the Arts District. If you’re willing to wait in line, the ramen at Daikokuya is phenomenal and so is the matcha ice cream at Tea Master in Little Tokyo.
And for those of you over 21 and do want to go barhopping…
Here’s a list of a few favorites: