University of California-Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA, USA

Reviews

University of California-Santa Barbara
4.06 Average Rating

jack from agoura hills, ca

accepted here and planning to attend soon
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
ucsb is a beautiful research-oriented university located right next to the beach. although it has a "party reputation," this is merely a stereotype that possesses little basis (although people are a lot more well-balanced here... cough cough berkeley). overall, i chose to come here (committed two weeks ago) because i got into the honors program (tons and tons of benefits), it had my major and was pretty good at psychology and biology (my major is biopsychology), and because i felt i connected with the people on campus (tons of happy and down-to-earth people).
Tips for prospective students
i would know that decisions for the ucs have been known to be a little wonky. so if for some reason you get denied here, but accepted berkeley or ucsd, don't be surprised. also, make sure to take aps, honors courses, show some sort of interest by extracurricular involvement, and achieve a 3.7+ uw.
Academic Rigor
tbh, i have heard that this really depends on the major. engineering and hard sciences will be harder than some of the social sciences, especially if the classes are honors. but, as long as you have a balanced life, you should be golden.
Dorm Life
after researching every hall, i realy decided that i wanted to do anacapa or san miguel honors llc. they are both right next to the beach, close to the library, close to psychology and science buildings, and are pretty social areas (also next to dlg and ortega, which are basically the best dinning commons imo).
Food and Dining
tbh despite what a lot of people have said, i think the food here is pretty good! a lot of it is grown locally, and as a vegan, i can say that i found no trouble in trying to find options on campus (in fact, every dining common had vegan options).
What to do for fun
people tend to go to the beach, hang out in each other's rooms, hang out in iv, go to downtown sb, etc. social life is pretty good here, which is why princeton review rated quality of life 95/99 (which is very stellar when places like berkeley and ucla get in the 70s or low 80s).
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Sheila from Los Angeles, CA

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
All of the professors that I have had the opportunity to take a class with have had much to offer me and my education. Their expertise in their field and their passion for the material make everday learning an absolute pleasure.

Am enjoying being here
I truly enjoy every moment I spend at UCSB, and I think a main factor is the fact that I am surrounded by so many unbelievable people. Everyone at UCSB is down to earth, friendly, and studious all at the same time; it's the perfect balance.
Bang for the buck
Like every other university, UCSB costs a pocket-full of money. However, my experiences with the Financial Aid Office have always been positive. The FAO also offers many scholarships for UCSB students, and that is something I highly recommend!
Tips for prospective students
UCSB is a fantastic school, and I am so lucky to be a student here! Not only is it one of the highest ranking universities in the United States for its academic and research accomplishments, but it is also a beautiful campus that will make almost anyone feel at home.

UCSB has the reputation for being a party school, but what I always tell people is that it all depends on the individual. It is true, every UCSB student will have a place to go on Friday and Saturday nights if they need some time off from studying, and UCSB is not the place for you if you cannot resist the temptation! The most important thing is to have your priorities in order. Study hard, and you can party harder!

As far as academics go, there is no reason any UCSB student should be worried about not doing well! As long as you are determined to study the material, our Campus Learning Assistance Services (CLAS) offers free tutoring for dozens of classes that prove to be tough.

UCSB also has many opportunities for student involvement and leadership. Students with a very wide range of interests will be able to find an activity that interests them on campus, whether it is participating in a rally, joining a campus organization, or running for student government. Keeping an open mind is key to being able to take advantage of all of the opportunities that come your way!
Great for these types of students
UCSB is surrounded by beaches, so if you are a beach lovin' surfer, this is the perfect place for you!

Nearly everyone at UCSB rides a bike, so if you enjoy your time on two wheels, you'll love SB! However, you must be very carful. Campus security officers take bike traffic and parking rules very seriously.

If you are a studious, laid back, down-to-earth student ready for a great college experience, definitely consider UCSB!
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Benjamin from Ventura, CA

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
UCSB has every aspect you'd expect from a beachfront university. It's very laid back and open to all types of people. There is a place for everyone here.
Tips for prospective students
Engineering is a very difficult major to get into compared to other majors offered. Make sure your application is unique, last year around 80,000 people applied and there are under 9,000 freshman so its competitive.
If you're accepted its a great school. Research dorms and clubs before moving in, theres so many its hard to keep up with all the options in the first week when school starts. Also, definitely a good idea to use to find your own roommate option when applying for housing. Random roommate selections are hit-or-miss.
Academic Rigor
Plenty of challenging assignments, but have yet to come across a situation which in which I didn't have enough time to complete course work. Plenty of extra curricular activities offered, and plenty of time to participate in them.
Dorm Life
Santa Catalina (FT) has strong party reputation. Santa Cruz in the Catalina five set of dorms is the nicest as it was renovated two years ago. The Catalina five are calmer and closer to the beach, but still have a wide variety of people and things to do.
Food and Dining
DLG is great, only downside is they don't offer breakfast and brunch on weekends isn't open early. Ortega has breakfast but less options than the DLG. Carillo has a soft serve ice cream machine, and Portola has a bad reputation but I haven't ever eaten there. Unlimited buffet style dining with good food and service makes it incredibly easy to overeat though.
What to do for fun
Beach is 100 ft from the Santa Cruz dorms. Many good surf spots either walking distance or a bike ride away. Lots of events in Isla Vista such as the Pardall Carnival. The outdoor adventure club offers access to many fun outdoor activities. Tons of clubs to participate in, snow club takes ski trips throughout winter. Dorms also plan many social events right at the dorm halls.
Bang for the buck
Cheaper than a private school, and with the recent rankings placing UCSB at 8th nationally for a public university, and 8th in California for all public and private universities, its definitely worth the investment. There's cheaper schools out there but they don't offer the education UCSB does, not to mention UCSB's location is second to none. Housing costs seem a lot better priced when the dorms are beachfront, as opposed to near the cows like at Davis.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Its customary to sneak tortillas into soccer games and throw them onto the field like frisbees when a goal is scored. Many houses in IV also like to water balloon large groups of freshman as they walk by. Bike theft is common.
Great for these types of students
People who like the beach
Plenty of options for both silent and group studying
Strong social scene plays to extroverts
Clubs and Activities
Abundance of clubs and activities on campus and in IV. If you look for it, its easy to keep a full schedule of fun activities. Some clubs are pricey, but come with great perks.
Greek Life
More laid back than other colleges, but frat guys still don't really party with GDIs. plenty of options here for those who choose to rush.
Campus Safety
Students working as CSO's are available 24/7 to escort other students if the students feel unsafe. There is also a campus alert program that sends out notifications whenever crime occurs on campus or in IV.
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Amanda from Rancho Cucamonga, CA

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
You can think of the quarter system as your frenemy; by the time it takes you to get bored of your classes, a new quarter begins. UCSB offers so many interesting classes with so many great professors and you have so many chances to take them. However, once you fall behind you will have to pull a lot of all nighters to catch up. In my opinion though the quarter system is more of a friend than an enemy. There is also a program called CLAS that is FREE that helps you understand the material covered in your class and helps you do well on your papers.
Am enjoying being here
You are right on the beach, what isn’t there to love? Everybody here is relaxed and professors are very helpful. The weather is almost perfect and between classes you can go down to the beach and study, or just watch the waves. Making friends is easy, especially when living in the dorms. There is always something to do. If you don’t have a car you can take the bus downtown for free and shop.
Bang for the buck
The UCs are pretty expensive due to the budget cuts and it has gotten harder to get into classes that you want but they still offer everything they used to for students which you should take advantage of, like going to the gym for instance; you are already paying for it in your tuition and the food they serve you in the dining commons is not always healthy (its hard sometimes to say “no” to the desserts) so why not? Also, being able to hear the waves from your dorm room at night or just hanging out on the beach between classes makes the tuition worth it.
Tips for prospective students
Yes, we do have a reputation as a party school but that doesn’t mean we don’t study or get good grades or that if you prefer not to party you shouldn’t come here. There are many options for people who do not want to spend their weekends partying like movies playing at Isla Vista theatre, comedy shows and even concerts. But during the week be prepared to study! Do NOT get behind and don’t get in the habit of skipping class! Also, you should save ratemyprofessor.com in your favorites; it will come in handy when choosing your classes.

P.S. Bring rain-boots! You’ll be glad you did!
Great for these types of students
Anybody who wants to learn and have fun doing it. You will definitely get that here. But don’t think you can slack off.
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Jennifer from Huntington Park, CA

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The Professors that I have encountered have all been very insightful and truly knowledgeable in their fields. Every course I have taken has had a lot of required reading which seemed horrible; however, every reading has proved to be very helpful for the course and for the understanding of current events.
Am enjoying being here
Academics are great and the social scene is very much alive. The key to find the balance between the two and your time at UCSB will be great.
Bang for the buck
Fees for UCSB are very steep; however, you are provided with many programs, resources and establishments that you can access by simply presenting your student identification card.
Tips for prospective students
Be ready to work hard and meet a variety of people.
Great for these types of students
Students who have the drive to succeed and learn for the sake of learning. Also, students that can handle and properly balance their social and academic lives.
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Taryn from Granada Hills, CA

a current student here
72 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
- The quarter system allows you to take a wide variety of classes to figure out what you're interested in by experiencing different subjects in a short period of time.
- The environment, campus groups, and activities allow you to learn more about yourself and what you can do.
- The school offers free tutoring [CLAS] if you're having trouble with your classes. There are even workshops on time management and writing to help you get used to finishing assignments.
Am enjoying being here
- The classes are great, and you can tell that the professors enjoy teaching the material.
- The campus has THE best location with something for everyone to do. No matter what you're interested in, you will meet people with common interests.
Bang for the buck
- Being able to see the beautiful beach everyday is definitely a plus.
- The school offers so many extras at no immediate cost to you--tutoring, clubs, a gym, etc.
Tips for prospective students
- Take advantage of all of the extras at your disposal. The school encourages you to be active and involved in the campus community in addition to keeping up with studies. There are over 300 clubs and organizations to get into, as well as plenty of activities you can do on your own--hiking, surfing, even shopping.
- Don't be intimidated by the 'party school' reputation. While there are parties, you don't have to party to have a good time. There are plenty of other things to do if you're not into that.
- Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone to pursue a potential interest. You may surprise yourself at what independence can do for you.
Great for these types of students
laid back but studious, fun-loving but serious...

It helps if you like the beach [and the type of weather that comes with it]. A love of the outdoors doesn't hurt, either.
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Emily from Vacaville, CA

a current student here
15 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I have had three quarters of classes so far, and every quarter I not only learned something from the professors of the classes, but I also learned something about myself. This school promotes you to be yourself, and encourages you to figure out who you are!
Am enjoying being here
There's no way to avoid saying it: the campus is gorgeous! I mean, you live right on the beach and you have classes there too? It seems too good to be true! It is my reality though. I love the physical setting of the school, and I also love the people. Everyone is very chill, and willing to help you out if you need it. The professors are available for questions, and the TA's are more than helpful too!
Bang for the buck
This is a rather expensive school, especially if you don't have any help from financial aid... But, even with that said, the overall atmosphere of the school really truly makes you appreciate the money you are spending on your education!
Tips for prospective students
Do everything you can to get into the Honors College on campus! You get one-on-one time with your professors, which helps you out when it comes to letters of recommendation, and it helps you to understand what you are studying more than if you aren't in the exclusive Honors Sections for the lectures.
Great for these types of students
Anyone who is serious about school, but also wants to have fun! It's a great school to learn stuff, but also to learn about yourself.
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Katy from Murrieta, CA

a current student here
8 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
UCSB is an amazing university located in beautiful Santa Barbara, California and is surrounded. UCSB will provide any student with great academics, a healthy social life, ways to get involved and most importantly a degree that you can be proud of. I wouldn't trade my experience here for anything.
Tips for prospective students
Don't focus solely on good grades. Our admissions counselors look at 3 main things in regards to applications--grades, test scores and extra-curricular activities. While grades may seem the most important, you're more likely to get admitted if you have a combo of all three of these values.
Don't be afraid to apply undecided as far as majors go.Undecided is our most popular major for incoming freshman and you have up until the end of your second year to pick a major.
Academic Rigor
UCSB is ranked as the 10th best public university in the United States (US News and World Report)!! Classes here are challenging but definitely manageable!
Dorm Life
I actually quite enjoyed dorm life at UCSB. We are very spoiled in that many of our residence halls have ocean views. It may be the only time in our lives we'll have the opportunity to live on the beach! The view from my room freshman year was beautiful! About 98% of freshman live on campus their freshman year. I would highly, highly recommend living in the residence halls your first year because its great way to meet people and really get to know the campus. It's quite common that you'll end up living with people you met in the residence halls during your subsequent years at UCSB. The RA's also put on a lot of fun events during the year (we had a Superbowl party, pancake party, movies, etc).
UCSB students are also very spoiled because our bathrooms get cleaned every day and our rooms get cleaned every two weeks. The cleaning staff empties your trash, vacuums and cleans your mirrors. Pretty awesome.
Food and Dining
There are four different dining commons at UCSB and each has its own specialty. De La Guerra (DLG) specializes in Mexican food, Ortega always has sushi at lunch and dinner, Carillo's specialty is Mongolian barbeque and Portola always has different types of bars (chili bar, burger bar). There are also always vegetarian and vegan options at every meal. Ortega provides take-out sack breakfasts or lunches for students who don't have time to sit down to a full meal in between classes (or if you want to have lunch on the beach after class with friends!). DLG also has late-night dining from 9pm to midnight on weeknights and serves everything that is not very healthy for you like burgers and fries (but that's all you really want at 9 o'clock at night anyway!). It's fun to take a break from cramming for finals to grab a bite to eat.
The dining commons post their menus for the week online, which is nice because you can check which dining commons has the best food for that evening. Also, if you have certain allergies (nuts, gluten, milk, etc) or a food lifestyle (vegan or vegetarian) there is an online program where you can see what options fit your needs at each dining commons for that meal. All dining commons have a salad bar, fruit, breads, cereals, stuff to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and pizza.
The quality of the food is actually quite good! I was expecting average cafeteria-style food and was pleasantly surprised with how good the food is.
As far as meal plans go, students have several options. If you live on campus you are required to have a meal plan. Students can choose from have 10 meals per week, 14 meals per week, 17 meals per week or unlimited meals per week. I would recommend 14 meals per week because it keeps you covered by the dining commons meals, but is flexible enough that you can go out to eat with friends if you want. By meals these are meals you are allowed to use in the campus dining commons. You also have the option of adding $300, ...
What to do for fun
The real question is what isn't there to do? UCSB is one of the only universities in the country with its own private beach and given the lovely California weather, you'll definitely find students on the beach on a sunny day! Students also like to go on picturesque hikes in the Santa Ynez mountains, a mountain range that frames the campus on one side. UCSB is also a short bus ride from downtown Santa Barbara which has tons of stores to shop in, movie theaters and restaurants!
Bang for the buck
Given the recent economic times, college is definitely not cheap. However, I'm paying the same amount as students who go to other big public schools and am getting more out of it. I live on the beach, I'm involved on my campus, I can get personal attention from my professors and TAs, I'm able to get help when I need it, I get the classes I need and I don't feel like I'm being overwhelmed by ultra-competitive students (not to say our students aren't competitive; it's more like everyone likes to help each other succeed). Some students from other public schools just can't say that.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
UCSB is obsessed with our soccer team! At soccer games, one of our quirky traditions is to throw tortillas onto the field--when ref's make bad calls AND when ref's make good calls!
Great for these types of students
Students looking for a school that has the total package: academics, great location, friendly student population, school spirit and fun and tons of ways to get involved.
Clubs and Activities
There are over 300 student organizations on campus with a wide range of interests (from career-oriented to volunteering to culture-centered to just-for-fun!). You'll definitely find a club for you! There also is an intramural sports program with almost any sport available, where you can get together with your friends and create a team and compete against teams of friends. Our campus favorite is intertube water polo!
Greek Life
There are about 10 sororities and 10 fraternities that have actual houses and there are also a handful of interest-based (pre-med, pre-law, culture-centered) sororities and fraternities. Our Greek life is large enough that if you want to participate you will find a house that fits your needs, but at the same time it is small enough that if you do not want to participate, you don't feel pressured to do so.
Campus Safety
Our campus is pretty safe and I've never felt in danger. Our biggest crime on campus is bike theft and I like to think that says a lot about the safety of our campus, since the main concern is whether our bicycles get stolen, as opposed to vandalism or threats. There is also a handy 24-hour escort service that you can use in case you are leaving your library late or have a late class; an official escort can walk you or ride next to you on a bike until you get to your destination safely.
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Celine from Brentwood, CA

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
UCSB is the perfect school for students who are serious about their academics but also want to have fun meeting new people, studying on the beach, and taking advantage of what So-Cal has to offer. With its beautiful location and close knit community, UCSB will become your home away from home in no time. We Gauchos "Gaucho Back" no matter what.
Tips for prospective students
Keep up your GPA and focus on extra curricular activities! A less than average GPA can be made up for with incredible involvement within the community. Check out events happening in your town or school to get involved, it is a great way to meet new people and make valuable memories that will keep you going throughout college. Make sure you know what you are getting yourself into, don't just take a student led tour of the school, take one yourself! Before you visit make sure to look up what there is to do in the community surrounding your school and check it out once you visit. Be sure to ask yourself if you can see yourself living here for the next four or so years (with UCSB I guarantee you will!) and make a mental note of things you notice about the school in case you need to compare it to other schools you are considering. I know that the college search is a stressful time, but I promise it will be done in no time and that sooner or later you will miss it!
Academic Rigor
UCSB is ranked one of the Top Public Universities in the Nation for a reason. Working on the quarter system is no joke, by the 5th week of classes you have midterms and by the 10th you have finals. There is no time to procrastinate and screw around, you have to keep up with your work in order to prosper here. You are in charge of how much work you make for yourself throughout the quarter, so make sure to pick classes that will keep you interested enough to want to do the work. Keep in mind that each professor understands that you have other classes and responsibilities but do not go easy on you because you made it into this school for a reason. Nothing that UCSB throws at you will be too much for you.
Dorm Life
Dorm life here at UCSB is cramped but worth it. Each building offers a variety of activities each week to help you get to know your neighbors and other students on campus. You will make the closest friendships in the shortest time possible. Each dorm is a double turned into a triple, meaning that you share two closets with three people.
Food and Dining
The dining commons at UCSB rival any other UC hands down. There are countless dishes to choose from and they are buffet style, meaning once you swipe in using your ID card you can stay there for however long you want to eat as much as you want. And if you don't want to go to a dining common, there are plenty of restaurants on campus and in Isla Vista (the community walking distance from UCSB) to choose from.
What to do for fun
Go to the beach and try your hand at surfing! Check out Isla Vista and try to catch an open mic night at Gio's Pizza or a trivia night at Woodstocks. Head down DP for some people watching or go a game at Harder Stadium to throw some tortillas as you watch the Gauchos kick butt in soccer! There is something for everyone here at UCSB, from the beach and hiking for the outdoorsy type to shopping and exploring the city.
Bang for the buck
You can see what your money goes towards at UCSB, from weekly cleaning services and maintenance for the dorms to free concerts and public speakers, along with on-campus career and psychological services.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
We throw tortillas during our soccer games! It becomes a competition to see who can throw their tortilla the farthest. As far as unusual locations on campus we have Storke Plaza, where we have our very own koi fish pond and where our radio station is located. We also have our own beach!
Great for these types of students
UCSB is great for students who want to focus on their academics but also know how to have fun and relax. Perfect for those who love the laid back beach lifestyle and who want to be part of a thriving, happy, and close knit community.
Clubs and Activities
Chances are that anything you are interested in will have a club at UCSB, and if there isn't one it is easy to start one yourself! Each club here is incredibly involved not only on campus but within the community as well, there is always something to do!
Campus Safety
UCSB has 24/7 on-campus officer escorts that you can call whenever you don't feel safe walking by yourself, along with its own Police Station. There are blue "DANGER" buttons all across campus that you can press whenever you feel unsafe that will allow officers to know your exact location and help you in 5 minutes or less. Each dorm building requires an access card in order to get in.
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lauren

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
beautiful location, mostly amazing academics, and vibrant life. dorm rooms are small but that's to be expected. isla vista isn't as scary as everyone says it is!
Tips for prospective students
apologies but the capitalization disappeared for my review, and won't come back even if i edit it back in. so you'll have to deal with improper punctuation for a bit. also, the paragraphs aren't displaying properly, so prepare for some word walls.

bring half the stuff you think you need to bring to your dorm room. you'll buy new things throughout the year, and packing will be much simpler.

join clubs you're interested in. there are so many organizations on campus that cater to a wide variety of interests, and in the event that you don't find one that fits you, you can always create your own. i joined club tennis and the esports club -- it's a great way to make a lot of friends!

during the first week, go to everything you're invited to (so long as it's safe to do so, don't talk to strangers with white vans who offer you candy...).

don't take classes at 8 a.m. just don't. high school may have started at 8 in the morning, but you have the option to make your classes not start that early! so why not take it? also, you'll be far less tempted to skip class.

live in the dorms for your first year, then look into housing in isla vista. you need the "dorm experience" and the meal plan is really convenient. (side note: 10 or 14 meals a week is all you should need. the 17 and unlimited are a bit excessive, and more expensive!). isla vista is much cheaper to live in, and you're still close to campus.

bring a bike and a good u-lock. not a fancy bike, or a cruiser either. something reliable and practical. if it's flashy and new, it is more likely to get stolen. it's about a 20 minute walk across campus, but a 5 minute bike. there are plenty of bike paths and bike racks all over campus!

if you decide to party, make sure that your academics aren't suffering. having fun is great, but academic probation is not.
Academic Rigor
general education classes are usually fairly easy if you put the work in. major-related classes are, of course, tougher. the shift from high school to college is something that a lot of freshman are warned about but still don't take seriously. a few of my friends are currently on academic probation and may not be able to return for their sophomore year at ucsb. it can happen to you, especially if you don't take the classes seriously.

the quarter system itself is brutal. just fair warning. that's three rounds of finals in one year, and not to mention the constant barrage of midterms. most classes have at least two midterms, if not more. there are classes with four midterms, and a final. which means a test every two weeks of the class. so if you slip up even once during such classes, your grade will suffer.

that being said, all the professors and tas are extremely helpful. i've never encountered a professor or ta who refused to help people, either by answering questions after lecture or during office hours. it may be intimidating to approach either one of them, but if you're struggling, that's the best way to understand the material. there are also tons of campus and departmental resources for help with academics.
Dorm Life
okay, so as of 2016, all freshmen will be placed in triples. there is a university housing shortage, obviously. rooms were constructed to be doubles (there's only two closets) but they're big enough to fit three people in them. it's tight, but doable.

but honestly, that isn't that big of a deal. you use your room for storing all your stuff and sleeping. there are plenty of spaces on campus to study or eat. if you go to all your classes and participate in a club or two, then you really won't have much time to spend lounging in your room.

i recommend that you get your roommates' contact information as soon as possible, and set up a group message and discuss who gets which bunk and desk, who's bringing what (minifridges are great but you only need one), and general rules for the room (overnight guests?).

the dorms themselves are all fairly similar. santa cruz, santa rosa, and anacapa (the chi-5) are all on-campus. near the beach. each wing is single gender, and shares one public bathroom. (those are cleaned daily. rooms are also vacuumed once every two weeks). some rooms face the ocean, some don't. those that do often smell like the ocean/tar, so the view may or may not be worth it. each building has a kitchenette with basic appliances. you can rent stuff like pans from the front desk.

manzanita is also on campus but is located on the other side. it consists of multiple buildings rather than one huge connected structure. the bathrooms are separate rooms that shared by two dorm rooms. they don't connect so it's not like a jack-and-jill situation like in santa catalina. only some of the buildings have kitchenettes though.

santa catalina is the off-campus dorms. formerly called francisco torres (ft), they are now known officially as santa catalina. except people still call san cat ft anyway. these dorms are two towers. two rooms each connect via a bathroom, so the entire floor doesn't share one bathroom like the chi-5. some people love these dorms b...
Food and Dining
if you're a freshman, you're going to have a meal plan. dining commons are all-you-can-eat, so that's great.

the de la guerra and the ortega dining commons are right next to each other for some reason. both are close to the chi-5 dorms. dlg is much better, generally speaking. it's bigger and has slightly more selection, and has great cookies. ortega is open for breakfast, lunch,and dinner, while dlg is open for lunch, dinner, and late-night (9-12 all weekdays except friday).

carillo is located next to manzanita and is regarded as the best on campus. they're open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. they have a frozen yogurt machine with rotating flavors, and food selection is comparable to dlg's.

portola is the dining commons for santa catalina, since they're off-campus. portola's food isn't the best. that wouldn't be a problem except that if you live in san cat, you're going to be eating a lot of it.

there's an online menu at https://appl.housing.ucsb.edu/menu

and of course, there's isla vista. iv has tons of restaurants. there's the habit, freebirds, hana kitchen, naan stop, spudnuts, woodstock's, buddha bowls, and rosario's. try all of them at least once!
What to do for fun
go to the beach. surf. build a sand castle. procrastinate on that paper that's due in a couple days or that reading assigned during section.

go hiking with friends! rattlesnake canyon (no rattlesnakes involved, promise) is a great trail.

there are frequent free concerts in front of the ucen, and usually some sort of free food is involved. on that note, anisqoyo park in isla vista has events as well. shakespeare in the park is really fun!

also, ucsb has some great sports teams. go support your fellow gauchos!

the ra for your dorm will plan regular activities like painting baby pumpkins for halloween, coloring posters for the dorm, or a hawaiian themed luau.
Bang for the buck
pretty good. ucsb is almost 35k a year without financial aid of any kind, and provides a solid education combined with diverse extracurriculars. however, if you wanted to be smart about money and knew what your educational goals were, completing general education at a community college and then transferring would be a viable option.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
there's a toilet you can use with an ocean view -- try and find it!

there are undie runs every finals week to relieve stress and anxiety, or something like that.

Great for these types of students
everyone, especially those who are looking for a good education and are willing to put in the effort to get it. people here know how to party but also how to buckle down and crank out some good grades.

the campus is fairly accepting of all viewpoints and backgrounds.
Clubs and Activities
there are too many clubs on campus to count!
Campus Safety
ucsb is like any other college. but the partying is concentrated in iv rather than dispersed, so it just seems like ucsb just rages all the time. iv has also calmed down in recent years due to issues deltopia caused, and the shooting. during times of the year that are known to be more active party times, there are increased restrictions (no out-of-towners/oots, dui checkpoints for campus), and harsher fines than usual for noise and unruliness.

if you ever feel unsafe walking or biking somewhere at night or the early morning (library to your dorm, for example), you can always call a cso to walk or bike with you. it's totally free, and is basically the buddy system.
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