University of California, San Diego Visit Report by collin2012

Visit to University of California, San Diego in July 2019 by collin2012
(Parent of Student, HS Class of 2012)
(Member since July 16 2019 with ? posts)

Visit Activities:

Admissions Interview: No - n/a

Information Session: No - n/a

Campus Tour: Yes - Tour was informative. Saw the major highlights of the campus. Did not get to go inside any of the buildings.

Classroom Visit: No - n/a


Friendliness/Courtesy of Students:
5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent
Students seemed very friendly. One student chatted with us while we were waiting in line for food. Only time we were approached by a student on all our campus tours.

Friendliness/Courtesy of Staff:
5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent
Everyone seemed generally pleasant, both when we checked in for the tour and at the store.

Appearance of Campus:
4 - Very Good
4 - Very Good
Very woodsy feel. The buildings are interspersed amongst the eucalyptus trees.

Building/Facilities Maintenance/Cleanliness:
4 - Very Good
4 - Very Good
Student center is very, very nice. Other campus buildings are nice too, but not awesome like at USC and UCLA ... well, except for the main library which is impressive.


Felt very safe.

Overall Campus Impression:
My kids like the campus. It reminded me of UC Santa Cruz because of all the trees, except the buildings are not spread out like at UCSC. Makes for a better sense of community.


Area Immediately Around Campus:
5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent
What we saw seemed okay, but we really didn't get to see much of it. Looked like campus was surrounded by parking lots, but I could be wrong.

5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent
La Jolla is a beautiful city. And, of course, there's the beach close by.

Campus Visit Notes for University of California, San Diego

Visit Description:

IN A NUTSHELL: A nice campus amongst the eucalyptus trees. It is hilly, so might be a little hard to get around on a bicycle, although we did see many bikes. We saw the most diverse population of all the campuses we visited.

THE TOUR: We met in a room where we were supposed to get a video presentation. However, the equipment malfunctioned, so we just proceeded with the walking tour. Our tour guide was a pleasant young lady. She gave good information, but somehow I got the feeling that she was leaving out about 25% of what she was supposed to say at each stop. We finished the tour very quickly. She was very good, however, at explaining what the school was about and I did get a very good sense of what attending UCSD would be like. The most interesting building on the whole campus is, of course, the main library.

I was fully prepared to totally LOVE UC San Diego. It was my first choice for my kids. I was so disappointed when I did not like the campus at all. The reason that I did not like it is probably the reason other people love it. It felt like being in a grove of eucalyptus trees with buildings interspersed here and there. You felt as if you were a part of nature. Although I love trees, this campus did not work for me. Maybe it's because I like things to be neat and tidy and the campus had a more natural, woodsy feel to it. I am totally perplexed by my reaction to it ... especially since I love La Jolla and San Diego in general.

SIX-COLLEGE SYSTEM: I did not understand it before I went on the college tour. The tour guide explained it with a wonderful Harry Potter analogy. UC San Diego is like Hogwarts and the six colleges are like the four houses at Hogwarts. (Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw). Each "house" has its own personality. All the students at one "house" live together, eat together, and generally hang out together. You, thus, get the small school experience at a very large campus. And, just like Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy took classes together, so would students from the different colleges. The "houses" are not major-specific. For example, there is no "engineering" house or "humanities" house, etc. All majors are mixed. BTW, there is no Slytherin-like house/college at UCSD ;-)

Personally, I was not impressed by the six-college system. It works for some, I guess, but it wasn't a plus (or a minus) for me.

AN ASIDE: The tour guides at UCLA and USC were so much better than the tour guides at Cal Poly and UCSD. Not that the ones at Cal Poly and UCSD were bad. They were enthusiastic and clearly felt a lot of pride in their schools and were good at conveying that. It's just that the UCLA and USC guides were so much more informative, thorough, and polished. I cannot help but think that the **caliber** of students at UCLA and USC is superior. Maybe it just worked out that way. Maybe it's an unfair assessment. But I can't shake the impression it left.

HOTEL: It was across the street from the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. The room was clean and spacious. We felt safe there and got a good night's rest

ABOUT US: Mom with a 17yo daughter (HS junior) and 14yo son (8th grade).

OTHER SCHOOLS VISITED ON THIS TRIP: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, UC San Diego, UCLA, and USC.

Hotel/Lodging Recommendations or Comments:

Best Western Plus San Diego/Miramar Hotel, 9310 Kearny Mesa Road, San Diego. $105+tax for one night. About 7 miles from UCSD.

Other Comments (Transportation, local attractions, parking, etc.):

Traveling to/from San Diego was easy. Getting to the campus was easy.