Santa Cruzin’

Yesterday was an exciting day as we visited the University of California, Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. UC Santa Cruz is a large, public research university that is a part of the UC system. Summerfuelers learned a great deal about what it takes to be admitted and other fun facts from an admissions officer during an information session.
-In the 2014-15 Times Higher Education world rankings, UC Santa Cruz was ranked first in research influence as measured by the number of times its faculty’s published work is cited by scholars around the world.
-UCSC has phenomenal programs and esteemed faculty in engineering, biology, feminist studies … and many more, with 66 majors, 38 minors, and 52 concentrations available.
-There are ten residential colleges that students have a chance to join, each with a theme and dining options.
-Over 70% of undergraduate students are involved with research. Since there are significantly more undergraduate students than graduate students, UCSC faculty relies on undergraduate students to assist in conducting and publishing research.
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The UCSC campus is huge, over 2,000 acres, and looks out over the beautiful Monterey Bay. Many students could not believe it was a university’s campus because, at times, it felt like we were in the middle of a national park as we walked through the redwood forests.  Everyone appreciated becoming a Banana Slug for the day and a couple of students are excited to submit a UCSC application in the future.

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After our tour, we hopped back on the bus and headed over to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for a fun evening riding roller coasters, eating fair food novelties, shopping, and walking on the beach. Students really enjoyed this time to decompress, relax, and enjoy themselves.

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Last Weekend of Excursions

This weekend marked our last couple of excursions that we had planned for the program.  On Friday afternoon, we had one of our own students share her knowledge and skills in karate.  Rowan showed the group some basic selfdefense moves and they had a great time learning from one of their peers!  Later on Friday night, the group made a trip to Redwood City to see Spiderman in the movie theaters.  Some of our die-hard Spiderman fans thought “the movie didn’t live up to the first movies” but in the end they all had a fun night!

On Saturday, we went to Santa Cruz beach.  At first, the students were weary of a day at the beach due to the weather – it was a little cold and cloudy when we arrived, but it quickly warmed up and turned into a beautiful day.  Some ate at local restaurants, some went shopping, others tried out the amusement rides andeveryone enjoyed the beach!

Sunday was our Union Square and Giants baseball game day.  A few students who preferred to go back to Union Square (to get some shopping in!) spent the afternoon in the city and the rest of the group went to see the San Francisco Giants play the Houston Astros.  For many, this was their first time at a baseball game and it was a beautiful day!  We sat with the ASA Berkeley group, so some of  our students even got to catch up with their friends in the other program.  Although it was a little cold and windy, on our way home, we made a quick stop at the Golden Gate Bridge (what trip to San Francisco would be complete without seeing the bridge!?).

We have a lot on the calendar for this week and we know the last few days are going to fly by!