University of California - Berkeley Reviews
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I transferred to UC, Berkeley from Santa Barbara City College (voted the best city college in the nation in one poll). At SBCC I found a lively, encouraging atmosphere of students and professors working together and mutually stimulating each other. I was disappointed when I transferred to Berkeley to find a more competitive atmosphere, with students judging each other, trying to beat each other. Nevertheless, Berkeley introduced me to the world of academia, and took my educational pursuits to a new, higher level of organization and professionalism.
UC Berkeley is a world-renowned institution, and when you tell people you went to Berkeley, heads will turn. If I could go back and do one thing differently, it would be to get involved in research earlier. Groundbreaking research is always taking place, and as an undergraduate at Berkeley you have the rare opportunity to learn from leaders in the field about their discipline. I graduated from the department of Integrative Biology. I'm currently pursuing a PhD in Hydrology, but if I continued down a path of Biology, my background from Berkeley would have prepared me very well. The student life on campus is diverse, teeming with life and opportunities, and simply one of the finest experiences I've ever had. I highly recommend looking into the Berkeley Student Cooperatives as a place to live during your stay at Berkeley. It's affordable, unique and filled with UCB students from all colleges. What brings them together is a mutual desire to live cooperatively, and through the Berkeley student coops, I met some of my best friends.
The classes are very large, so it is difficult to receive personalized attention. That being said, the professors and graduate student instructors are all very knowledgeable and generally helpful. The career services and professional development opportunities could be better; you really have to put in the work to receive any sort of help in that area.
Professional school with many opportunities to learn and network. Prepares students for a career
It was an amazing journey. The city and the campus were beautiful and I met some incredibly intelligent and thoughtful people. However, the academics were extremely stressful and support for students was haphazard at best. Expectations were often unclear and you compete for help from not only the professor but also the graduate student instructors with many students.
Very large, requires students to be confident and self-motivated in reaching out to professors and departments.