Exploring Colleges: UCSB

People often ask me, “How did you study when you lived by the beach?”

When I went to UCSB (the University of California, Santa Barbara), I did bring my books to the beach on occasion, and I may have opened a book once or twice. But I didn’t really study at the beach. If I wanted to study, I went to the library or stayed home. When you live by the beach, the beach becomes a constant, and it’s easier to just say no. That is, if you’re not a surfer.

IMG_1147 The UCSB campus is dramatic. Located on cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the campus smells of salt air and the sounds of the ocean, and the sight of surfers is only a short walk or glance away.


Most of the 22,000 students (about 18,600 undergrads) live on campus or in the sleepy neighboring Isla Vista (IV), an unincorporated ½ square mile area 8 miles north of the city of Santa Barbara.

IMG_1143 Walkers give way to bicyclists on bike paths that pervade the campus; 53 percent of the students ride their bikes to class. There are seven bike path rotaries, an on campus bike shop, bike lockers and bike parking lots and even bike air pumps scattered around campus.

IMG_1131 Having a bike makes it easy to get to the beach. And to class.

Davidson Library

UCSB offers more than 200 majors, degrees, and credentials in five different colleges. The most popular majors include: biological sciences, economics, psychology, communication, political science, chemistry/biochemistry, environmental studies, English, sociology, physics, computer science, history, and film and media studies.

In spite of the school’s proximity to the beach, US News and World Report recently rated UCSB as number 11 among public colleges and universities in the nation. The campus is home to 11 national institutes and centers, and its faculty includes five Nobel Prize winners for landmark research in physics, chemistry, and economics.

Student at the beach

Obviously, there are some people who study and study hard. The question is, will you be one of them?

Trip taken August 2013.

One thought on “Exploring Colleges: UCSB

  1. These are so cool! I went to UCSB and was a huge time club swimmer as well as water polo so this just makes me miss pool life as well as UCSB. It’s just around that time when I would love rather then dread jumping into the pool! The weather is getting warm, the days longer and it was just a fun time. College is sadly in the past but the memories last a lifetime. These were a great idea to take, wish I did something along these lines. I visit from time to time but it’s nothing like living there! Isla Vista was itself its own little world, can’t find anything like it anywhere. Now when I go I tend to steer clear of the drunken college town and stay somewhere nicer, the South Coast Inn (www.goleta-hotel.com). Right by campus but much much nicer then anything you’ll find around there!


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