By Sam Coren
For years students around the world have been flocking to Northern California’s Bay Area to spend their college years. And there’s good reason for that: UC Berkeley (affectionately known as “Cal”) and Stanford University allure some of the best and the brightest minds with good weather and world-class resources that rival their East Coast counterparts. Additionally, the proximity to Silicon Valley offers incredible research and internship opportunities for students interested in pursuing tech related careers.
But which is the right fit for you? Fortunately, StudentAdvisor has a ton of excellent college reviews on both Berkeley and Stanford. Let’s see what the students have to say:
UC Berkeley Reviews
“Cal is truly a melting pot, not just racially but also in terms of mentalities. Perhaps other campuses can boast better statistics of racial diversity, but I have found first hand that they don’t matter when students take REAL advantage of any color, background, belief, idea, nationality, experience, language and of anything you can or want to add to that list, no matter the numbers. Cal Bears don’t need multitudes of different. I have found that no matter your take on the issue of diversity, on affirmative action, on equal opportunity, or on whatever the issue at hand, Bears will always make the most out of our universe.”
“Students at Cal are really passionate about their studies and everyone is full of school spirit.”
“only 20 minutes from San Francisco by car or subway”
“Berkeley is about understanding things from multiple perspectives and relying solely on your own perspective will produce a very narrow thought process; and hinder your performance in exams and essays.”
“There are overcrowded majors and sadly enough overcrowded classrooms; and it just so happens that my two majors, Political Science and Spanish Literature, are fatal casualties to the budget fails of the UC system.”
“Since there is a large student body, it is sometimes hard to get quality time with advisers and to get in small classes.”
“I know a lot of students are very worried about their abilities when they arrive. I make this assertion because, the most common question a freshmen will ask is, “What was your SAT score?” It is an attempt to mitigate fears about their chances of success relative to their peers.”
Read more UC Berkeley student reviews.
Stanford University Reviews
“Stanford will give you a platform to discuss your interests and an audience to hear them. The level of commitment to students is honestly astounding: you can get a job here, you can get an internship here, a research grant, etc. Neither of my parents went to university and none of us knew what to expect; three years later, I’m an honors student on full, need-based scholarship working on a thesis.”
“The academic reputation of Stanford has helped people find jobs and teachers strive to know students personally and help them through any difficulties.”
“The campus is gorgeous and spacious. There’s quite a lot of outdoor activities to do. On a sunny day, you’ll find lots of students on the lawns just playing frisbee or hanging out.”
“Stanford students have the tendency to do as much as they can, and the pressure is definitely on. At the same time, there’s a pretty lax attitude that really betrays the level of stress many students actually experience. We call it the “Stanford duck”: looking calm on the surface but frantically paddling to stay afloat. This can be extremely discouraging and isolating as well, and oftentimes it can be difficult to snap out of that in a place where everyone is working just as hard– if not harder– than you are.”
“A lot of the professors are usually busy with research so expect student assistants to be in the majority of your classes.”
“Stanford has programs that are not as flexible for students who want to explore or want more humanities. Advising is not as good as asking professors themselves for their opinion.”
Read more student reviews on Stanford University.