University of San Diego

San Diego, CA: I was eight years old when I first ­visited the University of San Diego. As a young Girl Scout excited to watch “Monsters, Inc” in a college gym, I didn’t pay much attention to the school itself. I had no idea that in ten years I would be a student there. But here I am, attending the university I have been enamored with for the majority of my life.

The University of San Diego is a private Jesuit/ Catholic school. Religion is present on campus but is not forced on anyone; in fact, all faiths are welcome. A few semesters of religious courses are required, but the choice is completely the students’ and they have many options ranging from classes on the Bible to Buddhism. The school has a beautiful chapel that ­students frequent for mass.

USD offers a multitude of study areas and programs. There is a business school, law school, peace studies school, graduate nursing school, engineering program, arts and sciences program, and a school of leadership and education. The university provides its students with many great options.

In addition, USD has an incredible range of sports and activities. There are 22 club sports, 18 intramurals, and Division III athletics. As a sports fan, I was a bit disappointed that the school does not have a football team. However, once I attended a Torero ­basketball game, experiencing the massive school spirit, I felt right at home. Many of the club and intramural sports are unique, including inner tube water polo, dodge ball, tango, water-skiing, and paintball (to name just a few). And if none of those interest you, you can start your own team!

The school is always bustling with activities. The theater department puts on shows throughout the year, various renowned guest lecturers are invited to speak, and there are many other cultural and campus-wide events. Sororities and fraternities can be found here, as well as over 100 clubs.

And, if that’s not enough, USD offers a study abroad program that is sixth in the nation for undergraduate participation. Students can live and study in a foreign country of their choice and apply those credits toward graduation. It is a great opportunity to experience a new culture, learn a language, and explore the world. USD’s study abroad program encompasses 30 countries and even offers a Semester at Sea program, where students cruise to a variety of locations. With all of these fun activities, it seems there is never a dull moment at USD.

As a high school senior, I participated in a prospective-student overnight program. Not only was it great fun, but I learned how awesome the food is and how spacious and well-furnished the dorms are. There are five living options for freshmen and even more for ­upperclassmen.

Many dorms are right in the heart of the campus while others are in what is called “the valley,” a green area down the hill from the center of campus. Parking does not seem to be an issue, and a shuttle bus runs every day. The campus is large (in terms of its population and design), but not so large that I would worry about getting lost or not seeing friends between classes.

This beautiful campus is located on top of a hill in sunny San Diego, overlooking the nearby Tecolote Canyon and Mission Beach. Being in San Diego and so close to the beach, the university normally has sunny, warm weather with little climate change. So, if a gorgeous school with a priceless view, warm weather, and countless academic and extracurricular activities is what you are looking for, be sure to apply to and visit the University of San Diego. Go Toreros!

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