Student Quotes

In Spring 2016, all seniors in the UCLA College of Letters and Science were asked to complete a survey on their experiences at the university. The survey explored students’ views regarding their studies, lives on campus, and future plans.

The result was more than 5,900 seniors responding – approximately 79 percent of the graduating class. Survey responses document students’ views on the overall UCLA experience, student and campus life, academic majors and minors, faculty and courses, and research opportunities for undergraduates. 

Nearly 3,000 seniors – 51 percent of survey participants – responded to the following survey question: What was your most meaningful learning experience at UCLA? The majority of responses to this question fell into one or more of 12 themes, presented below and accompanied by select responses.

Personal Growth (21%, 998 responses)

One of the most meaningful learning experiences that I've encountered at UCLA happened to me at the residence halls. After talking to a few friends and opening up to them, I finally accepted the fact that I am gay. Before coming to college, I was in the closet and never dreamed of coming out to anyone through my college career. Hearing how open and accepting my residence hall friends were really pushed me to open up myself and I finally came out to people easily. After their acceptance, I decided to come out to my roommates as well, which I was incredibly terrified of. After that, they were also very accepting and did not mind at all. Honestly, this learning experience was very important in my college career, because for me, self-discovery was something that affected me greatly after. I learned that there will be people there for you and that will support you no matter what, and that there will also just be people in your way of reaching your goal and that you must overcome those obstacles in life.

It is very difficult to decide, but I think that my most meaningful learning experience at UCLA has been the accumulation of many experiences which have allowed me to learn about myself and grow as a person. Whether that was learning about different interests I had, prioritizing my values, and learning about others, I was able to take from every aspect of being a student at UCLA and learning about myself and what person I want to be.

UCLA gave me the self-esteem to speak up. I always used to doubt myself before attending UCLA, but being here and interacting with the motivated and great students that UCLA has, gave me the confirmation that I needed to know I am able to pursue my dreams, go to law schools, and be a great lawyer.

The most meaningful learning experience at UCLA was realizing that I am adequate. Prior to transferring to UCLA, I did not think that I was good enough but I know that I am and that I need to be more confident in my academic abilities. I am proud to be a UCLA Bruin!

I learned to critically analyze the world around me, to form an opinion about it and to express that opinion. That last thing, expressing it, was something that I had to achieve on my own the hard way but when a student learns to not only teach themselves but also teach others, knowledge can be a very powerful thing.

Before UCLA, I disliked where I came from, where I lived. I thought I was better than the people surviving here. I have never been so wrong. After living in Westwood, I am proud of who I am and where I came from. I am proud of my neighborhood and I am going to help build my people up. I am going to give back to the world that raised and shaped me and created the me I love. UCLA has given me the tools for me to pursue this goal.

My most meaningful learning experience had nothing to do with class. People don't realize that college isn't just "more class," it's the time in your life where you actually learn to take care of yourself and transition into the new world of adulthood. During my time at UCLA, my most meaningful learning experience was learning how to take care of myself and be on my own.

My most meaningful learning experience was understanding the person I was. It's hard to explain, but all of the little social and academic challenges and experiences I faced while at UCLA gave me a better understanding of my own character. Sometimes the person I thought I was wasn't actually me at all.

I definitely went from an immature child to becoming someone I'm proud of. When I graduated from middle school and high school, I don't think I could say that about myself. Of course, I have a lot to work on, but I appreciate the environment that UCLA has endowed me with for the past four years, to grow as a person and academic.

My most meaningful learning experience was learning how to prepare for extremely hard tests. The challenge UCLA has presented to me really taught me how to retain mass amounts of material and to also understand it. I was able to pass the CFA level 1 exam (a financial exam) on my first try as a student, only 43% of people passed. I can honestly say I would not have been able to study for this exam as effectively as I did without UCLA.

Struggling in classes and overcoming by studying and working hard. I appreciate the work ethic that UCLA has taught me to develop and that is probably the most important thing I discovered at UCLA.

I failed chemistry and I learned that as a human being we all have limitations. Now, some people might see this as bad, but I saw it as something good. We all bring something different to the table, something unique. Some are great at chemistry and others at art.

Curriculum (19%, 935 responses)

I honestly think I'll treasure the time I spent in my comparative literature classrooms. I finally felt like the abstract thing that I study had meaning and connection to the outside world, sometimes in ways that I didn't expect. Interpreting the world is a lot like reading.

I loved taking the GE Cluster Evolution of Cosmos and Life. It was an excellent course where I learned and discussed topics that are important but will probably never study again. It's good to learn how our world works, and I believe that it is important and meaningful to have students from all backgrounds understand this. While I enjoyed my major, I think that this year-long class has had a profound impact on how I see the world.

My minor classes taught me a lot with all the group work we had to do with the companies we had to present about and all the entrepreneurs I heard speak. It gave me so much insight on the real world.

When I got to start taking upper division classes that were smaller. I liked the information I was learning much more than the prereqs. It made me feel like I was actually learning. It was incredibly difficult for me to learn in a 400 person lecture.

The summer field course in the EPSS department was a month in which I learned the most I ever had in any class. Day after day, continually being exposed to in-the-field situations in which I applied previous knowledge and gained new knowledge made the experience an invaluable one, which I will always look back on fondly.

Thankfully, I have had many. Chem14D with [name redacted] taught me the value of a professor, and demonstrated the definition of a good professor - CS31/32 taught me programming, and showed me the interesting world of CS. I learned to appreciate the logic and knowledge involved in programming, and became a smarter thinker (per se) - GEs (in general) demonstrated the value of a liberal arts education. Many people enter UCLA thinking that GE's are useless. Some GEs may be better than others, but I was honestly surprised how much I enjoyed learning topics from diverse fields. It gives you a broader perspective on things. - Neuroanatomy (NS102) truly changed me as a student. The neuro majors who passed and survived NS102 will probably agree. Although it was the most painful course I have taken at UCLA, it was also the most rewarding. I would be a different person and student if I hadn't taken 102.

I feel that I have had a very well-rounded scientific education, and my most meaningful learning experience I would say was when I got to hold a real human brain in a Neuroanatomy class. That was the first time I was able to comprehend exactly everything that I was learning in my neuroscience/psychobiology classes. The fact that the brain was available to us students to physically hold in our own hands was an amazing experience that I will never forget.

I think the most meaningful learning experience at UCLA is that I have a chance to learn the materials not just only from the lecture, but also beyond the knowledge of it and how to apply that knowledge into an actual test or real life. I also learn about different cultures during my undergraduate experiences at UCLA.

My most meaningful learning experience at UCLA was my first quarter, during Transfer Summer Program (TSP). Thanks to AAP and TSP, I was able to get a head start at UCLA and get to know that UCLA culture. As a minority and first-generation college student, I felt that TSP made a great positive impact on my academic career because it challenged me to learn in different ways that were always rewarding as a student.

Honestly, the pressure of speed of the quarter system really pushed me to become a better student, and really pushed my stamina which I think is immeasurably valuable. It showed me how strong I actually am and how far I can actually push myself.

Taking very difficult classes. It showed me that anything can be learned if you just keep showing up to lecture, keep reading the textbooks, keep doing the assignments, keep taking the exams, regardless of the grades you're receiving. You will learn the material.

Joining the Sports Medicine Internship Program. Joining SMIP has solidified my decision to go to medical school. I have gained incredibly valuable patient experience and have learned invaluable knowledge that I think will be very helpful throughout medical school and life.

Extracurricular Involvement (8%, 378 responses)

That you have to know your limits. In my one year as a student-athlete, I was pushed physically, mentally, and emotionally. As determined and motivated as I was, there came a time when I learned that it was okay to step away. With injuries, grades slipping, and a social life consumed only with teammates, I had become very unhappy. I learned to move past my experience and move forward. I was able to try so many more things, be more engaged with my service organization Bruin Belles Service Organization, and eventually become a leader in the organization. I learned that it's okay to not be okay. It's okay to seek help, to tell your friends that you are unhappy, that you can't handle it. I have become such a stronger leader, student, and person from being on a UCLA athletic team.

Being a part of the triathlon team, I joined my freshman year and have learned a lot about myself as an athlete, a scholar, and a person through my experiences on the triathlon team.

My most meaningful learning experience at UCLA was probably when a piece I wrote for the Daily Bruin received both negative and positive attention from readers across the country, leading to it being picked up by other media outlets such as Buzzfeed and People. It taught me that I am coming from an extremely valuable and prestigious place of education, unlike many other people in this country, and I have been taught to be open-minded and respectful when it comes to listening to and even disagreeing with other people's opinions, which a lot of people can't say. That experience taught me to stand behind my words and to be proud of being someone who knows how to articulate my opinions and stand up to criticism in a constructive manner.

My most meaningful learning experience was joining Students for Integrative Medicine, a student-run organization at UCLA. Because of this, I feel the most equipped to join the industrial workforce as I am now able to effectively manage a team, write grants, stay organized, operate google applications effectively, communicate well, and more. Taking a few society and genetics courses have most shifted my view of medical issues shaped by our society and has taught me the importance of staying informed not only for academic purposes but as a consumer.

My most meaningful learning experience I had at UCLA was when I began to involve myself in organizations on campus. Through becoming more involved and open to participating in clubs, I decided to attend a meeting for the Genetic Counseling Student Interest Group. This was definitely the most important experience of mine at UCLA, as it helped me discover my career goals and meet like-minded students aiming to enter the same field. From the group, I have made life-long friends.

I joined Bruin Consent Coalition, formerly known as 7000 in Solidarity: A Campaign Against Sexual Assault. I found an interest I will be passionate about the rest of my life. I met people I hope to stay in contact with long after graduation. I learned about others' experiences and I learned about myself. I learned about what it meant and what it felt like to be dedicated to something greater than myself. I am eternally grateful for my involvements leading this organization.

The most meaningful learning experience for me at UCLA has been being a part of HOOLIGAN Theater Company.  It helped me realize just how much I love theater and teaching, and just how much this is the field I need to be in because it is where I feel most at home.

There have been too many to just choose one! I think that being part of my a cappella group, ScatterTones, has been my most meaningful experience. Through the group, I received so many opportunities that I would never have dreamed up, such as performing in front of thousands of people and traveling all over the country.

I have too many great experiences to describe, but I think joining my sorority was the most meaningful learning experience. I learned how to adapt quickly to high-intensity situations, how people's work styles mesh to achieve a common goal, and how to be selfless. I found my two best friends through Mu Alpha Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated. Doing community service for my org confirmed my interest in education, and gave me the opportunity to throw events that brought my community together.

Joining various organizations on campus and learning how to better work in a group, interact with others, and develop stronger leadership skills.

I did really enjoy all the events UCLA held (i.e. Spring Sing). They really did help make UCLA feel like home. I also really enjoyed my volunteer experiences. Particularly, Amigos de UCLA was probably one of the best things I've done at UCLA.

Faculty (8%, 371 responses)

Being involved in [name redacted]'s HC70A/AL classes was the most meaningful learning experience at UCLA. He has pushed me right out of my comfort zone, challenged me in every way possible to do things I never thought I would be doing, and most importantly, providing helpful guidance all along the way. I have learned to not take anything at face value, and to always ask for the supporting evidence, alternative explanations, etc. From his class, I no longer saw science as individual reactions or processes, but instead more as entire discovery processes and someone's life stories.

Having a small discussion with a group and a professor for PROPS. It was unreal to have a professor talk to a group of just several students instead of a few hundred. It was so nice to get immediate feedback. And it made me feel like the professor cares about my research experience here. It motivated me to be more prepared and focused for the next discussion.  Most classes have felt mutually detached for me. I felt that the professors were TOO busy with conferences, publications, labs, mentoring grad students, that they just taught a class because they kind of have to. In return, I felt just as preoccupied in the lectures.

My most meaningful learning experience was learning to interact with professors on a one-to-one basis. Before attending UCLA, I had never attended office hours. I had refused to visit my professors or even email them because I had an intense case of social anxiety and low self-esteem. However, at UCLA I learned that even the smartest students ask for help and show up to office hours. Though this was not academic learning, it is something I can carry with me elsewhere--the ability to ask for help and expose my work for constructive criticism.

My most meaningful experience was having the opportunity to work with my professor on personal projects, but projects that also benefit other students. I made some videos on YouTube available to anyone, so people can learn the Kichwa language, and so it is known as well.

The most meaningful experience I had was learning many life lessons from my instructors. From many instructors, I learned that it is equally important to be focused in research and dedicate time to future generations of scientist so that the future generation of scientist follow that tradition. Another important lesson I learned from an instructor was that no matter how successful one is in life, one must remain humble, no matter how difficult that task could become. I not only increased my knowledge at this institution but was also fortunate to gain some wisdom from some amazing individuals that mentored me in their classes.

My most meaningful learning experiences were in classes where the instructor was obviously very excited about the subject they were teaching. That enthusiasm made me want to learn more.

The professors were very helpful outside of class and were willing to spend time helping students not just with class materials, but also with their future plans.

My most meaningful learning experiences were among the personal relationships I built with a number of professors. I sincerely enjoyed meeting them outside of class to discuss a wide range of subjects, both intellectual and personal.

My most meaningful learning experience was being able to have the great professors and TAs I had. Many of them are well known in the community of my major, so having the honor to be in their class was memorable. It's not because they are famous, but because these people are well respected or they have something really interesting to present. So I will never forget those moments.

The quality education and learning from professors that were experts in what they are teaching.

When I saw my own experience reflected in the course material and I had the opportunity to delve into it deeper with my professor and nerd out about it with her.

Diversity (7%, 349 responses)

People of all different backgrounds come here; it's a fact. And that fact has benefited me enormously because I've had to interact with them. It appears to be established in the scientific literature that people who regularly interact with others from a different background in a diverse environment become less prejudiced (less racist, sexist, homophobic, and so on).  Case in point: My roommate last year was from South Korea and came to the U.S. several years ago for his education. He transferred last year to UCLA and candidly admitted to me that he held racist views about blacks (and probably other races, I don't know). Upon coming to this country, going to community college … and interacting regularly with blacks and other minorities, he admitted that he was wrong and felt bad for holding such views. Being black, I appreciated his honesty. To me, it's powerful evidence, even if it's based on a sample size of just one person, that diversity in an environment is enormously beneficial for those who have never experienced it before. I've learned other things from being in an environment that had people from all walks of life (and I've been in these kinds of environments my whole life, but UCLA exemplified it best), but to hear something so profound and honest from someone I knew confirmed that this place had so much to offer and teach to its student body. There's value in that.

My most meaningful learning experience at UCLA was being exposed to diverse groups of people whether it be through the LGBT Center, the Daily Bruin, on-campus employment, or my internship. These opportunities have allowed me to come in contact with many different perspectives and backgrounds, and as a result, I believe I am a more compassionate and socially aware person, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity through UCLA to encounter all these things.

My most valuable learning experience was understanding that there are too many different types of people. There is no way that I can ever generalize anything about anyone and know the struggles they are going through or have endured. Being open to what everyone has to say is probably the most important lesson I learned at UCLA. Trying to understand everyone's perspective is the best way to truly become close with others.

My most meaningful learning experience at UCLA has occurred in most of my courses and through the interaction with other students of color who have, like myself, overcome many obstacles in order to reach this milestone in our academic careers. As a first-generation, single mother of color, it is up to my peers and me to help create positive changes for communities of color and my UCLA degree has better prepared me for that. I now feel empowered in a way that I was not prior to UCLA.

The most meaning learning experience at UCLA was my disability studies classes and any other classes that taught about an underrepresented culture. We typically do not get to learn about history or perspectives from other cultures so I really appreciated the opportunity.

Being immersed in such a diverse culturally environment and having that environment challenge my opinions about things and changing those opinions as a realized new things on campus and with the people I interacted with.

One of my most meaningful learning experiences was just in becoming more aware of the world around me and learning about the unique experiences of students and people of all different backgrounds.

UCLA has taught me to be an individual that embraces differences in others and accepts them.

I heard a different narrative, I interacted with people and cultures that I had never even heard of before moving to Los Angeles.

To always pursue knowledge, to be open-minded, to listen to different perspectives, to be empathetic, compassionate, and understanding, and to reach out to others.

Intellectual Gains (7%, 330 responses)

Taking a GE Cluster my first year gave me my first exposure to a different kind of learning which combines different fields of study into one course. It was definitely a challenging course but allowed me to see learning as an interactive network of distinct fields of study. It also allowed me to see one idea through different perspectives.

Also, the knowledge I have gained about physical and human geography and how geography is connecting the other fields of academic and scientific study in the world. Being/getting connected and educating others is key for nurturing a sustainable future.

The most meaningful learning experience is how to learn a new material through asking questions and researching. UCLA really pushes me to think critically and at the same motivates me to do research proactively in order to find the answers and I think this is a really important skill to have for a future career.

In retrospect, the most meaningful thing I learned is that there is so much to learn. I love learning, and I will never stop learning.

I took a random GE writing class on disability studies. As a south campus major, I found that the concepts and material learned in that class were completely different from the way I was used to. It opened up a whole new approach on things that I didn't even know existed, and I am thankful to have had experienced this new perspective on life.

Learning about how to think critically as a freshman in my cluster prepared me for the challenges that lay ahead, both in and out of school, gave me a better appreciation for those around me and my classes, and helped me draw more from my education and experiences.

My most meaningful learning experience at UCLA was the diverse courses I took not only in my major but the GE's and the many film classes I took. They each added depth to my life and perspective of the world, people and the myriad of opportunities available to all of us.

In general, honing the process of demonstrating patience and deliberation when discussing issues, no matter how controversial. Few other places allow for meaningful, passionate, and vigorous conversation. 

I have gained knowledge and critical thinking from the lectures and raised my interest to social issues which make me become a knowledgeable and well- educated person.

I learned that I came into UCLA very closed-minded and suffocated by the values of my small town. I came out of UCLA with an open-mind and less judgmental attitude.

Friendships (5%, 240 responses)

I leave UCLA with meaningful friendships and relationships. In my four years of undergrad, I have made it a point to surround myself with good influences that will keep me on track to my goals. The world can sometimes seem a place where only attention and fame is valued, and many times the people doing the most impact in the world are those you don't hear much about. Many of my friends and peers are quiet, but their aspirations to changing themselves and the world for the better, have motivated me to keep persistent and confident in my own goals. They motivate me endlessly to not be someone the world looks for but to be someone the world needs.

I cannot think of an exact experience, but just going through life challenges while in school (as an international student) and getting to know people from all around the world who have become my good friends have helped me develop into a mature adult. My experience at UCLA over my four years here has been such a blessing, albeit tough.

My most meaningful learning experience at UCLA has come from the individuals I have met in my career field. We have helped each other through our successes and failures and through our failures we have helped each other find ways to get back on our feet. These are the same individuals who have helped me go through my resume, my interview skills, and job applications.

Meeting my best friends and engaging in the social learning experiences that grew me as a person and a responsible individual in my community and my friend group. Also, the aspects of enlightened political thought that broadened my mindset about politics and the past of our country forever.

I learned a lot about myself through the friends I made and the social experiences I had outside of the classroom. Yes, I definitely learned a lot in the classrooms, but the majority of what has impacted my life has been the experiences I had outside the classroom at UCLA.

Meeting many wonderful, smart, humble people has been by far the best experience I've had at UCLA.

The relationships I have built at UCLA have helped shape who I am today and who I want to become.

Making lifelong friendships is the most meaningful experience I have had at UCLA.

Making a best friend.

Research Experience (4%, 197 responses)

Information attained through my current research project has sparked my creativity, allowing me to perceive science from different angles. Studying biochemistry as an undergraduate, I established my foundation for scientific understanding, through which research helped me grow as I employed my own additional research methodologies to answer questions effectively - a process that parallels my musical experience. Blowing air through my clarinet, I followed the sheet music while employing my own unique stylistic interpretation of the piece. This kind of improvisation is similar to how doctors follow established medical protocols while employing their own unique diagnostic approach to serving patients. Song composing requires understanding the different instrumentations to combine the varying components into a cohesive piece. Likewise, throughout my undergraduate career, I have defined my approach to research through interdisciplinary learning in order to extract and synthesize information from diverse disciplines from which to base my primary research projects.

My most meaningful learning experience at UCLA was being a Fellow in the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship. Through MMUF I was able to realize my full potential personally and as a scholar. As a Mellon Mays Fellow, I was given several rare opportunities, such as conducting research undergraduate research, participating in a summer research program in Chicago, presenting my research at an academic conference at Stanford University, and given assistance with graduate school applications. The experience and knowledge I gained through this program have drastically prepared me for a career in academia or even a career in any field that I pursue.

The opportunity to perform research as an undergraduate taught me technical computer and laboratory skills, as well as general critical thinking skills, presentation skills, and good work ethic. The research was my favorite part of my undergraduate experience and the most meaningful.

Being able to work in a laboratory setting for one of my MCDB required courses was extremely valuable to me because I, with a group of three other classmates, had to run a series of assays to identify a previously unidentified gene based on that gene's expression in sea urchin embryos (MCDB 104AL). This course was concluded by the completion of a research paper to summarize the results obtained from the quarter-long experiment done in this course. Not only did I learn several experimental techniques that will help me in my future career endeavors, but I have also gained valuable experience by working with and collaborating with my peers to complete this long experiment, and this experience will also help me when I enter the workforce. I believe this class is the most relevant and beneficial class I have taken at UCLA.

My MIMG 103AL/BL lab experience was my most meaningful experience at UCLA. I worked closely with people very different from me and dealt with group members with extremely poor work ethic. I feel that I excelled in these classes because I had the resources that I needed to do so, both from the professor and my TAs. I truly feel like I mastered the material and grew as a microbiologist and a person.

The research class I took for my internship. I was asked to teach myself advanced economics that transcended undergraduate learning. And I had to present it to the instructor every week. To this day, I still reflect upon how that experience taught me analytical/critical thinking, and communication/presentation skills. These skills have been very applicable in my professional career.

My most meaningful learning experience was the first time I truly understood the neuroscience behind what I was researching in my lab. I began my research lab as a sophomore before I had taken any neuroscience classes. As I took more neuroscience courses throughout my Junior and Senior year, I was able to apply this knowledge and see how much I learned each quarter. This meant so much to me because I felt like I was accomplishing something every time I didn't need to ask for help understanding a concept.

My most meaningful experience at UCLA was being a part of a research lab on campus and being able to work with graduate students/faculty on their research. It was such an amazing experience to be able to put into practice the concepts I've learned in classes and gain skills that will no doubt help me throughout my career.

Research. UCLA is one of the best institutions for research. The professors here are brilliant and HUMBLE. I have learned to be humble and work hard through working with the amazing professors or PhD students here. Despite them being so intelligent, they are still very humble with new information or peoples’ opinions.

Challenges (3%, 147 responses)

A lot of people at UCLA come from backgrounds where they have no idea what it is like to ever experience being denied from anything, or having to struggle to reach where they are. They have many things handed to them and are put in place to succeed without even realizing that. They continue to plague the school and hold back progress from being a fair, welcoming, and positive institution. On top of that, they generally cause the most trouble and end up being the most annoying people on campus. Sad to say that they are able to get away with causing issues and creating a bad environment, but the school refuses to do anything about it. Hopefully in the future that will not be the case.

Upon my first year here at UCLA I became extremely discouraged with the competitive atmosphere and the difficulty of the transition from high school to an acclaimed university. I started to doubt myself, but I always tried to remind myself that I am here for a reason. That is something that I strongly believe. Although it has definitely not been an easy four years academically, emotionally, and physically, I have learned a lot about myself and my intellectual, emotional, and physical capabilities. I have surprised myself with many successes and many failures. Throughout my college career here at UCLA I have ultimately learned that perseverance, determination, and mere belief in yourself can get you through anything. UCLA has been my most difficult encounter, but also the most rewarding experience thus far in my life.

I think failure was the most meaningful experience to me. Being completely academically broken from my first year at UCLA, on academic probation, dropped from my major, and on subject to dismissal then picking myself up and searching for help was what I needed. UCLA taught me that you need a community to thrive. A community of mentors and friends that help you push through and support you was the most meaningful part.

The most meaningful learning experience had to be where I failed an exam in an area that is not my forte. I changed my attitude and studied intensely. When I took the second exam, I performed perfectly and was the only one with a perfect score. This magnified to me my ambition, my determination, my inner fire to never give up.

Being rejected from clubs/organizations. Not doing as well in classes as I wanted to no matter how much I studied. I think these experiences definitely helped me improve as a person, no matter how much they hurt me when they first happened. I have definitely improved my interview and social skills and my studying habits and am continuing to learn from my mistakes and be better for myself.

I would say the most meaningful learning experience at UCLA was not actually from the classes that I took, but it was mostly just a work-life balance. There were periods of a lot of stress during my time here, and learning to work through these stresses is a learning experience in itself and has helped prepared me for the future.

Struggling and learning to persevere.

Travel Study (3%, 129 responses)

My time in Glasgow, Scotland studying physics was the most challenging academic experience I've ever had and, at the same time, very rewarding. We were the first year of the program and it was kind of a mess at first, but we pulled through and I learned a lot about physics and myself by the end of it.

I already wrote about my study abroad experience, which was by far the most memorable. Every second I spent in Cuba opened my eyes to something new. Even if I wasn't doing an academic activity, even if I was just eating lunch or taking a walk I was absorbing knowledge from all my surroundings. And the experience of living in a boarding house with seven other girls gave me lifelong friendships.

Studying abroad was the most meaningful learning experience I had while at UCLA because I learned so much more than just the academic classes I took there. I grew as a person the most when I studied abroad in a country where I didn't know anyone and didn't really know the language. I feel like it was the most meaningful experience I had and made me enjoy being back at UCLA after even more.

My most meaningful learning experience at UCLA was studying abroad in Rio de Janeiro. This experience taught me a lot of about myself and the world around me. I learned so much about living on my own and helped me realize my own strengths and gratitude for my life in the United States.

My most meaningful experience at UCLA was my Study Abroad program in Hong Kong. I learned a lot and have unforgettable memories from my time there.

There was no one incidence, though the majority of it stemmed from my study abroad experience, where I gained more insight into myself and my future goals as well as my creative taste and things I wanted to accomplish.

My most meaningful learning experience at UCLA was definitely my summer travel study in London with [name redacted]. He taught us to go out and to explore the city, rather than to sit in a classroom every single day. He showed us around the city and gave us maps to see how it developed over the last several hundred years. I learned how to look at a space for its history rather than just its present and future.

My most meaningful experience happened outside of UCLA but was the direct result of being at UCLA. I was able to study abroad in Korea, almost all expenses paid through the Korean studies center. Honestly, studying abroad was so meaningful to me and I was able to do what I never imagined and meet wonderful people.

Interactions with Classmates (2%, 90 responses)

The best learning experiences I had at UCLA came from the other students, who would push me to excel further than sometimes the expectations I held for myself. One of my classmates in particular used to help me with my homework while I was struggling in my first math class (Math 32AH) at UCLA. I didn't know proofs at the time, and the graduate student who was teaching the course taught material at an upper division level with graduate level amounts of coursework. I am extremely grateful for my friend for all of his help - something I do not know if I can ever repay. It has helped forge my future career and allowed me to continue down my path as a mathematician.

I really enjoyed my violence in religion class.  There were people of different religious beliefs in the class, and I was amazed at the respect that we all showed one another when discussion sensitive topics.

My most meaningful learning experience was having classes with people of different kinds. I learned how to better understand and respect people of different kinds through our interactions from learning. It is actually a beautiful thing.

Knowing people who have the same kind of interest as I do, and learning from each other through discussion and conversation.

While I do find what I learned in the classroom important I believe I learned equally important lessons from other fellow Bruins.

Until recently in winter quarter, I had a great study group that everyone helped each other out and were friends with one another. I love my group. And also my group had a "pushy" member, who always pushed others to start an assignment early and discuss with each other. Thanks to that member, our group did really well.

Just being around people who challenge me academically and socially has driven me to succeed and reach new heights here at UCLA.

Civic Engagement (2%, 79 responses)

The CAPPP Program in Washington DC was the best experience I had as an undergraduate student. I loved the city and I loved the people that I did the program with. But even more than that I loved the learning experience of writing my research paper and only having the one focus and the flexibility to work at my own pace. The best part of the entire thing though was my internship. I absolutely loved working there and had a great experience with my employer. I learned what it meant to work a regular job and loved the experience. The other reason I found this such a great experience was applying for the program. Once I got into the program, which was an experience in itself, they really helped to develop both my resume and my interview skills. I learned about the best ways to construct my resume and any cover letters to apply for future positions. I also learned interview skills to help me answer to the best of my ability. I know I will keep these skills with me because I now sometimes use them to help others I know applying for positions.

My most meaningful learning experiences were outside of the classroom. I think I have learned the most from my involvement in community service, specifically Project Literacy and the Community Service Commission. I have and am currently holding leadership positions in both organizations and they have helped me learn so much about the world, service, how to be a leader, about the problems in our country, and more.

Being a part of student activism. Learning in classrooms had its benefits, but applying the critical thinking to student activism made the learning feel worthwhile. Being a student activist, I noticed the limitations of reading lots of books and writing lots of papers. The reading and writing skills I learned at UCLA are extremely valuable to me, but I also learned that I would need problem-solving a creativity to come up with solutions in the so-called real world.

Working in sexual assault prevention activism. Specifically, the Clothesline Display at UCLA was incredibly influential and amazing for me, I plan to come back for it every year.

Enrolling in a service learning course that allowed me to tutor underserved youth and learn more about the Chican@ community.

I have also completed/will complete 600+ hours of community service and this for me was valuable because I had the opportunity to work with and get to know incredible faculty and undergrads.