This past Wednesday, we hosted our annual California Day in London, which is a pre-departure orientation for reciprocity students in the UK who are gearing up to study abroad at one of the UC campuses in California. With a whopping 95 students and host liaisons in attendance, in addition to our awesome UC ambassadors, who are currently studying abroad in the UK, we had a completely full house!
To kick off the afternoon, we heard a presentation about the visa process from Evelina Bozek, a representative from the US Embassy in London. I’m sure it was clarifying for many students to hear her presentation, and some of our current UC students realized it’s just as hard applying for US visas as it is for UK visas!
After the initial welcome and info session, we split up into separate groups according to which UC campus students were placed at. From there, our amazing UC ambassadors took over and gave presentations on their specific campuses, talking to reciprocity students about everything from housing and health insurance, to the ins and outs of what life in California is really like and what they can expect. I think it was both fun and enlightening for all parties involved – as least, it was for me!
To cap off the afternoon, we headed to the pub for a California themed pub quiz and networking reception. Congratulations to the winners of the pub quiz, a team from Brunel! They broke a tie for first place by getting the closest guess of the population of California – they guessed 35 million and our population is 39.5. Not bad!
Hopefully all students that attended feel more prepared and even more excited for their adventure to the Golden State – it was a very fun day for everyone! One of the special things about California Day is that we’re all Californians who are studying or working abroad here in the UK, so it’s strange but cool to talk to students who are about to make the exact opposite journey. Plus, most of us will never turn down the opportunity to brag about the merits of Mexican food and perpetual sunshine! Good luck everyone!