Student Spotlight

Name: Shubham ModiShubham Modi

Class Level:  Sophomore

Major:  Undecided

Why did you decide to come to UCSC?

I wanted to attend a UC and UCSC was the only UC I got into. Besides that, UCSC's location and campus was a major contributing factor too. I am affiliated with Porter College. 

Where were you born and where do you consider home?

I was born and brought up in Gorakhpur, which is a small town in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India.

What has been your most memorable moment at UCSC so far?

I would say everyday I spend here at UCSC is a cherished memory. But the international orientation days have a special place. It helped us settle in so well. The orientation leaders were really nice and helpful and we also got to make a lot of new friends. It was a great start to college! 

What do you like to do when you are not studying or attending classes?

I like to hangout with friends, walk around the beautiful campus or just go out and meet new people.

What advice do you have for international students interested in attending UCSC?

I would say that the key to success at UCSC is time management! You won't want to be the one who is partying all the time nor would you want to be the student who is just sitting in a corner of the room all day that doesn't socialize at all. 

What has been the most surprising thing since arriving at UCSC?

One thing that definitely surprised me was how friendly and helpful people are here. It helped me settle in really easily and I never really felt home sick.

If you could have a super power (such as flying or x-ray vision) what super power would you choose and why?

I would like to be Flash - this would enable me to complete all my assignments in a blink of an eye!

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Name: Sara Hanich (Undergraduate)

Sarah Hanich

Major: Politics & Sociology

Why did you decide to come to UCSC?

The open-minded atmosphere of UCSC is magnetic. As a Politics and Sociology major affiliated with Merrill, activism is essential to who I am. Encouraging students to question the way our communities operate, the way our governments make decisions, and how we can unite to change the norms that the media has conditioned us to accept.  But truly engaging in an atmosphere of like-minded individuals only amplifies one's drive to really seek change and to see through the stigmas and stereotypes of our societies.

Where were you born and where do you consider home?

I was born and raised in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

What has been your most memorable moment at UCSC so far?

To point out one specific memory will not do justice to my experience here. Ever since I’ve joined UCSC, I’ve truly grown as a person. The different people you meet, the beautiful environment you learn in, the amazing professors- it really is such a rewarding experience being here. My program has exposed me to great content and material that I wouldn't have known existed otherwise. Classes are not just a one way dialogue of aimlessly listening and taking notes, it’s an inclusive conversation between the professor and the student. I've had some really amazing classes here that I can honestly say have moved me and changed the way I think of the world around me, and my place as a woman in it.

What do you like to do when you are not studying or attending classes?

Well, since I’m far, far away from home, I love to catch up with all my friends back home! If anyone knows me well enough they'd know I can't go a day without calling my family and friends. I grew up very athletic as well, I was in all kinds of sports teams back home. I try to keep that part of me going by utilizing the gym and track at OPERS.

What advice do you have for international students interested in attending UCSC?

Really try to make use of your time here. Join groups or clubs that really move or interest you. Take classes that you genuinely like, and you'll excel. Most importantly, be open minded and understanding of those around you. I know this well since I’ve come from a very different place, with different norms and ideals. This is a learning experience that doesn't come printed in a book; this is an experience you can only gain from those around you. UCSC is a very diverse place, and students from all over the world bring their cultures, traditions and beliefs with them. Tolerance, acceptance and understanding will make your ride here very smooth.

What has been the most surprising thing since arriving at UCSC?

There are so many trees!!

If you could have a super power (such as flying or x-ray vision) what super power would you choose and why?

I'd love to read minds; I think we only say half of what we think about. It'll be interesting to actually get the full story for once!

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Name: Carl Lindqvist (Exchange Student from Lund UniversityCarl Lundquist

Major: Ecology

Why did you decide to come to UCSC?

I decided to come to UCSC due to several reasons. But the most important ones would be the nature, and the courses offered. I'm affiliated with college nine.

Where were you born and where do you consider home?

I was born in Sweden in a suburb to the Swedish capitol Stockholm. My current home is in Malmö, in the most southern tip of Sweden.

What has been your most memorable moment at UCSC so far?

There are many to choose from, but a field-trip with the course Mammalogy last fall is definitely among the best.

What do you like to do when you are not studying or attending classes?

Spending time with friends, preferably somewhere in the nature.

What advice do you have for international students interested in attending UCSC?

If you like spending time in the nature, go for it, probably not that many Universities other than UCSC where it's this accessible.

What has been the most surprising thing since arriving at UCSC?

How much more challenging it is to bike up to the campus than I initially realized. It kills you.

If you could have a super power (such as flying or x-ray vision) what super power would you choose and why?

The power to make anything fun. "Can't wait to do the dishes, OMG!"

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Name: Holly Chen (Undergraduate)International Student Profile Holly Chen

Major: Marine Biology

Why did you decide to come to UCSC?

I choose UCSC for two reasons. First, I love surfing; it soothes me and makes me think. I didn't get too many chances to surf growing up because I've always lived in cities with little or no surfing opportunities. And second, big cities, as fun as they are, never stop moving and Santa Cruz is slower paced. I choose UCSC because Santa Cruz is exactly the opposite of what I'm used to. I can surf anytime I want to, I can escape the constant rush and motion of the city; and for once, sit under a big redwood tree and just be still for a little while.

Where were you born and where do you consider home?

I was born in Taipei. I spent the first half of my life there and the second half in Hong Kong. I consider both cities home. Taipei is my roots, my culture and my family. Hong Kong is where I found myself and who I wanted to be.

What has been your most memorable moment at UCSC so far?

It's difficult to pick just one! I guess I have to go with the afternoon I decided to switch from a Social Science major into Marine Biology. Sciences, despite grabbing my interest at a young age, have always been outside of my comfort zone. I've avoided it at all cost because I didn't believe I could handle math and chemistry. It was a long decision process of picking between what is easy and what I truly love, and I'm relieved that I picked the latter.

What do you like to do when you are not studying or attending classes?

I spend a lot of time reading books. I like, hiking, and of course, surfing. I never seem to have time for these things back in the city.

What advice do you have for international students interested in attending UCSC?

Do something that scares you; it's the only way to grow. And I would not recommend going into the Porter caves after a big rain, you will spend hours cleaning mud off your clothes.

What has been the most surprising thing since arriving at UCSC?

The silence. I went on a night hike during my first month here and I found myself amazed at how quiet it is out in the woods. Back at home, it was almost impossible to find true stillness. And here, I can walk and walk and walk until my phone loses it’s signal, I can appreciate the sounds of nature.

If you could have a super power (such as flying or x-ray vision) what super power would you choose and why?

I'd like to be able to breathe under water (and throw immunity from deep sea pressure in with it as well). It would be useful.

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Name: Jasper Even (Exchange Student) Jasper

Major: Politics

Why did you decide to come to UCSC? 

I decided I wanted to enrich my Dutch major by studying abroad at an inspiring university. UCSC's Politics courses are perfect to reach that goal. Therefore I decided to try to get a spot as an EAP student at this beautiful campus.

Where were you born and where do you consider home?

I was born in the Netherlands and still consider that my home. Even though I love my college town Utrecht, I am starting to feel at home in Santa Cruz as well!

What has been your most memorable moment at UCSC so far?

Luckily I am still in Santa Cruz for a while, but so far I really love looking out over the bay while getting from campus to my home off-campus using my orange bike.

What do you like to do when you are not studying or attending classes?

I enjoy spending time with my great housemates and walking or cycling to the beach to have an amazing view over the Pacific.

What advice do you have for international students interested in attending UCSC?

Explore all your possibilities, choose wisely but do not be afraid to leave your home or friends behind. It will be a great experience and certainly worthwhile.

What has been the most surprising thing since arriving at UCSC?

It is surprising to me how much I already knew about the United States and its people due to films and popular culture, but also how much I did/do not know. It remains an adventure to get to know this culture.

If you could have a super power (such as flying or x-ray vision) what super power would you choose and why?

It is really hard to choose one super power, because there is so much that will improve life! Relevant to my exchange year, I would go with 'teleportation'. That way I would be able to attend UCSC, explore the U.S. easily and have a nice dinner with my Dutch friends and family.

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Name: Naga Venkata Sai Indubhaskar Jupudi (Masters student)Jupudi

Major: Computer Engineering

Why did you decide to come to UCSC?

I felt that the research and the course structure best suits my interests

Where were you born and where do you consider home?

India

What has been your most memorable moment at UCSC so far?

Going to the beach for the 1st time.

What do you like to do when you are not studying or attending classes?

Going to the beach.

What advice do you have for international students interested in attending UCSC?

The terrible thing is the housing. So look for housing before coming here.

What has been the most surprising thing since arriving at UCSC?

The physical structure of the university.

If you could have a super power (such as flying or x-ray vision) what super power would you choose and why?

Ability to think is the super power that humans already got. So,  I don't think that I require more super powers.