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Scoop Interviewer: Amanda Braga
Interviewee: Alice Braga
Alice Braga, 2017 PASB Alumni, has been living in Los Angeles for over 6 months now, facing challenges and conquests in the amazing University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Scoop has managed to schedule this engaging interview in the midst of her studying. She shares advice and experiences.
Scoop: Describe UCLA in two words:
A: Huge and beautiful
Scoop: How big is the campus? Do you have to walk a lot?
A: It is huge. It takes me around 20 to 30 minutes to get to most of my classes. Expect to do A LOT of walking.
Scoop: Are there many Brazilians there?
A: There are a few, although I haven’t met many. I happened to be randomly roomed with another Brazilian, a girl from Sao Paulo and we became fast friends. There is also a Brazilian students club on campus, but they never meet or use the whatsapp group chat.
Scoop: How is the weather there? Was it difficult to adapt?
A: The weather is all over the place. There are days when it is as warm as Salvador and other days when you think you’ll freeze. The temperature itself never gets too low, but it gets very windy, so warm jackets and cardigans are an absolute necessity in the fall and winter months (and even in the spring). It is also very dry, so staying hydrated is very important.
Scoop: How are you liking the food at the dining halls? Is it diverse?
A: The food here is actually pretty good! Because it is such a big university, they have many different dining halls and cater to pretty much all food restrictions and preferences. There’s plenty of choices to choose from, so even if you have a food allergy or are a picky eater like me, you can still eat quite well.
Scoop: Which is your favorite dining hall?
A: My personal favorite is BPlate, because it is close to my dorm and it also has a gluten free room, which is perfect since I’m a celiac. But really you can’t go wrong with any of the dining halls here.
Scoop: What are you majoring in?
Scoop: How is the workload?
A: Not too bad. It’s really mostly just reading and writing papers, and of course, studying for exams. You do need to put in effort into it though, but it’s definitely manageable.
Scoop: What are some tips you have for high schoolers considering to apply to college in America?
A: My biggest advice would be to read the syllabus and keep track of all important dates on an agenda (electronic or otherwise). I can’t stress this enough. Most teachers won’t remind you of due dates in class, and will expect you to know what you need to bring or have done by the beginning of each class. Also, do not skip class. I know it’s tempting to sleep in or not go to that class you don’t like, but going to lectures and paying attention goes a long way in being prepared for those exams. Taking good notes is very important too. Trust me, you’ll be grateful you have them when it comes time to study for the midterm or final. Also, familiarize yourself with the terms of your visa and your college acceptance. And make sure you are not infringing any of them. A friend of mine almost got kicked out of the school and lost her student visa because she wasn’t fulfilling the credit requirements. Just be safe, be mindful of your responsibilities and, most of all, have fun!
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