What is My Degree and How Do I Use It?

Beginning Fall Quarter 2017, UC Davis began using My Degree, a streamlined online advising tool that can be used to track students’ progress towards degree completion and plan future quarters. Staff advisors can also use it to certify a student’s degree when graduation rolls around. Using My Degree, students see what the advisor sees, eliminating the degree progress obscurities of the not-so-distant past and allowing students to check their own degree progress any time, anywhere. However, only a staff advisor can input exceptions and class substitutions for degree requirements. Please note that My Degree is not an official degree check and it is not equivalent to seeing an advisor.

DISCLAIMER from the University Registrar: “My Degree is not a replacement for academic advising nor does it override any decisions made by academic advising units or Dean’s Offices. The My Degree audit is not an official confirmation of degree completion, and it is not an official transcript.”

Degree Audits

My Degree refreshes nightly with a new degree audit. An audit provides an estimate of the progress made towards degree completion and shows what courses and requirements are still needed for graduation. If any changes are made to your student record after the Last Audit, you can manually select “Process New” to update and include any new information. Using the “Format” dropdown box, you can also change the view mode to “Graduation Checklist” or “Registration Checklist,” which shows all your courses being used towards your major and the courses still remaining/needed for your major, respectively.

New Major vs. Old Major Requirements

Many majors in the College of Biological Sciences recently underwent major changes. For example, Biological Sciences no longer requires an emphasis, and Neurobiology, Physiology, & Behavior now has three separate tracks. My Degree may be set automatically to the major requirements from the catalog year that you entered with, but if you entered UC Davis before the changes to the major, you are entitled to the requirements of either the old major, or the new major. (Reminder: you must follow only one and cannot mix-and-match different requirements!)

For graduating seniors following different major requirements than what they started with, it can be a little panic-inducing to log onto My Degree one quarter before graduation as a last-minute check of degree completion and see that the progress bar shows only 70% complete. No worries! My Degree is likely set to an older catalog year. You can see your progress with more recent catalogs by using the “What If” function and selecting a different catalog year. Of course, it is still strongly recommended to make an appointment with your major advisor for a final, official degree check as you approach graduation.

Plan Ahead

When it comes time to choose new classes, you can input them into My Degree to see what requirements they fulfill in two ways: using the “Look Ahead” function, or using the “Choose Your Future Classes” option through the “What If” function. This is extremely helpful in creating plans for GE or major courses.

Again, keep in mind that My Degree is just a supplemental tool and is not intended to replace advising. Please still see your advisor for your final degree check. Otherwise, have fun playing around with this new, convenient tool!

For more information and tutorials on how to navigate My Degree:


Amanda Dao
BASC Peer Advisor
4th Year: Neurobiology, Physiology, & Behavior Major, Art History Minor


Students Perspectives – Studying Abroad

study abroad.jpg

As a study abroad returnee, I can honestly say that choosing to study abroad was one of the best decisions that I made during my undergraduate career here at UC Davis.

There are over 300 programs offered though UC Davis Quarter Abroad, UC Davis Summer Abroad, UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) and Independent Study Abroad. This blog will focus on the UC Davis Quarter Abroad and Summer Abroad programs. With so many programs offered, at first, the process of choosing a program may seem like a daunting task. It’s important to take the time to ask yourself why you want to study abroad and what you want to get out of the experience.

Below are a few fellow students’ perspectives on their study abroad experiences including why they chose to study abroad, reasons they picked their specific program, how their experience influenced the way that they see themselves/ the world and some of their favorite memories from their respective study abroad experiences.

UC Davis Quarter Abroad Programs:

Latinx Health Internship Program
Oaxaca, Mexico

IMG_5504Joanna Muñoz is a 5th year, Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior and Chicanx Studies double major. During Fall Quarter of 2016, Joanna studied abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico. In the future, Joanna aspires to apply to medical school and become a physician that provides care to underserved communities. Below is a outline of her experiences.
“I chose to study abroad because I wanted to experience something different. Being a student in STEM can be often be very overwhelming so I sought to enhance my studies outside of the science classes I was taking on campus.

I had heard a lot of positive feedback from my friends who were previously enrolled in the Latin(x) Health Internship Program in Oaxaca. The way they talked about their experience abroad made me want to do the same program. Like my friends, I am interested in pursuing medical school after my undergraduate career and I wanted to become more culturally competent. I was eager to learn about the prominent transnational health issues and participate in clinical rotations in not only the clinics, but also the hospitals of Oaxaca.

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My time abroad changed my life. Studying abroad in Mexico –the motherland of my parents– strengthened my dedication for my community. Seeing a physician raise awareness about important healthcare issues and then facilitating presentations myself, made me want to become an advocate for underserved communities. Being confused for a doctor and being addressed as Dra. while studying abroad has motivated me to persist until I make my M.D. a reality. Furthermore, learning about the health disparities between Mexico and the United States motivated me to learn more about the history of Mexican-Americans in the United States. As a result, this past Spring Quarter I declared a double major in Chicanx Studies.
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Some of my favorite memories include walking along the streets of Oaxaca, alongside my friends who are now like my second family, running into the oh so popular calendas (parades) in front of Santo Domingo (one of the main churches in Oaxaca City), going to the mercado (market) for some hot chocolate, being able to watch a natural birth and a cesarean section, and singing “Adios Mosquito” to a class of elementary school students in an effort to teach them about the tropical disease of dengue.”

Italian Language & Culture in Florence       Florence, Italy


Carlotta Sainato is a 4th year Biotechnology and Italian double major. In the Fall of 2016, Carlotta studied abroad in Florence, Italy.

“I decided to study abroad because I had heard incredible stories from friends and other students who had studied abroad, either in the program that I did or other programs. I knew studying abroad would help me develop my language and conversational skills and help me really experience and integrate Italian culture into my life. Also, it was an opportunity to live in a completely different part of the world and visit other countries that I’d never seen. IMG_1051

I chose my program (Italian Language and Culture in Florence, Semester Abroad) because I had been taking Italian classes at UC Davis and discovered how much I enjoyed learning the language and culture. I am half Italian, so I have always had an Italian identity, but really delving into the classes helped me strengthen that. I knew going to Italy for a semester would help me connect with my roots in a completely unique way.

IMG_2175My experiences gave me a lot of insight into what other countries were like and their cultures. I definitely feel like I have barely scratched the surface in terms of learning about other countries, it has opened my eyes to how beautiful and rich they are in culture, and it has inspired me to travel more and explore the world as much as I can.

Some of my favorite memories from studying abroad were when I was traveling, both in and out of Italy. Visiting an old friend in Copenhagen, exploring the Roman forums, and roaming throughout the Parisian streets were just some of those incredible memories. A few of my favorite memories were also the amazing people I got to meet and get to know through my program.”


UC Davis Summer Abroad Programs:

Genetics – The Global Language of Biology Austria, Czech Republic, UK, Sweden


Geoffrey Osgood is a 4th Year Animal Biology Major. In the summer of 2017, Geoffrey studied abroad in Austria, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom and Sweden.

“I studied abroad because I wanted the opportunity to experience new cultures, make some new friends, and see what sort of options there were for a biology major outside of the United States.

I chose my particular program because it helped fulfill some of my major requirements, went to interesting countries, and went to multiple countries. Since my free time over the summer was limited, the last part turned out to be a major selling point because it allowed me to see a wide variety of cultures and locations in a short amount of time.

Studying abroad helped me learn that even though we might have cultural or language differences with other nations, at the end of the day we are really just people and have a lot more in common than it may first seem. It also helped foster a sense of self confidence because I saw that I could function by myself even when I didn’t know a language or was in unfamiliar surroundings.

There are so many fond memories I have of the trip, but I really enjoyed walking around the public gardens during the evening in Vienna, having a Great Hall dinner at Cambridge, and kayaking around Stockholm.”

Life Sciences
Kyoto, Japan

Carrie 2

Carrie Sun is a 4th year Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior major with a minor in Dramatic Arts. Carrie studied abroad in Kyoto, Japan during the Summer of 2016.

“My decision to study abroad primarily started with a Japanese travel food guide that my housemate had bought. They were  already enrolled in the Japanese summer abroad program! After glancing through the book once, I fell in love with the food and culture in Japan. At that moment, I was thinking wouldn’t it be great to travel and learn at the same time. As a result, I considered the summer abroad programs that were offered in Japan. Instantly, I found studying BIS 102 in Kyoto, Japan. I know this is going to be an amazing opportunity for me to go out and see the world.

There were two main reasons why I chose to study abroad in Kyoto, Japan. First,
BIS 102 was one of my major required classes to fulfill before I graduate.
Therefore, this would be an amazing opportunity to fulfill my upper division
requirements. Another reason was because of the food and culture in Kyoto, Japan.
Kyoto, within the Kansai area of Japan, is considered to be the capital of culture and tradition in Japan with so many different temples to explore. Carrie 3

The study abroad experience in Kyoto, Japan was phenomenal because not only was I able to explore the Japanese culture with my fellow classmates, but I was able to learn a lot from the Japanese students at Ritsumeikan University (private university in Kyoto, Japan where our classes were held). It was amazing how the thirty of us bonded within a few days into the program. Being abroad widened up my vision of the world. Often, we only vision the world through a single lens, either through television or the computer, but when you are physically there, you explore and learn from the environment around you. The world is full of different cultures, people, and background, so being able to be abroad for a month was an experience full of excitement. With this amazing study abroad experience, I am looking forward to traveling abroad to other countries.

Carrie 1.jpgSome of my favorite memories during the study abroad programs would have to be the field trips that we went on, the hangouts we had with the Ritsumeikan students, and the study sessions we had the day before the exams. One of my favorite field trips was when we had our first traditional Japanese bento box lunch. Within the bento box, there were a variety of different sashimi, vegetables, and mochi. Being able to try something new abroad was an amazing experience to gain. Next, one of my favorite hangouts with the Japanese students was when we went out for Okonomiyaki (Japanese Savory Pancake). Throughout dinner, we exchanged memorable stories and experiences we had in our lives as well as participated in cultural exchange. Lastly, the study sessions we had in our dorm before each exam was unforgettable. During each study session, the professor would come in with bags of Japanese snacks to feed our stomachs and, also feed our brains with all the information he wants us to remember. Being able to study together not only brought us closer, but also allowed us to ask questions whenever we were confused on a certain subject.”

Microbiology Lab in the Kingdom of Smiles                        Thailand


Cathy Tang is a 4th Year Animal Science major. In the future, she aspires to apply to nursing school. During the Summer of 2017, Cathy studied abroad in Thailand.

“Studying abroad started as a fun idea then a couple weeks into the quarter, it became a goal of mine to accomplish. I decided I wanted to get out my comfort zone. I hadn’t gone overseas for about a decade and everyone that has been abroad said that it was the best college experience they had. Ultimately, I chose to do it because I wanted to have fun and experience a new culture but still be on track academically so studying Microbiology in Thailand was the perfect route for me.

IMG_5502The program itself was relevant to my present and future. While Microbiology is a required course, visiting Thailand has always been on my list of places to travel to. And not only is it a course needed to graduate for my undergraduate studies, Microbiology is a course required for many of the Nursing programs I desire to apply to in the future. I looked more into the program and what sparked my biggest interest in the program was the opportunity to learn hands on laboratory techniques. During the time of my decision making, I just got accepted into working at the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology and thought if I take this course prior to working in the lab, I would be more experienced.

IMG_5499I became more open minded and relaxed after studying abroad. Being in a country where you can’t speak its native language, you have to ask questions in order to get stuff done thus I greatly improve my communication skills. I normally stress very easily and make a big deal out of my insignificant problems but after my experience abroad I realized how small my problems actually are. While I stressed over exams and deadlines, some individuals I met in Thailand wished they had schoolwork to stress about. I became more humble and grateful for the life I have and not take things for granted.

IMG_5501My favorite memories abroad were actually the moments where my friends and I faced problems. I enjoyed solving it together and getting home in one piece. There has been countless time where we would be hours away from home and no taxis would take us back. The novelty of everyday was also something I find myself missing after my trip. My friends and I made it a goal to do something new everyday whether it’d be trying a new food spot or heading into the city to visit Chinatown, etc. Once I came back to California, I noticed how much more open I was to trying new things and thus feel more motivated about life in general.”

Public Health & Rural/Urban Medicine

Susie Leung is a 4th year Global Disease Biology and Environmental Science & Management double major. In the Summer 2017, Susie studied abroad in India.
“I chose to study abroad for a multiplicity of different reasons; personal development, learning a new culture, and education. I think the biggest factor that motivated me to study abroad was having the opportunity to immerse myself in a new culture, where I could experience and pursue my goals of public health outside the scope of the U.S.

Growing up watching Bollywood films and movies I was only able to view India through one lens. It was either portrayed as extremely impoverished or affluent, but it never captured the true beauty and culture of the country. So, I chose to go to India to experience not only it’s many attractions, but also to experience its rich and diverse cultures.

After going to India, I have a deeper appreciation for all the things Americans generally take for granted such as working roads, running water, and functioning infrastructure. I remember when I visited the slums families with nothing would offer me everything. With that being said, India has influenced me to be more thankful, positive, and selfless.
My favorite memories of India was interestingly visiting the slums and rural communities. Their selflessness and happiness always seemed to touch and surprise me. Of course I also enjoyed visiting the beautiful temples and architectural feats, such as the Taj Mahal.”


My Experience:

I am a 4th year Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior major with minors in Chicanx Studies and Spanish. I studied abroad in the Fall of 2017 in Oaxaca, Mexico.


In the Fall of 2016, I participated in the Latinx Health Internship Program in Oaxaca, Mexico.

During my first year mandatory advising appointment, I discussed with my academic advisor at the Biology Academic Success Center about my wanting to study abroad. After we discussed some of my interests such as Public Health, Medicine, Health Disparities and Spanish language, my advisor recommended the Latinx Health Internship Program in Oaxaca.

During the 11 weeks in Mexico, I had the opportunity to take UC Davis classes on transnational (US-Mexico) health issues, Indigenous Healing and Biodiversity in Latin America, Latinx Health Issues, Medical Spanish Language classes and participate in 180 hours of clinical rotations primarily in governmental primary care clinics. The courses offered provided relevant cultural competencies trainings that are integral for future health care professionals.

Our Altar and Tapete

There were so many fond memories that I have of Oaxaca. One of the highlights was definitely celebrating Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Our group constructed a traditional altar and also made a tapete to honor those that have passed away before us. We also had the opportunity to visit local cemeteries and experience some of the traditions that different families have.

I also had a wonderful time with my host family. When I first arrived in Mexico, I experienced culture shock. It was my first time in Mexico and all of my Spanish language speaking experiences had only been in the academic setting. At first, I struggled with everyday, casual language. My host family created such a welcoming environment for me and would always correct my Spanish every time I made mistakes. I really valued this because it really helped me to improve my Spanish to a more conversational level.

IMG_3309I am also eternally grateful to the professors, Dra. Adela de la Torre, Dra. Yvette Flores and Dra. Queta Valdez for their guidance and support throughout the program as well as for all the friendships that I made with others on my program. Boarding my flight to Mexico, I was nervous because I did not know anyone on the program. This quickly went away at orientation and bonds and friendships were quickly formed. I think of many of the people that I met on my program to be some of my closest friends and while in Oaxaca, they became my second family. This experience that we all share is something that, even one year later, we talk about every time we see each other.

I hope that this blog gives you a better idea about study abroad as well as a more in-depth glimpse into some of the study abroad programs that UC Davis offers! Below are some links to different resources that can help answer some questions that you may have!

Studying Abroad Programs for Biological and Health Sciences

Misconceptions about Studying Abroad as a Biological Sciences Student

Grant Tominaga
BASC Peer Adviser
4th Year Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior Major

Resources for Undeclared Students

Three years ago, when I entered UC Davis as an Undeclared Life Sciences student, I had no idea what I wanted to major in, what career path I wanted to pursue, or what I wanted to do with my life in general. My interests were very widespread and all over the place. One week I would be inspired by an article I had read about a new, groundbreaking biomedical device and would “decide” that I would major in Biomedical Engineering and the next week I would have a meaningful interaction with an academic advisor and decide I wanted to go into higher education and counseling.

While I only officially changed my major twice (first from Undeclared Life Sciences to Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior and then to Biopsychology), I changed my mind about a million other times. While this time of exploration was exciting and having so many options felt freeing, I also really struggled with figuring out how I should go about making this decision and finding resources to help me determine my passions. Many of my conversations with Undeclared students in advising appointments center around this idea – that having so many major and career options is overwhelming and they just don’t know where to start.

If you are in the same boat as so many of us at UC Davis and are unsure about your major or future career, here are some difference resources that you can utilize to help aid your decision.

Major Exploration Tool

The major exploration tool is an online program that asks you to designate different academic and career-related categories you are interested in. Based upon your answers, it then generates a lists of majors that could be a good fit, the major descriptions, and links to their websites. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdQrcRStSVrdVXI4kF0UDjuAHGQDWqXXXFCkUif1tVTgfwBCQ/viewform

Major Card Sort Tool

The major card sort tool is an online program that gives you descriptions of various majors and asks you if you are interested, possibly interested or not interested in each description. Once you have responded to all the cards, a list of majors you would most likely be interested in will populate and you can explore the tool’s suggestions. http://academicadvising.ucdavis.edu/majorcardsort/

What can I do with my major or degree?

The Internship and Career Center houses the “What can I do with my major or degree?” web page which has a huge amount of data about UC Davis, the four colleges, and all of the different majors. It includes links to employment and salary statistics for UC Davis graduates. http://icc.ucdavis.edu/research/what-can-i-do.htm

Career Exploration by Interest Area

The ICC also has a page dedicated to information on different interest areas like Health and Medicine, Food and Beverage, and Biological Sciences. Each interest area has extensive information on related fields and careers, campus organizations, and professional associations. http://icc.ucdavis.edu/research/industry.htm

UC Davis majors

This link lists all of the majors at UC Davis and provides information such as real world outcomes for the major, the requirements, the department website, and major advisor’s email. https://www.ucdavis.edu/majors/

Advising Resources:

Student Portal: The Online Advising Student Information System (OASIS)

OASIS provides links for advising, advising resources, important quarterly calendar dates, as well as various forms and petitions, along with GPA calculators and tools. https://students.ucdavis.edu/, is your personal academic advising tool.

Biology Academic Success Center (BASC)

Location: 1023 Sciences Laboratory Building

Contact Information: (530) 752-0410 or cbsundergrads@ucdavis.edu

Schedule an appointment: https://basc.ucdavis.edu

Undergraduate Advisor (located at the Biology Academic Success Center)

Undergraduate advisors can evaluate draft study plans for proper course sequences and workload, perform degree checks, and provide information on university and college rules and regulations. Go to http://basc.ucdavis.edu/ to schedule an appointment one of the undeclared program advisors.

Peer Advisors

As BASC peer advisors, we are all currently enrolled  in one of the College of Biological Sciences (CBS) Majors. We can help you with questions regarding courses and scheduling, filling out petitions, general education requirements, getting involved on-campus, and on-campus resources.

During the academic year, we are available daily for drop-in advising at the BASC from 9am-12pm and 1pm-5pm Monday through Thursday and 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm on Fridays. We are also available in the Academic Advising Centers in the Residence Halls for drop-in advising.

UC Davis General Catalog:

The catalog contains course descriptions from every department as well as important general academic information, college and graduation requirements, student rights and responsibilities and much more! The University publishes the catalog online: http://catalog.ucdavis.edu/ – familiarize yourself with it as much as possible.

Good luck with your decision! My biggest pieces of advice are to give yourself time and freedom to explore and to not get discouraged when you don’t like a class or major you thought you would. Knowing what you don’t like is just as important as knowing what you do like.

Katie Galsterer
BASC Peer Advisor
4th Year: Biopsychology Major, Nutrition Science Minor

21 Things to Do Over 21 Days of Winter Break

As college students, we spend most of our quarter maintaining a delicate balance of work hard, play hard. As tempting as it is to become a couch potato over Winter Break, there are still plenty of important things to do. Here are 21 things to make the best of your winter vacation.

1. Apply for scholarships and internships.

This doesn’t have to consume your entire break! Spend a couple hours applying various scholarships and internships. All you need is one yes!

2. Exercise

You don’t have to wait until Jan 1st to hit the gym. Keep your body happy and healthy to stay in top condition as you feast during those holiday meals. It’ll help you look, feel, and perform better.

3. Host a holiday get together

Gather a group of your oldest friends and talk the night away. Play some fun games and reminisce old times while celebrating where everyone’s paths have led them.

4. Update your resume/cover letter

Add anything new that you’ve become involved with, and spice up what you currently have. It’s always good to have a fresh resume ready for whenever an opportunity arises.

5. Catch up on Reading

When was the last time that you read something for leisure? Probably years ago! Cozy up with a book of your interest during one of those rainy afternoons.

6. Purge Your Closet

Take time to clean out your closet and donate old clothes to those in need. Some good places to donate to are local shelters, crisis centers, Goodwill, and the Salvation Army.

7. Cook a meal for your family

You’ve somehow survived at least one quarter without food from home. Show your family what master chef skills you’ve acquired from having to feed yourself.

8. Volunteer

The holidays are a good time to give back to your community and help those in need. Volunteer at a local shelter, soup kitchen, or parade to spread the holiday spirit.

9. Go shopping for Loved Ones

It’s sales galore during the holidays! Find a perfect gift for your friends and family and revel in that look of joy when you get them what they’ve been wanting.

10. Do a DIY project

Whether or not you’re creative, try a fun DIY by yourself or with some friends. You never know what you might create!

11. Travel

Traveling abroad can be a life changing, noteworthy experience. This doesn’t have to be very expensive or require a plane ticket; road trips are just as exciting!

12. Play in the snow

It only snows during winter, so make the best of it while it lasts. Be sure to bundle up before building a snowman, creating snow angels, or starting a snowball fight.

13. Ice Skating

Ice Skating is a wintertime classic. Even if you don’t know how to ice skate, grab a pair of skates and a buddy to enjoy this activity together!

14. Visit a theme park

Go to a nearby theme park for old time’s sake. Be a kid again!

15. Jam out to some holiday tunes

What’s more fun than singing your heart out with the ones you’re most comfortable with? Rock out to your favorite holiday album, or my personal favorite, Michael Bub.

16. Baking cookies

What warms the soul more than freshly baked cookies? Bring the household together to bask in the smell of deliciousness sweetness.

17. Watch a movie or show

There are a variety of movies that come out during the holiday season – action, comedy, suspense. If you prefer your home screen over the big screen, snuggle up and find your new favorite show on Netflix.

18 .Do some self reflection

Look back on what worked for you and what didn’t to make sure the next quarter is as strong as it can be! It can only get better from here.

19. Shadow

Although there  might not be enough time to commit to a full fledged internship, now’s a good time to catch a glimpse at what your future career field may be. Regardless of if you know where you want to go, this is a valuable experience.

20. Make some money

Plenty of stores look for temporary help around the holiday season. Keep an eye out for businesses needing short term help or neighbors looking for odd jobs to be done.

21. Get some well deserved rest 🙂

You don’t get too much time to just take a step back and relax, so turn off those alarms and recover. Pamper yourself!

Christina Duong
BASC Peer Advisor
Third Year: Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior major w/Spanish minor

Globalized Campus: Peer Advice to International Students

Do you know, out of the 37,398 students enrolled in UC Davis in Fall 2016, 11.73% are international students? (As sciency as I am, I did the math – this is 4387 students!)

College is a great time to explore and experience. UC Davis not only provides great academic programs, but also creates a rich globalized environment where students can meet people from different cultures and nationality backgrounds.

The students in the official statistics above are F-1 or J-1 visa holding students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents. They either study at UC Davis for a full four-year degree, for short term exchange, or for language programs. However, some students who had their entire education before college in another country, or moved around several countries, will also self identify as international students even if they are U.S. citizens.

For all the official and self-identified international students, know that you do have support from the College of Biological Sciences and that you are not experiencing the transitions alone. Here are some advice from a third year international student peer to anyone who has moved to UCD from far away:

  1. Reflect: What to gain from the UC Davis experience?

    As an international student, the first thing you will want to consider is, what do you want to gain from this study abroad experience? The earlier you identify your goal, the more time you can work on it and the more experience you can gain. Everyone has their own unique goal at UC Davis. If you want to immerse in American culture, join clubs and go to events. If you wish to improve on public speaking, take classes and do related internships. If you want to do research, start looking for opportunities in research labs. There are so many things you can do to design your own study abroad experience. Enjoy the best time of life!

  2. Be Open-minded

    Culture is an essential piece embedded in personal values and social structures. You may be aware of some cultural differences beforehand, but unexpected culture shock moments can happen. Be flexible when you experience unfamiliar situations, and be open to try new things (a food, an activity, or a GE class). Look at cultural differences as part of your UC Davis learning and don’t limit yourself!

  3. Academics/student status

    As you already know, UC Davis is in the quarter system, which is different from many other schools. Time can go by really fast on a quarter system, and by the time you know, it is already the first midterm! Remember to attend classes and utilize office hours/tutoring sessions to clarify any questions. As an international student, it is also very important to maintain full time status by taking at least 12 units every quarter. Other than that, remember to reach minimum progress every year, which is an average of 13 units per quarter. Read more about good academic standing on the UC Davis Office of the University Registrar page and visit the Services for International Students and Scholars if you have concerns related to your visa status.

  4. Finding Support

    UC Davis is a big campus, space-wise and population-wise, but you can definitely build your own sense of community. Professors and advisors are more than happy to help international students with questions related to academics and non-academics. The International center, Cross Culture Center, and the Student Health and Counseling Services are also great resources to seek help. Most importantly, be open to making new friends, and remember to stay in contact with family and your old pals. Don’t hesitate to reach out to other people for support!

Linya Hu
BASC Peer Advisor
Third Year, Genetics and Genomics Major

Staying Healthy During the Winter

As winter is slowly approaching, it seems as though everyone gets attacked with the sniffles or has some sort of cold. Is it the change of weather or the failure to take care of your body? Or is it both? Even though cold weather arrives, sickness does not have to automatically follow. There are certain things you can do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim to the common cold.

Below are some simple things you can do to stay healthy and feel great during the winter:

1. Sleep! With midterms right around the corner, students tend to get less and less sleep. However, lack of sleep can have a serious effect on your immune system, making you more vulnerable to catching colds and decreasing your school performance. Think of sleep as a way to recharge your internal battery. Similar to a cell phone battery, as soon as you see the warning sign, you quickly locate a charger to prevent the phone from dying; why are we not doing the same with our bodies? Are they not more valuable than a cell phone? When you feel that your internal battery is decreasing make sure to get rest or check out one of the many nap locations Davis offers.

2. Eat a Healthy Diet!
Students’ diet mostly consists of coffee, granola bars, or something from the nearby vending machine that will provide quick energy to get throughout the day. Even though this is the norm, it is not always the healthiest option. Students should not neglect their basic needs, but instead make an even better effort to nourish their bodies. If you want to get better results in your academics, it is scientifically proven that a healthy diet is necessary. Eating foods that are high in the essential vitamins and minerals will help keep your immune system strong. Some examples of this will be Vitamin C and Zinc so make sure to include fruit, veggies, plenty of lean meats, fish, poultry, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and nuts in your diet. A very useful tool to purchase all your fruits and veggies in Davis is the fruit and veggie map. Also, the Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) offer nutrition and cooking classes at no cost to students. These classes encourage students to make their own meals and are meant to provide the student with cooking skills and nutrition education.

3. Exercise Regularly! As students, our lives revolve around midterms, papers, quizzes, homework, and the list goes on. Can you imagine trying to fit in a workout when you feel like you do not have enough time for all the assignments that are due? But did you know that exercise increases memorization, improves mood, boosts energy, promotes better sleep, and helps your immune system fight simple infections such as the common cold or flu. Wow! That should be more than enough reasons why you should exercise. During a study break, visit the gym at the ARC or you could do simple exercises in your own room. If I have been studying for a while and start to get restless, I’ll take a walk around the building or practice my handstands. The little exercise break gives my brain a rest and then I can continue to study effectively.

4. Stay warm! Even though it still feels warm outside, the weather is changing and cold season is near. In a few weeks, it will be time to wear all those warm scarves and sweaters that were tucked away all summer! Since the temperature is dropping, it is more important than ever to bundle up.  Temperatures drop quickly in Davis, so even though it may be warm during the day, at night it may be freezing. So always make sure to bring a jacket just in case.

Remember, even though cold weather is approaching it is still important to take care your body physically and mentally. Choose to stay healthy because by doing this, you and your body will benefit and you will get great results in return! Keep in mind, taking care of your body is very important, especially since you only have one!

Rufa Pazyuk
BASC Peer Adviser
Fifth Year: Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior and Religious Studies Double Major

So you wanna start a student org?

Starting a new student organization might seem intimidating, but if you follow these simple steps then you’ll be good to go in no time. Last Spring I decided to start my own organization called Princess Pals at UC Davis. This is a club where students dress up as Disney Princesses to bring joy to children in hospitals, homeless shelters, schools, etc.  We hold special activities such as tea parties, art and crafts, and story telling. By completing these steps quickly, we were able to become approved in just a few weeks.

1. Choose a name for your organizations

a. The name you choose must not violate the university trademark. You can use the school’s name only to describe location (i.e Princess Pals at UC Davis or UC Davis Princess Pals)

b. While you may have member requirements, they must not be discriminatory (they cannot be based off of protected characteristics such as sex, race, etc)

2. Fill out “New Student Organization Interest Form”

a. You will create a profile with your Kerberos ID and proceed to fill out the form at https://orgsync.com/login/ucdavis

b. Keep in mind the purpose and mission of your organization because you will be asked on the form

3. Recruit 4 other currently enrolled UC Davis students to be officers in your organization.

a. This step usually takes the longest! All 4 students must review and verify the form  prior to submission for approval

b. Make sure you get their emails and phone numbers to include on the form and to have for future communication

3. After you are approved as a Registered Student Organization (RSO) you’ll most likely want to create an Agency Account through the school. This will allow you to…

a. Reserve rooms on campus

b. Apply for CFC grants and other on campus financial services

c. Rent equipment from on campus services

To activate your account you will need to bring $35 in cash or check to the ARC business Center along with a printed copy of your registered student organization confirmation email.

Good luck! As long as you follow these steps you’ll be ready to go in no time!

If you have further questions then the Center For Student Involvement (CSI) is the place to go. They are located on the 4th floor of the MU and their phone number is (530)752-2027.

Anais Stepanian
BASC Peer Advisor
Fourth Year: Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior Major