Student Stories

Learn from the best! These 2016 Summer Session students chose ambitious course loads of 20 credits or more and ended the summer with phenomenal GPA’s.

We hope you find some inspiration in their summer stories. 


    Saki Azuma

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    Q: What motivated you to take Summer Session?

    A: "I was an international student from Japan, and my parents were running out of financial resources to pay my tuition after almost one year already. The only option I had was to attend both first and second summer sessions and take four upper division psychology classes to graduate by the end of summer 2016 with cheaper tuition. By the end, I had challenged myself to an extent I had not yet gone, as well as save many thousands of dollars."

    Q: Any tips & tricks to share with future Summer Session students?

    A: "Please be very present in every lecture you attend. The lectures are very intense and very, very LONG. No Facebook, Instagram, Twitter on your computer while in lecture, and unless you need (not want) your phone, stash it in your bag. It is very easy for you to fall in the pattern of hearing lectures instead of listening to material. Also, as most people are tired to hear, 'DO THE READING,' reading the materials ahead of time prepares you so much for an already condensed class. Do not forget to take notes either; any note taken now will prove to be helpful in the future."


  • Vicente Lovelace

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    Q: What motivated you to take Summer Session?

    A: "I am graduating two years ahead of schedule. Summer Session allowed me to make that plan a reality by zooming through major requirements and general education requirements with quality instructors in a compressed amount of time."

    Q: Do you have a favorite Summer Session story?

    A: "My Politics class, Law & Social Issues, took a guided tour to talk about Santa Cruz's sociopolitical history from the Bear Flag Republic until now. I found the unexpected experience to be incredibly fascinating, and I still annoy my friends with the trivia I learned on the tour whenever we're downtown."


  • Emma Tai

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    Q: What motivated you to take Summer Session?

    A: After falling behind in my expected graduation date due to a LOA, I felt it was in my best interest to complete my degree quickly. I chose to take four classes over Summer Session, one GE and three upper division courses needed for my major, so I would be able to finish my degree with only one additional school year quarter. I also managed to take my last quarter half-time because of Summer Session, which was a nice surprise.

    Q: Any tips & tricks to share with future Summer Session students (recipe for success, etc.)?

    A: Make use of the empty coffee shops around town and the libraries. The additional room you usually don't experience during the school year lets you really focus and work where you most want to.

    Q: Anything else you'd like to add?

    A: Summer Session was a really nice change of pace. I felt I got to know more people in my classes and speak to my teachers one-on-one more so than one would usually be able to.


  • Aona Zhou

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    Q: What motivated you to take Summer Session?

    A: My original motivation to take Summer Session is because I want to graduate sooner. This is my second year in UCSC and I'm on my track to graduate this summer with a major in Language Studies concentration in Chinese and a minor in East Asian Studies.

    Q: Do you have a favorite Summer Session story or class experience?
    A: I took Kresge's Service Learning class with Franklin Williams last summer and my initial intention was to fulfill my PR GE, however, I grew a strong interest in homelessness issue in Santa Cruz and decided to take the same class again in Session 2. Summer Session has introduced me to this social issue and I gained a deep understanding and hands-on experiences through that summer. I worked with homeless community and served them. Although I did hold a biased perception at first, I found out that they were just people like us and they should be treated with respect as well. Most of them were nice, appreciating, and warmhearted. 
    Now I have been working with Franklin Williams for almost a year, without Summer Session, I would never truly understand this serious issue since I came from a city where homeless people are barely seen. I do encourage anyone who is interested in doing service and making a difference for the community to take this class with Franklin. 
    Q: Anything else you'd like to add?
    A: In addition, I figured out some international students may have language and cultural barriers that make them hard to fully understand the issue of homelessness, or even enrolling for summer sessions since they feel outcasted, I would be happy to offer them help since I'm totally in for homelessness and diversity.