TASP College Tour
College Tour Marks Its 13th Year

TASP participants Mohammed Al-Nuzaili, Faisal Baig, Justin Brooks, Eduardo Peraza, and John Perkins share their thoughts on TASP’s 13th Annual College Tour and the City of Los Angeles.

Before our trip, the thought of going to college in Los Angles was more of a dream than anything. It was a nice thought, but was it realistic? Most of us had never been to LA. We relied on what we saw on TV or in the movies to tell us what the city was like, so that’s where we began. One week, four colleges, and plenty of activities later, our trip to Los Angles was something that I’m sure we won’t forget for a very long time.

The first college we went to was UCLA. We visited the main library which had a great learning environment. UCLA also has a large number of majors for students to choose from, such as engineering, math, and science. UCLA got our attention since it has many really smart professors. One of them inspired us because he achieved the highest score on the SAT when he was eight years old. Unbelievable! If we took a class from this professor we would be inspired to do our best, to show that we are smart and able to do all the work.

Another interesting college was USC. We got to see the beautiful campus, learn about the school’s amazing history, and the tour guide gave us lots of information. He encouraged us to consider USC as one of the colleges that we apply to in the future. He told us about one of the USC football players who went to Galileo High School (the same school some of us attend). USC has a variety of sports and there’s a field for every one of them. That’s pretty important to those of us who are trying to play sports in college. Furthermore, USC provides plenty of scholarships and financial aid for students who qualify. Finally, USC has a big student body that could make it easier for students to socialize and make new friends. We learned that this can help students get comfortable in their new home in a really short amount of time.

At Chapman University, they let us sit in their Board Room for our information session. Fancy! They offer many different private scholarships that are tailored to low-income and first-generation college students. The best part of all was the cafeteria food. They had “all you can eat,” just like the other colleges we visited, but Chapman’s food was much better. Our tour guide told us lots of stories, so we got a better sense of what it’s really like to attend this school. Walking around the campus we could see how nice it is, and how new the buildings are, and we could see ourselves spending four years here.

The other college we visited was Occidental. The school has 31 majors and classes are kept small so that teachers can really get to know their students. Community building is important at “Oxy,” and the school does a lot of different things to make sure students get to know each other. For example, all students live on campus for the first three years. The school also provides lots of opportunities to take classes that are not in your major. These things showed us that the school really cares about how students learn and cares about their experience while in college.

In preparing for the college tour, we knew that getting to know the city was just as important as visiting the colleges- it’s where we may spend four or more years of our lives. After our college visits each day, we got to do fun activities that are part of L.A’s local culture. We hung out at the Santa Monica Pier, rode bikes up and down the beach for 3 hours, spent a day at Magic Mountain, and one night we even went bowling.

We felt the combination of college tours and fun activities gave us a good sense of what it would be like to live in L.A. Equally important, going on this trip helped us understand all the entrance requirements and all the different financial aid and scholarship opportunities offered by the different schools. This information will have a big impact on where we apply in the future.

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