Harvard and Yale Model UN Tour - Day 1: UC Berkeley
14/01/2017: We've just kicked off our Harvard and Yale Model UN Tour, a knowledge and history filled tour around the US, which will include two model UN discussions, one at Harvard and one at Yale (makes sense, right?) and tours around some of the world’s best colleges, including NYU, Stanford, Columbia, and Upenn. 27 Crimson students were lucky enough to be selected to attend the tour, which will provide them valuable extracurricular experience when it comes time to submit their very own college applications.
Day one of the trip has been busy consisting mainly of flying and very little down time. Once we landed in San Francisco, the real fun began, and, after dropping our bags off at the hotel, we headed straight back out and caught a train to attend our first US campus tour at UC Berkeley, located an hour from San Francisco.
UC Berkeley is a beautiful campus with trees planted all around, creating for an inspiring and vibrant feel to the campus, almost as if the trees create a natural feng shui to the campus. Whether it was the natural feng shui of the campus layout or the perpetual buzz of student groups and activities filling the air, almost immediately you could tell Berkeley is a very student focused campus and there seemed to be something happening at every turn of our tour around campus. It felt as if at any given moment you could be swept up in the next momentous political demonstration that UC Berkeley is somewhat renowned for or become entangled in an impromptu game of hacky-sack.
Adding to the nature, the buildings around the campus each have their own characteristics and story to tell, either exuding rich beauty or fascinating history. For example, the Campanile (also referred to as Sather Tower), the third tallest bell and clock tower in the world, standing at 307 feet tall or the Bancroft Library which has on display a gold nugget that is believed to be the the piece of gold that John Marshall discovered on January 24, 1848 which set off the California Gold Rush.
The students at UC Berkeley also have many superstitions, which were awesome to hear about; such as the tradition of rolling down 4.0 Hill, which is supposed to reward you with good grades. Although, you must be careful not to step on the Berkeley Seal located not too far from 4.0 Hill, or it’s said you’ll be cursed for the year ahead - eliminating all powers bestowed upon you from rolling down the hill.
Once we finished up with the tour of the campus, we caught a train back to our hotel for a much needed (but all too brief) moment of downtime. After relaxing at the hotel we headed out again to visit Union Square in downtown San Francisco. Students were given an opportunity to browse through the many brightly lit shops and shopfronts. It was at Union Square where we had a relaxing dinner, observing the bustling crowd of tourists and locals shuffling through the public plaza.
Overall, day one has been a crazy, jam-packed day! We learned a lot about the impressive history of UC Berkeley and were able to visit some tourist destinations and soak up the eclectic culture of San Francisco. We are looking forward to our upcoming adventures with all of the people and new friends we have made so far! Keep tuning into the Crimson Education blog and Facebook pages for more updates of our Harvard and Yale Model UN Tour, there’s plenty more exciting adventures still to come!
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