I landed in the U.S. on June 1, 2018. It was a hour drive from LAX Airport to Costa Mesa, where Orange Coast College (OCC) is. I was jet lagged and couldn’t sleep the whole night. So I decided to walk to OCC campus at 5:00 a.m. the next morning.
It was a lazy saturday morning but I was just too excited to see the campus for the first time. There was absolutely no one, except the beautiful palm trees and squirrels playing around on the walkways. I felt like the whole campus was evacuated for me. My first impression about the campus was simply AMAZING!!!
OCC has 80 buildings and six other major construction projects going on. The gigantic library is an eye-catching structure and has 100,000 books along with 2,500 study tables for students. OCC in the only institution with a student-led research aquarium on campus in the entire state of California. Isn’t that so cool?! There are part-time jobs available for students to work at the aquarium to get hands-on experience.
Finding a place to live off-campus was not very difficult. OCC has very active Facebook groups where students post about available housing and connect with each other. Currently, all students live off campus in apartment buildings near the campus but in 2020 OCC will be the first community college in Southern California to have on-campus housing.
I found a vacant shared room in a four-bedroom house from the Facebook group to live with other international students. One student is from Saudi Arabia, one from Pakistan, and my roommate is Italian. I quickly realized that living with international students is pretty important if you want to make the most out of your experience in America. There are students from more than 76 different countries at OCC, all willing to teach and learn about each other's cultures.
Orange Coast College is by far the best step I took towards my education in the U.S. I really recommend coming to OCC and making the most out of the opportunities you can receive here!
For more information: Orange Coast College Global Engagement Center