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IRVINE, CA– On Saturday, April 22, the University of California, Irvine (UCI) held its annual spring open house, Celebrate UCI. Students had to register beforehand. It invited the newly admitted Anteaters, potential students, and family members to campus for a fun day. The event lasted throughout the day, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, with free parking. The sweltering weather was not ideal, but everyone still walked around to take in new information.

“The environment was pleasant and it was close to home,” revealed BPHS senior William Hou. “It’s a ‘just right’ blend between city and forest. Location-wise, it’s not too costly a place to live. However, the climate can become somewhat hot and housing has no AC. Warning: UCI renovates often, so information on the campus is never relevant for long.”

Check-in was required near the flagpoles in front of Aldrich Hall, where each student had his or her own QR code. Upon entering, one could receive free UCI merchandise like goodie bags, pens, and candy. A lot of free information was given out in pamphlets about financial aid and housing. Balloons and posters were also put around to welcome the admitted students and family.

UCI offered a schedule for everyone, even on a mobile app called Guidebook. Tours, academic program overviews, admissions and financial aid workshops and information booths were held all over campus. The campus organizations had booths at Aldrich Park, the very middle of campus.

Around 10:00 AM, undocumented student programs began to help with financial aid and free legal services. An arts involvement fair attracted those who wanted to learn about the art clubs and organizations, such as the Claire Trevor School of the Arts. Each program from several majors showcased its own booth or workshop at different times. The School of Social Ecology, the Paul Merge School of Business, and Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences were only a few of the many. The Summer Bridges Program and the Campuswide Honors Program took in many interested students. The UCI Hospitality and Dining Booth and Ayala Library were also popular sites during the day, giving out free snowcones and popcorn.

BPHS senior Andy Santos has committed and looks forward to attending in the fall. After visiting for the first time, he especially enjoyed the housing buildings. “I really liked the more modern feel of Mesa Court. You give up proximity for looks, but I think it’s a good trade,” he expressed. Mesa Court and Middle Earth are two of the freshmen housing options, each located on different ends of campus.

Overall, future Anteaters got to experience the vibrant student life that they’ll be used to next year. They had the chance to meet with various academic units, connect with other newly admitted anteaters, tour around campus and the freshmen residence halls, enjoy student-run outdoor festival filled with food, fun, and games, and most importantly, show their UCI pride.

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