InterSession: Students explore LA colleges and theme parks


The Catalyst / Robert Rojas

After a three year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NDB’s SoCal College trip returned for InterSession. Organized by English Department Chair Robert Rojas, the five day long trip was centered around visiting various colleges and universities located in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas.

The trip was especially popular among the sophomore and junior class as they begin the college application process. For many students, this was the first time that they set foot on a college campus and, by visiting the schools, they were able to determine what they are looking for in their future schools.

The campuses that students visited included University of Southern California, Loyola Marymount University, Chapman University and University of California at Los Angeles. Sophomore and attendee Olivia Caballero enjoyed visiting the colleges and especially appreciated seeing UCLA.

“I’ve always been interested in UCLA, more than any other school. It was a great experience to actually have the opportunity to see the campus and experience what student life looks like day-to-day. I could see myself there very easily,” said Caballero.

Prior to leaving for the trip, Rojas had contacted NDB alumnae who currently attend the schools and scheduled to meet with them on campus.

Among the alumnae were Preyasi Kumar ‘19 and Amanda Tam ‘22 at UCLA, Sage Saperstein ‘22 at USC, Genevieve Bencze ‘21 at LMU and Guliana Kiesel and Courtney Chung ‘22 at Chapman. All were more than happy to answer questions about their schools and were a very unique addition to the trip for many of the students as well as for Rojas.

“It’s always interesting to visit with alumnae. They’ve had a chance to grow up a little and become more independent as college students,” said Rojas.

While the trip was educational, it was also filled with several other activities scheduled in between the college visits. Students got to visit Universal Studios and Disneyland as well as sightsee and experience many unique parts of the Los Angeles area.

Most notably, on their first day in Los Angeles, students woke up at 6:30 a.m. to complete a six mile roundtrip hike up to the Hollywood sign. In addition to this, they visited what was called the Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles, which contained unique sculptures and rooms dedicated to cultivating an enchanting experience.