Tag Archives: college

Five Ways To Make The Most Of Your Dorm Life 

Moving into a dorm can be a big adjustment for students. With some having it be their first time away from home and being in a new environment, moving into a dorm can be nerve-racking. Have no fear- because, at PUC, we make sure you settle in nicely and feel comfortable in your home away from home. 

Build A Relationship With Your Roommate 

It is so important that you build a good relationship with your roommate. It’s okay if you’re not best friends, as long as you have mutual respect. If something bothers you, try not to be scared or shy to talk about it. Your roommate might not even know there’s a problem, so bring it up with them. 

Get to Know Your RA and Dean 

Your RA is a source of help, comfort, and friendship. Some of their duties are to make sure you settle in well, do daily check-ins, and help resolve conflict. Just like your RA, your dean will always be there for you. They want you to feel at home, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them about anything.

Go To Dorm Events 

The RA’s and deans work so hard to make dorm life the best it can be for their residents. They host events, such as movie nights, holiday parties, and have weekly dorm worship. They also invite other dorms to certain events, so this is a chance for you to meet more people and make more friends. 

Know Your Neighbors 

Whether you have suitemates or not, it’s still good to know who your neighbors are. You never know what things you might have in common or could even be in the same class. What’s nice about dorming is that you get to live with your friends. You can easily meet to study together, get help on something, borrow each other’s clothes, or just hangout. 

Make Your Room Comfy

It’s essential to make your dorm room fit your comfort needs. Bring some of your personal items from home to make your room feel homey. Make your bed as cozy as you can and add decor to bring your room to life. With having new living spaces, make it the space that makes you feel more comfortable being away from home. 

You Will Never Regret Studying Abroad

Sarah West graduated from PUC this past school year with a Bachelor of Social Work & Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Studies. One year during college, she enrolled in the ACA Argentina program and loved the experience so much that she wanted to do a summer program- so she did. Sarah recently returned stateside after spending the majority of her summer studying abroad at Villa Aurora in Italy. Although there were a few setbacks, she shares that you will never regret going abroad. 

Tell us about your time in Italy. 

My time in Italy was amazing, even with the few bumps in the road. I got COVID my first week there, so I had to isolate for a week. But once I was freed (tested negative), I was able to return to class with ease. The classes all students take are Conversation, Grammar, art for tours, art history, and Italian culture. If you are not in the intermediate level, then you also take Phonetics. With the ACA program, we visited Cinque Terre, Florence, Pisa, Rome, Venice, and Siena. All of them are day trips, except Rome, which is an overnight stay. 

What made you want to study in Italy?

I loved the ACA Argentina program so much that I knew I wanted to do a summer program before I graduate. So for me, it was between Italy and Spain. I had heard great things about the Italian cafeteria and that made my choice. I also had been to Italy once before and loved it, so I wanted to spend more time there. 

You’ve also studied in Argentina. How have these experiences been different from each other? 

The differences between the Argentina and Italy programs are the ability to travel. Italy is about the size of California, so with access to a car, bus, or train, you can really go anywhere in the county. Argentina on the other hand is about as long as the United States, and there are little pockets of towns/cities with nothing in-between. Argentina is good if your goal is to learn Spanish and experience the culture of Argentina. Italy, and I assume other European programs, are good for traveling, but more people will probably know English, so finding a push to learn the language may be a little more difficult. 

Describe your time in Italy in three words.  

Amazing food/travel. 

What have been your favorite things about studying abroad in Italy?

I have loved learning about different cultures and history of the countries. I also like meeting people. While I was at the school in Italy, I ran into someone who I had met at the school in Argentina, and that was one of the craziest things I will probably ever experience. 

Did PUC play a part in your preparation for Italy?

Yes, because one of my friends had done the ACA Italy year program, and she gave me some good heads up on what to expect. I was also able to conquer the hills of Italy due to the cardio of running around PUC campus. 

What would you say to someone who is interested in ACA?

If you are interested in it, DO IT. You will never regret going, and all was regret not doing it. There will never be a time in your life when you will live in Italy for 6 weeks or Argentina for a year. You grow so much as a person and have a better understanding of yourself and the world. 

How To Know You’re Pursuing The Right Major

Many college students graduate with a degree that they initially weren’t majoring in when beginning college. Switching majors is common for students to do because as you grow into adulthood, your interests and passions change. Here’s how to know if you’re pursuing the right major. 

Know Why You Chose Your Major 

Clearly know why you chose your major. Are you sincerely passionate about it and want to make a living from it? Did you choose it for yourself or to please others? Knowing why you chose your major will give you that boost of motivation during those long nights of studying and when you feel stressed. If you need to, write down the reasons why you picked that major. 

Picture Your Future 

Picture your future- what do you see? Do you see yourself happy working the career you chose? If you do, fantastic! If you don’t, think about changing course and heading down another career path. Ask yourself what type of job you’d be good at and would enjoy doing every day. That’ll help you figure out what to major in. 

Think of Your Interests & Skills

Thinking about your interests and skills helps figure out what your strengths are and what career you can make out of them. A work environment that fits your skills, interests, and personality will allow you to feel fulfillment in your career and grant you more success.  

It’s completely okay to be confused about what you want to study or whether or not you chose the right major. We understand that this process can be tough, which is why PUC has various programs for you to choose from. Your options and opportunities are endless here. 

A Leap of Faith in Italy 

Natalia Gomez recently flew back to her hometown of Santa Barbara after spending most of her summer studying abroad at Villa Aurora in Italy. Applying through ACA (Adventist Colleges Abroad), she saw that she didn’t know anyone in the program but decided to take a leap of faith and go on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure before her senior year. By facing her fears, Natalia met amazing people on campus, learned Italian, explored new places, and indulged in delicious food every day. From her “HOT!, inspiring, and yummy” time in Italy, Natalia couldn’t have asked for a better study abroad experience.

How has your time in Italy been? 

My time in Italy has been great! I’ve been able to visit and explore a new Italian city every week as well as really familiarize myself with Florence. It’s pretty exciting to be living in Florence and find my favorite spots to study or get gelato. I have definitely indulged and gotten gelato almost every day I’ve been here. School in Italy is not structured the same as back home, and learning a new language comes with its challenges, but it has been a lot of fun learning a new language and immersing yourself in the culture. I’d definitely say that I’ve gotten the most practice with speaking in Italian through talking with salespeople or waiters at restaurants. I didn’t always understand what they were saying at first or even what I was saying, but it made for some funny moments, and after a few weeks, I got the hang of it. I’m definitely not fluent, but I’ve really enjoyed being able to speak with locals in Italian as best as I can. 

What inspired you to study in Italy?

I have to be honest, the foodie in me is what really determined me to study in Italy. I love pasta, and I love ice cream, and the thought of having the best of the best in Italy, on a regular basis? Sold! But of course, I also thought it would be really exciting to make new friends from all over the world. I really enjoyed going on an ADRA missions trip a few years back, and I made incredible friendships from that experience, and I was also hoping the same would come out of studying abroad! I actually took a really big leap of faith and decided to go abroad alone, without knowing anyone else in the program. And after my time here, I honestly would recommend going even if you don’t know anyone. 

Describe your typical day studying abroad.

My typical day abroad: I wake up around 7 a.m. to get ready for breakfast at 7:30 at the caf or a quick trip to a nearby cafe. Then I go to classes from 8:40-1:15, usually getting some snacks from the vending machines during class breaks. Once I’m out of classes, I run over to the caf for lunch to be in the front of the lunch line because lunch is the best meal of the day on campus! And after lunch, some friends and I take off to our favorite spots to do homework and study. Then we explore Florence or go shopping before dinner. If I don’t eat dinner in town, I go back to campus for dinner, but regardless- I will always go out with friends after dinner for gelato. Then it’s time for an ice-cold shower before bed, it’s so hot in the summer, that’s the only way to fall asleep peacefully. (keep in mind, I was in Italy during Europe’s record-breaking heat wave). I usually fall asleep around midnight. 

What have been your favorite things about studying abroad?

Surprisingly meeting new people has been my favorite thing! I’m actually a pretty shy person and studying in Italy without knowing anyone seemed scary at first. However, I’ve met amazing people while being here, from students to teachers and the volunteers who work on campus! I’ve had so much fun going out with everyone here that I’ve actually already made plans to travel and go out with some new friends after returning home! 

What will you miss the most about your time abroad? 

That’s tough, I miss so much! But I’d have to say exploring Florence in the afternoons after school was the best time. Practicing our Italian, finding new places, trying new foods – just adventuring without a plan was so fun! Some of the funniest memories came from us just taking advantage of our time and exploring. Was there an afternoon where at one point there were dark clouds and lightning off in the distance? Yes. Did we have jackets or umbrellas? Nope. Did we get caught in a rainstorm and end up running in the rain all over the city? Yes, we did, and it was one of the funniest nights ever. Truly just do it all!

Recommend an Italian dish or restaurant. 

Medici’s has the best gelato and this has been confirmed by multiple locals! I went here almost every day of the summer- all the flavors are amazing! Although I’d have to say that Stracciatella is my favorite flavor of gelato, and this was the best place to get it. Everywhere else I went did not compare.

What would you say to someone who is interested in ACA?

Just go for it! Don’t let any of your fears or worries stop you from having once-in-a-lifetime experiences. It sounds so cheesy, but when else will you have the opportunity to be 18-22 ish running around a foreign city with friends, trying new foods, seeing beautiful landscapes, and learning about another culture? It’s probably one of the last times you’ll have a summer camp type of experience before you graduate and start working.

Faces of PUC: Nathan Hiss 

Nathan Hiss is a biology pre-med student from Orinda. One of his favorite things about being a PUC student is that everyone is always ready to help him out when needed. Nathan dreams of being a dermatologist and enjoys outdoor activities, such as fishing, hiking, and running. 

What is your dream job?  

My dream job is to be a dermatologist. 

How does that compare to what you wanted to be when you were young? 

Ever since I was little, I always wanted to be a doctor like many members of my family. When I was a baby my parents got me a toy doctor set and my favorite tool was the reflex hammer.  

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family?  

My favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneer family is the inclusivity of everyone. Everyone is so warm and welcoming, and always ready to give help when asked! I always have someone to help me with schoolwork if I get stuck on a difficult topic! 

Where is your favorite place in the world?  

My home and hometown are my favorite places in the entire world. There is nowhere I would rather be than where I am right now! 

What show are you bingeing these days?  

Every Friday after my last class and before vespers, I watch an episode of Deadliest Catch. It has been one of my all-time favorite shows since I was 4. 

What is something you’re passionate about?  

I am very passionate about fishing, hiking, and running. I really enjoy outdoor activities so anything pertaining to heading into nature is game.  

Recommend a place to go in the Bay Area on a weekend  

A great place to go to in the Bay Area on the weekend is Stinson beach. The sand is soft, there’s good parking, fun running trails, skid boarding and great food. My favorite food spot is definitely the Siren Canteen and I would highly recommend going there. It is a 5-minute walk from the beach and has the best food.   

Kickin’ It With Santiago Hernandez, Men’s Soccer Manager

Coming from Talladega, Alabama, is PUC’s Men’s Soccer manager, Santiago Hernandez. Majoring in Religion, with an emphasis in Health Professions, school keeps him busy but that didn’t stop him from becoming interested in his position as soccer manager. Santiago knew he wanted to help coaches be ready during practices and be a part of the journey of creating a better team, sharing great memories, and making new friends through soccer. 

Tell us about being a team manager. What does a typical day on the job look like?

Being a team manager has been fun. If there are 2 practices in a day, there is a morning session (2 hours) and then an evening session (2 hours). Some morning sessions are used for soccer athletes to be in the weight room for strength and conditioning for approximately 1 hour, and then the second hour of the session is used for futsal (indoor soccer). The general typical day on the job, if the sessions are at the soccer field, then I arrive at work 30 minutes before the session starts to set up for practices. I bring the mannequins, ball bags, training pinnies, cones, and fill up the water jug in order to ensure soccer athletes can stay hydrated while at practice. During practice, I may help with some of the training drills, or maybe standing behind the goals and collecting any balls that may go past the goal in order to make sure no ball is lost and to make sure there is always plenty for practice. Once practices have ended, I stay approximately an extra 30 minutes to clean up, put all the training gear back into the storage room and pick up any trash that may be around the field.

Can you share some examples of how you keep your athletes motivated during the season?

One of the things I do most is follow up on the athletes throughout the season, that may be once a week, or once every 2 weeks. I will have conversations with them and ask how they feel, after game day, talk to them and ask how they were feeling during the game, and just find ways to improve. I feel that by talking and listening to them, it keeps them motivated cause it shows that I care and support them. I may give them advice at times, not only that may be needed for the game, but also for life. Another way to keep them motivated is to ask them what goals or objectives they want to accomplish for each game, and for the season. Letting them know that if they need my help with anything is also another way to keep them motivated as I remind them of the goals each individual wants to accomplish and merging that with the team goals.

What is your favorite thing about being team manager?

Being a part of this journey, helping create a better program, and being able to enjoy great experiences with the team. 

What do you like most about being part of the Pioneers family?

The diversity of the Pioneers family is one of the things I like most. Seeing different people of different backgrounds, and just coming together not just as a team, but becoming a family is one of the things that excites me most and knowing that each member of this family is willing to work excites me and makes me have a desire to work harder everyday.

What advice do you have for someone interested in being a team manager? What skills are needed? 

An advice I would give someone if he or she is interested in being a team manager is to be willing to work everyday. Do more than what you are expected to do. Some skills that are needed would be a strong work ethic, punctuality, willingness to possibly do extra work, good communication skills with coaching staff and athletes, and I think it’s better as a team manager to know how to play the sport so you can help athletes if they need extra help outside of practice hours

What are the values of your team?

Some of the values my team has is that they are determined, passionate, eager to win, and have a great work ethic. 

Describe being a team manager in three words

Fun, exciting, enjoyable

Explore World Languages at PUC With Sylvia Rasi Gregorutti 

Sylvia Rasi Gregorutti, also known as Professoressa Gregorutti to her students, has been teaching at PUC since 1993. She was chair for about 20 years and is now the associate chair of the Department of Communication and World Languages, since their departments merged in 2019.

One of her favorite things about teaching is seeing students study abroad and hearing about their unforgettable experiences. She loves being involved in ACA (Adventist College Abroad) and seeing how it changes students’ lives. Sylvia generously answered some questions for us to learn more about the Department of World Languages.

What makes your department unique compared to other departments at PUC?

World Languages has collaborative relationships with many departments on campus, and most of our students are double majors or are working on an Allied Health degree or some type of pre-professional program. We strongly encourage getting the most out of the college experience and our majors are easy to combine with many others. The one thing that makes us unique among departments: Nearly 100% of our World Languages majors spend a year of their college experience studying in another country. Top choices are Spain, Italy, France, Argentina, Austria, Lebanon, and other countries have also been hosts to PUC students. There are actually students who are heading abroad even as I type this. I’m praying for their safe travels. After personally sending about a thousand students abroad, I can confidently say ACA is hands down the best year out of their college experience. Also, it’s ACA for * ALL * In other words, you don’t have to be a major in World Languages to go abroad — though we do make it really appealing to major in one of our degrees! The year abroad is transformative to so many – it confirms your career choice or helps you see who you are and choose better. It’s also one of the greatest regrets of those who didn’t make time for it during their college years.

What makes your department unique compared to the same program at other colleges and universities?

This one’s easy! Compared to our sister institutions, at PUC’s World Languages Dept., you can complete a major in Language & Culture Studies with an emphasis in Italian, German, Arabic, French, or Portuguese in addition to the more common Spanish. One of the courses we offer in the L&C major is Language, Culture, and Humanitarian Issues — great for students aiming for international humanitarian work. We also offer a major in Spanish Studies that’s especially relevant to future educators. Compared to larger institutions, we provide abundant one-on-one time. We have a comfortable student lounge next to our offices and classrooms where we get together to talk and sometimes worship together. In true World Languages style, our lounge is open to all.

What is something new students can look forward to about joining your department?

World Languages is a very welcoming department. We actively celebrate variety. Diversity is in our very DNA – we not only accept it, we revel in it and encourage its proliferation! New students to our department can expect to be embraced, seen, and heard. We agree with French philosopher Chateaubriand who observed that each person “carries within himself a world.” We’re eager to benefit from the ‘worlds” our students bring to our campus. Our aim is to enrich them with knowledge of other languages and cultures, and different ways of seeing the world. Critical thinking expands by quantum leaps when you understand different ways of solving human problems and needs: What to eat, what to wear, what shelter to build, how to interact, and what to value – the solutions vary around the world.

What is your favorite thing about teaching in your department?

There are so many things I enjoy, but I think my favorite thing about teaching is seeing students decide to go abroad for a year. And then, when they return, it’s fabulous to talk with them in French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese – to hear about their unforgettable experiences, and to see how they have become better versions of themselves, more open to the world, more empathetic, and sure of what they want to do with their lives. That is the single most transformative activity I get to be involved in, and it’s incredibly rewarding. Lifelong international friendships are made and a lifetime of memories, too. In Spanish, we say, “Nadie te puede quitar lo bailado.” No one can take away what you have danced – and the study abroad experience is just that – something you have for life. 

What is your department well known for, and why?

We’re known for our enthusiastic teachers who are native speakers or they have spent time living in the countries whose languages they teach. For students heading abroad, we offer a high-quality orientation prior to departure and support from our home campus during each quarter spent abroad. World Languages is innovative and versatile: In addition to the majors mentioned, we offer introductory Chinese and Korean, and our popular Spanish for Health Care courses, which provides language skills and cultural competence to better serve Spanish-speaking patients, clients, and customers. This year, we’re trying out an intermediate level of this course. We’re also expanding our Spanish for the Professions emphasis to our first beginning Spanish class. Tailoring courses to students’ interests and professional objectives creates greater motivation and makes learning another language more applicable. Our upper-division courses contribute to the rich offerings of our liberal arts college – from my specialty, linguistics, to literature, film, and humanitarian issues. Our aim is to create engaged, competent, and compassionate global citizens.

Learn more about the Department of World Languages on our website. If you have any questions, our admissions team will gladly assist you. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2, or email admissions@puc.edu.

Things You Should Do This Summer Before Coming to PUC 

Whether you’re an incoming freshman or your first time living away from home, there are a couple of things you should start learning how to do before coming to PUC. 

Learn How To Cook 

It’s good to know how to cook, so if you don’t know how, start trying out a few recipes this summer. Look up some easy recipes first, then make your way to more complex recipes if you want. Even though you’ll have a meal plan with the dining commons, each dorm has a kitchen where you and your friends can cook and enjoy good meals together. 

Learn How To Do Laundry 

Many students go to college not knowing how to do laundry. If you’re one of those students, learn how to do laundry this summer. You can’t rely on anyone else to clean your clothes once you get to college, so the time is now, friends.

Contact Your Roommate 

Reach out to your roommate if you haven’t yet. Introduce yourself and get to know a bit about each other since you’ll be living together. It’s also good to ask what appliances and room essentials they’re bringing so you don’t come with double the items.

(If you don’t know who your roommate is yet, contact your dean to make arrangements.)

Go Through Your Closet 

This may not sound fun, but going through your closet will let you figure out which clothes to bring to school and which to keep, give, or donate. Packing for college is time-consuming, so going through your clothes will make it much easier when you’re preparing to leave for college. 

Get Into The College Mindset 

Every student knows how rough it can be to get back into a routine after the summer. Once the weeks get closer to school, start getting into the college mindset. Make sure everything is finalized with financial aid, housing, classes, etc. Outside of the paperwork, start getting excited! 

Research Your Program 

Research your program if you haven’t yet. Talk to your advisor if you have questions about classes or are interested in other courses. It’s okay if you’re undecided on a major! Choosing a major can be difficult, and many students enter college undecided, so don’t fret. 

(Please make sure you are registered for classes. If you are not, contact the records office.)

Look Up Clubs & Organizations

PUC has over 40 clubs and organizations for you to choose from. From on-campus events, outreaches within the community and Bay Area, banquets in the Napa Valley, to weekly activities throughout the year, there is a place for everyone. Joining a club and going to school events is a great way to meet people and make friends in college. If you and your friends want to start a new club, you can! 

Clean Up Your Social Media

College is a place to reinvent yourself, so make sure you have a clean slate before the school year starts. Go through your social media and delete photos or posts you don’t think apply to who you are or you don’t want public anymore. Check your tagged photos on Facebook, old photos on Instagram, or even old tweets.

Enjoy Your Summer

Even if you’re working or taking classes, make time to enjoy your summer. Time goes by fast, so make the most of your summer by spending it with your family and friends. 

Faces of PUC: Nyllah Safotu

Coming all the way from Kapolei, Hawaii, is Nyllah Safotu. She finished her first year of college majoring in biology pre-med and wants to work in secondary education or help endangered animals. Nyllah chose to attend PUC because she wanted to go to an Adventist institution where the environment could safely help her grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We’re very pleased to have Nyllah as a part of our Pioneers family. 

What is your dream job?

I don’t quite have a specific dream job, but I’m thinking about working in either secondary education or to help endangered animals.

How does that compare to what you wanted to be when you were young?

I’d say it’s a little different. My dream was to be a surgeon and find cures for diseases. I would still like a job that helps people but also the animals and the environment.  

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family?

My favorite thing is how warm and kind people have been here. I’ve been able to make so many great connections and friends with people who I can call family. Everyone has been super helpful with adjusting to college life and I just appreciate being in such a loving community.

Where is your favorite place in the world?

Singapore

If you had to be trapped in a movie for a day, what movie would you choose?

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

What is something you’re passionate about?

I’m really passionate about music, specifically listening to it. I love all kinds of genres and always enjoy hearing unique styles from different artists.

Recommend a place to go in the Bay Area on a weekend

Golden Gate Park is such a beautiful place to enjoy nature, art, and the company of the people you’re with all in one place.

Benefits of Higher Education at PUC

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a college. Financial aid, majors available, and location are just some aspects to think about. At PUC, we know how Adventist higher education is even more important. We want to make sure you invest your time, energy, and money into the best education you can possibly get. Here’s why PUC could be the right fit for you. 

Career Preparation 

Our devoted faculty and staff are ready to help instill the knowledge, skills, and training you need for your chosen career. If you don’t know what profession to pursue, that’s okay! PUC is a place to explore your options to help you decide what career is right for you. 

Student-Teacher Ratio 

With a 12:1 ratio, your professors will be able to give you the time and attention you need that you wouldn’t get at a bigger college or university. With your professors knowing who you are, it will be easier for you to get the assistance you need to succeed in your classes. 

Location 

With the Bay Area and Silicon Valley a drive away, you have the opportunity to step into the world of healthcare, art, technology, marketing, business, and everything in between. This helps land potential internships with innovative companies, which allows you to network and score a job. Healthcare students get hands-on experience at leading hospitals in Northern California and build connections with employees that help them jumpstart their careers. 

Network Opportunities  

Our graduates work for exciting companies such as Buzzfeed, Lucasfilm, Apple, Google, National Geographic, Loma Linda University, and Stanford University. We connect our students to alumni that work in the fields of their interests to network to seek advice and help get their foot in the door. 

Personal Development 

A personal benefit to getting an education at PUC is growing as an individual. You’ll learn, change, and transition into new experiences. Besides the skills needed for your future job, you will also acquire the traits you need to live a more structured lifestyle. Developing your passions and being exposed to sets of people and ideas will help you grow and learn every day. No matter what your major is, what your passions are, and who you are, you will do well here.

Community Support 

Once you apply to PUC, you are automatically part of the Pioneer’s family. From your enrollment counselor to your academic advisor to your residence dean, we will assist you throughout your entire enrollment process and answer any questions you and your parents have. Throughout your educational journey, your professors will help you reach your goals and encourage you to pursue your passions.

Higher education can lead you to many opportunities and plays an important role in your life. PUC ensures students are well-supported as they strive to reach their full potential in all areas of life and are committed to giving you or your student the best of higher education.