It is one of the most famous Universities in the USA. I personally love its campus: plenty of green areas, students are of all countries in the world, the ambiance is very informal and everybody is very tolerant to the general diversity being seen. Nice.
I feel I am fortunate since I had the chance to study at this University. In 1998 I did enroll in a English Language Program from which I still keep some of my fondest memories. Thank you Berkeley.
The Campanile (Sather tower) is the most recognizable symbol of the campus and a good point of orientation if you are visiting the campus. It’s named and modeled after the Campanile de San Marco in Venice. Its bells ring every hour (from 8am to 10pm) and during noon songs are played. You can take an elevator up and enjoy the great view (or go to http://homepage.mac.com/wkaemena/FS/Berkeley2007/Campanile/). It also has a clock, so there is no excuse to ask someone what time it is!
Sather Gate is a prominent landmark on the campus. It was designed by the famous architect John Galen Howard and completed in 1910. It bridges the student plaza from the north campus buildings.
Sproul Plaza is the ideal spot to make an announcement or protest. Student groups have tables set-up and representatives ready to inform or recruit. During the 1960’s it was the site of protests, sit-ins, and a famous speech by Mario Savio, a student protestor. It was also the site of Vietnam War protests and a gassing of People’s Park protestors by the National Guard. (Old archival footage shows students being bombarded with tear gas). It is a great spot to sit and people-watch.
The University of California at Berkeley was established in 1868 and is the oldest of the University of California schools. With 33,000 students enrolled, Berkeley is often ranked as one of the top universities in the nation.
Berkeley was the lead institution for the Manhattan Project which developed the atomic bomb during World War II, and its scientists developed the Unix computer operating system, discovered numerous elements of the periodic table, and isolated the polio virus.
The beautiful campus has a number of sites to see including the Bell Tower, a fantastic children's science museum, and often holds concerts and the like. There are plenty of places to relax and read a good book.
Check out the University Art Museum. It's a large concrete structure that looks rather clumsy from the outside but is rather impressive from the inside. They have an excellent Rubens painting, and many fascinating works of modern art, including a Jackson Pollack. I'd recommend skipping the minimalism exhibit, though. The museum will be undergoing extensive seismic retrofitting very soon.
This is one of California's top-ranked universities. It has a beautiful campus, a great place to simply stroll about. You may even get to see a demonstration. The one shown here was to protest Governor Schwarznegger's cuts to tuition aid; each figure represents someone who would no longer be able to attend.