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General

What will a typical day during STARS entail?

Research, research and more research! In addition to research, students will attend a STARS Conference on Thursday, July 6;  GRE courses in the afternoons of the first week; Graduate Advocate meetings on Wednesdays; GRE study sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays; and a few educational / social activities. We will provide the full schedule at orientation.

Is Orientation on the 26th mandatory?

Yes, each student is responsible for showing up on time and participating.

Are the GRE courses, Graduate Advocate meetings, and Conference mandatory?

Yes, all of these events are mandatory. 

Can I take summer school classes and work?

No. We expect you to do full-time research; you may not go to summer school. You cannot hold a full or part-time job and participate in the STARS program.

Can I take vacation during STARS?

No. We expect you to participate full-time in STARS for all eight weeks. 

Will there be any free time to explore the city?

Yes, most evenings and weekends will be free for students to enjoy social activities. 

What is the weather like in San Diego? (i.e., what should I pack?)

Perfect! According to Wikipedia, ‘San Diego is categorized as semi-arid climate. It enjoys mild, sunny weather throughout the year.’ You will not experience the heat, humidity or thunderstorms typical of the East during the summer! We recommend bringing shorts, tank tops, and sandals. However, you should also bring a few pants, long sleeve shirts, sweaters, closed toed shoes and a light jacket because it can get cold at night. You should also bring close toed shoes if you are working in a laboratory.

Are there any events that will require me to wear something formal?

The only occasion where something a bit nicer should be worn is your research presentation at the UCSD Summer Research Conference. We recommend wearing business casual. For men, this includes nice pants or khakis, nice shirt, dress shoes, and optional tie or jacket. For women, this includes a dress; skirt or nice pants and blouse; and dress shoes.

Will I have a UCSD ID?

Yes. Please follow the instructions for submitting an appropriate photograph and a  UCSD ID card will be provided for you.

Research

Have I been matched with my faculty mentor of choice?

We will notify you about your faculty mentor placements.

Can I contact my mentor?

Yes, we encourage you to contact your mentor. We will also send suggestions for initiating contact with your mentor.

Are there any campus resources that can assist me in my writing?

Yes, UCSD has a Writing Center that is able to provide one-on-one assistance with improving essays. 

Will I have Library access?

Yes, the Library provides book borrowing privileges only. STARS students who register for library privileges at Geisel Library will be able to check out books using their campus ID card. STARS students can access online databases only while using library computers.

Should I bring a lab coat and goggles, or are they provided?

Your laboratory will most likely provide a lab coat and goggles. If they do not have any available, however, loaner lab coats and goggles will be available through Environmental Health & Safety.

Housing

Where will we be living?

This summer, STARS students will be living at Warren College. The cross streets for Warren Apartments are Voight Drive and Matthews Lane.

When is check in and check out of campus housing?

Check-in will be all day on Sunday, June 25th.  Check out will end at 3:00 pm Saturday, August 19th

Where do I go to check-in?

Upon your arrival, please check-in at Student Activity Center at Warren Apartments. 

Is there any furniture or appliances in the apartments?

The apartments come furnished with beds, couches, end tables, trash cans, desks, lamps, stoves, refrigerators,  tables and chairs. 

What items do I need to bring?

Linens (1 sheet set, 1 blanket,1 pillow, and 1 set of towels per person) will be provided. There is a full kitchen but you may want to bring a microwave, dishes, eating utensils, pots, and pans. We will also provide housing assignments the week before you travel so that you can coordinate with your roommates.

What services are provided at Warren?

A general cleaning service is provided. Custodians will clean your bathrooms and kitchen area once per week. However, they will not wash your dishes. They will also change your linens once per week. 

Will I get my own room?

No, there are no single dorm rooms this summer. If there is some circumstance or condition that requires you to have a single room please let us know. 

When will I find out who my roommates are?

We will provide housing assignments within one week of arriving to UC San Diego.

Is there internet and cable connection in the apartments, and is it free or provided by housing?

All UCSD housing is wired with high-speed wireless internet and Ethernet lines. Both cable and internet are free to use in the apartments, but you are required to bring your own cable and television. For wireless internet access STARS students will have to logon to the UCSD GUEST wireless network. 

What are the laundry procedures?

Students will be responsible for doing their own laundry. Laundry facilities are located at Warren College and machines operate using Triton Cash. 

Lock out fees/procedures?

If you are locked out of your apartment or lose your keys, please visit the conference desk at Warren. The fee for replacing a lost set of keys is $150. This fee will not be reimbursed by STARS. 

If I have someone coming to visit, are they allowed to stay overnight?

No. Because the STARS program covers housing costs only for STARS students, overnight guests are not allowed to sleep in the dorms. There are a number of hotels in the area where visitors are welcome to stay.

Do I have to live on campus?

Although we highly encourage you to live on campus for convenience and to interact with your STARS cohort, students who live in San Diego may choose to live off campus and commute to UC San Diego for STARS events and activities. If you choose to live off campus, please understand that your attendance at STARS activities is still mandatory and let us know as soon as possible if you choose to commute.

Meals

Are meal plans provided?

No, meal plans will not be provided. The summer stipend is intended to cover meals for the summer. You can either purchase groceries or eat on- and off-campus. The apartments have full kitchens with a stove and refrigerator. There is a small market in the Price Center and several grocery stores in the neighborhood. Students may also purchase Triton Cash which can be used on-campus at marketplaces and eateries as well as off-campus at various restaurants. The dining hall at Warren College, Canyon Vista, will be open during the summer.  

What is Triton Cash?

Triton Cash is a system that allows you to deposit money onto your campus card to make purchases at over 60 locations on and off campus. For more information and a tutorial video please visit the Housing Dining and Hospitality website

Travel

Will STARS book my travel?

STARS will book travel only for those travelling by airplane. You are responsible for booking your travel if you plan to travel by train. STARS will not cover costs of car rental. 

Will STARS pay for checked luggage?

STARS will only pay for ONE regular size piece of luggage each way. Please keep your receipts and submit them to Mayra Estrada after travel is completed.

Will STARS reimburse my travel?

STARS will reimburse travel for those traveling by car or train when the reimbursement (mileage or ticket) is less expensive than the cost of coach airfare. If you are considering travel by car, when the distance is 250 miles or more one-way, you must obtain preliminary approval from STARS. If the round-trip coach airfare is less expensive than the mileage reimbursement, justification must be provided and approved before mileage reimbursement will be allowed. This would apply if you are driving from Phoenix, Las Vegas, Fresno, or other locations farther away.

How do I get from the airport to the campus?

We recommend using Uber, Lyft, or a shuttle service such as SuperShuttle to travel from the airport to campus. You may want to coordinate with members of your STARS cohort to ride together. To assist you with this effort, we will provide everyone with the arrival information of other students one week before the program starts. We do not recommend traveling by taxi from the airport to campus because it is expensive. 

How is transportation from the airport to campus paid for?

STARS participants will have to pay for their transportation from the airport to the campus. However, STARS will reimburse this expense after the summer is over. Please keep your receipts and submit them to Mayra Estrada after travel is completed.

Transportation

If I drive, will I have to make arrangements to park my car?

Yes. Parking is available on campus, but limited near the Warren apartments. The closest parking structure to Warren apartments is P504. Please let STARS staff know if you plan to bring your car. We will provide you a student “S” parking pass from UCSD Transportation Services.  (When purchasing the parking pass we will need to provide your car’s license plate number.)  (Parking will not be paid for students who travelled by plane to attend STARS). 

Will STARS provide a parking pass if I live off campus?

Yes. If you will be commuting to UC San Diego, let STARS staff know. We will provide you a student “S” parking pass from UCSD Transportation Services. (When purchasing the parking pass we will need to provide your car’s license plate number.) 

If I receive parking violation citations, will STARS pay them?

STARS will not pay for any citations you receive.

If I do not drive my car to UCSD, what are other options for transportation around San Diego?

There are plenty of transportation options available on the UCSD campus. There are free UCSD campus shuttles or you can buy a pass to ride the city’s MTS buses and trolleys. You also have the option to rent a car (closest would be Enterprise), carpool with friends, or take Uber/Lyft. Prefer a greener option? You are eligible to participate in UCSD’s Triton Bike program. Show your student i.d. and borrow a bike and helmet for up to 48 hours for free! You can also contact the UCSD bike shop about renting a bike for the duration of your stay for a fee. 

Stipend

When and how is the stipend paid?

You will receive $1,500 on the first day of the program and $1,500 halfway through the program. All stipends are disbursed in the form of a physical check. Please note, if you are an international student you will be receiving a $300 Triton card on the first day and physical check of $1,200 two weeks after the GLACIER forms have been submitted and processed by UC San Diego Tax Advisory and Services.

Will my stipend be considered taxable income?

Yes, your stipend is considered taxable income. However, you will not receive a W2 or  1099 Form from UCSD at the end of the calendar year. 

Miscellaneous

How quickly are reimbursements made?

Receipts for all allowable expenses must be submitted to Mayra Estrada (myestrada@ucsd.edu) no later than Monday, August 21, 2017. Receipts may be provided as paper originals or electronic as long as all purchase details are evident. Reimbursements processing will begin after it is confirmed that all of your receipts have been submitted. Delivery of reimbursement payment can take up to eight weeks after processing.

Is there computer access for me to use while I'm on campus?

It may be difficult to use a computer on campus because they require user names and passwords. However, your lab will have computers and your mentors are usually good about allowing you to use them.

I like to exercise, is there a gym on campus or nearby so that I can work out?

RIMAC is a fabulous recreation facility, one of the largest university recreation facilities on this side of the Mississippi. Besides RIMAC, there are also the Main Gym, Canyonview Pool, and the Natatorium. To use these facilities, you will need to purchase a recreation card. STARS will not reimburse you for the recreation card. 

Does STARS provide health insurance?

No. You are responsible for your own health insurance.

If there is an emergency, what hospital should I go to?

In the case of a medical emergency please call 911. For other medical attention, UCSD has an on campus Student Health Services Center located on Library Walk across from the Bookstore. Currently UCSD is only able to provide care to UCSD students and students from other UC campuses. Other hospitals that are close by and available to all students include Thorton Hospital and UC San Diego Medical Center. If you would like access to an Urgent Care, there are three locations all within 4 miles of campus.  

Safety

Community Service Officers and Residential Security Officers patrol the campus and residence halls. In addition, UC San Diego has its own police service on campus. Finally, if you would like to request an escort (perhaps if you are walking alone from lab late at night) you may call (858) 534-WALK between 5pm and 1am. 

Are there places you suggest for independent and/or group study?

On campus, very popular study spots are Geisel Library, Biomedical Library, and Galbraith Hall. Generally, Biomedical Library and Galbraith Hall are preferred for independent study whereas Geisel Library is preferred for group study sessions since they provide many more study rooms. There are also 6 different Campus Community Centers that provide open seating and study spaces. You can find more information on the Black Resource Center, Cross Cultural Center, LGBT Resource Center, Intertribal Resource Center, Raza Resource Centro, and Women's Center at www.diversity.ucsd.edu/centers.