Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Stanford vs Berkeley

About two weeks ago all the NVIDIA interns were invited to watch a game of American football. It was the last game of the season with the two big bay area teams, Stanford and Berkeley, up against one another. Apparently it was virtually impossible to get tickets and we were extremely lucky with someone at NVIDIA having connections otherwise we would have never got tickets.

Apart from the odd glimpse from flipping through the channels I had never really watched American football. So this was my first time and I was rather excited since everyone was calling it a great game. I overestimated the similarities to rugby, but luckily there was a large group of interns with us, some of which were very enthusiastic about the sport and explained the basics to me. I won't go into the details, but it was rather enjoyable. I still prefer rugby, but that doesn't mean I'd never like football. In the end Stanford pimped Berkeley 20-13, with the last quarter being the most exciting as Berkeley tried to claw their way back.

Then this past weekend we spent visiting the two campuses. Stanford is fairly close to Santa Clara so we went there first. It's a massive campus, apparently considered to occupy the largest area at over 8,000 acres. At least I can say that by sticking to the sciences it doesn't appear all that bad as the science buildings are all nearby, although I think a bike would be useful. We biked around the campus and covered a fair amount of the main section of the campus. It was a very beautiful campus with lots of open land and although we didn't get to go inside any of the buildings and therefore couldn't talk to any professors due to it being the weekend, I think I'd have a hard time turning down an offer from them.

They also have their very own Stanford Shopping Center, complete with Macy's and Bloomingdales! The city of Palo Alto which is virtually right next door to the campus is also a wonderful addition to the beauty of the campus itself.

On Sunday we then went a little further out to the University of California, Berkeley. An immediate distinction was that while Stanford was completely flat, Berkeley was situated on a hill. Thankfully it was not nearly as large as walking up and down hills can get very exhausting. So we got to walk around almost the entire main campus, excluding the section way up on the top of the hill which was just a little too far for us to want to climb.

The surrounding area wasn't nearly as impressive as Stanford, although that was kind of expected. There are apparently a number of cheap Asian restaurants, although we only heard about them afterwards.

Overall, the Stanford campus was definitely more impressive, although I certainly wouldn't say no to Berkeley either. Seeing all this that they have here in America makes me so jealous and torn between leaving SA for more of this and enjoying the more natural wonders of SA...


  1. I'm also torn between staying in South Africa and considering to emigrate, especially after the beginning of the end (i.e. the Zuma saga).

    But there's another form of short-term jealousy coming into play here: You're talking about being jealous while many people in SA reading your blog are jealous that you have the privilege of visiting the USA (and California in particular) in the first place!

    And is this a paid internship? Then people would be even more jealous ;)

  2. No please don't get me wrong, I feel very privileged to come here. While I did work very hard to get to this point there are those that work equally hard, if not harder, and don't get the opportunity. Once you've seen what's on offer here first hand that's when you truly realise what we're missing out on.

    Yep, it's paid...;-P