Glorious sunshine, world-class surfing beaches, an array of bustling cities, scenic greenery, and some of the most prestigious higher education institutions in the world –– it’s safe to say California truly has it all. A state big in size and equally large in splendour, it’s not every day you come across a college that is within arm’s reach to each one of these attractions. At Golden West College (GWC), however, one of the most beautiful campuses in Southern California, students enjoy all the above and more.
Keira Truong was drawn to GWC’s sun, fun and comprehensive science program. Sora Ishikawa followed his intuition from Japan to Australia –– to learn English –– before arriving at GWC for “excellent weather, beautiful beaches, and a real challenge.” Georgian Shalva Khizanishvili sought to be part of GWC’s impressive water polo team.
Every GWC student has their own distinct reason for joining this vibrant, welcoming community –– from value to quality of education, from flexibility to a less conventional but proven route to success. The greatest perk is accessibility. As a community college, GWC offers university transferrable classes with more reasonable tuition costs –– making it the ideal choice for students, domestic or international, who are keen on discovering their passions before making definite plans.
A caring, supportive community that inspires self-discovery
Freshman Ishikawa dabbled with economics before majoring in business. He hopes to use his time at GWC to take his current passion further. “I haven’t decided which industry to work in yet, but wherever I work, I believe marketing is necessary and useful –– so I plan on studying marketing in the future,” he says.
Ishikawa is passionate about soccer too —and at GWC, this passion gets to flourish. Here, he has a team to form meaningful relationships with and a coach to seek all forms of advice from. His favourite is assistant coach Carlos Godinez. “He cares about everyone, not only on matters related to soccer but also our academic life,” Ishikawa shares.
GWC students carve their own individual paths to success — and as demonstrated by coach Godinez, they have support every step of the way. At the Counselling Department, an array of professionally-trained counselors assist students in identifying their goals, planning their academic journeys, selecting courses, and providing personal support.
Once students have a plan in mind, the Transfer Center brings them into fruition. Here, a variety of services enable students to achieve their transfer goals to four-year universities. Students will be able to participate in application and transfer workshops, transfer fairs, university campus tours, and appointments with university representatives.
It’s a thoughtful and thorough ecosystem that leads to outstanding outcomes. GWC students successfully transfer to top universities such as California State University (CSU) and the University of California (UC) –– with transfer rates placing GWC among the top 10% of all Californian community colleges.
“I have transferred to Concordia University Irvine for Fall 2020, and I feel like I was prepared for everything because of GWC. The transition was super easy, because I already knew how to manage my time, courses, and sports,” says Khizanishvili, who also worked as a student assistant during his time at GWC.
Research underscores the power of in-depth and qualified career support at colleges and universities like GWC’s. Qualified career development practitioners, with the know-how to merge education programs with work opportunities, can deliver targeted and specialized support. This helps students identify their knowledge, skills and other attributes to stand out in the labour market.
Live the Californian dream at a scenic campus
Life in California is peachy. From the glamorous showbiz whirl of Hollywood, to the cutting-edge Silicon Valley and its infectious spark for innovation –– it’s no wonder thousands of students all over the world flock to this picturesque state for an education and career.
Students at GWC are proud to call Huntington Beach, also known as Surf City USA, their home. In this welcoming community, there is plenty of sunshine to go around –– GWC students come from 36 countries and California itself is known to be one of the most diverse states in the US.
The college is home to two vibrant offerings that ensure students experience the best GWC and California have to offer — The Center for Global and Cultural Programs, which acts as a base for all international and expanded global engagement, and the International Student Program, which provides students with ample support in the form of specialized academic counselling, visa guidance, and housing resources. Both ease and ensure international students’ transition to life in a new environment.
“Campus life was pretty fun. It was busy every single day,” reminisces Khizanishvili. “There were so many events going on. Students were really enjoying it and I feel like it was really good for students to meet each other and get to know each other.”
Just 30 miles from Los Angeles, GWC is set on 10 miles of uninterrupted coastline. Here, there is plenty to see and do –– making it the perfect destination for any interest. Downtown hosts a blend of California surf shops and both trendy and vintage boutiques with laid-back luxury vibes. With warm weather year round, there is nothing better than having a delicious meal with new-found friends in the morning, afternoon, or evening next to the beach. Walk it off at one of Huntington Beach’s 70 parks, including the largest park in all of Orange County, Huntington Beach Central Park, or check out the monarch butterflies at the Shipley Nature Centre, featuring 18 acres of California native habitat.
Clean, safe, and lively –– it’s clear the GWC experience is one that strikes the perfect balance between fun and excellence. You can picture this, meet staff and hear from professors when you sign up to join the Explore GWC! Online Open House, set to be held on Mar. 20, 2021 from 3 – 6 p.m. PST.