I'm currently a freshman attending UCI and I love it so far! It's a wonderful atmosphere with an abundant amount of student opportunities. UCI has a balance between being a research university and still being quite undergraduate friendly. Irvine is also a very safe place to live in. There are always cops patroling around UCI and it's community. The biggest drawbacks are: 1. If you don't have a car, you'll never get to really experience living in "The O.C." but rather you'll be stuck in your dorm or apartment (since everything is so spread out and far). 2. If you don't find any roommates, rent is very expensive (about $2000 a month not including utilities). 3. UCI parking is really strict and are ALWAYS ticketing cars which leads to a very angry student population! All my friends are still mad at me for choosing UCI over other schools like UCSD and U of Mich @ Ann Arbor but UCI is awesome! Did I mention that we are the only UC to have 3 Noble Prize Winners in 1 decade?! Just remember that no matter what UC you end up choosing, it's still all: THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA!