This article first appeared in BTS Issue 3.

By Clarice Chua Qing Yu and Koh Xian Ming, Sophomores (Class of 2021)
Engineering Systems and Design, and Information Systems Technology and Design

Global Leadership Programme (GLP): SUTD’s premier signature programme offers an at least 8-week, fully immersive summer experience at TU Berlin, University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University and Zhejiang University


Yosemite National Park

We spent a weekend at the 6th most visited national park in the US, where we hiked and soaked in the magnificent views of Half Dome and Vernal Fall!

Yosemite Falls 

Napa Valley

Known as the Disneyland for adults, Napa Valley offers some of the world’s best wines and is only a 1.5 hour bus ride from Berkeley. We had an eye-opening experience visiting vineyards, wineries, and of course, drinking way too much wine!

It’s wine o’clock when you visit Napa Valley 

Whale Watching and the Golden Gate Bridge

Getting to see the Golden Gate Bridge from a different angle while on the boat 

We booked a whale watching tour from Pier 39 and were lucky to spot some whales. The 2-hour boat ride was really worth it but I was so excited I forgot to take photos of the whales!


A unique experience that brings you back in time to a former prison. The excellent audio guide tells you about the grim, gripping history of the prison and the people incarcerated there.

An unmissable attraction to go to if it’s your first time in San Francisco

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

The thrill rides with their many unexpected twists are not for the faint-hearted! The animal attractions allow you to break up the day so you don’t tire yourself out.

Big Sur

Go on a road trip and explore the breathtaking scenery of jagged cliffs and beautiful coastlines along the Pacific Coast Highway. Be sure to stop by the Bixby Bridge – the sheer beauty of it will take your breath away.


Oysters from Hog Island Oyster Company, San Francisco

The oysters here are amazing! There were six different kinds on the oyster platter and each of them had a unique taste. The waiter even told us which order we should eat them in for maximum flavour.

Scampi from Gypsy’s Italia, Berkeley

Gypsy’s Italia is considered cheap in the US, with prices all 12USD or less. I had scampi and was really impressed by the quality of the prawns and scallops – they were big, fresh and fragrant.

Spoilt for choice with other pasta options 


Ghirardelli Chocolate

San Francisco is the birthplace of Ghirardelli Chocolate Company. These chocolates make a great gift to bring home as they come in nice boxes. I recommend the Sea Salt Soiree flavour!

Berkeley Merchandise

Berkeley merchandise will remind you of the great times you had in Berkeley!

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