Soka University of America Reviews
Great university to come to with no need to worry about cost. Learn a lot with the diversity of the school. Student life needs to improve drastically.
I really appreciate the small class size here, which encourages student engagement in the classroom. We have discussions or small group activities in class. You can't just sit and listen, but you have to participate, which is sometimes challenging, but rewarding. If you carefully choose the professor, you can get a lot out of each course. I also appreciate Soka's diverse student body. I've been able to talk with people from different backgrounds and become friends, and I've learned so much from those interactions. There have been times when I struggled with cultural differences, but all struggles helped me grow as a person. The small campus can be a little bit suffocating sometimes, but it depends on the kind of relationships you have with people, and overall I like how we can cultivate deep and intimate relationships.
I am currently a first-year student. I plan on concentrating in either environmental studies or humanities, and I am taking Chinese as my foreign language. SUA is wonderful school and I'm honestly not sure where I would be without it. Our student body is small, just 450 students, which allows for a strong sense of community. The student body is really diverse, so as a third-culture kid, I feel at home here. Also, most students are dedicated and interested in many different things. Almost all of us are involved in many things outside of academics (for example, I am part of the school play and am in a social justice and a poetry club; I also work in the student garden). I can pursue my passions and be myself here. The academics are challenging and interesting, and I feel like they are actually meaningful to my life. Also, SUA has really great resources and facilities - for example, free printing, free laundry, and private bathrooms.
I am a senior at Soka University of America, and I truly love this university in all aspects. Professors at Soka are academically accomplished, friendly but demanding, and they also become your mentors and close friends. Classes are rigorous but rewarding, and the curriculum is highly customizable and individually tailored. The student body is very diverse, and the campus community is accommodative to students of all backgrounds. Soka has about 30-35 student clubs. Campus is beautiful and pristine. Dorms are spacious (103 ft. per person), modern and furnished; the rooms also have private bathrooms. Cafeteria food is catered by the Bon Appetit Company and is delicious. Campus and the local area are very safe, but there is a lack of entertainment opportunities in general.
I love this school! I just finished my second year at SUA, and it has been a great experience so far! I have grown a lot through the small class sizes and diverse population. Making friends for me became much easier since all students live on campus. One negative thing about living in Aliso Viejo is that there aren't many shops or restaurants outside campus because the city is so new, so sometimes it gets boring. However, I would recommend this school to anyone looking for a safe learning environment!
I love Soka University of America because of the helpful staff and teachers that they have there. I have never been to a school where the staff is totally connected to the student. I find it a great benefit that the classes usually have 9-12 students in them which is beneficial for me. I also like how the college is ascetically pleasing due to their fountain in the front. I feel safe when I am walking around the campus because the school is not located near any major city nor any place that would invite crime. I find it enjoyable that the school really puts into practice the mission of fostering global citizens due to the diverse student population here. I would not want to change this school in the least, I just hope it could become more recognized.
Since I came here, I really love Soka!!! As an international student, I had many concerns regarding my communication skills in English, class styles, dorm lives, and so on, but thanks to the support from my friends, professors, RA, and faculties, I am enjoining my university life!! Soka offers liberal arts education and appreciates students' diversity, so here is definitely great place to expand your points of views and to figure out your identity!
Soka is a little multicultural gem palace in a sea of monotony and strip malls. It's curriculum and educational model is innovative, inspiring, and is positioned to be a forerunner for academic excellence in the 21st century. I simply cannot praise it enough.
Financial Aid is definitely one of the best selling points of Soka, but it's not because we are solely a rich school with a lot of money so spare; it's because Soka believes in equal opportunities for young people to pursue education without being hindered by their financial difficulty. To me, however, the mission statement and community of care stand out to me the most. This is a friendly campus whose students are overall studious, open-minded and very talented! Diversity is another great bonus (and important to me), although you do find many Japanese. However, this makes sense regarding the history of Soka so no big deal. It's not like you get discriminated for being non-Japanese. I have learned so much about human connection in Soka and made wonderful friends!
The staff has been extremely helpful and engaging as I start my first year. The other students seem interested in learning and want to make a difference. I am glad I chose such a small school, and I am amazed everyone else is so much like me. So far, Soka has been a very positive experience.
We have our own separate rooms and it is pretty big. Everyone is very friendly and accommodating
The campus is pretty safe , even if you put the laptop in the public area, it will not be stolen. And the security will check around the campus very often.
The student body is so friendly, and we can connect to alumni easily as we have a website for it. The job opportunities are good and they give you chances for the job
They are friendly and have good teamwork, they would try their best to help each other. They have a good support from the students.
I'm not 21 yet so I don't know about the bar/club scene from personal experience, but there's nothing in Aliso Viejo. You have to go to at least Laguna to find anything, and it's pretty decent. You can only really go if you have a car, although Uber and Lyft have taken care of some of those issues.
If you like raging on week nights, this isn't your school. There are never parties during the week, and the ones that do happen on weekends are definitely laid back compared to other schools. It's more of hanging out and drinking than anything. Also, everyone knows each other which can be a perk or downside depending on your perspective. Hookups definitely happen at parties, but be prepared for everyone to know about it. Floor parties are few and far between, but when they do happen they're a blast and the whole campus is welcome.
SUA is a phenomenal school academically speaking. There are some bad professors sure, but you have that at any school. Almost every professor is incredibly intelligent, and they all teach classes themselves. More importantly, they're incredibly accessible, and you develop some really close bonds with certain profs. The class size cap (with a couple of exceptions) is 18, and 12 for language classes, so you really get a lot of interaction. The class diversity isn't the greatest, but that's down to the small size of the school more than anything.
Internationally our statistics speak for themselves. Lots of Japanese students, but also very many from other countries. Economically there are people in varying economic situations from around the world, but Soka's financial aid is great enough to where that doesn't really make a difference for attendance and no one really talks about economic background. Religiously speaking, there are many SGI Buddhists (makes complete sense when you look at the origins of the school), but they're never in your face about it, and there's a variety of other religions practiced. I'm personally Christian and have never had an issue with my faith being criticized, but I have heard of some other students who felt like they didn't feel incredibly comfortable being Christian while in some class. From a sexual/gender perspective, Soka is also diverse for it's size. There are a number of students who identify as queer, transgender, pansexual or gender non-binary. Political diversity may be the one area where we don't have much variance. The campus is very left leaning, and any variation of thought really comes down to moderates vs hardcore liberals. It's difficult to express any sort of conservative opinion in class, something which I really think holds the school back. You lose sense of what the real world is like when you're only surrounded by one type of thinking, and it really feeds into some of the over idealism that can pervade Soka. Besides that one issue though, Soka's campus is incredibly diverse.
Drink if you want, don't if you don't want to, nobody will pressure you. There's definitely alternatives if you don't want to be around it, and even at parties you won't be judged. As far as drugs, some people smoke weed but that's really about it. A few people play around with psychedelics but hard drugs are basically never used.
As far as direct safety is concerned, it really doesn't get better than Soka. Controlled access to campus, lots of security (who are friendly if you get to know them), and keycard access to most buildings. It's also in the middle of Orange County, meaning that this is realistically one of the safest campuses in the US. We have had some anger towards administration with their treatment of sexual assault cases, but this is hopefully improving.