As an international student who has recently completed high school, I now need to decide what college I will go to. Since "Cambridge, duh" gets a bit irritating after one has heard it a thousand times, I decided to write up a little list of the pros and cons I associate with each of the two places mentioned in the title: College of Creative Studies, UC Santa Barbara Pros One of the best physics departments in the world, with several brilliant professors. Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics: Many colloquia and discussion meetings open to everyone; possibly the best theoretical physics exposure one can get. Many of the big-name professors are also pedagogically active. CCS specific points: If a CCS student can show the capability of taking an upper division or graduate class, even without the prerequisites, the college greatly facilitates the process of getting the student in that class. Most undergraduates are involved in quality research with great people (Polchinski and Martinis, for instance, have worked with CCS undergraduates in the past) for a large part of their time at the college. CCS is quite a small college (~15 physics undergraduates) which results in a close-knit community of motivated people. CCS students may drop any class up until the last day of instruction. This privilege is given as a backup if a student happens to try taking advanced classes or more classes than the usual student. CCS students are among the first students at UCSB to sign up for classes each quarter. This gets rid of a big disadvantage associated with large public universities, viz. not being able to register for a class because of lack of space. Miscellaneous: 24 hour building and lab access, longer periods for library check-out, free printing, etc. Cons UCSB is generally regarded as a ‘party school’, and so my non-CCS peer group, should I choose to interact with them, will be composed of a not insignificant number of people I don’t like. UCSB’s general prestige (among non-physicists, at least) << Cambridge’s. Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge Pros The prestige factor may be more important than I think. This comes partly from the numerous great physicists at the Cavendish as well as DAMTP. The Triposes’ courses have been ‘tried and tested’ for hundreds of years. Corpus sends its physics undergraduates to Caltech for at least one summer project. The supervision system (weekly one-on-two sessions with faculty or graduate students) is extremely attractive. The physics and mathematics societies are very active, and are full of intelligent and interesting people. Cons [Almost everything that counts as a positive for CCS is absent at Cambridge.] At Cambridge, theoretical physics is ‘segregated’ into the more mathematical work (HEP theory, quantum information, cosmology etc.) which is taught in the Mathematical Tripos and everything else under the framework of the Natural Sciences Tripos. Choosing one of the two subfields early in my undergraduate years does not seem to be a good idea. Cannot take a single course outside my Tripos (while at least 8 courses in the humanities constitute a graduation requirement at CCS). Any advice or comments will be appreciated. Thanks!