During these online quarters, we’re sadly missing out on a lot of on-campus experiences. But there are still some great free things open to us as UCI students that you can take advantage of! Here are a few that you can look into to help you in your academics, try new things and have some fun while we’re at home.
1. Adobe Creative Cloud
UCI lets students (as well as employees, faculty and guests) access Adobe Creative Cloud for free. The membership includes over 20 apps, including Photoshop, Illustrator and Lightroom. Your access will expire this July 2021, though you can just renew the license at that time. You can also separately download Adobe Acrobat DC Professional to help you view, edit and make PDFs.
2. News subscriptions
The UCI libraries give students free access to a few news sites too! With your UCI email address, you can access The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal (which includes perks like a complimentary monthly ebook), and The Financial Times. You just need to activate your access and renew it each year. Once you’re in, you can also download their apps and see the news on your phone or tablet easily as well! (Fun fact, UCI was actually the first UC to give students access to the NYTimes and WSJ.)
You can also access local OC news through The Orange County Register as long as your VPN is activated. There are many other newspaper databases and sites within the US and internationally that students can access through the UCI libraries. Here’s a link to a page explaining the resources on the library website.
3. Microsoft services
UCI students can also get Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus for free. This comes with apps like Excel, PowerPoint and Word. It comes with 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage and includes Office for computers, smartphones and tablets. You can also download Windows 10 Education for free.
4. Unlimited storage in UCI Google accounts
Your UCI Google account has unlimited storage! This means you won’t run out of space across the UCI G Suite, which includes Gmail, Drive and Docs. Even once you graduate, you can keep the account and its unlimited storage capacity as long as you renew it annually. So if you’re running out of storage space, you could put things in your UCI account.
5. Counseling Center services
The UCI Counseling Center services are free to current students during the academic year and the summer (depending on service demands). Some services students can look into include short-term therapy, group therapy and workshops. These services will be provided through video or phone sessions, but are unfortunately restricted to students within CA.
6. ARC membership
The Anteater Recreation Center (ARC), UCI’s gym, is not fully open due to the pandemic, but students do still have access to virtual resources as members. There are different Zoom classes and workshops the ARC’s instructors host throughout the week from yoga, full body workouts and belly dancing to cooking. I’ve tried some yoga classes and they’ve been super calming to do before a full day of classes.