Olivia Draper spent about nine weeks living on her own in Thailand to learn Thai. Draper worked in a restaurant and lived as a Buddhist nun in a monastery. (Michael Zshornack/Assistant Photo editor)

Olivia Draper spent about nine weeks living on her own in Thailand to learn Thai. Draper worked in a restaurant and lived as a Buddhist nun in a monastery. (Michael Zshornack/Assistant Photo editor)

The immersive experience of an independent study abroad program


When Olivia Draper stepped off the plane in Thailand this summer, she barely spoke a word of Thai. Instead of studying abroad with a university program, Draper traveled on her own to Thailand, where she spent eight weeks working in a restaurant while learning Thai, and another five days living as a nun in a Buddhist monastery near Bangkok.

Second-year mathematics for teaching student Courtney Scott runs a manicure business, called Court’s Nail Army, from her dorm room. (Laura Uzes/Daily Bruin)

Student nails it with affordable, on-campus manicure business


Courtney Scott hauled a black suitcase of nail polish into her dorm lounge. On the eighth floor of Hedrick Summit, the second-year mathematics for teaching student provides professional manicures to UCLA students under the company name Court’s Nail Army.

UCLA Health program aims to improve fitness in LA schools

UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind helps schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District build fitness centers and improve their physical education programs through grants up to $50,000. (Courtesy of UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind)

School-affiliated personnel from 11 middle and high schools in Los Angeles County can use newly furnished fitness centers funded by UCLA Health this year. The UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind, which promotes childhood health, aims to reduce obesity rates in the Los Angeles Unified School District by funding fitness centers.

UCLA and USC going head to head in raising student voter turnout

UCLA and University of Southern California will compete this fall to see which school can register more voters in time for the general election. (Courtesy of Melissa Miller)

UCLA and University of Southern California are competing to register students to vote with a voter registration drive this fall. The competition, which started Sept. 15, will challenge each school to register the most students to vote, according to a Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk press release.

Editorial: California US Senate candidates’ higher education plans lack specificity

Hear This Not That: Shawn Mendes’ album rips off 2000s, Devendra Banhart’s delivers

Throwback Thursday: The ordeal of registering for classes in the days before MyUCLA

(Daily Bruin archives)

The last time I sat in a chair for two hours waiting for my name to be called was at my middle school graduation. But for UCLA students 35 years ago, that was a regular occasion when signing up for classes.

The Quad: The top 10 things that are #YoungerThanTaysomHill

A selection of Westwood’s most delectable desserts



(Shai Garrett/Daily Bruin)

Daily Bruin Video Travels: San Francisco

(Daniel Lee/Daily Bruin)

Undocumented, Undeclared: Spoken word an outlet for expression

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UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music violin professor Movses Pogossian will perform with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra on Sunday at UCLA Royce Hall. He will play Violin Concerto No. 2, “Four Serious Songs," by Armenian composer Tigran Mansurian. (Keila Mayberry/Daily Bruin staff)

Esteemed violin professor to perform with chamber orchestra at Royce Hall

Violin professor Movses Pogossian lives for the moments of silence at the end of a concert, the collective hush of thousands of people holding their... Read more »

Movie review: ‘Queen of Katwe’

Movie review: ‘Storks’

Graphic: Fall quarter a cappella audition locations

give a man a fish

More features

Radio reporter Jonaki Mehta, photographer Sonja Bartlett and an external translator, Ravindranath Chandran, spent nine days in Vadamanappakkam covering the progress and effectiveness of Project RISHI’s initiatives and exploring the complexities of this rural village and its residents. This project was made possible by the Bridget O’Brien Scholarship Foundation, which has funded UCLA’s student journalists for eight years to cover stories of a global reach and local impact.

View the stories, videos, and graphics  »

Opinion Poll

This month, California lawmakers passed a bill mandating prison sentencing for those convicted of sexual assaulting unconscious persons. This measure seeks the approval of the governor to become law. How do you feel about this issue? Submit View results without voting »