The only truth that came out of Orientation was when they mentioned that over a third of the student population likely had STD's. The advisers are not helpful if you can find them. Nobody guides you or gives you advice, no matter how hard you try to find them. I spent hours following the directions of trying to find the right person and just being redirected time and time again before the system looped on itself and when it was time to go home the staff will ignore you. If you have an unorthodox question good luck ever getting it answered. When I did finally find an "adviser" to talk to it ended up being a student who merely showed me the catalog. I would not have had a problem if the answer was contained in the catalog, I'm not that dense. The only department that was competent as far as I could see was the Counseling services who were excellent in not only doing their job, but even followed up with you if you missed an appointment, they even offered to help me find a counselor in my hometown after I let them know that I was leaving the university. The hospital on campus is useful, but the doctor that I had seen when I had the flu was an alarmist and told me I had the swine flu 'because its the only flu going around' regardless to the 10,000 people that the regular flu had killed that year compared to swine flu's couple hundred at that point.
The professors are largely condescending and some are not understandable at all. Several of them spoke broken English at best, some of the professors don't even teach but rather let the aids teach who, in a few cases, also didn't speak but barely understandable broken English. Several professors outright hated both the United States and Americans and spent more of class time belittling both Americans and the UCF population in particular while extoling the virtues of his home country. Some of the professors are good though, Dr. Sinelli and Dr. Yan Fernandez in particular come to mind, the former makes his class fun while making sure you get the material during the pop quizzes and not-so-easy tests and the latter is very patient and understanding if you are having difficulty with something and will spend an hour with you and will stretch out a lesson over several weeks if the class does poorly on the quizzes and needs help understanding it, he is genuinely interested in your learning and if you do end up at UCF I highly recommend him. I suppose its a normal spread, but there are no standards for testing over the breadth of the faculty, in one class you can practically sleep through it and ace the tests without any effort at all, learning nothing and in others you can write 7 pages of material in less than an hour and "obviously have no understanding of the material" on a topic that you are well versed on. One of my professors told us we couldn't have a syllabus on the first day of class because he was too drunk to write it. The guy was extremely unprofessional, smelled of alcohol and spoke with a slur, he was rude and made examples of students who had questions and belittling them when they had syllabus related questions (he gave us 3 of them, none of which were entirely correct). The dean didn't seem to care at all when I brought all of this up and nothing happened to him last I was there as I still saw him going into classes.
I had been a member of band since middle school and joined the UCF Marching Knights. If these guys are the 'Pride of Central Florida' I would hate to see what is worthy of being ashamed of. The band was completely uncontrolled, had no discipline or care towards musicianship insofar as I could tell. I understand having a band be open and not insular, which was a good thing, but it says something when a freshman can step in the door and jump over 40 members, many of them music majors, in the first audition. Honestly, my middle school band had more discipline than these guys, at least the middle schoolers didn't talk as much when the teacher was trying to correct their lines, which they couldn't make straight to save their lives. The band seemed much more interested in partying than improving on their talents. Given music was the secondary reason I had chosen UCF in the first place it turned out to be a very big source of irritation and made me get the idea I was in the wrong place.
Art students, which was my first major, are utterly intolerably snobbish constantly talking about how great their art is with no seeming will to improve, only tell everyone how great they are. The professors were not much better, going on about their own achievements instead of teaching the material. The material itself is why I switched majors. I got the distinct impression that the material had no practical components whatsoever and literally thought, "If I go through with this, I'm going to starve to death." Some of the courses were new courses and were there solely to pad the pocket of the college, even the director of the graphic art program admitted it (and seemed to hate it as much as I do). The FMEA program was the primary reason I had chose to go to UCF in the first place. My entire reason for going to college was shot down within the first semester, but being stubborn I trudged on and tried to find a way through which turned out to be a $30,000 mistake.
The food is great on campus near the beginning of the semester and during parent days, but it goes downhill from there. By the end of the semester the only two things that look edible is the pizza and the eggs in the morning (can't miss that station, there was always a line around the inside of Marketplace to get them, very good) There was always a decent selection of fruits and vegetables at Marketplace and Knightro's so that's a plus. There are also plenty of places to get a bite to eat both on campus and nearby, from Subway to Gyros to frozen yogurt (which they should have finished building by now)
The campus is beautiful, well maintained and clean (though I'd be perfectly willing to sacrifice that for a better staff, its a college for learning and development, not to look pretty). I can't say I ever felt threatened physically while there, even in the early morning hours. Most of campus is well lit, they have emergency boxes set up all over the place and the police patrol around campus at all times of day (even moreso now after the recent incident I imagine). The school has a severe weather siren as well, which is nice.
DO NOT WORK while you go to college. the money in your pocket is near worthless compared to the internships and organizations that you NEED to be involved in if you want to have any chance at all of getting a job in your field. If you work while you're on campus, you might as well just quit college and make it a career, maybe you'll eventually be the owner of a McDonald's, at least you'll be in a management position at the time you would otherwise be applying. Which reminds me, the college's employment numbers are buffed, they are the students who have any jobs at all, not the students who have a job in their field (which they claim). I know people who have a degree in engineering from UCF who are working at fast food joints because they can't find work. In this economy UCF just doesn't compete with UF or FSU, regardless as to what they tell you. A friend of mine graduated with a Radio and Television degree and found out that the equipment he had been working on while at UCF had been obsolete for years and that he was less qualified than students out of high school media programs because of it.
The fees are stupid, they will charge you for anything and everything if they can, they will charge you twice and try to explain it away with wordplay and circle logic. When confronted about it the basic point they tell you is that you will either pay it or they will place a hold on your account and prevent you from taking classes or transferring any of your coursework to another college.
I believe this problem has been resolved, but at one point the golden rule that you had to sign to take classes involved stripping students of their 2nd Amendment rights, if they were to even own a weapon anywhere at anytime, (I can understand on-campus, but if I move to Georgia and go hunting it isn't any of the college's business) and threatened to remove the student from the college and nullify the degree. I believe this has been resolved after the amount that I complained about it, however be on your guard for crap like this. I'm not normally an alarmist, but this was pretty much blatantly preying on the students who don't seem to have any idea of what they are signing (if they even read it in the first place, most had no idea about it or recollection when I showed them the paper)The college is there to make money off of you. You are a number, a pawn, and not someone your own advisers nor professors give a crap about. DO NOT recommend this university, waste of time and money.