Wednesday Postcard: Santa Barbara, California

photo on postcard by S. Gibson

Bonjour! This week’s carte postale is one I picked up during my visit to Southern California earlier this month. It features Stearns Wharf in the city of Santa Barbara, one of my favorite places in California!

I’ve been to the coastal city several times over the years, but during my first visit in 1997, I happened to be at Stearns Wharf while they were filming a scene from the movie, “My Favorite Martian” — I even caught a glimpse of actors Jeff Daniels and Elizabeth Hurley!

In Santa Barbara, the weather is mild, the people are friendly, and the seafood is fresh. I absolutely adore the Spanish-inspired tiles and red-roof architecture!

In addition to Stearns Wharf, some of my favorites include:

Shops along State Street

Old Mission Santa Barbara

Joe’s Cafe of Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara FisHouse

Fun Fact: At the annual Santa Barbara French Festival, one of the most popular events is a dog parade called the Canine Cavalcade.

For more information:

Visit Santa Barbara – Official website

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, à bientôt!

Does the University of California Have a French Program?

[Disclosure: I am a UC employee and an alum of the UC Davis French A.B. degree program. Endorsement of a specific campus or program is not implied. This post is not sponsored by the University.]


I bought this book from a bouquiniste in Paris


Going to college and thinking about studying French, the language of Molière? Maybe you’re wondering:

Does the University of California have a French program?

Short answer:

Yes! Currently, all nine undergraduate University of California (UC) campuses offer French language and/or French literature courses.

Long answer:

While all nine undergraduate UC campuses offer French language and/or French literature courses, only eight of them currently offer French degree programs.

So be sure to read program descriptions carefully, and note that:

  • Some UC campuses require French placement tests
  • Some UC campuses offer French programs as concentrations or specializations within their literature or linguistics departments
  • Students are encouraged to take advantage of study-abroad opportunities

Although I am not a college admissions coach, I hope you’ll find this link roundup helpful in your search and comparison of French programs offered at each of the nine undergraduate UC campuses.


UC Berkeley

The French Department

4125 Dwinelle Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720


UC Davis

Department of French and Italian

One Shields Avenue, Sproul Hall, Room 213, Davis, CA 95616


UC Irvine

European Languages and Studies

243 Humanities Instructional Bldg., Irvine, CA 92697



The Department of French & Francophone Studies

212 Royce Hall, Box 951550, Los Angeles, CA 90095


UC Merced 

Foreign Languages Program

5200 North Lake Road, Merced, CA 95343

*Currently, there is no French degree program at UC Merced


UC Riverside

Department of Comparative Literature and Languages

900 University Avenue, Riverside, CA 92521


UC San Diego

Department of Linguistics – Language Program

9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093


UC Santa Barbara

Department of French and Italian

5206 Phelps Hall, Santa Barbara, CA 93106


UC Santa Cruz

French Language Programs

1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064


French dictionary: my constant companion in college


If you do decide to apply to a UC, here’s a friendly reminder: the filing period for the UC admissions application is November 1-30!

Bonne chance

Congratulations on your decision to go to college and study French. I wish you all the best – Bonne chance! Bon courage!



  • The content provided here is intended to be used and must be used for informational purposes only

  • Do your own research and contact the campuses directly if you have any specific questions about their programs

  • Information is current as of October 1, 2019 and is subject to change

  • The links point to websites administered by the Regents of the University of California

  • This post does not reflect the opinions or policies of the University

Wednesday Postcard: Solvang, California

Bonjour! (Or should I say, Hej, goddag?) This week’s carte postale comes from Solvang, a Danish village located in California’s Central Coast wine country, just north of Santa Barbara.

My family and I spent a weekend in the little town in 2014. On the way over there, I recall suddenly feeling under the weather. Fortunately, I was still able to enjoy the following in Solvang:


  • Breakfast at Olsen’s Danish Village Bakery
  • Æbleskivers (pancake balls) from Solvang Restaurant

Family fun

  • Hans Christian Andersen Park
  • Sunny Fields Park
  • Big red clog in front of the Solvang Shoe Store


  • Jule Hus, a year-round Christmas store
  • The Mystic Merchant (At the time, I was exploring the healing qualities of crystals and gemstones. I wrote a post about it here.)

For more information:

Solvang USA – official website

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, à bientôt!

Tell me in the comments below: Have you been to Solvang or other themed towns? If so, which one(s)?