USD Toreros attend classes at Alcala Park, a stunning campus with palm-tree-studded courtyards, Spanish Renaissance-inspired architecture and ocean views. There’s plenty of time to enjoy the campus, too, since the weather tends to be warm and sunny year-round. Off-campus, students are just a few minutes from all the museums, music and culture found in California’s second-largest city.

First-year students at this Catholic liberal-arts school are assigned to one of six Living Learning Communities — a group of students with whom they’ll live, take some classes and attend activities centered around a particular theme. Themes include community engagement, social justice and critical thinking.

More than 70% of Toreros study abroad at some point, with students placed in more than 44 countries as diverse as Australia, Uganda and India. Study abroad experiences range from summer programs that last just a few weeks to intersession programs (in January, between fall and spring semesters) to full semesters. The curriculum can be academic or experiential, such as community service and internships. Noteworthy programs include month-long studies in Auckland, New Zealand, or Florence, Italy, as well as the 10-day trip that film students make to Sundance in Utah.