Life as a UCSD Triton

Triton logo

Learn some of the basics of life as a Triton. From Triton to TritonLink, SDCC and Writing to Geisel, and ISPO vs. I-House all the way to the Sun God Festival, and more!

We begin with the "Be a Triton: First-Year Kick-Off," and follow up with "Live as Triton." You will see all of this covered in the sections below.

Who is that fierce forked creature - what is Triton?

According to the Greek myth, Triton is god of the sea, son of Poseidon (Neptune), and Amphitrite. Given UC San Diego's close proximity to the Pacific Ocean and its connections with the world-famous Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Triton was aptly chosen as the university mascot in 1964.

Half-man, half-fish, Triton is a mighty warrior of the deep. He rides the waves on giant seahorses and sea monsters, carries a trident, and blows a conch shell like a trumpet to calm or stir up the waves.

UC San Diego students call themselves Tritons, which represent the spirit of the god Triton.

What is Tritonlink? How often should I check it?

Tritonlink is the website for each student on campus to keep track on their academic records and use all other online personal tools such as choosing classes, pay the fees, ask questions for academic advising, and change your major.  Each student on campus has a PID and the password to log in.

If you see “holds” on your Tritonlink page, it means something is wrong and you might want to figure it out as soon as possible. Students normally check it every day for updates.  For more information:

What is TED?

TED is an online personal tool for students to check updates on their enrolled classes—homework, quiz, finals, grades, and announcements from professors. You can use your UCSD email user name and password to log in your TED.

For more information:

What should I do if I don't know how to choose classes or have questions about my major requirements?

First of all, log in Tritonlink and check your Degree Audit. This list all the required classes that you need to take to graduate for your major, college GEs, and minor if applicable. If you have any further questions about classes or your major, click “Virtual Advising Center” under Advising & Grades in the upper left corner of the webpage. You can type in the questions and the school advisors will reply to you shortly. For more information:

Secondly, if you experience academic difficulties, you should speak with an advisor in International Students & Programs Office to discuss what options you may have.  You can either call to make an appointment or walk in during office hours. If you have any questions or need clarification about the advising, please contact the UC San Diego International Students & Programs Office at 858-534-3730 or contact us via our Contact Us eForm

What is my PID?

PID is the Personal identity (I.D.) code for UCSD students that you sign in to Tritonlink. You can find it in the front of your student I.D card. You will be asked for your PID number for most university related services.

Why should I check my UCSD email?

It is very important to check your UCSD email everyday simply because it is the most common way to communicate with school staff, professors, international student advisors, and receive updates or announcements of UCSD. So please check your email at least one time a day, you don't want to be out of the loop!

What is SDCC? Do I need to take it?

SDCC are the writing classes for students who have not satisfied the UC Entry Level Writing requirement ( Students who have not satisfied the UC Entry Level Writing requirement before enrolling at UC San Diego must satisfy the requirement by achieving a grade of C or better in SDCC 1 (English Composition—Entry Level Writing) and by passing the Entry Level Writing Exit Examination given at the end of SDCC 1, which is administered by the Basic Writing Program office.

Students must enroll in SDCC 1or SDCC 4 during the first quarter of residence at UC San Diego. SDCC 1 and SDCC 4 are Mesa College courses taught at UC San Diego as part of a cooperative program with the San Diego Community College District.

Under Academic Senate regulations, SDCC 1 and SDCC 4 cannot be counted toward graduation requirements. However, the course units do count as workload credit toward the minimum progress requirement and in maintaining full-time enrollment.

Secrets about Geisel Library

There is a hidden rule of Geisel—higher level means more quiet study environment. So, don't talk when you are on the 8th floor. You can also go online and reserve for a study room in Geisel with your PID so that you can also enjoy group study in Geisel. Geisel library opens for 24 hours during before exam week.

For more information:

How can I find an on-campus job as an international student?

Port Triton is an online tool for UCSD students to search for a job or internship.  You need to create an account for Port Triton in order to log in. You should get your resume and cover letter prepared in order to apply for most of the jobs. Sometimes you apply directly through Port Triton, or you might need to send an email first! 

For more information:

What is ISPO? Why should I checkout ISPO?

The full name of ISPO is the International Students & Programs Office (ISPO).

The International Students &Programs Office (ISPO) offers a wide array of services and programs for international students and their dependents at UC San Diego in an effort to support their legal stay in the USA and help them achieve their personal, academic, and professional goals.

In addition, ISPO provides a variety of high-quality programs and cross-cultural activities designed to successfully integrate international students at UC San Diego and provide the UC San Diego community with the experiences that foster the development of international knowledge, skills, and sensitivities.

Services and programs include:

What is SEVIS?

SEVIS, the Student Exchange Visitor Information System, is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's web-based data collection and monitoring system.

SEVIS stores information that the U.S. government has collected from international visitors holding F, J, or M statuses. People in other I-94 statuses do not have SEVIS records. The International Students & Programs Office is required to input information into SEVIS include.

Since all Certificate of Eligibility Forms (I-20 for F-1 Students and DS 2019 for Exchange Visitors/J-1 Students), must be issued directly from the SEVIS database, the UC San Diego International Students & Programs Office (ISPO) will be inputting required data into SEVIS that is needed to create or update your Form I-20 or DS-2019.

U.S. federal regulations require that a "SEVIS fee" be paid prior to applying for the F-1 or J-1 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad or, for those foreign nationals not required to obtain visa stamps to enter the U.S., prior to applying for admission to the U.S. at a port of entry/preflight inspection center.

Upon paying this fee online, a receipt will be automatically generated that should be printed out and taken to your visa application appointment or inspection at a port of entry/preflight inspection center.

For more information on this process and to pay the fee online, see:

International House

International House is on-campus housing for many of the international exchange students attending in UCSD, as well as a number of degree-seeking international students. The residents of International House make up one of the most unique and vibrant living-learning communities on campus. There are a variety of different cross-cultural activities throughout the whole academic year in I-house. Any UCSD students can also submit an application in order to live in I-house after their first year. To know more about I-house:

Where can I find some resource of Off-campus housing?

You can check for more information. 

Shuttle services

UCSD students can enjoy UCSD shuttle service both on and off campus with valid UCSD I.Ds.  Also, Triton U-Pass is a universal transit pass program at UC San Diego that provides students unlimited ridership on all regional mass transit bus and trolley/light rail routes provided by MTS and NCTD.

For more information:

What is Sun God?

The Sun God Festival is an annual campus festival at UC, San Diego that usually takes place on the Friday of the seventh week during spring quarter. Beginning in the early afternoon and running throughout the evening until midnight, the festival is produced by the Associated Students Concerts & Events office and paid for by the students in their activity fees. The festival contains a fair, multiple stages which feature art performances, DJ performances, and a mix of underground/indie bands and mainstream groups. All of this occurs on RIMAC Field. The main stage is traditionally opened by the winner of the Battle of the Bands at UCSD.

The festival's name references the Sun God, an on-campus statue by French artist Niki de Saint Phalle (1930–2002). The Sun God was the first contribution to the famous Stuart Collection. The first Sun God Festival coincided with the one-year anniversary of the statue's arrival in 1984. The festival's original location was adjacent to the statue, but it has since grown and moved numerous times, from Price Center to the now-demolished Mile High Field, to its current location on the RIMAC field. For more information:

Where are the gyms? Can I go there for free?

There are three main gyms on campus— RIMAC, the Main Gym and the Canyon View. You can enjoy any of the facilities for free with your valid UCSD I.D.

There are also a variety recreation classes for UCSD students to attend with a relatively low price. You can check the recreation class schedule online and pick your favorite ones!  Check this website for more info:

Tips for roommates

1. Be clear from the beginning. Do you know in advance that you hate it when someone hits the snooze button fifteen times every morning? That you're a neat freak? That you need ten minutes to yourself before talking to anyone after you wake up? Let your roommate know as soon as you can about your little quirks and preferences. It's not fair to expect him or her to pick up on them right away, and communicating what you need is one of the best ways to eliminate problems before they become problems.

2. Address things while they’re minor issues. Is your roommate always forgetting her stuff for the shower, and taking yours? Are your clothes being borrowed faster than you can wash them? Addressing things that bug you while they're still little can help your roommate be aware of something he or she may not otherwise know. Also, addressing little things is much easier than addressing them after they've become big problems.

3. Respect your roommate's stuff. This may seem simple, but it's probably one of the biggest reasons why roommates experience conflict. Don't think he or she will mind if you borrow his cleats for a quick soccer game? For all you know, you just stepped over a clear line. Don't borrow, use, or take anything without getting permission first.

4. Be careful of who you bring into your room -- and how often. You may love having your study group into your room, but your roommate may not. Be mindful of how often you bring people over. If your roommate studies best in the quiet and you study best in a group, can you alternate who hits the library and who gets the room?

5. Lock the door and windows. This may seem like it has nothing to do with roommate relationships, but how would you feel if your roommate's laptop got stolen during the ten seconds it took you to run down the hall? Or vice versa? Locking your door and windows is a critical part of keeping safe on campus.

6. Be friendly, without expecting to be best friends. Don't go into your roommate relationship thinking that you are going to be best friends for the time you're at school. It may happen, but expecting it sets both of you up for trouble. You should be friendly with your roommate but also make sure you have your own social circles.

7. Be open to new things. Your roommate may be from someplace you've never heard of. They may have a religion or lifestyle that is completely different from your own. Be open to new ideas and experiences, especially as it relates to what your roommate brings into your life. That's why you went to college in the first place, right?!

8. Be open to change. You should expect to learn, grow, and change during your time at school. As the semester progresses, realize things will change for both of you. Be comfortable addressing things that unexpectedly come up, setting new rules, and being flexible to your changing environment.

9. Address things when they're big. You may not have been totally honest with tip #2. Or you may suddenly find yourself with a roommate who goes wild after being shy and quiet the first two months. Either way, if something gets to be a big problem quicklydeal with it as soon as you can.

10. If nothing else, follow the Golden Rule. Treat your roommate like you'd like to be treated. No matter what your relationship is at the end of the year, you can take comfort knowing you acted like an adult and treated your roommate with respect.


Dining Dollars

Dining Dollars: Your Dining Plan allows you to spend what, when, where, and how you please. Enjoy the freedom to eat light one day and splurge the next! You have a set amount of dollars to spend as you see fit throughout the year. However, your remaining amount will carry over to the next school year.

Check this website for more Information:

Triton Cash

Triton Cash

You can use Triton Cash in all dining halls and markets on campus and even off-campus ( You also need to use Triton Cash to do your laundry!  Just go to, activate your own Triton Cash account and deposit your money to the Triton Cash via your own credit card.

You buy the Triton Cash separately from the dining dollars and you can recharge the Triton Cash whenever you want online with your student I.D.  The remaining Triton Cash will be kept in your student I.D.

How to register for Triton Cash:

Get Involved! Join Student Organizations

Getting involved at school is a great way to build a community of friends in a new place. Joining student organizations also allows students to gain new experiences and cultivate their leadership and communication skills.

Learn more about student organizations by visiting our Get Involved page.