University: University of California Los Angeles
City: Los Angeles
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: linguistics
Study type: Summer Sessions
To prepare for the advanced English course, I and a friend chose the Summer Session at UCLA. I have to say that planning and preparing for my stay was easier than I thought. MicroEdu provides wonderful advice and if I had any questions all I had to do was call and they gave me the most friendly advice. Where it got complicated was applying for the visa. You have to work your way through various US Embassy websites to get a visa application appointment and to pay certain fees in advance. All the questions and requirements seemed very strict to me and I almost had the feeling that I would hardly get a visa. When the application was made at the embassy itself, things went a little more smoothly. Visit anycountyprivateschools.com to get information about Sonoma State University study abroad program.
When packing for the 6 weeks, I was at a loss as to what to take with me and wanted to take my entire wardrobe with me. The weather is actually always good in LA, even if it looks cloudy from time to time, it is very warm and the clouds and the smog will disappear by noon at the latest. A sweater is actually enough at night. But what you have to get used to first is all the air conditioning and you shiver in the canteen at first.
When I went shopping for the first time, I noticed that I had taken far too many clothes with me. Actually, everything is a lot cheaper than here and there are extremely many shopping opportunities. I probably would have stocked up on more clothes if I had the space.
Apart from that, there are of course washrooms in the corridors, although you first had to find a washing machine that worked or was free.
I have to say I was a bit worried at first that I would be by far one of the youngest as I’m only 17 and the programs are meant for older people. However, there were many others my age and you would always be placed on age specific floors in the dorms so that pretty much everyone of the same age lived on one floor.
That brings me to the rooms. Since I was only there for 6 weeks, I could only choose between three and two bed rooms and decided on a two bed room. You have two single beds and a little more space. The rooms are otherwise really small but you don’t spend too much time in them.
The campus is huge and it really takes 15-25 minutes to get to the classrooms. But there are tons of sports facilities such as a fitness studio, two pools, running facilities, basketball, football, tennis, to name just a few, all of which can be used freely.
Otherwise, you can get everything useful in the stores located on campus.
Since you actually have to use your Bruincard (something like a university ID card) for every door you want to open and in the evening to get into the dorms and rooms, you feel very safe. Even if you were alone on campus in the evening, you can have the campus police pick you up and take you to the dorms. Normally, however, you always travel in a group.
The city of LA is huge! But UCLA is well located between Santa Monica, Westwood, Beverly Hills and Hollywood. These are the actual areas where you stay. Especially in Westwood, which is right around the university, there are enough bars, restaurants, cinemas and all kinds of shops and if you’re lucky you might catch one or two film premieres. It takes about 25 minutes by bus to Santa Monica Beach and 30 minutes to Venice Beach. Buses actually go there regularly but otherwise the bus system is pretty chaotic and it can happen that you have to wait two hours for a bus. But there is so much to do and you should really take advantage of the opportunities.
Otherwise I met a lot of very nice people and made many friends. In fact, everyone is friendly and helpful.
Which is helpful when meeting people from LA. So you just get around more and also to some not so classic tourist places.
Especially when it comes to nightlife for those under 21 years old. On the other hand, I was glad to have done the summer session with a friend and to have known at least someone in advance.
I had a great time and would definitely recommend it to non-students just to get a taste of student life.