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How it is living in Los Angeles?

  1. Mar 13, 2016 #1
    It is nice?
    What can the city offer?
    Is a good place for an international student who wants to study physics?
    Do you like living there?
    And is it like in victorious, in the tv shows and in the films?

    For the ones who played gta 5... how similar is to los Santos?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 13, 2016 #2


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    I've been in the LA area my whole life. We have great weather which attracts many people. UCLA is world renown. No, we all go to work and put on pants like the rest of the world (but we prefer swimsuits on the weekend)
  4. Mar 13, 2016 #3
    I spent several years living in LA but that was over 30 years ago, Thus I can't give you an up to date opinion but one prerequisite for living there would be the love of an urban lifestyle, other than that I remember it being very expensive relative to what I was used to.
  5. Mar 13, 2016 #4
    I live in San Diego to the south. From what I've heard, I believe LA could be defined as a permanently installed, massive traffic jam around which people have built residences and businesses.
  6. Mar 13, 2016 #5


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    That might be true of the west side, near UCLA. The key to the rest is figuring out what time of day you should avoid the various freeways.
  7. Mar 13, 2016 #6
    I think someone could make the same crack I did about almost any city. LA is more spread out, requiring more freeway travel, so it's harder to circumvent traffic jams and slowing.
  8. Mar 13, 2016 #7
    Is there a way to make ucla affordable for an international student? On the site they say that they ain't got scholarships for us :(
  9. Mar 13, 2016 #8


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    I live about 1 hour away from LA (I dwell in Orange County) and, in my most honest opinion, I must tell you that I do not like Los Angeles. Just like Maylis said, Southern CA has great weather and, yeah, UCLA is world renowned, but I still don’t like it. The city is extremely congested and graffiti is everywhere. It’s also pretty dirty. Don’t think about Hollywood or all those glamorous things that people want to tell you about LA. Sometimes I wonder whether people who live other places think that LA is just a place where celebrities and rich people walk to and fro doing nothing but frolic. Sure, some of it exists, but for many people in LA, much of the place is just a ghetto—a concrete jungle. Rent is super expensive because many people want to move to the city but there’s no space for any of them. YET, even with all that, many folks still love to live there, so the entire situation is a subjective one. It just depends on your type of life style. What do you like to do? If I were in your situation, looking for a school, I’d look for other options. Being an international student, you have so many options and opportunities. Don’t use it up in LA unless you really love the rush of city life (real city life, not the movie-version of city life). I’m no expert; just my 2 cents for the day.
  10. Mar 13, 2016 #9


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    Anywhere in Southern California is going to be expensive. I assume the area around UCLA is probably more expensive than average, but people somehow manage. You should talk to someone at the school because they'll be familiar with the various resources and strategies available to you.
  11. Mar 14, 2016 #10
    I've lived all up and down California at one time or another and the thing that is notable about LA is that it extends inland more than the rest of the California muncipalities. In California, most of the populated regions lie right on the coast/ocean. As Zooby said, LA is much more spread out or sprawled out than most Cali communities. It's really built OUT, not UP as in say, SF or NYC. So it's kind of spread out and kind of bleak. There's no real waterways inland to break it up. The Bay area of San Francisco extends pretty far inland as well, but it's buffered by the waterfront of the bay. LA doesn't have this luxury. So if you move to LA I'd recommend moving to one of the beach communities such as Redondo, Newport, Hermosa, Malibu, Venice, etc.
  12. Mar 14, 2016 #11


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    Except for places like Sacramento, Stockton, Fresno, Davis, ...
  13. Mar 14, 2016 #12
    OK, so what? Did I say everyone lived on the coast? Here's a population density map from the 2010 US Census. Would you agree that most (>50%) people live in the coastal regions versus inland?

    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016
  14. Mar 14, 2016 #13


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    I'm near there (about a half hour away). But the beach communities are really expensive! Newport, Laguna, Corona del Mar, Dana Point . . . you have to have plenty of money if you aiming higher than a teeny weeny apartment (I'm thinking from an Intl. student's perspective here). The hills area are nice, too, like Mission Viejo or Chino, but that's kind of expensive, too . . . and so is Santa Clara and the Silicon Valley area. Oh, wait, everywhere is expensive in California.
    Yep, I agree with DiracPool on this. By the way, the central coast is great. Cozma Alex, if you end up going to CA, make Monterey Bay a place to visit on your bucket list of things to do.
  15. Mar 18, 2016 #14
    It's funny I live here, but I have a hard time trying to come up with answers these questions.
    There's a lot of traffic, and parking is often packed in Westwood. Cars are usually double parked at the apartments near UCLA. It must be hell trying to get out, unless they use it only sparsely. People have been declined parking permits because of the lack of room. If you come here, do what I did and rent a place that is walking distance from campus. I lived in the dorms for a year, and while it was cramped, the dining facilities were close by, and there were communal restrooms and lounges, and I felt connected with the community. Now I live in a 1 bedroom apartment that goes for $2200 shared between 3 people. If you ever need to get somewhere and not have a car, there's Uber and Lyft, or public transportation (Metro / Big Blue Bus). You could also purchase/rent a bicycle.

    There are some cool places to visit like Santa Monica beach, Venice beach, the Marina Del Rey Aquatics Center, Hollywood Blvd, the Griffith Observatory. Just off campus in Westwood village, they have occasional movie premiers at the local theatre, and a pretty big assortment of restaurants. There are a lot of homeless people though, and one of the things people have to learn the hard way is to not give in to panhandlers and con artists - just ignore them. Whether or not it is like Victorious (I've never actually watched it, but I presume you're talking about the glamorous social life of youth) will depend on a lot of things, like how outgoing you are and the people you hang out with, but my recommendation would be to join clubs and societies and make friends. If you live in the dorms, your RA will curate a lot of social events for you, given that you make your interest known.

    I would say the physics programs here are quite good. Most professors have been easy enough to follow, but there have been those who primarily slap derivations and solutions on the board and show little mercy to struggling students are the hardest. In addition to the standard set of classes you can find at most schools, you could also study plasma physics particle beams. UCLA also has its own chapter of SPS and UAS.

    With that said, I really enjoyed my experience my first couple of quarters, but later there was a death in the family, and I had an issue with the office of residential life, and my workload simply became too much for me to enjoy life, so things started going downhill.
  16. Mar 18, 2016 #15

    Ben Niehoff

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    I did grad school at USC. I lived in the Miracle Mile area for two years, and then in Hollywood (walking distance to the Oscars) for four years.

    There are some frustrating things about LA (mostly the traffic and the parking, and all the people trying to be actors who are kinda full of themselves), but there are also a lot of pretty awesome things: beaches, museums, studio tours, restaurants, shows, the West Hollywood Halloween festival, and honestly most of the people were pretty cool.

    One other frustrating thing is that it can be pretty expensive to go out, so a lot of the fun aspects of the city are out of reach to someone on a grad student stipend, except only occasionally. Also, rents are pretty high, but not as bad as San Francisco, Seattle, or New York.

    I don't know what Westwood is like...it's not really in LA proper, but more like Beverly Hills, which are right next door. Technically, I guess Westwood is in LA, because the boundary of LA city looks pretty ridiculous, but if you follow Sunset Blvd from Hollywood into Westwood then you will literally pass through two cities (West Hollywood and Beverly Hills) which are separate cities and not part of LA. I have only been to UCLA a handful of times and it seemed like there wasn't as much around there as there is in Hollywood or downtown (there isn't much around USC either, really).

    LA is very spread out and you will most likely have to get a car if you want to go anywhere. There is public transportation, and it is expanding, but it doesn't go everywhere.
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