I completed a summer session at UCLA in the summer of 2010 and took two psychology courses (Abnormal & Organizational Psychology), as this is my main subject in Germany as well.
Both courses were great in terms of content, although it was a lot more learning than expected. There were two exams in each course, which were multiple choice or a mixture of small open questions. These were designed very well and appropriately. However, the amount of subject matter was relatively large. That’s why I decided later, in order to have more time for free time, that I don’t want to have a grading but only a passing on my certificate. I had to buy a book for each of the courses and the prices were tough! The bookstore on campus only buys the books back for a very low price, so I decided to keep the books because I can still use them in Germany. But you should also be prepared for this in your cost planning. All in all, I liked it very much at the university and the professors and lecturers were extremely nice and I really liked the content of the courses!
I lived in a university apartment with a friend. The apartment was completely okay in terms of size and furnishings!
Unfortunately – as stated – no kitchen utensils were available and it didn’t really make sense to buy them, as the cafeteria in the university and some restaurants in Westwood were quite cheap. We had rented a car for the time of the summer session – which was really worth it, because without a car you can be mobile in Los Angeles thanks to good bus systems, but shopping and going out is much more comfortable and easier by car! Check andyeducation to see more reviews from current students.
However, we were only able to find out for ourselves in LA how to get to a parking lot directly in our apartment complex. That was annoying. So if you are planning to rent a car, it is worthwhile to organize a parking space in your own house, as there are very strict parking times in Westwood. The best thing to do when you arrive is to ask the Renting Office on Weyburn Avenue what the parking space looks like. Since you have to go to this office anyway, it is not an additional way.
Westwood is a really nice area with lots of restaurants and bars. In the evening you can pass the time a bit there. For the right clubs, however, you have to go to Hollywood. As I said – a car comes in handy again.
The beaches in Santa Monica and Venice are really nice and also warmer than the beaches in Malibu or further north up the coast. However, the water should be contaminated with bacteria.
But I never had a problem; o)
By the way, the weather was ALWAYS great!
Los Angeles itself is really a huge and diverse city and I loved it right away; o)
Everywhere the palm trees and the billboards that, together with all the other lights, make the city shine in the evening. Highly recommended are the views of the city from Mulholland Drive and from “The Getty” – the museum just north of Westwood.
The 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica is particularly recommended for small shopping fans.
There really is a lot to see, do and experience in Los Angeles!
A trip to San Diego or Las Vegas by car is also no problem at all and super cool because it simply shows how diverse the different cities are.
The food in the canteens on the university campus is relatively cheap, with a decent selection and based on the all-you-can-eat principle. A meal plan is not really necessary because you often eat elsewhere and it doesn’t get much more expensive that way.
Incidentally, you can pay for everything with the Bruincard, which is also used as a student ID card. Both the food in the cafeteria and in the UCLA store on campus, in which there is really almost everything a student needs – or not: D – as well as the printing and copying in the Powell Library.
When it comes to costs, the only thing that can be said is that it will definitely be more expensive than expected. You should expect a total of about 6000 € with university, visa, excursions, food and free time. Whereby that’s the minimum!
In summary, it was a super nice time and a lot of fun and worth every price!
It was really a great experience – meeting a lot of nice people, improving your English skills, discovering a new culture and lots of new things under the California sun! ;O)