The information from the university was very numerous, almost overwhelming and complicated. With many different platforms and offers (from housing to courses to student representation, etc.). But since you got all the documents (forms, processes, applications, etc.), it was easy again .
I decided on “ Principles of Economics ” and “ Comparative Political Systems ” and got places in these courses and a quick allocation.
The application for a student visa was also relatively quick, after various online registrations (each costing something) and a personal appointment at the consulate, the visa was delivered the next day.
When it comes to housing , UCLA offers a wide range of options between on-campus (student dormitories), off-campus (apartments that belong to the university) and private landlords. I opted for off-campus (somewhat misleading, the building was across the street from the start of campus) in the Gayley Apartments (Gayley Avenue runs right along the campus, so it’s ideally located). It was a single apartment. Very spacious, large, neat, clean. Higher price, but generally acceptable in relation to the housing costs in the USA. It took me around 15 minutes to walk from my apartment to the North Campus in the Bunche-Hall (where my courses took place).
As soon as everything was done, the university sent you an information package with all the important information about the start, campus, events, deadlines, etc. Then it started: Flights to California in the summer are relatively expensive, so it is advisable to book earlier . You could move in on the Sunday before the start of the course – the students who worked at the registration office were very friendly and helpful, we were driven to our houses (since there are more distances with luggage). Check iamaccepted to see more reviews from current students.
The university is architecturally very nicely designed . The campus is huge and hilly – there are South and North campuses. You walk a long way every day ;-). Highlights are the Royce Hall and the Powell Library as well as the BruinWalk (a path that connects the campus and on which the important facilities such as Students Union, Ackerman Hall, etc. are located). Everything you need is available in terms of infrastructure: Bookstore, the UCLA store (from MacBook to pens and all kinds of clothing to souvenirs and a supermarket and optician everything included). Post office, banks, numerous cafes, cafeterias, various restaurants (everything from fast food to Italians to Chinese). The fitness studio and the numerous sports facilities (tennis, swimming, …) are great. There is also a private outdoor pool on campus.
The range of courses at UCLA is excellent , both of my courses were very interesting and very well designed by the respective professors. The ratio between professors and students is generally excellent. All questions, suggestions, etc. about the course were answered quickly by my two professors (a young guest lecturer from Irvine and an older professor) by e-mail or in person, all the necessary scripts and documents were found online.
In general, everyone at UCLA was very helpful and friendly . Both the professors and the students who volunteered in the various institutions. The service is very important, there are numerous programs for activities, sports and leisure. College sport is an absolute hit in the USA and accordingly everything is geared towards the “UCLA Bruins” (BruinBear is the UCLA mascot). Basketball, football, swimming, soccer, etc. For $ 10 you can get student tickets for college football games (UCLA plays its home games in Pasadena) – 90,000 fans in the sold-out college football stadium – a recommendation!
UCLA’s campus is located in the Westwood district, right on Sunset Boulevard and by Bel Air . The beach (Santa Monica) is around half an hour by bus, and significantly shorter by car. Hollywood, Beverly Hills etc. can also be reached relatively quickly (by car). Public transport is rather weak in Los Angeles.
Westwood is a really nice part of town that also lives from UCLA. Everything within walking distance. For longer distances, it is customary to use transport services such as Uber or Lyft. On one side of the campus you will find the residential area with the student apartments, family houses and fraternity houses. On the other, the shopping streets with bars, pubs and shops. Westwood is very safe, even at night . Police are always on patrol. Los Angeles is generally considered to be a fairly safe city. Highlights in Westwood are certainly the two cinemas in the style of the 1920s, in which there are often premieres of great Hollywood films . Hot tip: Stan’s Donuts – the best donuts in town!
In Westwood there are a few bars and pubs for the evenings, clubs are more likely to be found in Hollywood or in Santa Monica on the beach. From Westwood you can easily get to the beach (Santa Monica) or via Sunset Boulevard or Wilshire Boulevard to Bel Air, Beverly Hills and Hollywood. Rental cars are very helpful and inexpensive to purchase in LA (with insurance it is a bit more expensive, but overall reasonable). Los Angeles and the surrounding cities offer everything you could wish for. From art to comedy clubs to sports, bars, clubs, water sports, beaches, museums, sightseeing to hiking and excursions to the neighboring nature parks. My recommendation is Griffith Park with the Griffith Observatory, from which you have a view of the entire Los Angeles area – and it’s breathtakingly large! Tip: go up in the evening just before sunset!
In principle, you can say that the Californians are very friendly, easy-going and open people. You are spoken to, help is offered, and you quickly get into conversation. The atmosphere is, probably also because of the continuous sunshine and the warm temperatures, very summery and relaxed. I haven’t seen a bad-tempered person all summer long . However: the often strict rules in the USA are strictly controlled. No access to bars under 21, strict interpretation of the traffic rules with very high fines for traffic offenses, curfew at 2:00 p.m. sharp.
For me personally, both California and UCLA as summer universities were perfect . From the handling to the courses, teaching offers, campus offers and the leisure activities, everything was very good. The people in Los Angeles were very friendly, and the weather was always great.
I can recommend and recommend UCLA to anyone interested in studying abroad in California .