Because I registered relatively late and was interested in UCLA, it was almost impossible to get a visa in time. I almost had to give up on my dream, but then a CC employee found another option. I had to completely change my choice of course, but that turned out to be a relief in America. The trick was I was only allowed to take a maximum of eight units, because then you don’t need a visa. I can only recommend you to do this, because I had some people in Los Angeles tell me how much stress and bureaucracy it was to apply for a visa. I wouldn’t burden myself too much either, because you also get homework and certainly want to see something of the campus and the city or just want to lie lazily by the pool. For me, the workload was optimal, the perfect mix between work and leisure. In any case, I then decided on English as an Second Language and Management. Briefly something about the courses: I would not recommend ESL for current or future English proficiency students, I would recommend the normal English course to them. But the ESL course is ideal for practicing a little English. There you give presentations, hold discussions and have to do surveys. I can only say about the management course, take it from John Ullmen, they’ll already know;)
To get there, I would recommend a direct flight from Germany to LA. You will most likely arrive at LAX there. There are three ways to get to UCLA from there: The most expensive option would be by taxi, which would cost around $ 50, the second option would be with a shuttle bus, the cost is around $ 20, the cheapest and friendliest for ” poor students would be on the bus for $ 4, there is only one hitch. The bus throws you out in Westwood that is the part of the city where UCLA is (by the way, next to Hollywood and Beverley Hills) but you have to drag your luggage uphill for 20-30 minutes at 30 ° C to get to UCLA. You are 100% soaked with sweat when you get to the top and not in a particularly good mood, that’s how it was for me. In general you can say without a car you are LA pretty lost, if you don’t want to limit yourself to just Westwood. But otherwise you have to calculate more money for taxis and buses.
You can’t complain about the accommodation either, I had a double room in the Rieber Hall. In their room, each student has their own desk, shelf and two closets with NO hangers! But bedding is provided. The doors can only be opened with room cards, so you can keep your valuables in the room. On each floor there are two bathrooms for men and women, two laundry rooms and your lounge for studying or just chilling out.
Each house has its own dining hall. There is always breakfast, lunch and dinner there. I had 15 meals a week and that’s fine, but you can also have 21 meals. In this dining hall there are always different stations with American, Asian and vegetarian food plus there is a super large salad bar and a dessert buffet. Drinks are included. The quality is not bad, in fact pretty good and unfortunately you gain a lot of weight if you don’t do sport every day. Should any questions arise or anything else, there is a “front desk” in every house, there are employees who answer every question.
The campus is huge, the first two weeks you just walk around with the map, otherwise you would get lost. The campus includes two pools, a sports field with a running track, a huge grassed area where soccer and football is played, a gym, a huge gym, more than 20 tennis courts, several cafes, shops and countless buildings for teaching. If you got to know the whole campus there is a lot in the area, as the neighboring districts Hollywood and Berverley Hills are where the beautiful and rich live;). But you should avoid downtown LA as much as possible, as crime is very high there. You can experience a lot during these six weeks. UCLA offers numerous trips to nearby well-known cities such as Las Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco. But other trips such as Disneyland or Universal Studios are also offered. These trips are mostly over the weekends and should it take a day longer, the teachers understand. In general, I liked the lessons there very much, as the teachers are much more relaxed than here in Germany and also very varied.
Plus, I’ve never had that many lessons, on average 3-4 hours a day plus homework. When the weather was good, which it always is, a trip to one of the countless beaches in LA was always an option. The most famous are St. Monica Beach, Venice Beach, and Malibu Beach. All can be reached by bus, but if you want to go to Malibu, you should calculate a whole day as the journey takes about 3 hours. Another thing I was super lucky with was that I was there over July 4th. July 4th is the national holiday and there are fireworks and countless events in the USA. As if trying to come to LA in the session that is July 4th! If you want to shop in the six weeks, I can recommend the Berverley Center and for the total shopping freaks the Camarillo Outlet Center, where the journey by bus takes 3-4 hours, a taxi $ 120 or 45 minutes by car. For those of you who are already 21, the American night life is certainly also very interesting. There are also very good clubs and countless frats (frat houses) there.
These are the experiences that I have made and I can only recommend this trip, I hope I gave you a few tips and impressions and helped you advance and aroused your interest.