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Guest ucla

any one there to talk about UCLA? I have an admit from UCLA and need to know about the place. It would be good to hear from someone about it - about the campus and life.

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Everything about UCLA is great! You will love the school, the area, your fellow students, your professors! it's just an awesome place to be... there are always something to do, concerts at Royce hall, library or studetn union, movies at student union ballroom, sporting events on campus...many stuff off campus in Westwood....trust me you cannot go wrong with UCLA! I wish I can go back, east coast is too cold...

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Guest

I actually am an undergrad at UCLA and am extremely sad to be leaving here. I love it here. The weather is amazing. We're so spoiled here that we get upset when it rains occassionally. UCLA is near Beverly Hills, Brentwood, and other ritzy areas so you definitely will see a bunch of the rich folks running around with their kids. I am actually originally from a suburb of LA, but UCLA area is so much better. There's the Sunset Strip and Hollywood nearby so if you like to go out to clubs or the nice bars thats always an option. Santa Monica is nearby so we have the beach and fun shopping around. I have had a lot of celebrity sightings, including Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Anniston, Nicole Richie, Ben Affleck, Reese Witherspoon, etc. If you're not into that kind of stuff, like the glam and glitz, there are some fun pubs and more down to earth areas around. The only problem is that to LA is spread out so it helps to have a car...our public transportation kinda sucks.

The campus is also beautiful and was one of the main reasons why I chose this schools over others. It's really hilly though you may get quite a workout depending on where you live and where on campus you will be going. I just love it here and if you have any other questions feel free to ask!

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Guest

oh I forgot to add more stuff also.

I'm not sure what program you're in, but it seems to be pretty social within grad students. I have some friends in the law school that I've gone out with and they're really fun. People are always going out, even grad students, to Westwood bars or to some in Santa Monica. You should definitely try to live in Westwood or nearby because it makes it more fun and social (but once again if you're into that).

One thing to add. I have yet to seen everything in Los Angeles and I have in this area my whole life.

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Guest Bruin-to-Be

I'm also likely going to UCLA for grad school, and have a few questions if anyone's still following this thread...

- How difficult is it to get out of LA for the weekend (assuming you have a car), say, to go skiing, hiking, etc? I mean, are we talking like such a major pain in the ass that it ends up being not worth it and most people just hang out around town? I've heard mixed responses on this.

- What is the crime situation like? I went to undergrad in a pretty sheltered area, where people left bikes unlocked and everything. I'm assuming a bike lock is a good idea at UCLA, of course, but what about a car alarm? Do cars get stolen often? Do people get mugged/robbed ever? I'm talking about on campus and in the surrounding area where you might go out at night occasionally.

- The previous poster recommended living in Westwood. As part of my admission/funding offer, I have a guaranteed spot in some new apartment complex (Weyburn Terrace or something) right next to campus. But it's like $900/month. Am I going to find anything cheaper that's reasonably close, or should I just plan on taking this offer? The apartments seem really nice, but if I can find something close by for more like $750, I'd really like to...

- Are there any decent grocery stores within walking distance of campus (assuming I live near there)?

Thanks!

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Guest uclagrad

If you have a car, you can get pretty much anywhere you want to go. UCLA is about 15 minutes from the beaches (Santa Monica and Malibu) and about 2 hours to Big Bear Mountain, where you can ski/camp in the summer. There are tons of great hiking trails within a 10 mile radius of UCLA including the Santa Monica Mountains and hiking through Griffith Park. UCLA even has hiking clubs and really promotes a lot of activities. Once you figure out how traffic works and are able to time your trips, you will definately find yourself exploring LA rather than staying in Westwood.

UCLA is in a great neighborhood. It is nestled in Bel Air and Westwood Village. The Village has a homeless population, but the crime rate is relatively low. I haven't heard about many car thefts, but you will definately need a parking spot because it is impossible to park on the street. Most apt buildings have garage parking, and you will appreciate that - it also helps cut down on car vandalism. UCLA sells parking permits based upon a merit/lottery system so most people walk or take the bus to campus. I am one of those people who have been assaulted while running around at night (not the best of ideas) but generally there are always people on the streets at night and its well lit. The trail from the dorms to the apartments, which we lovingly refer to as the "Rape Trail" even has lighting now. In all seriousness, this past year has had the chain of gropings, but I always felt safe when I was walking around off campus. On campus is very safe and always has officers wandering around, as well as a chain of call boxes. There is also a van service at night which takes students to their apartments if they live within a certain radius.

The Weyburn Terrace Grad student housing is beautiful. It was completed in 2005 and students have only lived in it for a year, so that's a big perk. The apartments in the Wilshire Corridor, Brentwood, West LA probably won't offer such new facilities. I was looking at the prices and they are definately lower than living in the immediate area. A two bedroom apartment in Westwood immediate (between Gayley and Veteran) will run you around $2100+. A lot of students opt to live further from campus, which makes it necessary to bike/bus to campus. Personally, I chose to live in the housing that was a 5 minutes walk to campus by the Weyburn Terrace housing. The ability to walk to campus and not depend on transportation was a big motivator. Also because a lot of students live there, it has a more friendly feel. You can easily go down to the Village to get food (you definately have to try out Jose Bernstein's burritos and Diddy Rees cookies) or go to Wooden center to work out or go back and forth between campus. There is also a Ralph's grocery store, a Whole Foods market and a small independent market within walking distance. On Thursdays there is also a Farmer's Market off Westwood Blvd.

If you do search for housing outside of the Westwood area, you will want to look at the Big Blue Bus line (all accessible on the UCLA website under Transportation). Students get to ride the bus using their Bruin card. If you want to keep your commute to a minimum, I would reccomend looking at apartments north of the 10 Freeway (Santa Monica FWY), south of the "Valley" or Ventura Blvd. If you look on Craig's List or an apartment search, they call this West LA. I think living in the Venice area is a fairly long commute, but Palms, Century City, Brentwood and Santa Monica are all really great places to live. There you can probably score your own bedroom in a 2 bedroom for 600+ (depending on how nice you want your apt). To give you an idea, I was looking at a room in a townhouse for around 750 that was the size of a closet. It really depends on what amenities you are willing to give up. But don't give up parking!

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Guest guest251

I'm currently an undergrad at ucla living very close to weyburn terrace. The complex you speak of is brand new (went up last year) so it's pretty nice. What does the 900 get you? A studio? 1 bedroom? By yourself or with a roommate? I live in a studio (shared with my girlfriend) very close to there and pay 995/month. The apartment is larger than those in weyburn terrace but not as new/nice.

Getting out of LA is doable if you have the motivation. I occasionally (once or twice a quarter) go mountain biking in the santa monica mountains or somewhere else. There's some good locations within an hour drive. (A qualifier: they are better than I expected for LA...doesn't compare to the sierras or rockies or whatever real mountain range you are familiar with.) Skiing sucks. I grew up skiing in tahoe, and the places down here are nowhere near as good. If you come from anywhere with real skiing, you'll be disappointed.

Crime: bikes get stolen... A LOT. Cars don't get stolen too often, but it does happen. Violent crime (robberies etc) is actually minimal, especially for los angeles. Westwood is a surprisingly low-crime area. But, even though you don't have to worry about getting shot, you do need to worry about getting your stuff stolen.

Ralphs is a good all-purpose, (generally) low cost grocery store just south of campus...definitely walkable. There is also a whole foods within walking distance, which is VERY nice but also expensive. Cooking is a hobby (or obsession) of mine, and I am very happy here. There's also a Costco 5 miles south if you have a car or know someone with one.

Let me know if I can answer any more questions. Living here IS expensive, but you get what you pay for. You'll probably love it!

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Guest guest7173

Hey everyone--I went to undergrad at USC and live in OC, but work in LA. I'm considering going to grad school at UCLA (still waiting for my decision), but probably would choose UCLA because of CA tuition. I was planning on commuting to campus--is it really hard to get a parking permit as a grad student?? I can't imagine that! At USC, there's plenty of parking (although expensive) and there was no lottery system. Any info you could add, would be great.

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Guest Bruin-to-Be
What does the 900 get you? A studio? 1 bedroom? By yourself or with a roommate?

It's $910/month for a (one-person) studio, and $888-$908 per month per person for a two-bedroom w/ kitchen, livingroom and 2 bath. I think I'd prefer the latter, since based on the floorplans it seems like a better deal, and I'd like to have a roommate. The price also includes utilities (and internet and basic cable). Parking is available, but costs extra. Here is the info I have:

http://tinyurl.com/fjqk8

http://www.housing.ucla.edu/housing_sit ... ompare.pdf

It seems like a pretty good deal, all things considered. And it's close by, which is definitely a bonus. Maybe I'll do this for the first year, and then think about moving somewhere more interesting, like Venice.

One of you mentioned cooking as a hobby; do you cook much ethnic food? Is there an Asian market of any kind nearby? I'm not asian, but I like to cook asian food. Also the occasional Mexican or Latin American dish, but I'm guessing there're plenty of Mexican markets...

Does the violent crime you speak of (someone above was assulted at night) happen only in certain areas, which you can avoid? To men and women? I'm not the most intimidating guy in the world, but I've been to some pretty shady corners of the planet and have yet to be accosted. I wouldn't look forward to that. To the person who was assulted: where did this happen, and what did you learn?

The skiing sucks, you say? Do you just mean places like Big Bear, Mt. Baldy, etc.? I've never been to Mammoth (which I realize is ~5 hrs away), but I've heard good things from good skiers. I grew up in Washington State, and understand I'm spoiled (then in college we skied Tahoe), but I'm prepared to settle a bit. How crowded do the ski areas get? E.g., how many runs do you get in on an average day? I've experienced everything from 30+ runs (a weekday at Mt. Baker) to <4 runs (MLK weekend at Vail). But that's another topic...

I'm really getting excited about UCLA, and I think I'm slowly deciding to commit. Everyone seems to love it, and what better sign could one ask for than that? Plus this program is awesome, and the funding kicks a$$!

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Guest bruingrad

Re housing - you might want to check in with the Grad adivsor to see if you can find a roommate with similar interests. I think that given utilities and the size of the room, the grad student housing really is an awesome deal. I've got a friend who is paying ~600 a room in Santa Monica, but the building is really rundown.

Most supermarkets in the LA area carry ethnic ingerdients. I actually have never seen a Hispanic market in the nearby area.

I was the student who was assaulted, and it really was an issue of circumstance. I am a small girl, and I was out running at about 4:30 am I was assaulted a block away from my apartment on Kelton. It was clearly a situation where it might have escalated to a sexual assault, but i managed to attract the attention of other people walking around (they were coming back from parties) and ran away. Like I said before, I never felt scared to walk around by myself and even after that incident I felt comfortable.

The local mountains, of course, are going to suck compared to Vail. But given the awesome weather at UCLA, its really amazing that they have skiing close enough for you to make a day trip of it. A trip to Mammoth is definetely more of a 3 day weekend trip.

UCLA is an awesome place. Gorgeous campus, the students are diverse, and it gives you access to a major city without making you feel lost.

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Guest bruin

Out of my 4 years here I've never really felt unsafe. I came from a very sheltered suburban area where we don't lock our doors at night. I mean, honestly you just have to be smart about things and use common sense. The crime rate isn't that bad, esp compared to neighboring areas (i.e. around USC, south central, etc) but like any urban area crime does happen. We do have some homeless people in westwood but they never do anything to harm you. Sometimes they are entertaining (we had one guy who used to sing songs and another lady who used to do our sorority cheers with us during rush).

The graduate housing is really nice and is in a great location. Not too far from campus and right in Westwood. Since it is new, it's very clean also.

Getting away is also easy (if you have a car). I've gone to Vegas numerous times over weekends, gone to big bear and other mts for retreats with my clubs, and we have beaches nearby. Gas is expensive though and if you go at the wrong time, traffic is horrendous.

Ethnic grocery stores are nearby (by car). There are asian, jewish, indian, etc places all around. We also have a whole foods nearby in case you're into the whole organic stuff. Food can get expensive here, but there are alot of cheap places around. I am a vegetarian and eat organically (for the most part) so food is extremely expensive for me.

The nice thing about UCLA is that we have awsome neighboring areas also. There are times when I need to study away from UCLA (because of too many distractions, etc) and I've always found nice places to study in Brentwood and in Beverly Hills. The coffee shops in Westwood (starbucks, coffee bean) are always crowded so its nice to go somewhere more low key to get some work done.

If anyone has anymore questions, I'd be happy to answer them! I'm sad to be living UCLA, but also excited about going to grad school on the east coast.

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Guest Bruin-to-Be

I just wanted to thank all of you for the great info.

Bruingrad, it's interesting you mention the diversity of students UCLA; the other school I've been seriously considering is in a more suburban location, and the lack of diversity was a turnoff when I visited. Surprisingly so. UCLA seemed to have a variety of backgrounds and ethnicities represented, which I liked. It seemed more eclectic.

It's funny how much I'm looking forward to all of the cultural and outdoor opportunities in the LA area, which in reality I won't have any time to actually take advantage of because I'll probably be hunched over a desk 24-7. But I'm glad I asked anyway, because I'll hopefully get a chance once a year or so to take a breather, and you guys have provided some good advice!

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Guest Guest

I am probably going to accept and offer near there, too. RAND in Santa Monica.

Where the heck do I live? I need at least a 1 br. so my husband and I don't kill each other and if at all possible I would love to walk to RAND (near the Pier.) Rents seem incredibly high. Is there some secret neighborhood that's a little cheaper but at least on the West Side?

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Guest guest
I am probably going to accept and offer near there, too. RAND in Santa Monica.

Where the heck do I live? I need at least a 1 br. so my husband and I don't kill each other and if at all possible I would love to walk to RAND (near the Pier.) Rents seem incredibly high. Is there some secret neighborhood that's a little cheaper but at least on the West Side?

check out mar vista, palms, and parts of venice.

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Guest klf214

How hard is it to get a parking permit at UCLA, if you commute?

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Guest bruingrad

If you want to be able to walk to RAND or at least take a direct bus line, you should look in the West LA section around Santa Monica and Sunset Blvds. (E-W running streets) and west of the 405. A lot of students live around the Texas/Bundy Area for relatively cheap. Craig's List is a great way to find out price ranges before you seriously hunt.

I'm not sure how the parking lottery works for a graduate student. You might have priority in a faculty only lot. But the Parking website can tell you more: http://www.transportation.ucla.edu/stud ... /index.htm. I know for undergrad they evaluate your GPA, how many units you've completed, how far is your commute, and if you are an honors student.

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Guest Guest

Thank you, bruingrad, this is exactly what I was looking for. I have been looking at craigslist but it is hard for me to tell where everything is since I am so unfamiliar with the area and the listings aren't sorted very well.

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Guest somnia1120

My boyfriend and I are also looking for housing. I guess we have a few complications - we're not married, and we don't plan on getting married until after the first year, possibly not until after qualifiers. Also, we have a pet chinchilla. While they're clean and don't have an odor, they're still a pet, so a lot of landlords won't allow them. We have a car, but I think we'd prefer biking/bus just because of the parking situation. Our combined stipend is around $48,000 / year, before taxes.

We've both lived in university owned housing all our "independent" lives, so I guess we just need some pointers on finding an apartment.

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Guest asf
My boyfriend and I are also looking for housing. I guess we have a few complications - we're not married, and we don't plan on getting married until after the first year, possibly not until after qualifiers. Also, we have a pet chinchilla. While they're clean and don't have an odor, they're still a pet, so a lot of landlords won't allow them. We have a car, but I think we'd prefer biking/bus just because of the parking situation. Our combined stipend is around $48,000 / year, before taxes.

We've both lived in university owned housing all our "independent" lives, so I guess we just need some pointers on finding

an apartment.

You can always live in the San Fernando Valley (Sherman Oaks/Van Nuys), and carpool. The commute sucks (you will hate the phrase "Sepulveda Pass), but it's more affordable, more flexible in terms of allowing pets, and you will be guaranteed parking.

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Guest wondergirl

I have got an admit from UCLA. Is it possible to defer the admit by an year? I dont intend to join it right now.

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Guest wondergirl

forgot to mention... i got admit in Electrical Engineering

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Guest worried

What having your wife with you at LA? Will life be too expensive and miserable? I know people that rejected offers from UCLA just for the reason that they wouldl not afford living expenses with their families there.

Note that taking my wife with me, I cannot share the housing.

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Guest worried

I forgot to tell to assume the salary of an RA, which is about 1350$/month. Taking into consideration that the cheapest housing costs about 900$/month.

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Guest guest
I forgot to tell to assume the salary of an RA, which is about 1350$/month. Taking into consideration that the cheapest housing costs about 900$/month.

will your wife have a job? that could help immensely.

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Guest worried

I dont't know whether she can have a job or not. Assume that she will not.

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