Jump to content
Guest ucla

Los Angeles, CA

Recommended Posts

I'm wondering the same thing - I have dreams of biking from a spot just out of the higher priced -range -but want to make sure that it is actually safe, timely and all-around feasible. Maps are misleading -neighborhoods seem closer together than they really are and the freeways really slice and dice up the neighborhoods -making them really pedestrian/ cyclist unfriendly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, thanks. Then I will live nearby campus in the first year, and move to a cheaper and safer place in the second year..

Does anybody know about the job opportunities in LA. Will an engineering PhD help me find a nice job in LA?

I have little knowledge of your field, but in general I would say yes. People who want to work in LA often go to USC because of the alumni connections it offers (I know this is particularly true of business and law students). My company heavily favors USC alumni (my bosses both went there). These connections are much less useful if you are planning on moving out of the LA area, but if you want to work in LA, going to USC is an excellent option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Has anyone lived in Silverlake, Los Feliz, Eagle Rock etc etc and commuted to UCLA? Do a lot of grad students do this? How does it work?

Hope this helps! I'm an LA native for 20 years plus.

My sister went to UCLA film school and we live in Pasadena. I don't know if a lot of other grad students do commute but trust me, it's a HELLISH one. Not only do you have to brave the crazy traffic from Westwood, but you're also fighting traffic around downtown LA. And this is both to and back from UCLA! Sometimes accidents happen and that'll throw your schedule off even more. If you're just working on your dissertation, it probably wouldn't be so bad. In fact, it might be nice to be away from the busy-ness of West LA. But if you have to TA or have to take your required courses, it might not be so convenient.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope this helps! I'm an LA native for 20 years plus.

My sister went to UCLA film school and we live in Pasadena. I don't know if a lot of other grad students do commute but trust me, it's a HELLISH one. Not only do you have to brave the crazy traffic from Westwood, but you're also fighting traffic around downtown LA. And this is both to and back from UCLA! Sometimes accidents happen and that'll throw your schedule off even more. If you're just working on your dissertation, it probably wouldn't be so bad. In fact, it might be nice to be away from the busy-ness of West LA. But if you have to TA or have to take your required courses, it might not be so convenient.

I agree with emoley's here: it's a pretty rough commute. If you want to live in an area that a little more artsy with events going on you can try Venice--being by the beach though, it isn't cheap. A lot of students are in Palms/Culver City, which puts you somewhat between UCLA and Venice. If you do try to commute from somewhere farther, be sure to figure parking into your budget. When I have to get on campus and drive it's $9/day for a full day pass in the on-campus lots ($6 for 2 hrs, $4 for 1 hr, I think). At $45/wk if you commute every day, I'd look into living somewhere with a bus route. As a note, you won't really be able to park you car down in Westwood or anything. It's all metered.

Good luck with the housing search.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, my mechanic just finished looking at my poor little '94 Civic and gave it the opposite of a clean bill of health. Fortunately, my dad can help me with the move out there - I have to drive, because of a kitty - so I'll replace my transportation once I'm in California.

I was thinking about getting a scooter. Not a Vespa, they're too expensive, but something around 150ccs, that can go 50 or 60 if it has to and gets around 70 mpg. I saw somewhere on UCLA's website that there's free parking on campus for motorcycles and scooters. Aside from the fact that I won't be able to carry a surfboard on one of them, it seems like the perfect option, especially given the relatively rain-free climate. Anyone have an opinion about this?

I was offered a spot in Weyburn but can't live in grad housing due to the afore-mentioned kitty. I'm looking at Venice, Palms, and Culver City. I'd still rather be on a bus line for my daily commute than drive, even with the scooter, but that'll be largely dependent on where I'm able to find a place to live. Other than craigslist, is there a good way to find a room? When I visited, folks suggested West Side Rentals as a better place than craigslist to find an actual apartment, but I really don't want to live alone.

Thanks for the tips!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Resuscitating this thread. *zap*

I'm not positive about going to UCLA yet (best-fitting department I've got into, but funding is iffy), and honestly, one of my biggest uncertainties is whether I can live/stand to live in LA. I've spent about 24 hours total in the city, and that was seven years ago, so any information is valuable!

Some background: I'd be moving and looking for housing with my boyfriend. Since we're not married, that's likely going to mean non-university housing, and I don't think he'd be very happy with having roommates. He has a car but dislikes long commutes; I don't have a car and haven't driven for years. Right now we live in a relatively central area of our city, with decent access to public transportation, so we're happy.

So, how is the current market for off-campus housing for people with humanities grad student incomes? Is it reasonable to hope I'd be able to live somewhere affordable *and* get to campus without driving? How is the job situation? Given the size of the city, I optimistically assume that it's at least better than Portland, OR, where it took my poor BF six-plus months to find a job last year.

And... as a person who's either a Bostonian or a Portlander, depending how the wind is blowing, will I be able to feel comfortable there? LA has a pretty bad reputation in both those places (smog, sprawl, people with more outfits than brains, etc.), but like all regional stereotypes, surely it's at least somewhat inaccurate.

Edited by utsusemi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My 2 cents here.

I live in LA for 5 years, first 2.5 I lived in Westwood for school and the cheapest rent I got away with was 445/mo for half a room in a HELLhole. The best housing I had was on Veteran ave, we paid about 2+ grand for a 2 bedroom between the four of us.

For the past 2+ years I've been working at UCLA full-time and there is no way I can afford paying for housing in Westwood, so I live in the valley part of the city. It is considerably cheaper than West La, but it gets HOT here during summer and some parts of this region straight out SUCK. The nice ones are Sherman Oaks and Studio City - pretty much anything on/around Ventura blvd is decent. I'm not a valley fan at all, but it is cheap and the commute is possible. There is one bus that goes straight from Van Nuys through Sherman Oaks to Westwood, and with traffic and all it takes about an hr (about 10-20 less than a car in the same circumstances). I know some folks who live even further - they take advantage of commuter express/vanpool service. It is nice but it works better for people with set hours as opposed to a graduate student. I don't drive because I don't want to pay 60$ for parking every month, and my bus runs pretty well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi!

I have got an admission for PhD in UCLA but no funding.

I hope i can live without funding for a semester but not more.

How difficult is it to get funding in UCLA?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey folks, I'm resurrecting this topic.

Can someone offer additional information on the following:

Historic West Adams neighborhood: expensive? reasonable? close to USC?

Commuting from Culver City/Santa Monica = a total drag?

The Expo Line (light rail under construction), I've heard various reports about when it's slated to begin service from Downtown (through USC) to Culver City, some say mid 2010, other say 2011. Does anyone know anything about this?

If you wanted to commute by bike, what would be the best/closest neighborhood to live in that is relatively safe and quiet?

And lastly, I'll be transplanting from San Francisco, land of cheap farmer's markets. I've heard the Santa Monica farmer's market is pretty expensive. Can someone recommend other farmers markets that are reasonable and easy to get to?

Thanks!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's the graduate student housing like? Is it worth the price? Is it weird to live up against a national cemetery? I'm referring specifically to Weyburn Terrace, but any input would be great!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got the same questions as fauxtog! I'll be in the Strategic Public Relations master's program, so all my classes will be between 6 and 10 pm. I'm flying out in a few weeks to check out places to live - will the commute from Santa Monica be unbearable? What about Hermosa/Manhattan Beach? I'm also considering West Hollywood and Los Feliz. Does anyone have any suggestions about these or other places?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's possible to get from some parts of Koreatown by public transportation, though a little unwieldy. If you live within walking distance of the Wilshire/Western or Wilshire/Vermont subway stations, you can easily ride that into downtown (7th/Metro Center) and get the Dash bus ($.25) straight to campus. There are other Metro buses that will get you to USC, but I highly recommend calling Metro and having an actual human being route you from various parts of town; their website will make it seem impossible.

Getting to SC from Culver City is hit or miss. You have the advantage of major east-west streets that aren't the freeway, like Venice and Pico, but even those can get backed up and it can be a long haul. Again, check with Metro to see what's possible from those parts of town.

Los Feliz and W. Hollywood are really fun neighborhoods, but I don't know anything about getting from there to SC by public transportation. Living near campus, while convenient, kind of sucks - you don't really feel like you're living in LA, there's very little to do/see in the area. That said, befriend the Dash - it will get you downtown, at least!

As far as cycling...yikes. Definitely get a helmet and lots of reflective gear. People do it, but the roads are not great and the drivers are pretty oblivious.

If you have a car and are commuting, you should either sit by your computer and pounce when the parking lottery opens, or resign yourself to parking at the Parking Center, which is a few blocks off campus. Kind of a pain, though there's a shuttle. I usually walked, but wouldn't do it late at night by myself since it includes a freeway underpass.

hope this helps! I did my master's at SC and am now UCLA bound...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would also like to know whether people generally would recommend Weyburn Terrace or as an alternative another university housing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone else attending or attended? What areas are best for public transportation? What neighborhoods are the "up and coming" type? Any advice?

Its fully confirmed now.. I'm coming.. Anyone else ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its fully confirmed now.. I'm coming.. Anyone else ?

I got over my fear of debt and will be making my way to LA in August as well!

Since financial aid for international students is quite limited, I would like to know if anyone has some tips on ways to save money on housing. Is there some cheap on-campus housing available or would i be better off looking for accommodation off-campus?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got over my fear of debt and will be making my way to LA in August as well!

Since financial aid for international students is quite limited, I would like to know if anyone has some tips on ways to save money on housing. Is there some cheap on-campus housing available or would i be better off looking for accommodation off-campus?

From whatever little info I have found out, living off campus with roommates seems to be the way to save money on accommodation. Maybe you can refer to the previous posts or someone who has more experience can guide us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone else attending or attended? What areas are best for public transportation? What neighborhoods are the "up and coming" type? Any advice?

i'm currently a grad student at USC so I thought i'd offer my two cents.

i've lived in LA for about 9 months now and I've already moved once. if you can swing it, i highly recommend moving to LA over the summer, subletting a place for like 1-3 months so that you can get a feel for the city, transportation, day to day life, neighborhoods. LA is huge and it can be a bit of a challenge to find your niche (at least in my experience).

most grad students i know (myself included) live in either koreatown, westlake/macarthur park, echo park/silverlake, or directly north and west of campus in the west adams area. i live on the cusp of koreatown and macarthur park. it's not the worst neighborhood to be in, but it definitely has some downsides. pros: easy commute to campus (i take the bus and it's 30 min or less depending on timing), grocery stores within walking distance, easy to get downtown, adjacent to silverlake, los feliz and echo park. cons: not much "life' around here. if you're looking for a neighborhood with cafes, bookstores, pedestrian friendly, this is not it (but silverlake and echo park and los feliz are close enough to bike or 10 min bus ride).

westlake/macarthur park is kind of a rough area. i wouldn't say that i feel unsafe, but you certainly have to be aware of your surroundings when walking at night (true for any big city, but especially so for macarthur park area).

i also know some people who live south of exposition and they really like it. but that has even less going on than koreatown/macarthur park, so you def need a car to go do anything.

if you're looking to live alone and have reasonable rent, koreatown is your best bet. you can find some reasonable studios in echo park/silverlake, but they're definitely pricier. i live comfortably in a one bedroom. i also don't have a car so i don't have the extra expenses and i chose this area b/c of the short commute.

what else....a know a few folks who commute from culver city/santa monica. but that sounds like a total drag b/c the 10 (freeway) is a nightmare. in fact, all LA freeways are a nightmare. makes me so glad i don't have a car. honestly, public transit is pretty good around here, and i say this as someone who was born and raised in boston and lived in san francisco for most of my adult life.

all tolled, if you're on a wicked tight budget your best bet is to live with roommates. you get more bang for your buck (nicer house, nicer neighborhood, cheaper rent), but then you also have to deal with roommates. i prefer to just do my own thing and i can afford to live alone, so i do. but i do sometimes wish i lived in echo park.

hope this helps. good luck out there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What can you tell me about the USC owned graduate housing north of campus? Specifically, are any of the apartments better than others?

i'm currently a grad student at USC so I thought i'd offer my two cents.

i've lived in LA for about 9 months now and I've already moved once. if you can swing it, i highly recommend moving to LA over the summer, subletting a place for like 1-3 months so that you can get a feel for the city, transportation, day to day life, neighborhoods. LA is huge and it can be a bit of a challenge to find your niche (at least in my experience).

most grad students i know (myself included) live in either koreatown, westlake/macarthur park, echo park/silverlake, or directly north and west of campus in the west adams area. i live on the cusp of koreatown and macarthur park. it's not the worst neighborhood to be in, but it definitely has some downsides. pros: easy commute to campus (i take the bus and it's 30 min or less depending on timing), grocery stores within walking distance, easy to get downtown, adjacent to silverlake, los feliz and echo park. cons: not much "life' around here. if you're looking for a neighborhood with cafes, bookstores, pedestrian friendly, this is not it (but silverlake and echo park and los feliz are close enough to bike or 10 min bus ride).

westlake/macarthur park is kind of a rough area. i wouldn't say that i feel unsafe, but you certainly have to be aware of your surroundings when walking at night (true for any big city, but especially so for macarthur park area).

i also know some people who live south of exposition and they really like it. but that has even less going on than koreatown/macarthur park, so you def need a car to go do anything.

if you're looking to live alone and have reasonable rent, koreatown is your best bet. you can find some reasonable studios in echo park/silverlake, but they're definitely pricier. i live comfortably in a one bedroom. i also don't have a car so i don't have the extra expenses and i chose this area b/c of the short commute.

what else....a know a few folks who commute from culver city/santa monica. but that sounds like a total drag b/c the 10 (freeway) is a nightmare. in fact, all LA freeways are a nightmare. makes me so glad i don't have a car. honestly, public transit is pretty good around here, and i say this as someone who was born and raised in boston and lived in san francisco for most of my adult life.

all tolled, if you're on a wicked tight budget your best bet is to live with roommates. you get more bang for your buck (nicer house, nicer neighborhood, cheaper rent), but then you also have to deal with roommates. i prefer to just do my own thing and i can afford to live alone, so i do. but i do sometimes wish i lived in echo park.

hope this helps. good luck out there.

Edited by sandyag

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What can you tell me about the USC owned graduate housing north of campus? Specifically, are any of the apartments better than others?

i don't recommend it. it's not any cheaper, in fact i think it's pretty over priced, considering the location and the amenities.

first of all, all the grad housing is embedded in what is referred to as "frat row." so you will be living next to frat houses. and if you know anything about USC greek life you will know that you don't want to live there.

i've only been inside one grad housing complex and it was kind of depressing. plus it's not like you will be living alone, you will get matched with 1 to 2 roommates, not of your choosing.

for the same amount of money you can get a decent one bedroom apartment in koreatown or a really nice house share in echo park or silverlake.

like i said, come early this summer, sublet for 1-2 months and feel it out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all that info, Fauxtog. I am STILL waiting to hear from USC (my app has been under review for soooo long!), but it's probably my top choice, so I'm already dreaming of living in LA and your posts were so helpful. Fingers crossed!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

and when is that supposed to happen?

Culver city might be more of an option after the new light rail, the expo line, opens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.