America Past Review

By (Film Production, Emerson College) - abroad from 09/04/2012 to 12/14/2012 with

Emerson College: Los Angeles - Emerson College in Los Angeles

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was a great networking experience. I want to end up in LA eventually, so it was worthwhile. It was a study abroad program. You still are in the United States. There isn't any distinct cultural disparities.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Personally approached the program in a more professional outlook rather than educational. Work opportunities should have been prioritized over educational.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The one time I had to visit the administration office to take care of something, the administrators were 30 minutes late in opening the office. At my internship, if I was 30 minutes late to the office, I would have needed a better excuse than "traffic".

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Took 2 months, 4 phone calls, and 2 visits to the office desk to fix a problem with my apartment. The amenities we paid extra for such as the pools were under construction and shut down. Many things broke/ did not work properly and had to be repaired throughout our stay. Additionally, Emerson charged us an absurd amount of money for the apartment. Schools, such as Temple and Ithaca only paid around $2,500/month for the 2 BR apartments, while Emerson students paid collectively $20,396 ($5,099 per person) for 3.5 months. This equates to $5,827/month for 4 guys to share 2 bedrooms. That is completely absurd, especially since most of the extra money was pocketed by the school. It certainly didn't go toward any of the RA programs, as each student paid $135 student service fees plus $35 orientation fees, equating to $170 x about 100 students = $17,000 in extra funds for such programs. Where did that money go?

* Food:

What food? The food I paid for out of my own pocket in addition to my housing expense? In that case, it was delicious.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Easy town to fit in with. Large mix of culture. Everyone fits in.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

It's a city, so you have to be aware of your surroundings at all time.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

LA is an expensive place to live. You have to budget gas expense which equates to around $50+ a week depending where you work/ go. Food is another $50 a week. Any additional recreational expense is even more.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About $150-$200 a week. It isn't cheap.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Start trying to find work here as soon as possible, whether it's freelance gigs or a part time job. That or come with a lot of savings beforehand, realizing that money goes fast.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Being in Los Angeles
  • Working/ Exploring Hollywood
  • Getting paid freelance work
* What could be improved?
  • Cost
  • Cost
  • Cost
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That the internship class had more components to it than I thought it would.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.