Worth It Past Review

By (Broadcast Journalism., Emerson College) - abroad from 01/08/2013 to 04/24/2013 with

Emerson College: Los Angeles - Emerson College in Los Angeles

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Independence. I came to LA not really close to anyone in the program, and not knowing anyone in LA, so I had to do a lot on my own. Building your independence helps build your character and it's definitely worth it. I know a lot of us think that living at college alone makes us independent, and it does, but there's nothing like being in a different state without parents or close friends to guide you.

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes at Emerson's LA Program were great. I took two classes: each were about 8 student each. The intimacy of the small classroom made for such good classes because not only did you receive that extra attention from the professor, but you got to know and become close friends with the other students in the class. The professors themselves were definitely knowledgeable in the subject they taught. They were people who were out in the field doing it and then bringing their real world experience to teach you in the classroom, which I thought was pretty cool.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living in the Oakwoods was fine for us as student housing, but I wouldn't choose to live there on my own time. There were two pools, two jacuzzis, two gyms and a convenience store on location -- so that's all a plus. I lived in a single. It was the perfect size for one person, but with any visitors it started to feel smaller. I was upset being on the first floor because every apartment gets a patio/balcony, but mine was filled with shrubs and spiders... and that's a no no for me. Overall, I had a good experience there, and it was definitely better than living in a dorm, but the apartments themselves seemed old-school. The management team there was very friendly and helpful as well.

* Food:

Don Cuco in Burbank, down the street from Emerson's location is amazing. It's authentic Mexican food and sometimes you can catch a celebrity eating there, too.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Like any new city, it's always scary to be somewhere you're not sure of. In the apartment the only thing I would change is the lock on the patio door. There was a lift lock -- where you would just close it and lift a piece and it'd be locked -- plus a pin hole lock. It did the job, but I felt like if someone really wanted to get in, they could have easily broken those. As far as LA goes, I never felt unsafe during the day, but at night things change. There's more homeless, drunk or just crazy people on the street, so you definitely had to be cautious, especially on Hollywood Blvd.

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)

It's all in how you plan it. I saved a lot of money before coming, so I had a lot to spend. I spent about 100-150$ on groceries weekly, mind you I was buying lots of fruits and veggies, which get expensive. Gas was pricey, but my tank usually lasted a week and a half to two weeks. And as far as going out, you spend what you want, and you save what you want.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan your meals and grocery shop accordingly. Sometimes, I would literally write out my meals for each day, that way I wouldn't waste any of the groceries I bought, and I could buy only what I knew I'd absolutely need. Therefore, I didn't overspend at the grocery store and I didn't "throw away money" by tossing old foods. Definitely go out to eat and out at night -- it's part of the experience. Just keep tabs on what's in your account and what you can spend. Also, packing snacks and lunch for class/internship helps. We usually would have break in class to go get food and eat, etc and most people would go buy lunch/dinner. 5$ a week may not seem like a lot, but it adds up. Make a sandwich and bring it and you'll have extra money to spend going out or at the grocery. Also, use gasbuddy.com when getting gas because a lot of times there was a gas station for 4.35$ next to you, but one street over there may have been one for 4.05$ or 4.15$ .. even that adds up and saves you money.


* 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
  • International Students
  • Other
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

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

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Classes
  • Internship experience
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Definitely wait to secure your internship until you are in LA and have checked out all possible locations. If someone offers you an internship before you are in LA and you think it's the best place for you, still wait. You never know how it could really be. Weigh all your options, in person.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Entertainment Journalism

Course Department: Journalism
Instructor: Oliver Jones
Instruction Language:
Comments: Oliver Jones is such a character. He was funny, easy going, down to earth and sometimes tough. He was tough in the sense that he wanted you to succeed -- so he'd tell you like it is. He didn't hold back when it came to improving our papers or blogs, and he could definitely be considered a tough grader. As far as assignments, we would one about one per week, plus our blog. The assignments were pretty easy -- just answering questions that related to the business or something along those lines. Most were opinionated. We did do quite a bit of reading, but most of it was entertaining (articles). To me, writing my blog was the best part. It does get hard to do three posts per week, among all the other stuff you have to do for other classes and internships, but if you pick a topic you love, you won't mind squishing it in. He is a People Magazine reporter, so learning from his was great. He brought in a new speaker to the class (someone in the business) every week, so we made tons of great connections. His class was fun and never boring.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

LA Stories

Course Department: Literature
Instructor: Paul Mandelbaum
Instruction Language:
Comments: I had already taken a literature course before I came to LA and promised myself I would never take another. Then I applied for LA and realized I needed to fill the 12 credit minimum, thus forcing me to take a second class: LA Stories. I was reluctant to take this because I didn't like the first literature class I took. I like reading, but not when I am assigned boring books every week. But this class was so different than that. The books we read (and we did read one a week) were pleasantly surprising. I enjoyed each and every one of them. They were, for the most part, short... and interesting. I'm glad I ended up taking this literature course. And Paul is a great professor as well. He doesn't sugar coat anything or act like he's "the boss" because he's the professor, he was 100% down to earth. We read a book for every class, had a discussion, and watched a movie. The classes were simple, there weren't many assignments -- except a big one in the end, so prepare yourself for that.
Credit Transfer Issues: