Los Angeles: Entering the Real World Without Having Yet Graduating but Feeling Like You Have Past Review

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Emerson College: Los Angeles - Emerson College in Los Angeles

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that I am a lot more independent then I thought was possible, since I already considered myself as such.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The workload was definately fitting towards what classes you choose to take. The only issue, classwise, that I experienced was the lack in consistency in the workload among each individual internship class. Personally my internship class professor expected a great deal from. We have a chapter from a book each week and was asked to hand in a report as well as our internship site report for that week with both having a word limit. This every week was quite stressful but not as stressful as seeing what my roommates had to do each week for their own internship class. There workload was at least half with a much less word limit considering all they had to do every week was to tell their professors how their week was. Also there were many weeks that a roommate or two would hand in their weekly assignment in a few days late and would receive no grade ductions but if I had something similar my assignment would not be accepted and I would have had points taken off from my grade. There needs to be a standard and/or general requirements that are the same for each internship class. My teachers methods were great in my eyes. I have the same teacher each of my classes and by the end I respected him a great deal. I feel a lot more prepared for the real world and I learned it all in my last semester, more so then my three and a half years at Emerson.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My exceptations were definately met and it was a great trial run to see if moving to LA after graduation was what I really wanted to do. I also feel that a large part of the success I felt from the program was due to the fact of the amount of students that were there at a single time. There were some old friends and there was a majority of new friends that I had never met before that would become some if my closest friends. I think that was the part I loved most. Seeing that you may have thought you knew a large portion of the students who went to Emerson and then slowly realizing that you didnt, if fact there were some faces that I didn't even recongize. It was great fun getting to know everyone and exploring what California has to offer together.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Our location was great. It was just outside of Hollywood and right off of the freeway. We were in the middle of it all, everything without traffic at least 20 minutes away, making excursions fun. Settling in was a tad hectic because we basically moved into an empty apartment. I mean we had a kicthen with a dishwasher, microwave and fridge as well as beds and a living room set everything else was up to us. We had to purchase our own television as well as cooking supplies such as pots and pans; bedding, towels and anything else we saw fit to make this apartment a home for the next four months. The only thing that I will say that I greatly disliked about the Oakwoods/ECLA was the fact that there was only ONE Internet connection available to us where only one person at a time could use the one code without us having to each purchase one of our own for thirty dollars a month.

* Food:

Feeding yourself was all on your own. So knowing how to cook is an important component, considering that it is also a lit cheaper then eating out everyday and night. On the bright side there was a free bagel breakfast every Sunday morning for an hour that was not too bad.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The free trip to Disneyland was definately on the top if my list to see in California and I was very happy to be able to get on the list and get in for free. It was amazing. Also the trip to Six Flags Magic Mountain was also a great trip with friends. Overall the program sponsored trips were really fun but luckily they weren't so often that you and your friends didn't have time to go and plan your own trips to places and things that you've been wanting to see and do. Personally, my roommates and I explored as much as pockets would allow. Almost every weekend we would look up a different place to go hiking; one weekend we went to San Diego and were able to explore the city as well as the zoo. Santa Monica and Malibu beaches were not far away; we always tried to keep ourselves busy.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Overall I felt completely safe in the city. Everyday I took two buses to get to my internship in North Hollywood and not once did I feel out of place or wary about my surroundings.

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)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

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  • Apartment
  • Other
* Who did you live with?

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  • Other

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Not having a car while you are participating in the program is not the end of the world. I'm not going to lie, it is difficult and may limit your search for an internship BUT if you really want to make it work then you will. I took two buses every morning and evening to go to and from my internship. Yes I complained but I did want I had to do. And chances are your roommates will have a car and hopefully they will be respected and ask you if you need something from the supermarket or if you want to come go with them. My general rule was if I asked someone to drive me somewhere I would to pay for some of their gas or pay for their meal at lunch or dinner. Be respectful and don't expect that someone will take you where to need to go. You have to get there on your own.