Study in Los Angeles

City of Angels „, world capital of entertainment,“ The Big Orange „or L. A. Los Angeles has many names. But no name does justice to the largest Californian city and second largest city in the USA with all its facets. What makes Los Angeles so special is hard to grasp. The actual urban area is spread over an area of 1,200 km². Due to its spaciousness, L. A. is also known as „Horizontal City“.

When it comes to Los Angeles, we often refer to the County of Los Angeles. This 10,000 square kilometre site consists of 88 incorporated cities, including Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Malibu. With approximately 10.1 million inhabitants, the County of Los Angeles is the most populous county in the USA. The situation becomes confusing because individual cities such as West Hollywood or Beverly Hills are almost completely surrounded by Los Angeles. In fact, however, the towns and neighboring districts of L. A. are so closely intertwined that the city borders often merge with each other.

Many young people associate Los Angeles with Hollywood, a high celebrity density, luxurious villas and long sandy beaches. During their studies in L. A., students can find out that these are only a few facets of the metropolis with over a million inhabitants.

Between neighborhoods, neighborhoods and cities: Side lights on L. A.

In L. A., people from more than 180 countries and 140 languages come together. As a result, no ethnic group in Los Angeles now forms a majority of the population. About 48 percent of the inhabitants are Hispanics or Latinos. This is followed by non-Hispanic whites with just under 30 percent, Asians and Pacific islanders with 14 percent and Afro-Americans with about 8 percent.

How multicultural Los Angeles is can be seen in the numerous ethnic districts (Neighborhoods). A peculiarity of Los Angeles is that the city is multinational, but the cultures live in separate neighborhoods. Chinatown, Koreatown, Little Ethiopia, Little Armenia, Historic Filipinotown and many other communities spread across the city of Los Angeles.

Downtown Los Angeles

If you want to know more about the origins of the „City of Angels“, you have to go to downtown L. A. Here, Spanish settlers founded „El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula“ – or Los Angeles for short – in September 1781. After Mexico gained independence in 1821, California became a transition to the Mexican province and Los Angeles became a Mexican community.

Since the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), California has belonged to the United States of America, but the Mexican influences are still felt today. Olvera Street is considered the birthplace of L. A. and is part of the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument. Those strolling through the narrow alleyway today will find themselves in a Mexican market with traditional restaurants, cafés and handicrafts.

In addition to historic buildings, downtown L. A. also has a number of modern buildings. The Walt Disney Concert Hall is the biggest eye-catcher due to its extraordinary design. It is home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and is one of the most important concert halls in the world. Other attractions in downtown L. A. include:

  • Grand Central Market: The Grand Central Market, which has been in existence since 1917 and is dominated by the different cuisines and cultures of Los Angeles.
  • Flower District: One of the largest flower markets in the USA.
  • Fashion District: Center of the fashion industry in L. A., consisting of more than 2000 wholesalers and retailers.
  • Arts District: Colourful artists‘ quarter amidst old industrial and factory buildings. The Arts District is a stronghold for local street art and hosts many galleries, cafés and boutiques.
  • Staples Center: Multifunctional arena and home venue of the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers as well as the Los Angeles Kings.
  • City Hall: pyramid-shaped building and part of the Los Angeles skyline. This is where the town council is located.

Downtown Los Angeles is not only a meeting point for different interests, the contrast between rich and poor is also clearly evident. Not far from the Financial District lies the so-called Skid Row – an area in which a large number of homeless people live. Today, the area is a synonym for poverty and need and explains why Los Angeles is called the „city of opposites“.

Hollywood, Universal City and Burbank – Must-Sees for film fans

What originally referred to only one part of Los Angeles is now the epitome of the American film industry: Hollywood. Not only dyed-in-the-wool film enthusiasts will find their way to Hollywood Boulevard during a short stay or studies in Los Angeles. Young and old alike are equally fascinated by the idea of immersing themselves in the world of film stars.

On Hollywood Boulevard, the Dolby Theatre – the venue for the annual Oscar awards ceremony – and the TCL Chinese Theatre are enticing. The latter is one of the most famous film palaces in the world. To this day, the theatre still hosts major film premieres. The former Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is particularly famous because the great Hollywood stars have immortalized themselves on the concrete floor of the courtyard. Those who leave their hand and footprints here often have their own star on the world-famous Hollywood Walk of Fame.

For true film fans, however, Hollywood is only a first stop. Most of the production studios today are located outside Hollywood, with the exception of Paramount Pictures. The other large film studios are located in

  • Universal City (Universal Studios Hollywood)
  • Burbank (Warner Bros Studio and Wald Disney Animation Studios)
  • Culver City (Sony Pictures Studios).

Hollywood Hills and Griffith Park for hikers

Thanks to its proximity to the Hollywood Hills, Hollywood is an excellent starting point for hiking. One of the most popular hiking trails is the Runyon Canyon Trail. From here you can see the Hollywood Sign and the Sunset Strip very well. Stars also like to travel here.

To the northeast of Hollywood is the extensive Griffith Park with many cycle paths and hiking trails, as well as the Greek Theatre and Los Angeles Park Zoo. The highlight is the Griffith Observatory. It includes a planetarium, an observatory and various exhibition areas. It also offers a viewing platform from which visitors can enjoy a sensational view of Los Angeles.

West Hollywood

What sounds like a part of Hollywood is in fact a separate city in the greater L. A. area: West Hollywood. The city, which has a population of around 35,000, is known for its vibrant nightlife. On the Sunset Strip countless bars, rock and nightclubs line up. In addition, West Hollywood is home to one of the most famous and curious shopping streets: Melrose Avenue. From luxury boutiques to second-hand shops, everything is represented and no two shop windows are alike.

Before West Hollywood gained its town charter, it was a community-free area within Los Angeles County. In comparison to the City of Los Angeles, there was more liberal legislation. As a result, many homosexuals moved to West Hollywood. To this day, the city is regarded as cosmopolitan and is known for its large LGBT community.

Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills is one of the most exclusive residential areas in L. A., although strictly speaking it is an independent city. Here the richest of the rich live in splendid millionaire villas. The streets are well-kept and lined with palm trees. Even the Town Hall, a Spanish Renaissance building, has no lack of elegance.

Beverly Hills is the epitome of fashion and lifestyle. The legendary Beverly Hills Hotel is home to numerous movie stars and celebrities. One of the main attractions of Beverly Hills is Rodeo Drive. Countless jewelry stores and exclusive designer boutiques line up on one of the world’s most expensive shopping streets. Whoever doesn’t come here to shop, goes on a celebrity hunt.

Alternative L. A.: From Echo Park to Los Feliz

Another more unconventional side of Los Angeles is revealed in the Echo Park, Silver Lake and Los Feliz neighborhoods north of downtown L. A., where the city is located. Even if it is the „alternative“ L. A., each neighborhood has its own characteristics.

  • Echo Park: Surrounded by neighborhoods such as Downtown, Chinatown, Koreatown and Silver Lake, the location of Echo Park already indicates the area’s diverse population. Cyclists, graffiti on the walls of houses, shops with vintage fashion and bars with live music characterise the townscape. Echo Park is known for its Dodger Stadium and Echo Park Lake.
  • Silver Lake: More and more filmmakers, artists and musicians are turning their backs on high-end residential areas such as Beverly Hills or Malibu and settle in Silver Lake. As an up-and-coming trendy neighborhood, Silver Lake attracts visitors with a lively art scene and captivates with its fancy restaurants, food trucks and local weekly markets. Already in 2012, the US magazine Forbes became aware of the trendy quarter and chose it as „America’s Hippest Hipster Neighborhood“.
  • Los Feliz: There are only a few pedestrian-friendly areas in Los Angeles. One of them is Los Feliz. With its cosy restaurants, snack bars and cafés, the colourful quarter invites you to linger. Los Feliz features architectural masterpieces such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House and Eric Lloyd Wright’s Sowden House. The quarter also stands out for its great location. Griffith Park is in the immediate vicinity.

Places of interest and leisure tips in and around L. A.

In the greater L. A. area you will find excursions and leisure activities for all tastes. Art lovers will love the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and countless other museums. Shopaholics can find more than 100 food stalls and stalls in The Grove open-air shopping mall and buy fresh groceries at the nearby Farmers Market.

There are also a wide variety of excursion destinations that promise a wonderful view over Los Angeles. The most popular viewpoints include:

  • Griffith Observatory
  • Mulholland Drive: A road through Hollywood Hills with fabulous viewpoints on LA.
  • Getty Center: Art museum in the hills of Brentwood with a panoramic view of Los Angeles.

It goes without saying that beach and sun worshippers in Los Angeles are not neglected either. Los Angeles County has a 75 mile coastline and some of the most beautiful beaches in Southern California.

Beachlife in Malibu, Santa Monica and Venice

The sun shines around 300 days a year in Los Angeles. Driving along the Pacific Coast Highway, you’ll find enchanting coastal towns, extensive promenades and entertainment for young and old alike.


There are several reasons why Malibu is known for its beautiful beaches: The Paradise Cove beach section served as a Baywatch scenery and location for various films, music videos and commercials. The Surfrider Beach is also internationally known. As there are many luxury houses on the beach in Malibu, the coastal town regularly attracts spectators. If you are hoping to meet one or two celebrities privately, you have a good chance in Malibu Country Mart.

Santa Monica

From a distance you can see the ferris wheel at Santa Monica Pier. The famous entertainment district is very popular with tourists and locals. There is a funfair, numerous restaurants and many small souvenir stalls. In addition, Santa Monica has a long sandy beach. The third street promenade is also the flagship of the coastal town. It is one of the few pedestrian zones in L. A. with more than 200 shops, bars, clubs and cinemas.


The Ocean Front Walk, arguably the most famous beach promenade in the world, is an attraction for street artists, fortunetellers and walkers, but also musicians and life artists. This is mainly about one thing: observing other people and being seen for oneself. In Venice Beach, the body cult is particularly pronounced. This is most evident at Muscle Beach – an open-air gym where bodybuilders steal their bodies in front of enthusiastic spectators.

Those who like it quieter will be taken to the Venice Canals. It was once a canal system built on the model of Venice and stretching over several kilometres. Today, only a few channels have survived. Along the canals there are beautiful gardens and holiday homes.

Studying at universities in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is not only an exciting travel destination, but also a first-class study destination. More than 110 accredited colleges and universities are located in the greater Los Angeles area. Many of them enjoy an excellent national and international reputation. This applies in particular to the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). As part of the University of California System, it is one of the best research universities in the United States.

UCLA is located in Westwood, a popular neighborhood with stars and students, bordering Bel Air, Brentwood and Beverly Hills. Westwood offers a wide range of opportunities for students, but they are also well looked after on the UCLA campus. As the largest location within the UC system, the university has more than 1000 clubs and student organizations, with state-of-the-art campus facilities and excellent sports facilities.

California State University Los Angeles (CSULA) is also located just a few kilometers from downtown, in the east of Los Angeles, near the San Gabriel Mountains. The university is part of the CSU system and thus a member of the second largest university network in California. With its six colleges, Cal State L. A. has a broad technical base. Mountains and beaches are within easy reach and downtown L. A. offers a wide range of entertainment. Best conditions for an eventful time in Los Angeles.

If you are not drawn directly to the city of Los Angeles, you will also find first-class universities in the County of Los Angeles as well as in the metropolitan region of Los Angeles. This includes

  • CSU Northridge
  • CSU Dominguez Hills
  • CSU Long Beach
  • CSU full tone
  • CSU Channel Islands
  • UC Riverside
  • UC Santa Barbara
  • CSU San Bernardino

Semester abroad and Summer Sessions in Los Angeles

In order to get a feel for the many facets of Los Angeles, a semester abroad in L. A. is ideal. A semester stay is easier to finance than a full course of study. The tuition fees are lower and there are various financial aids such as foreign scholarships, scholarships and student loans.

A semester abroad as a Free Mover has the advantage that the courses attended abroad can be recognised by a learning agreement with the home university. Thus, there is an option to study in the USA for one semester or several quarters and then continue your studies in Germany. Thanks to the flexible choice of courses in the semester abroad, many U. S. universities are able to take courses across subjects and semesters and broaden their academic horizons.

As an alternative to the semester abroad, some universities in and around Los Angeles offer attractive summer programs. During summer sessions, international students have access to top universities such as UCLA and can spend an unforgettable summer in Los Angeles.