How expensive is it to study in Los Angeles?
It’s important as a student to have a budget. It is actually very expensive to study in California. The school isn’t free here like in other countries, for example my home country Sweden. If you decide to move you will need some margin because it takes time to save money, plan everything, get permission, etc. When I decided to move I knew that I had about one year to devote to save money and get everything ready. I actually think that was the perfect amount of time. It’s probably not a good idea to decide everything overnight and then realise that it’s not what you actually wanted. Therefore it’s important to make time to being able to plan ahead.
My tips & tricks
The process of moving can be a bit confusing and there’s a lot of important things that can’t be missed when moving to Los Angeles. My recommendation is to get help from an organization that works with such things. There are a lot of these organizations and most of them doesn’t charge any fees, it’s completely free. I chose the organization called blueberry which I can strongly recommend.
I came in contact with them during fall 2018, I went to their head office in Stockholm and had a meeting with them about moving to Los Angeles. They explained the process to me and what was required, I also asked a couple of questions which I prepared ahead. You will be assigned one contact person which will help you through the process, explain everything you have to do and why. It was extremely helpful for me and facilitated the whole process a lot.
How to afford everything and have a smart economy
When studying in Los Angeles your budget will be tight considering all the expenditures and things to explore here. Trust me, the last thing you want to spend money on is rents. Living in Los Angeles isn’t the cheapest, the rents are usually very expensive. To live on your own, having your own apartment isn’t something you should expect if you don’t have enough money. Most of international students here in LA are renting an apartment together with a few other people and they all become roommates. I would say it’s a part of the whole experience, it’s also a great opportunity to get in contact with other international students and to make new friends. But how do you find these roomates? I would actually recommend to join one or more of all the facebook groups that exists. There are a few and for example one of them is called “Swedies in LA”. I used this group a lot before moving here, you get the opportunity to connect with people who has the same interests as you.
Some people recommend students to move here first and then start looking for roommates and apartments. I would actually say the opposite and ecourages to start doing this research before moving here. There are already so many things to think about and it’s very expensive to stay in a hotel for a couple of weeks. Instead I think you should try to find some roommates ahead and start looking for different apartments. Then you can discuss with your potential roommates about the price range, the area and requirements for the apartment. Maybe also try to get to know these people in order to determine whether or not living together would work.
By following these tips you’ll be able to get to your destination faster than you think