Los Angeles is an exciting city with global influences and loads of character. If you are moving to LA for your college or university education at USC or UCLA, staying off-campus will allow you to have the most in-depth and immersive experience of this vibrant city and all its inhabitants.
A Melting Pot
One of the best things about living in Los Angeles is that it is a melting pot on a massive scale. Los Angeles is home to immigrants from 180 countries thanks to its busy LAX airport. So, no matter where you hail from, chances are you will find a touch of your culture and heritage in LA.
LA ranks in the top ten most diverse cities in the US and the city is one of a handful in the country that has no ethnic majority. Hispanic or Latino people make up 48.5 percent of the city, followed by White non-Hispanics at 28.5 percent, Asians at 11.6 percent, and Black or African Americans at 8.9 percent.
The incredible diversity of LA lends to its outstanding culinary landscape. You will find authentic food from a myriad of countries, not just in the city center, but also across various neighborhoods. This means that you will find food that tastes like home and also be able to try new and eclectic cuisines.
LA has certain neighborhoods that act as gathering points for specific ethnic groups. Some examples are Boyle Heights (Hispanic), Koreatown, Chinatown, Little Armenia, Little Ethiopia, Little Tokyo, Thai Town, and the creatively named Tehrangeles (Tehran x Los Angeles).
If you are as fond of pizza and burgers as all students are, LA will not disappoint either. LA has its share of Detroit-style and deep-dish pizza joints, as well as Italian pizzerias that do thin and crunchy pinsa crusts. For burgers, there is the iconic Double-Double (Animal Style) from In-N-Out Burger and the decadent Big Mec from Petit Trois.
Beautiful Weather Every Day
Boasting an average of 292 annual days of sunshine and 35 annual days of rain, and a temperature range of 56-72 degrees Fahrenheit (13-23 degrees Celsius) for most of the year, LA has some of the best weather you will ever experience.
This is because the city is located in a desert basin at the base of the mountain while facing an ocean at the same time. This mix of wildly distinct environments has created a unique climate similar to the Mediterranean with warm days and cool nights.
The perfect weather amplifies the casual atmosphere of LA, with residents sporting shorts, sandals, and sunglasses most of the time. You can enjoy the beach almost every month of the year and spend time in lively ocean communities such as Santa Monica and Malibu.
With endless days of sunshine, there are countless activities that you could enjoy on your days off from studying. You can hike the 4,210-acre Griffith Park, bike or jog the Strand along the stunning shoreline, take a roller coaster ride on the pier, or just chill out with your friends at some of the best skate parks in the entire country.
So Much to Do
Aside from being awesome for the great outdoors, LA is also a hub for art and entertainment. This might seem a little obvious, given that Hollywood is in LA. However, the art and design scene in LA has a lot more to offer than just movie stars and celebrity gossip.
LA’s creative offerings include the Downtown Arts District, numerous galleries, art parks, and the 24-acre hilltop Getty Center. Other art museums include The Board, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA).
Theatres such as the Pantages Theatre or the Pasadena Playhouse put up plays and productions, while live music venues like the Roxy and the Troubadour feature all genres of music. In addition, you can catch a massive stadium concert by top performers at the Hollywood Palladium or the Staples Center.
LA is imbued with so much art and design that you can see it by simply walking the streets. Art majors will love the art deco of Wilshire Boulevard, the industrial geometry of Hayden Tract, and the striking atrium of the Bradbury Building. Even the low-key Elysian Park is full of interesting design touches.
Not a day goes by without a fun event happening in LA. With sports games, flea markets, open-air film screenings, karaoke bars, and more, there is plenty of entertainment for everybody. From yoga at sunrise to bespoke cocktails at night, LA is abuzz with life.
With such a large selection of affordable USC off campus housing, students should definitely consider staying off-campus. Not only will you have the independence and privacy to explore the city, but you will also be in the thick of the action, ready to enjoy all that Los Angeles has to offer.