Lottie Harold – Geography – University of California, Los Angeles – United States
If you’ve ever wondered what going to college in America is like here’s a brief tour to explain! UCLA originally started life as the southern branch of UC Berkeley, before being renamed to the University of California, Los Angeles. UCLA now receives 120,000 applications a year (the most of any US university) and currently has 45,000 students!
Campus has many famous spots include Royce Hall, Kerckhoff Hall, Janss Steps and Powell Library! In fact Kerckhoff has been used to portray Harvard more times in movies than Harvard has, such as Legally Blonde!
Powell Library was built in 1929 and is an incredibly grand building, voted one of the top 10 college libraries in the US. The inside is beautiful but old fashioned (space is not utilised fully) and it is not open 24/7, so all in all a stunning building, but I miss Ali G. One great thing is the Inter-Library Loaning system! My textbook (which are compulsory here) was $120 so I requested it through the ILL system and a copy was flown to me from Ohio State University free of charge!
Sport is such a huge part of American college life, campus has two stadiums and two intramural fields in the middle of it (because America). Students can attend free sports games, including gymnastics meets where two Gold Olympic medallists compete for UCLA.
We live in on-campus dorms in the residential area known as ‘The Hill’. The Hill has several dining halls, cafes, an outdoor pool, gym and places to study.
There are events on campus every night, ran by UCLA and Residential Life: movie nights, parties, cultural activities, etc.
We live in shared rooms! I have two roommates, both from California. This is definitely my least favourite part of being at UCLA, but I think that’s just because I was very unlucky with who I was placed with. I’ve joined lots of clubs in order to make friends and decrease the time I spend in my room.
Update (a few weeks later): so I was so miserable I actually ended up swapping rooms! My new roommates are exchange students from China and I love living with them! I would definitely recommend people swapping if you have issues, it wasn’t too much hassle and it’s improved my time here 100%!
Living, working and socialising on campus can make you feel very trapped, so I try to get off campus at least once a week! Going to the beach, going hiking, going to Hollywood; studying abroad in an exciting city such as LA means there’s always somewhere to explore when you’ve had enough of studying!