Semester in L.A.
What If I Am Interested in Studying at the Semester in LA?
The Advertising & Public Reltations Department is significantly involved in Columbia College programs offering real-world experience in the entertainment industry. Once you are a junior or a senior, you may participate in a five-week program where you study marketing communication of films and media, giving you practical experience in entertainment marketing. Students travel to Los Angeles and study in our facility on a working studio lot in Hollywood. The program earns 12 credit hours in department electives.
To apply, please visit the Semester in L.A. (SiLA) website for information on eligibility and to download an application in PDF format. You must attend an Open House orientation session before applying. Current locations, dates, and times of the Open House orientation sessions are available on the Semester in L.A. website.
Life in LA, what’s in store for you?
Justin Moreno, alumni of the Semester in LA program, filmed his experience in the Spring semester of 2011. The following video is about his time in LA, the classes he took, the adventures he went on, and some of the people that he met.
Tips from SiLA Graduates
We know that you aren’t sure what to expect when you’re in L.A. That’s why we’ve asked some past students to give tips to you so that you’re able to plan your trip better and have the best possible experience while in L.A.
- West Hollywood
Choose your home wisely! Most places don’t offer you the ability to stay in their building for a lease shorter than four months. We advise that you look into subletting.
Don’t know where to start looking? Here’s are a couple places and people to help you out:
- Oakwood | Specialize in short-term housing they are a one stop operation including furniture, gated, with pool, utilities, cable, etc. Definitely have a car if you are going to be living here. For more information call Rebekah Travouillon at (800)942-2787; firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Airbnb.com | A website where people host their room or entire apartment for rent. It's kind of like a hotel/bed and breakfast. The best part about this is that majority of the places are fully furnished. You do have to pay upfront, but the website holds on to your money until 24 hours after you check-in. After that (depending on the hosts cancellation policy) if you find the place shady you get 100% of your money back. If you decide to stay then after your first night the host gets the money from the site. There are multiple pictures and reviews that can be helpful in making a decision. I felt it was safer than Craigslist.
- VRBO.com | A website similar to Airbnb.com. Vacation rentals by owners.
- Craigslist | Craiglist is a great website to find posting for apartments, but most of the postings are fore leases longer than the semester in LA program goes for. You should definitely look under their sublet category. Many students found their apartments on Craigslist but it’s not for everyone.
- Sarah Schroeder, Alumni Relations in LA | Sarah may know people living in LA looking for a roommate even if it’s for a short period of time. It would be a great way to learn the city too; you can contact Sarah via-phone (323) 469-0443.
- Apartment Search Service (free) | Citywide, Tomothy Traub, 818.906.7368
When you finally find a place to live you won’t know about the area that much, so use Google and Yelp! These websites can really help you out in finding things to do: good and bad.
The first thing you should do is get business cards. You should get plenty too, especially if you want to work in L.A. You never know whom you could run into. Make sure to be forward and talk to even the ‘big fish.’ You’re there for a reason, don’t be shy and don’t be lazy.
Don’t know where to get them? Here are a few websites to help you out:
- The Portfolio Center | The Portfolio Center has plenty of information on what you should put on your business card as well as where you can buy them.
Go and stay at the networking events they suggest you go to. You easily can meet the people who can open doors for you and your career. Don’t be afraid to approach people and tell them what you’re all about. Do not be late for these events either.
Classes are set up like many of your Columbia classes. The important thing is to remember to not be late and to take plenty of notes. You will need your own computer.
Car or no car?
In Chicago it’s very easy to live without a car, but L.A. it can be a bit of a challenge considering the size of the city and the distance you may have to travel at times. We advise you to have some sort of car, whether you rent one for the time you are out there, bring your own, or just know someone who can always give you a ride, your life will be a lot easier with a car.
If you choose to rent a car, Columbia College has an account set up with Enterprise Rent-a-Car. This includes receiving a special discount rate.
- Available at all Enterprise Rent-A-Car locations
- Lower rates
- Weekend Rates
- New cars: Standards, Hybrids, Luxury, SUV’s, Exotics and many more
For questions about the account and how to use it, contact Katherine Ripley at 323.960.8020 or email@example.com
If none of those options work for you, you still can use public transportation. You can get a month pass for $75.00, $20 per week, or $2.50 a ride.
Another helpful tip for transportation is to have some kind of GPS. You might get sent somewhere unfamiliar and you don’t want to get to lost and end up being late.
- Carry cash with you! It’s just easier.
- Meet everyone going before you even get there! That way you might find a roommate, someone to split a car with, and when you’re working on projects it’s always nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of.
- Take advantage of every opportunity and make sure to make friends with everyone!