Local Atmosphere

Los Angeles, CA
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Downtown L.A. is definitely not the best place in terms of scenery. There is A LOT to do all around L.A., including beautiful scenery and many attractions and activities, but downtown in particular is not the best in terms of safety or scenery. However, its location is great because we are in the center of LA, so everything in the LA area is never too far from school.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: im getting my taste of LA right now but i know i dont want to live here in the future! but living here for four years couldnt be better

3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: The atmosphere around campus is usually relatively nice. Most of the students are happy to be here and have something to do when they are not in class or studying so in between the beautiful campus and the surrounding activities, people find themselves in a good spot.

3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: I feel safe living in Alhambra, but I wouldn't move any closer to the Health Science campus.

4 Recent Alumnus

Local Atmosphere: Right by Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, the movie studios, and the beaches… awesome!


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

BJ Grip
Colorado Springs, CO
View all previous student authors

Most USC students begin to appreciate Los Angeles after they’ve had a semester to get comfortable living in such a big city. Once students develop a navigational sense of the area and find a mode of transportation, they gain access to a world of mountains and oceans, city and country, shopping centers and art museums, movie stars on the silver screen and in person, and job opportunities matched both in quality and quantity—with opportunities for fun. People are friendly at any time of day, other than rush hour. The weather is beautiful. The food is amazing. Anything is possible in LA—anything.

On the other hand, USC is in the heart of South LA, only blocks away from the site of the infamous riots of the early '90s. Now that USC is the leading private employer in LA, the school has a bigger stake in the community. Most of the low-income communities that surround USC have a tremendous amount of respect for USC students, though some can’t help but resent the obnoxious wealth that certain students flaunt and flash. But, hey, it’s LA—you’re going to get that from time to time.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Founded in 1781 by a group of 46 people comprising 12 families, Los Angeles's full name is "El Pueblo do Nuestra Senora la Reina de Angeles do Poriuncula."
  2. Only eight American states have larger populations than Los Angeles County.
  3. The Emmy Awards for television are held annually at the Shrine Auditorium, directly across Jefferson Avenue from USC. This is where a plane can fly over a car traveling over a train, going over a boat . . . (or submarine, or Pogo stick, or hovercraft).
  4. The first motion picture theater opened in LA on April 2, 1902.
  5. The famous Hollywood sign is on Mount Lee, not far from Mount Hollywood
Notable Natives
  • Drew Barrymore
  • Dustin Hoffman
  • Jackie Cooper
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Duke Sneide
  • Jodie Foster
  • Leonard Slotkin
  • Tom Hanks
  • Madeleine Stowe
Local Slang
  • Agro: Out of control
  • Hollyweird: Another name for Hollywood
  • PCH: Pacific Coast Highway
  • S&M Boulevard: Santa Monica Boulevard
Points of Interest
  • Ahmanson Theater
  • California Science Center
  • Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
  • Exposition Park
  • Grand Central Market
  • LA Live
  • Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Museum of Natural History
Shopping Centers
  • Beverly Center
  • The Grove
  • Shops at the Bonaventure
  • University Village
Movie Theaters
AMC Magic Johnson Crenshaw 15
4020 Marlton Ave.
Los Angeles
(888) 262-4386
Movie Theaters
IMAX-California Science Center
700 State Dr.
Los Angeles
(213) 744-7400
Movie Theaters
Laemmle's Grande 4-Plex
345 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles
(213) 617-0268
Movie Theaters
Pacific's The Grove Stadium 14
189 The Grove Dr.
Los Angeles
(323) 692-0829
Movie Theaters
University Village 3
3323 S. Hoover St.
Los Angeles
(213) 748-6321
Major Sports Teams
  • Anaheim Ducks: hockey
  • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: baseball
  • Los Angeles Clippers: basketball
  • Los Angeles Dodgers: baseball
  • Los Angeles Kings: hockey
  • Los Angeles Lakers: basketball
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • San Diego: CA: 2 hours
  • San Francisco: CA: 6 hours, 30 minutes

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 148 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 148 responses

  • 1% Painfully remote.
  • 12% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 1% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 1% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 84% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 150 responses

  • 12% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 40% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 48% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 149 responses

  • 11% No way.
  • 50% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 40% Totally.



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