About the Program
The world is migrating to the urban center, either physically or psychologically. Three billion of the world's six billion people live in cities, and the other three billion are profoundly affected by urban values, products, and lifestyles. This new reality presents the Church with a greater opportunity and a more urgent responsibility than ever before.
The Los Angeles Term offers students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live in one of the largest metropolitan cities in the United States. With a population of nearly four million people, Los Angeles is home to people from more than 140 countries who speak 224 different languages. Each semester, 12–18 students move to the urban center and live with local host families around the city limits, take public transportation as their primary mode of travel, and work at a nonprofit internship for 10 weeks.
Our program takes place just two miles west of the downtown area in APU’s Los Angeles Regional Center, located in Koreatown. The L.A. Regional Center is one of APU’s seven regional centers offering professional graduate programs and academic resources. The L.A. Term campus is just minutes away from areas like Hollywood, Santa Monica, Griffith Park, the Staples Center and L.A. Live, Dodger Stadium, West Los Angeles, and Melrose Avenue.
Besides the glitz and glamour that Los Angeles is known for, the city hosts the largest population of Armenians, Filipinos, Guatemalans, Koreans, Thais, Mexicans, and Salvadorans outside of their respective countries. Los Angeles is also home to the largest population of Japanese, Iranians, and Cambodians living in the United States.
Azusa Pacific University's Los Angeles Term aims to equip undergraduate students to engage the complexities of urban life through their chosen vocations, and to live out their faith and values in a postmodern urban culture.
Los Angeles Term implements an experience-based pedagogy in our courses by hosting the majority of our “class time” offsite in the city. Instead of the traditional approach of lectures and note-taking confined within the four walls of a classroom, the program organizes educational site visits and tours, setting up meetings with political stakeholders and community leaders, and facilitating critical dialogue between professors and students.
Despite the fact that L.A. Term is only 30 minutes away from the Azusa campus, students pack up and move to Los Angeles for a four-month semester. Instead of living in a dormitory, our program places students with local host families that reside in areas like East L.A., MacArthur Park, Echo Park, East Hollywood, Koreatown, Historic Filipinotown, South L.A., and Arlington Heights/Victoria Gardens.
Living in the urban environment can be overwhelming and stressful for new students. This is one of the reasons that the program has created a nurturing mentor environment to engage students and help them adjust to city demands at a comfortable pace. Program staff and faculty work collaboratively to ensure that students adapt to their new environment and living situation.
Students engage in a 10-week unpaid internship for 12 hours per week with a nonprofit, community- or faith-based organization that focuses on issues of social equity, economic development, local politics, education reform, community health, youth empowerment, and environment sustainability.
Another unique feature of the program is our requirement to use only public transportation. Yes, that means getting from point A to point B by bus, train, and foot. Private cars are not permitted in the program during the semester. This is a student’s opportunity to interact with people they would not have otherwise met.