Visit L.A.: The Benefits of Attending College Near Los Angeles

by John Montesi

Los Angeles is a city that conjures up a different image for every person who hears the name. From the bright lights of Hollywood to the beaches of Santa Monica and Malibu, from the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains to the bustling international cultural districts, everyone wants to visit L.A. and experience a different side of the City of Angels.

Going to college in the greater L.A. area provides a number of benefits that extend far beyond spending sunny Saturdays on the beach or getting to pick between two teams in every professional sport. If you’re looking to apply to schools in Southern California, here are some of the advantages to consider.

Explore the Great Outdoors

One of the most overlooked (and greatest) assets of the Southern California region is the ability to travel, often in an hour or less, to the beach, the mountains, or the desert for an outdoor adventure. From the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountain ranges to the Angeles and San Bernardino national forests, there are endless avenues for hiking, skiing, and taking in the beauty of the natural world. When surf and sand are calling, you can catch waves or get some reading in at the iconic beaches of coastal Los Angeles and Orange counties.

While these activities are a fun perk of living in such a geographically diverse region, they also offer important opportunities for rest and reflection—and a break from the busy rigors of college life.

Exposure to Cultures of the World

When you first visit L.A., it’s impossible to experience absolutely everything that the city has to offer. There’s just too much to see and do. Living in close proximity to the city (and having the time to explore it) is another benefit that local college students enjoy.

Thanks to multiple world-renowned museums and cultural districts like Little Ethiopia, Koreatown, Olvera Street, Little Armenia, Little Italy, and others, you can experience the world’s great cultures with a short drive or quick ride on public transit. This augments the educational experience of college in meaningful ways; there are few other places where you can learn about any given culture and have same-day access to its cuisine, arts, religious institutions, and people.

If you’re particularly interested in L.A.’s different culinary offerings, you can follow this map of the greatest restaurants across the city. Visiting these sites can expose you to a remarkable cross-section of humanity and maybe even help you discover a new favorite dish.

Professional Connections

While attending college near Los Angeles, the diversity of businesses, nonprofit organizations, and creative endeavors anchored in the city helps provide students amazing opportunities for internships and career networking. Whether you want to work in renowned local industries like film, music, or biotech, L.A. offers access to just about every type of business, start-up, or entrepreneurial culture you can think of. Just as you can explore new cuisines, music venues, museum exhibits, and outdoor activities, you can also meet with (and learn from) professionals working in a number of different career fields, including the professors who will teach your classes.

L.A. is such a large and diverse city that it truly has something for everyone. No matter how certain you are about your career or how much self-exploration you plan to do in college, you will not find yourself limited by your surroundings.

Interested in attending college and exploring Southern California for the next four years? Azusa Pacific University’s main campus is just 26 miles northeast of L.A. in the community of Azusa. Schedule a visit to campus today!