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Words of wisdom from some veteran students at ELC LA February 5th, 2010

Whats new at ELC LA???

ELC recently introduced a new elective – CrEaTiVe WrItInG. This elective offers students the opportunity to explore language through the practice of various literary techniques, focusing on short fiction, non-fiction narrative, poetry, playwriting, and screenwriting. The class will function as both a writing workshop and a venue for performance art prepared by students.

Here are some fun words of wisdom from some experienced Creative Writing classmates at ELC LA…

The Advice Box By Florian, France (sisi gros represente)

First if you have made the decision to go to Los Angeles, I tell you that you have made a great choice, you won’t regret it! There is always something to do.

My first piece of advice to people who desire to come is to rent or to buy a car according to your financial means and to the time you will spend here. This city is huge, so a car is a must. You will enjoy your trip more with a car.

I can also advise you to not come with winter clothes because the weather is very hot here. Winter clothes won’t be useful as there is just a short winter, for a few days.

If you have decided to use the buses, for the first day you have to know that the buses don’t give back change. You need coins (quarters – 25 cents) and one-dollar bills.

Don’t cross the streets here where it is not allowed, the fine is very expensive. The climate in LA is different from some places in Asia for example or in Europe, so be prepared to change your way of life. The weather is very dry and the sun is very strong. Be prepared to feel like a vegetable sometimes because of the power of the sun.

Start visiting the city and places around as early as possible because here, boredom doesn’t exist. You won’t ever be weary of the city. Try to understand the map of the city and the bus system in advance. It is important to get around in the city and visit the places you like, or not to get lost (even if getting lost can be funny) and to get to a place easily.  On your first few days the buses will appear to you very strange because sometimes there are disruptive people or just crazy people who sing, or speak to themselves, so avoid sitting in the front of the bus because sometimes they can’t walk very far so they sit all the time on the first seats.

Avoid Downtown during the night and the week-end , especially 6th Street. Going during the week is better!

Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and San Francisco are very near to LA, especially by plane. So you have to go visit these places which are wonderful and interesting…

Don’t buy a monthly pass in Ralph store, these are more expensive and are only valid for just a limited choice of buses. Ask your host-family or check on the internet for the pass which permits you to use a card for all the buses (even the subway) for only 70 dollars. This is called an EZ pass. I have to tell you that here the medicine and the treatments are expensive. You have to put aside money in case you get sick.

If you are under 21 years old, the clubs won’t let you enter, or drink alcohol, however cigarettes are not barred at 18.

If you bring any multimedia devices such as hand-held games or phones, be sure to bring some adapters suitable for the USA because the outlets aren’t the same here (like the keyboards for example).


Getting Around the City by Soyoung Jung, Seoul Korea

As you will have heard, L.A is the city of sunshine, shopping and celebrities. When you are here, you can enjoy all of them.

First, to enjoy the shiny sun, I recommend that you go to the beaches and just lie out and feel it. There are several beaches, but I recommend Santa Monica and Venice Beach. To go to Santa Monica pier from ELC, you have to take the 720 or 920 metro bus and exit at the last stop. You can’t miss it! To go to Venice beach, you should take the metro 33 or 333 buses and exit at the Main/Venice stop. It will take different amounts of time depending on where you are, but normally it takes 1hour or 1 hour and thirty minutes. Specifically, you can see many surfers in the sea and skater boys on the beach at Venice. Watching them with lots of sunshine is fantastic!

Secondly, to enjoy shopping, I recommend you go to the Grove, Melrose Ave. and Santa Monica 3rd Street promenade. If you go to the Grove, you can see a 1920’s-30’s style mall and also visit the Farmer’s Market. You can go around several shops for clothes and go to the market and eat various kinds of food. To enjoy all this together, you just take the 720 bus and walk for 20 minutes. And after visiting the Grove, you can take the 217 bus to go to Melrose Ave. There are many vintage shops, so you can buy something special.

Lastly, 3rd Street promenade is the street for shopping and there are many clothes stores, restaurants and street artists.

Finally, to meet celebrities, you can go to Hollywood and Beverly Hills because there are many celebrities houses. But don’t expect too much! It’s up to your luck!



This is my LA trip schedule and advice!!! by Alexis Martins, France

If you have just arrived in LA, I recommend that you not be scared by the size of the city. Imagine that you are going to do everything you want. The first week, you ought to go to a beach like Santa Monica or Venice and even consider Long beach, because those places are easy to get to, charming, warm and relaxing. After getting to know how to use the bus, you should go around your neighborhood looking at the different restaurants, without eating fast food!! There are so many restaurants from all over the world that are interesting because you can taste new cuisine like Indian, Mexican, Asian, and European food.

After two weeks, you will have some good friends to party with, and you had better spend good time with them. Now you can go to happy hour, which is between 4pm and 7pm, and you can get to drinks for $6 and have fun (of course if you are under 21, you cannot consume alcohol). Happy Hour gets you ready to go to the different clubs around Hollywood. Now that you know how to get around, and now that you have met good people, you can look for some activities such as NBA, NFL, NHL, baseball games, concerts, Six Flags (which is the best rollercoaster park ever) and many other activities on the internet. Last time I found Lakers game tickets for $28 at the Staples Center. The Lakers won the game and the atmosphere was incredible.  I will never forget that moment!!

You will never be bored of Los Angeles, but if you want to see something new, you can travel around and enjoy California and Las Vegas or The Grand Canyon. I obviously mean a road trip which includes San Francisco, Las Vegas, San Diego and many amazing natural parks such as Sequoia Park, Brice Canyon, Yosemite Park, and Grand Canyon. Those places are definitely amazing, and you will not forget them.

This is a busy schedule that you should try if you want to have a once in a lifetime experience.


“The best 10 things in LA” by Fahad Alsaud, Saudi Arabia

  1. The Nightlife in LA is a blast!!! LA has a lot of crazy and really nice clubs. You should go to ‘Playhouse’ if you want to stay out till 4am, otherwise go to ‘My House’ or ‘Wonderland’. If you like Lounges you can go to Sky Bar its the best there.
  2. Universal Studios is an interesting place to go. They show you how they produce the movies and show you some of their camera tricks.
  3. Six Flags is one of the best amusement parks with many huge rollercoasters. You will have a lot of fun there.
  4. There are many beaches here. In my opinion, Laguna Beach is the best place to swim and you can also surf because they have big waves. It also has a really nice view.
  5. The Grove is one of the best outdoor shopping centers in the world. It also has a big movie theater and good restaurants too.
  6. Century City is also a very nice outdoor shopping center and they also have a huge movie theater and a lot of restaurants and international shops.
  7. The Beverly Center is a HUGE mall. It has everything you need and it is so large that you can’t walk around it in a whole day.
  8. IN N OUT is the best and healthiest restaurant for burgers in LA. You have to come and try the special taste of this burger. When you arrive here the first thing you should do is to find where the closest IN N OUT burger restaurant is and go there and order ‘double double’ with grilled onion and extra spread. That will make your day and will make you so happy.
  9. Rodeo Drive is one of the most famous streets in the world. It has the most expensive shops in LA and the most prestigious ones. It also has a nice view.
  10. Las Vegas is 4 hours away by car and 55 minutes by plane. Any time you feel sad or bored you can just plan to go for a weekend there and have fun.


My Trip to Las Vegas by Lara Del Zotto, Switzerland

I had a great experience in Las Vegas.  We took a little bus in front of The Hammer museum at 1 30pm. The bus was uncomfortable, but it was worth it.

We arrived at Hyatt hotel around 6. We were tired after the long trip, but a surprise awaited us! Hayatt hotel wasn’t expensive, but it was a really beautiful hotel.

All the rooms are like one little suite. They all have a living room with a big sofa (sofa bed), a little refrigerator, a desk, a very beautiful television, comfortable beds, and a make-up zone with a very big mirror, a cupboard with an iron, a hairdryer and a comfortable bathroom.

Later, the driver showed us the best and most famous places in Vegas, it was really incredible! Afterwards, we had time for ourselves to choose our favorite place to go for a crazy night. To have a good dinner, I suggest either of the two Hard Rock Cafes. I suggest that you look for any event that you are interested in!  There is so much to do.


My Top Ten Favorites in Los Angeles by Dana Ghiringelli, Switzerland


If you want to listen to good rock and metal music, you should go to the Rainbow Room, The Roxy, The Whiskey, The Cat Club, the Key Club or the Viper Room.  All of these clubs are close to each other and you can walk to each one.


You can see many street artists, shops like Sephora, MAC, H & M, XXI and many restaurants.


Located in Universal City, you must visit Universal Studios.  You will have a lot of fun. You can go to Luna Park and see the movie sets.


I suggest that you go to Santa Monica and Venice Beach. I went there and it was amazing to be in the sun.


If you are a girl, I suggest you go to Sephora and MAC.  You can find them on Hollywood Boulevard between La Brea and Highland.


The best and biggest cinema to go see movies and shows is the theatre on Hollywood Boulevard called El Capitan.  It is very old and beautiful.


If you like Japanese food you should go to Yamato.  It is very healthy.  It is near ELC at 1099 Westwood Boulevard.  Make sure to order the Rock and Roll Shrimp.


It is easy to meet people at clubs in Los Angeles.  The clubs stay open until 2am.


I went to Las Vegas with ELC and it was fantastic.  In two days we saw many places like ‘The Hard Rock Café’, ‘New York New York’ Hotel and a copy of the Eiffel Tower.  The guide was great and I had so much fun.