The university is extremely well maintained and you get the feeling that there are more staff walking around than students. From check in to check out everyone was friendly and helpful.
I chose the Saxon Suites as my accommodation and I can only recommend it to others. In contrast to the Rieber Hall, the actual bedrooms are not significantly larger, but in addition to your “own” bathroom (you share it with another 3 people) you also have a common living room and a hallway in between. And the living room is quite large and gives a pleasant feeling of space. Here you can also simply receive people and chat. Much better than in a small room in the Rieber Hall. So my recommendation regarding accommodation: Saxon Suites! Off-campus is okay too, especially it’s not that far away either. But it is more difficult to maintain or establish contact with the other students!
In the Saxon Suites you are not very separated from the people who live in Rieber Hall, as you only have to cross the street and see each other at meal times anyway – if you want to.
By the way, the food is quite decent. Those who are used to German canteens won’t have much to complain about. The diet is definitely American, but always of good quality. Since the cafeteria is an all-you-can-eat cafeteria, you are naturally tempted to eat beyond your hunger. If you consider that, for example, you can eat as much soft ice cream as you like, you can understand that the UCLA fitness facilities are also used over the long term. These are quite remarkable. In terms of number of devices and quality, they surpass most German gyms and all of this at no extra charge for the student!
According to Usprivateschoolsfinder.com, the pools are certainly also an opportunity to do a little sport. There are several pools on campus, including some with 50m lanes.
During courses I have attended two management courses (Mgmt 88 and Mgmt 180). Both are relatively similar, as the same (cool) lecturer but still very instructive and interesting due to the different textbooks. The lessons were much more interactive than you know it from German universities. Group presentations every hour – this trains presentation and the ability to achieve results in a team under time pressure.
If you want to see LA or California on the weekends, a car is essential. They can be rented relatively cheaply. Holidayautos is recommended (as of 2007). The advantage is that the cars can be easily ordered online and the insurance packages are very clear. Unfortunately, this has not always been the case with other providers. So if you want to see something in the area (San Diego, Las Vegas, Santa Barbara …), then you should look for a few passengers and rent a car together. From my point of view, this is better and ultimately cheaper than taking part in the organized tours. You are not nearly as flexible there. In addition, driving a car is much more relaxed in the USA than in Germany. The motorways have 6 lanes and you drive much slower.
I went on a trip almost every time during the summer session on the weekends. San Diego, Santa Barbara, Las Vegas, Hollywood Studios … There’s so much to see in and around LA. The beaches are also definitely worth a visit!
In terms of weather, you don’t have to worry about anything! The sky is always clear and at least 20 degrees. There was not a single rain in the 6 weeks during the summer session. It only rained briefly once in the middle of the desert (that was just before Las Vegas, where it is actually much warmer) and it snowed in Yosemite National Park (an attraction well worth seeing, by the way).
So again in a nutshell:
You should stay in the Saxon Suites if you want some flexibility (there are no evening access controls like in the Rieber Hall, for example).
On the weekends you should rent a car and visit the area.
Maybe you plan a week after the actual summer session and drive through the country. I did that and I would do it again. This is the only way to reach more distant places without stress (Yosemite, San Francisco …).
Have fun during your stay!