Arriving In/Moving to Los Angeles

The information found on these pages is part of a comprehensive booklet, A Guide to Living in Los Angeles, which is available for viewing/download.

Arriving in Los Angeles

  1. Airports

    LAX
    Located near the 405/105 freeway junction, just south of the 10 freeway (Sepulveda Blvd. and Century Blvd.) 
    (310) 646-5252

    www.los-angeles-lax.com

    Bob Hope Airport (Burbank)
    Located off of the 5 freeway, between the 170 and 134 freeways (2627 N. Hollywood Way)
    (818) 840-8840
    www.burbankairport.com

    Long Beach Airport
    Located off of the 405 freeway, between the 710 and 605 freeways
    (562) 570-2600
    www.lgb.org

    John Wayne Airport (Orange County)
    Located off of the 405 freeway, just southeast of the 55 freeway (at Airport Way)
    (714) 252-5006
    www.ocair.com

    Ontario International Airport
    Located near the 10/15 freeway junction, just north of the 60 freeway (Airport Drive and Vineyard Avenue)
    (909) 988-2700
    www.lawa.org/ont

  2. When to Arrive

    It is strongly recommended that you have your living arrangements resolved at least one month prior to the August Orientation. To have an apartment for early to mid-August, you need to be visiting apartments, making a deposit and signing a lease the first week of July. If you wait until the first week of August to begin your housing search, it will be likely that you will not be able to move until September 1, and therefore you should plan for temporary housing.

Moving to Los Angeles

  1. Housing

    Click here for more information on housing. The Admissions Office at Southwestern is also happy to provide students with a variety of sources to help them find appropriate accommodations in the Los Angeles area.

  2. Mail

    Remember to have your mail forwarded to your new address in Los Angeles. This service is offered by the United States Postal Service. You may sign up online at www.usps.gov or stop by any post office and pick-up a moving guide, complete with mail-forwarding postcards and valuable moving information.

Living in Los Angeles

  1. Driving

    Los Angeles is the city of freeways. Regardless of where you are traveling between 7 and 10 a.m. or 3 and 7 p.m., it can be aggravating. But, in general, freeways are still the best way to go long distances. If you are going to be driving any real distance in Los Angeles, it is always wise to check the traffic reports before you start out. Sharing the ride with a friend can make the drive easier because a number of freeways in Los Angeles have carpool lanes for those cars with two or more people. This will usually cut a considerable amount of time off your drive, and Southwestern offers special parking rates/privileges for students who carpool.

    A few things to keep in mind when driving in L.A. are:

    • If there are no speed limit signs posted, the default maximum speed is 25 miles per hour on city streets and 65 miles per hour on freeways.
    • In California, drivers and passengers in private vehicles must always wear a seat belt.
    • You may turn right after stopping at a red light, unless a sign directs otherwise.
    • Pedestrians have the right of way.
    • Drunk-driving laws are strictly enforced.
    • Open containers of alcoholic beverages are not permitted in vehicles.
    • It is illegal to use a cellphone without a hands-free device while driving.
  2. Parking

    Be sure to carefully read all signs detailing the days or hours you may park at any particular location, because in L.A., illegally parked vehicles get ticketed very quickly and may be towed away. A red curb means no parking; a green curb means parking is for a limited time (limit usually posted); and a white or yellow curb is for loading and unloading passengers only. Parking is generally available in lots or garages, but prices can vary.

  3. Public Transportation

    Southwestern is located around the corner from local Metro rail and bus stops. Rail stops go to Union Station and connect with the vast Metrolink network connecting Los Angeles to surrounding cities and counties. The Southwestern Pocket Guide (pdf) has nearby destinations for dining, entertainment, shopping and nightlife, all accessible via public transportation.

  4. Bicycles

    For those living near Southwestern, bicycling can be a quick and efficient way to get to and from campus. Please check with the local municipality in which you reside for their specific rules on bicycle licenses. Secure bike storage is provided in the on-site parking garage at Southwestern. Don't forget to purchase a bicycle license. A bicycle license is inexpensive and will enhance the chance of recovering your bicycle if it is stolen. It is recommended that all riders wear an approved bicycling helmet, available at any bike shop or sporting goods store. Also, be sure to buy a lock and lock your bike every time you leave it unattended.