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1 PAPS- LA Know more about the City of Los Angeles at : Which official documents do you need to get settle in LA? I. Social security number If it is your first time living in US you need to get a social II. security number and card. To apply for one check online what you need to bring to the social security office and also fill out and print the Form SS- 5 at In this same website you can also find what is the most convenient office for you to go to by adding your zip- code. The closest office if you are studying at: UCLA - Suite 300, W Olympic blvd, Los Angeles, CA USC - University village, 1115 W Adams blvd, Los Angeles, CA Driver s license - Los Angeles is the second- largest city of US (after NY) counting with approximately 10,000,000 people in the Los Angeles county. The public transportation system in LA is unfortunately still very precarious so you might want to consider getting a car or a motorcycle. If you are willing to do so you will have to get a California Driver s license. Also, the California Driver s license is recognized as an official ID in United States. International driving permits (IDPs) from Portugal are valid for one year if your permanent residency remains Portugal but only for 10 days if you become a CA resident. The IDP must always be accompanied by a valid driver s licence from Portugal. Also, keep in mind a California Driver's License is required when purchasing a car or obtaining car insurance. If you already have a valid driver s license from another US state you only need to take the written test. To apply for a driver s license go to: The closest office if you are studying at: UCLA - USC -

2 III. California Identification Card: Your California driver s license is recognized as an official ID in United States. If you do not have one we recommend you to get a California ID so you avoid the risk of loosing your passport. For directions of how to apply for an ID valid for 6 years go to: 2. Housing Finding the right house for you in LA might be overwhelming but don t worry! Hopefully we will have some helpful tips to make your hunting experience easier. Websites where you can look for houses: 1) Craigslist: - The most complete online database where you can find all sort of stuff - house/apartment/ roommates/furniture. 2) Pad Mapper: https://www.padmapper.com/ - an interactive database that shows you in the LA map apartment availabilities. 3) Uloop: - an UCLA- only free system to help you find housing. If you are studying at UCLA here are some neighborhoods you might want to consider: - Westwood - It is the closest area to the main UCLA campus. It is at walking distance to UCLA, and in the Westwood Village you can find plenty of grocery stores, restaurants, college bars, convenient stores and all the essential services you might need. It is very safe and mainly clean. However not everything is perfect. You should be aware this is an expensive area, and where the majority of the undergrads live and the fraternity/sorority houses are located. As a consequence, it is somewhat noisy and sometimes overcrowded. - Brentwood, Santa Monica or West LA - are some of your great alternatives to live for cheaper and still be close enough to UCLA. Public transportation takes you to and from these areas to UCLA in less than 30min (if traffic is not epic). West LA is probably overall your most affordable option. These areas are in general calm and safe and are mainly home to grad students or young professionals. For safety reasons we recommend you to avoid living south of the I- 10. Brentwood and Santa Monica are great for brunch places as well as nice restaurants, cafes and bars. Also very worth to check out are their weekly Farmers markets.

3 In the west side, West LA is the place you want to go for authentic ethnic food, specially mexican and asian (Little Tokyo is a must EAT!). You can also find cool thrift stores and yard/garage sales here. If you are studying at USC, you have several options. You can live on campus, or off campus. For housing on campus, you need to contact the USC Student Housing Office ( ) or visit their webpage (http://housing.usc.edu/). Most graduate students live, however, off- campus. The USC main campus (University Park Campus, UPC) is close to several freeways, and is connected with LA subway system. This makes it possible for a USC student to live virtually almost anywhere in LA County. Here are some of the main options. - USC area: The area north of campus is known as North University Park, and is generally considered to be a good place to live. Because the area closest to the campus is relatively small, availability is limited and landlords are able to charge more, so it can be difficult to find a bargain. However, there are more options north of West Adams Street. Generally, these are safe neighborhoods, mostly consisting of families. One advantage of living in this area is that you can easily walk or bike to campus, which also saves on parking. - Wilshire District. Koreatown. Located about miles north of USC, the Wilshire District has many nice apartments at reasonable rates. The Wilshire District, roughly defined, is bounded by Wilshire Blvd to the South, Melrose Avenue to the North, Vermont Avenue to the East, and Western Avenue to the West. The commute between the Wilshire District and USC can be made by MTA subway- Red Line (7th Street/Figueroa- downtown Los Angeles- Dash Shuttle Line F by USC will take you directly to the MTA subway on 7th Street, (15 minutes), bus (15-20 minutes), bicycle (15-20 minutes) or car (10 minutes). - Downtown. Los Angeles downtown is becoming more and more interesting, and it can be a good housing option. Rents tend to be expensive, though. The commute is by car, bike or by subway.

4 You can check listings in the student newspaper at USC, the Daily Trojan. Some students have also had success with the Apartments for Rent listings published weekly and available in stacks outside USC- Commons. If you are coming to LA but not going to study in any of these schools please contact us for more specific details about other neighborhoods. How to get around in LA? From LAX airport to your host house/rent house/hotel: - The LAX Flyaway is the cheapest way to/from LAX airport. It offers convenient regularly scheduled round- trip service, 7 days a week, between LAX and: Irvine Station($25 one- way), Union Station ($7 one- way), Van Nuys ($7 on- way), and Westwood ($10 one- way). You can pay with cash or credit card. You can find more information here: - You can also use the Super Shuttle buses. The Super Shuttle bus system works as a group cab. It gives rides to people that are going to the same or close by neighborhoods dropping considerably the price per ride. You can find more about it here: - Cab. Be aware LA is a very large city and LAX is far away so you will need some cash if you decide to take the option taxi. Public transportation - Bus and Metro. Remember EXACT CHANGE ONLY. Bills and coins are accepted. - LA Metro System is the major operator of bus and rail service in Los Angeles County, California. You can check routes and schedules here: Be aware that traffic in LA can be chaotic, expect delays and overcrowded buses. - The Big Blue Bus provides bus service to Santa Monica and the west side of Los Angeles (system map: For more information about fares, schedules, and routes go to: If you need a car, and you don t have one yet, here are some alternatives:

5 - Here, renting a car is not that expensive, so you might be interested in renting one if you need a car for one day, a weekend or even a few days. A few suggestions: Enterprise, Avis, Hertz, Budget, and Alamo. - You can also use Zipcars that are parked in several locations throughout LA. You can find all information about this here It is very simple. First, find the closest zipcar location and make the reservation online. Then you just need to pick up the car and drive as many hours as you need. You have to return the car to the same reserved parking spot. Gas and insurance are included. - U- Haul is the best choice if you need to move equipment, furniture, etc. You can rent a truck, trailer, cargo van rentals and U- Box storage and moving pods You can always get a bicycle. Buy one on craigslist or rent one at UCLA. Bikes can be locked in a safe cage at UCLA campus for free. 3. Community groups - TugLAs - https://www.facebook.com/groups/ / - Artesia Portuguese Community -

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