University of Southern California

Living in Los Angeles

Bovard and L.A. Skyline

Many of our new MBA students are coming to Los Angeles for the first time. We know that a move to Los Angeles can be intimidating – whether you are from Baltimore, Beijing or Bangalore.

Los Angeles is often classified as BIG, and it is true: The city is situated in a wide desert basin, surrounded by the San Gabriel Mountain range and divided by the Santa Monica Mountains. Los Angeles County has 81 miles (130 km) of coastline and altitudes ranging from nine feet (3 m) below sea level to 10,080 feet (3,068 m) above sea level atop Mt. San Antonio.

Despite its size, Los Angeles feels much smaller, manageable and even intimate once you come to understand it.

History of Los Angeles

In 1781, settlers from the Mexican provinces of Sonora and Sinaloa made their home in what is now Downtown Los Angeles. The new settlement was named “El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora, la Reina de Los Angeles,” or The Town of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels. The town was declared a city in 1835, and transferred administratively from Mexico to the United States in 1847.

The People of Los Angeles

Los Angeles County is now home to more than 10.3 million people. The diverse, multi-ethnic population of Los Angeles distinguishes the city as a cultural hub. People from almost 140 countries, speaking approximately 86 different languages, currently call Los Angeles home.


Southern California’s weather has often been described as “near perfect” and with good reason. Los Angeles averages 329 sunny days per year, accompanied by gentle ocean breezes. Autumn and winter daytime temperatures average 60 to 70°F (15 to 20°C) and range from 40 to 50 °F (5 to 10°C) at night. Late spring is mild and often overcast. Summers usually reach about 85 to 95°F (33 °C) in the daytime and usually drop to the low 60s (16-18°C) at night.

Los Angeles

"LA attracts a very diverse population."

Amanda Yodowitz

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