a year ago
It really depends on your situation. Typically, housing is a lot cheaper when it's farther away from UCLA. I am fortunate enough to live in a not-so-expensive apartment that is right across campus, so I do not have to drive or bus to go to class.The only downside of living near UCLA is that if you love Korean BBQ or authentic Mexican food, then you would have to use a car/Uber. Additionally, if you are looking to obtain a prestigious internship or job, you would most likely need reliable transportation because they're usually located in downtown LA. However, if you do some research regarding the public transportation system, then it's not too bad because my friend bussed to downtown LA for his job everyday. If you only care about finding a part time job to cover your expenses and not so much on the experience, then it will be easy to find one within a 1-2 mile radius from UCLA.
If you decide to live near the Westwood area, where UCLA is located, you'll be in proximity to several shopping and dining locations, as well as museums and entertainment venues. Most entering students typically live in the dorms during their first year. During my first year I decided to live in the transfer dorms and the following year close to campus on Gayley, which takes approximately 15 minutes to reach the main area of campus. If you decide to spend most of your time studying then living close to campus might be more advantageous as there are plenty of eatery options on campus and libraries that run 24/7 after third week. As a UCLA student, you will have access to The Big Blue Bus which costs 50 cents to travel from West Los Angeles to Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, etc... If you're looking for an internship in finance, computer science, you will most likely have to commute to either downtown or Culver City. In any case, the cost is very cheap. Alternatively, many UCLA students on the weekend use ride sharing as an option like Uber and Lyft to travel around the city, but keep in mind the cost can rack up relatively quickly, especially if you're not considering carpooling. I Highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the public transportation system to explore what LA has to offer. Lastly, from my experience and talking to friends, getting a parking pass is going to be a total nightmare. There are many students who have to find parking along the streets of campus or have park near the grocery stores and then walk to campus since parking on campus is limited. Having a parking pass is not a guarantee for students so it’s best to find housing that’s close to campus instead of relying solely on a car as a means of transportation. Given the state of limited parking passes being very competitive and there are too few to accommodate most students, public transportation is a good way of traveling short distance.