Live the adventure of Charlotte's language course abroad
Live the adventure of Charlotte's language course abroad
Live the adventure of Charlotte's language course abroad
Live the adventure of Charlotte's language course abroad

The glamorous Hollywood feeling and Californian lifestyle of Los Angeles!

The Swiss Skier Charlotte Chable has competed in European and World Skiing Championships. She has also been on another adventure with Yalea Languages: a language course abroad in Los Angeles. Whilst there she enjoyed the Californian lifestyle, visited the beautiful beaches and improved her English in this fascinating destination, famous for Hollywood's film industry. So that you too can share in her experience, she wrote a travel diary and took some amazing photos and videos!

Charlotte's trip to Los Angeles

Charlotte's travel diary

  Week 1 - ELC Los Angeles

Arrival in the fascinating city of Los Angeles

I arrived here last Saturday after having a great flight! The trip from Zurich to Los Angeles was long (12 hours), but I used the time to watch movies, read and sleep. When I arrived at the airport, a driver picked me up and brought me to my apartment. During the taxi ride, I was already looking out the window and admiring the city! Wow, I really am in Los Angeles! First I couldn't believe that this trip was really happening, and that I will be here alone for two months and have to speak English the whole time. The apartment is located in Westwood only five minutes away from the school and I am sharing it with a Brazilian girl. I have just bought all of my cooking supplies, and everything that I will need during the next few weeks.

My first week of school

The school, ELC, is well located in Westwood. It is near shopping facilities and restaurants, etc. I am one of the six students which have arrived this week. After we received all of the information about the school, we had to take a placement test to measure our level of English so that we could be divided into the corresponding classes. Lessons are held from Monday to Friday from 9am to 12:40pm. During the first lessons from 9am to 10:40am we learn about grammar topics and then from 11am to 12:40pm we cover communication topics with a lot of conversation and presentations. We are always in a group of around eight or nine students per class. The school organizes daily after-school activities, but this week, I was so busy I didn't have time to participate!

Californian lifestyle

On the first Sunday, I didn't know anybody yet, so I took the opportunity to go shopping in the Citade Outlet. Wow, it was unbelievable - so many shops with reduced prices! I stayed the whole afternoon there. Then I enjoyed getting a manicure and pedicure ;) Monday morning I went to school. During the afternoon I had the chance to go to a fitness center and I also had to visit a physiotherapist due to knee surgery which I had at the beginning of February. I have already eaten in Santa Monica, visited the beach and Santa Monica Pier. On Saturday I took advantage of the warm temperatures and sunbathed by the pool on the top of my building :)

Well, my first week is already behind me. I am looking forward to being able to share with you the rest of my adventure!

English courses in Los Angeles

  Week 2 - ELC Los Angeles

This week went by quickly. I changed levels in my grammar and conversation classes, which gave me the chance to meet new people.

Making new friends at school

The people at the school are very friendly. Everyone has an open mind and we are spending time doing things together after school, such as going to the beach, shopping, having meals in nice little restaurants and going for walks etc. In our conversation class we have to do presentations, and I took the opportunity to present on skiing to my classmates, as many of them have never been skiing in their lives. We shared a lot about topics including our lives, our religions, faith etc., and it was really interesting learning about new topics.

Beautiful view over Los Angeles

This week I went for a walk in the UCLA campus. It’s really very big, there are buildings everywhere. It’s like a small village inside of Los Angeles. It almost makes you want to go study. ;) I also visited Venice Beach, which I really like. There are numerous little shops, the well-known training grounds next to the beach, basketball courts, the famous skate-park and of course, the beach. I didn’t have a lot of time to spend there, but I will go back for sure. I also toured the hills where the famous Hollywood sign is. We caught a taxi, and drove to the other side of the hill. We had walked almost two hours by the time we arrived back to the side where Hollywood is. It’s really very beautiful. We had a view of the entire city of Los Angeles. We arrived at the sign just as the sunset began.

At the moment, I am writing from Santa Monica beach. The weather is nice (like during the last few days) and it’s warm. Today it wasn’t as windy. It feels so good to just relax in the sun.

English courses in Los Angeles

  Week 3 - ELC Los Angeles

Breathtaking excursion to Sequoia National Park

My weekend was truly incredible! On Friday morning we headed to Sequoia National Park, it took us three and a half hours to get there. The park was so big that we didn’t get to see all of it, but it was beautiful. We saw 500 year old paintings and climbed up 400 steps to take in the impressive view of the countryside. And, of course, we stood next to the famous giant sequoia. We found a quiet place for a picnic and were able to enjoy being the only people there. It was a really fun trip and a great chance to breathe in some woodland air. ;)

An unforgettable weekend in San Francisco

After visiting the park, we drove six hours until we arrived in San Francisco. We stayed in a beautiful house with a view of the waterfront in a quiet residential area. San Francisco is my type of city. Two days aren’t enough to see everything of course, but we walked down Lombard Street, went to China Town, and visited the pier, the Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park. We also went for ride in the famous cable cars and hiked up Twin Peaks. I had a really great time! The views across the city were fantastic and the steep hills in San Francisco are really quite pretty. The atmosphere of the city is generally very relaxed. There were lots of young people in the Golden Gate Park: playing volleyball, soccer and pétanque (boules). Everyone had brought barbecue equipment and stayed the entire afternoon into the evening. We were definitely tempted to do the same.

The Golden Gate Bridge is incredible! You always see lots of photos, but when you stand in front of it, it is a completely different thing! You could take a thousand photos of it. The pier is also very nice and there are lots of entertainment options, boutiques and small restaurants.

If you haven't been to San Francisco, I can highly recommend going there! :)

English courses in Los Angeles

  Week 4 - ELC Los Angeles

Everything is still going really well. Time is flying by. In between training, which takes a lot of my time, school and some activities, I do not have much time to myself. But I love it! I will have time to relax when I am back home in Switzerland. ;)

I still haven’t described yet what my days are like and how the language course is going etc. I wake up at 6 o’clock each day to do my morning training before I go to school. The fitness center is about ten minutes away from my accommodation, so I can walk there in little time. I train for about 1.5 hours, take a shower and then go directly to school.

A typical day at school

Lessons start at 9 o’clock. From 9:00 until 10:30 we have grammar lessons. We are given exercises according to our language level. Every Friday, we are tested on the chapter we have been working on during the week. After the first lesson, we have a 20 minute break before we go back to class at 11:00. We then have a conversation class for an hour and 40 minutes. Every student has to prepare and give a presentation for this class which we discuss afterwards. Classes end at 12:40pm. I usually go out to eat with my classmates right after class before going to training again. If I am not too tired after my training, I like to use my free time to visit places like Santa Monica, for example.

The school organizes activities every afternoon, including bike tours to Venice Beach, eating cheesecake on Rodeo Drive, walking to the Hollywood sign etc. Unfortunately, I don’t have much time to participate in many activities, but I have been able to do similar things in times which fit with my schedule. This week I am going to see the LA Dodgers play. I am very excited to see a baseball game!

I speak in English every day and am seeing progress, even though I would still like to be able to improve. I am travelling to Las Vegas next weekend, so I will be able to tell you all about this famous destination!

English courses in Los Angeles

  Week 5 - ELC Los Angeles

LA Dodgers

I have one more week left and I will have finished my course at the school! It’s crazy how the time flies by.

I went to a LA Dodgers game this week. It was cool. The stadium is huge and everyone was wearing LA Dodger t-shirts and sweaters, eating fries, chips and of course the famous dodger dog. I ate one too, I just had to try! It was good, but to be honest, I couldn’t eat one everyday ;) I wouldn’t normally go to a baseball game, but I am so glad I went to experience the atmosphere of watching the game in the stadium.

Viva Las Vegas!

I also went to Las Vegas this week. :) The people here are crazy. They party all day, some walk around in bathing suits, it's nuts! The hotels are like giant museums that you can get lost in. All of the big hotels seem like they have entire cities inside so you feel like you’re walking down a normal street. There are casinos everywhere, and people even start gambling in the mornings. Everything seems totally unreal. It is definitely worth visiting. A weird thing about Las Vegas is that most restaurants close at 10pm. We thought it was a city that never sleeps, especially because people come here to party.

Now that it is my last week, I will spend more time with my friends from the school and do the last few things I haven’t had time to experience until now!

After that, I will visit San Diego for the weekend!

English courses in Los Angeles

  Week 6 - ELC Los Angeles

The last week already

I can’t believe it, school is over! I only have a few days left before I take my flight home.

It was a fantastic experience! I enjoyed my time here a lot: going to school, speaking English every day, exploring L.A. and its surrounds, meeting new people and learning about new cultures. When you are here, with people from all around the world, you get to meet new people and learn about cultures that you don't encounter in your own country. During conversation class we always talked about interesting topics, for example: our home lives, our faith, our dreams etc. I enjoyed these moments of exchange a lot. I still like to think back to the classes. When I think about the first day I arrived, it seems crazy. I didn’t know what to do on my first day. I didn’t know anyone or where to go and now I have met so many people and every day is filled with activities. I really didn't even have time to get bored. If you would like to do a language course abroad, don’t hesitate for one second! It’s an incredible experience! If, in the beginning, you are asking yourself if you are going to meet people to spend time with, if you will like the city. The answer is yes, yes, yes! You will find all that and have a lot of fun! :)

School and surrounds

The district where the school is located is in Westwood, a very clean neighbourhood with lots of restaurants, shopping and everything you may need. The school is rather small but very friendly because everyone knows everyone. You change levels every four weeks and therefore also your teacher, which is nice because it prevents that the lessons become monotonous. Every afternoon the school organizes activities, which is great because it gives you something to do after school. The beach is only a 30 minute bus ride away from Westwood. It is nice to visit the beach and go to Santa Monica after lessons.

California is really nice. I visited San Francisco, Las Vegas, San Diego and Palm Springs. The places are so different and it’s definitely worth visiting to get your own impression. I liked San Francisco and San Diego a lot. The city of San Diego is so small that all of the shops, bars and restaurants are very close to each other, creating a beautiful atmosphere, especially at night when the streets are illuminated. Los Angeles is very big in comparison, which sometimes makes it difficult to find places to visit.

I spoke English every day, at school, of course but also outside of the classroom because I was always going somewhere with my classmates. When I trained at the fitness centre, I also had the chance to speak in English with the Americans, and every time I went to physiotherapy. I think I made good progress! During the first days I had to think a lot when I was speaking but I am quite fluent now. My vocabulary is still limited of course, some things are hard for me to express but I manage well. As I said, I loved my trip and I would recommend to anyone to do something like this if you have the time.

See you

English courses in Los Angeles
Yalea Languages - Language courses abroad
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