Life on THE OTHER SIDE: Emerson’s Los Angeles program

For some it’s the next big career move, for others an excuse for a change in scenery (hello 75 degrees in February) but regardless of what entices them, Emerson’s Los Angeles program draws a little more than 80 students from Boston Common to the City of Angels each semester.

And yet a shroud of mystery—and smog—surrounds the LA Program. Emerson’s other predominant external program, “The Castle,” in the Netherlands, typically draws the same number of students—but most of them are sophomores.

Castle kids come back and almost obsessively talk our collective ears off regarding whatever-they-can-remember about Amsterdam for two years. LA Program students however are usually seniors. They head off to Cali and promptly graduate—leaving our community in the relative dark in terms of their experiences.

With the college making plans to expand the program, the lack of community knowledge surrounding this “other Emerson” seems unfortunate.

That’s why, when the Beacon learned the Associated Collegiate Press Conference we were attending was going to be held in LA this semester, we saw a grand opportunity: The chance to see what Emerson life is like on the Golden Coast of the country.

The following insert reveals what we learned. Our reporters talked to Emersonians in the program, visited the student housing, checked out the site of our forthcoming satellite campus, and ate In-and-Out burger; we walked down Hollywood Boulevard, sat in traffic, and toured classrooms—both of them.

We did not however, to our everlasting chagrin, make it to Disneyland. We also did not listen to California Girls (this is a lie).


-The Berkeley Beacon