Grad Visa Hotspots: Los Angeles

Los Angeles has seen a huge increase in popularity as a Grad Visa destination in recent years, with more and more Irish graduates packing their bags and heading off to live the American Dream. So what exactly is it that makes L.A. such an amazing Grad Visa Hotspot?


When you think of L.A. you probably think of sunny skies, sandy beaches and an overall more chill vibe than the East Coast. In this case, the clichè is completely true and it only takes a few hours of California dreaming to start feeling some good vibes. No matter where you go, the lighting is always perfect so it’s easy to see why Californians are so fond of selfies.

As the social media hub of the world, you should really be prepared to step up your Insta game. In fact, if you hate social media, L.A. might not be for you as it has become a huge part of the culture. You’ll never get asked for your number in L.A., only your Insta handle. On the plus side, Los Angeles has so many landmarks that there is always an opportunity for stunning pics that will give your friends back home serious FOMO. Once you become a Los Angeleno, you’ll start seeing your life as a movie, so make it as entertaining as possible!


When it comes to choosing a neighbourhood to live in L.A., you are truly spoiled for choice but it’s important you research each area so you know if it’s a good fit for you. For example, many of us dream of living in Hollywood but you’ll quickly find that it’s not as glamorous as it appears on the silver screen. To match your neighbourhood with your personality, check out this useful quiz.

Obviously, everyone in L.A. wants to live in Beverly Hills, one of the most famously expensive neighbourhoods in the world. But is living there feasible on your Grad Visa? Well, you’d be surprised! There is a new industry emerging in the U.S. called Co-Living and it basically means you share a room in exchange for living in an amazing location. If you don’t mind a student dorm living situation, you can actually live in Beverly Hills for less than a studio apartment in Dublin! Google Co-Living + Your Neighbourhood and see if it’s the right fit for you.


So you’ve graduated from college and you’re ready to bridge the gap from college to career. The question is which city is best suited to your degree so you can find the perfect internship.

Los Angeles is ideal for anyone looking for internships in marketing, entertainment, music, events and hospitality. Naturally, there are many internships available in a wide variety of industries but these are the ones that L.A. is famous for. If your degree is fairly broad, such as “Media”, L.A. is definitely your oyster.


There truly is something for everyone when it comes to L.A. nightlife. If you’re in the mood to brush elbows with celebrities, Beverly Hills is the place to be. Just make sure you budget accordingly as venues here can be expensive, especially when you take tipping into account.

If you’re a member of the LGBT community, West Hollywood is the place for you. Often called the gay capital of the world, a night in WeHo never disappoints. The most famous gay bar on the block is called The Abbey and is well known for celebrity guests and impromptu diva performances.

If you’re looking at a more lowkey night that doesn’t break the bank, Hollywood has lots of great dive bars that offer great drink specials. You may be surprised that in Los Angeles, bars stop serving alcohol at 2 AM but that shouldn’t stop you dancing well into the night, no matter where you are in the city.


Ah yes, the age-old question: do you need a car in L.A.? Sure t’s true that the car is king in L.A. but in recent years, it’s no longer a necessity. Thanks to Uber, getting around L.A. is incredibly cheap, especially thanks to their UberPool option. What this means is that you share your ride with another passenger. It may ad some time to your journey but it’s usually more than half the price as a result.

You may have heard rumours that public transport isn’t very reliable in L.A. and unfortunately, this myth is true. There is a chance that taking the bus could make you late for work. So if you can afford a car, great, you can enjoy the freedom of the city but if you are on a budget, it’s very affordable to get around L.A. with UberPool.


So you’re in L.A. for an entire year so what does your schedule look like? Well first up, it’s awards season so expect lots of parties. Many L.A. residents host Oscars viewing parties which can be a lot of fun, especially if you’ve seen all the movies. Or if you’d prefer to get up close to the action, you can head to Hollywood Blvd and snap some pics of celebrities walking the Oscars red carpet.

If you can save up enough money for a ticket, Coachella is a must and it’s only a 2-hour bus ride away. This is the quintessential Californian experience and it’s unlike any other music festival on the planet. If you don’t fancy leaving L.A., there are some amazing gigs in the Hollywood Bowl over summer and there’s nothing like seeing your favourite bands perform live with the Hollywood SIgn in the background.

Los Angeles can really be summarized in two phrases: “Good Vibes Only” and “Live Your Best Life”. If you live your life by these words then pack your bags because L.A. is where you belong.