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Old 03-04-2013, 04:08 PM
 
5 posts, read 5,145 times
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Hi!

I'm Liene from Latvia and this summer I will participate in "Work&Travel USA" program. I'm considering going to Los Angeles, Santa Monica and finding waitress job there. I'm arriving in early May and leaving in the end of August I really want to leave USA with good memories without having some unpleasant surprises. Before I book my flight, I wan't to make sure am I making the right decision, so I have some question to ask and I'd be very thankful if you could help me by answering them.

My first question - is Santa Monica the best place where to find a waitress job in L.A. and is L.A. actually good place to go. Like I was considering Miami, but then I found out that during summer Miami has the low season. I also was about going to San Diego, but found out that it's no an actual resort city and it might be difficult to find a job there. So as more I know, as more confused I get. I already have information that living in Santa Monica is quite expensive and that getting a waitress job is difficult because of big competition. So I would like to know your opinion about that and find out some suggestions about best places to work and live.

My second question - what would be the minimum rent for a 2 bedroom apartment near the centre of Santa Monica? In what websites I should look for it and does landlords easily rent flats for people from abroad?

And third question - what's the most common problems I could face in L.A.?

I hope you can help me with some information about my worries.

Take care!
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:06 PM
 
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yes, the info you have is correct, SM is expensive and waitress jobs might be tougher to come by.

as for the min rent, take a look at some listings on craigslist to get an idea. i think you should budget for at least 2000 - 2500/month.

problems in LA - getting around, if you spend most of your time in santa monica you can take the blue bus or maybe even walk if you're up for it, but if you want to explore the rest of LA be prepared to spend lots of time riding the bus. rent a car every now and then if you can.
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:53 AM
 
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Default to ElysianEagle

Thank you for your answer, so SM might not be the best choice. Where would you advice to go in L.A where it would be much easier to find a waitress job and not that expensive living? Or where I could find more information about places to go for summer work?
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:42 AM
 
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Waitress and bartender jobs are pretty difficult to come by, surprisingly. A lot of people who live here are actors/actresses that don't have regular 9 to 5 jobs, so they work in the service field to be available for any auditions they get. It's quite flooded with people in that line of work.

It's really tough to give you suggestions on where to go without knowing too much about your situation. Are you willing to have roommates? What do you need a 2nd bedroom for? Are you open to a studio? The Valley areas are a little cheaper than the West side - Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Valley Village - but then again, you're not near the water at all and would have to deal with traffic on the 101 and 405.

I agree with ElysianEagle on looking at Craigslist to get a feel the prices.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:10 AM
 
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Instead of Craigslist, I'd use this website to get a feel for prices and figure out what area will work for you.

https://www.padmapper.com/

Also I agree - why a 2br apartment? If you're alone just get a studio.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:49 AM
 
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Yes, I will be with roommates, that's why I'm searching for a 2 bedroom flat. So I guess Los Angeles isn't the right place to go. Is there anything you suggest to go in California?
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LieneRugele View Post
Yes, I will be with roommates, that's why I'm searching for a 2 bedroom flat. So I guess Los Angeles isn't the right place to go. Is there anything you suggest to go in California?
just because you can't afford santa monica doesn't mean you should rule out all of LA

there's plenty of other nice neighborhoods. first of all, ask yourself if you need a whole apartment and if you absolutely must live with your friends? there's hollywood, weho, the south bay, los feliz, silverlake, pasadena, so so many neighborhoods that are pretty nice too.

but if you've already ruled out LA then consider NYC or SF. lots of people from europe love those cities. also in NYC it's very very common for kids to come for the summer from all over the world, doin the work-study thing.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:37 AM
 
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The thing is not just about expenses, but also about finding a waitress job. If it's right what's beaunelson is saying, it might be a problem for me to find a job there. I want to live and work in the same neighbourhood. Living together with my friends is my last priority, because I'd prefer living with locals, so all those 4 months I'd speak in English only and make new friends. But after my research, I found out that rental prices are 2-3 times more than I'd pay for living with 6-8 friends in 1 or 2 bedroom flat, because generally all I need is to have a place for sleep. And as it's temporary, I'd rather invest that money in travelling around USA, than living in comfort. Maybe you know where I could find some locals, who lives in the same way I described?
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:46 AM
 
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well have you considered airbnb? maybe you could find some deals there? and in between you can couchsurf?
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:05 PM
 
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Yes, I have heard about it and I checked rooms there, but rental prices are the same. Yeah, I have sent a lot of messages to couchsurfers, but as I have no references, people seem not to trust me, but I'm not giving up yet.
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