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Life in LA

Los Angeles is the second largest metropolis in the US and LAAFA is right there in the midst of it!  With that said, you get the personal attention of being a student within a small, caring environment – with access to a huge community that offers a diverse and an incomparable amount of art, culture, food, industry, and commerce.

Over the past few decades, L.A. has solidified itself as an art mecca, and is home to a vast number of museums, galleries, artist’s studios, and commercial entertainment studios. LAAFA’s full time curriculum include classes where students regularly go on Field Trips to not only museums and galleries, but also to private studios of local artists as well as large commercial entertainment studios, such as Dreamworks and Disney.  Opportunities and connections are available around every corner in L.A.  Southern California’s varied landscape and weather condition allows for year-round recreation including snowboarding, skiing, hiking, swimming, camping, golfing and surfing as well as beautiful painting opportunities! With close proximity to the ocean and beaches, the campus is located within an hour’s drive to the desert and mountains.  We take full advantage of the natural beauty and warm weather of this region in our plein-air landscape painting classes.

L.A. is at the heart of the entertainment industry and many of our instructors work in this field as artists.  As a result, our students have first-hand access to professional working artists who are currently active in their industry.  In addition, a number of our teachers are also gallery represented artists and with their help, the gallery world of L.A. is demystified for the students. Studying in L.A. gives our students a diverse appreciation for art and the different ways to take their own art-making to a professional level.

Art in LA


The gallery scene in Los Angeles is incredibly diverse, and is continuously growing.  From Classical to cutting edge, there is something for everyone here.  Artists from around the world come to Los Angeles to begin, revitalize, and sustain their career. You may utilize the map key and/or the list by number below to locate galleries, museums and places of interest on the map.

Map Key:

  1. Grey circles refer to Galleries.
  2. Red circles refer to Museums and Places of Interest.

  1. Blum & Poe
  2. Corey Helford Gallery
  3. fette’s gallery
  4. François Ghebaly Gallery
  5. Koplin Del Rio Gallery
  6. Thinkspace
  7. Gallery 9
  8. George Billis Gallery La Inc
  9. Roberts & Tilton
  10. Honor Fraser Gallery
  11. Carmichael Gallery
  12. Mark Moore Gallery
  13. LAXART
  14. Cardwell Jimmerson
  15. Scion Installation L.A.
  16. WWA gallery
  17. Track 16 Gallery
  18. Bergmont Station
  19. Craig Krull Gallery
  20. Peter Fetterman Gallery
  21. James Gray Gallery
  22. Richard Heller Gallery
  23. Robert Berman Gallery
  24. Schomburg Gallery
  25. Frank Pictures Gallery
  26. Tag Gallery
  27. The Hive Gallery & Studios
  28. Sam Lee Gallery
  29. Hold Up Art
  30. POVevolving
  31. Bert Green Fine Art
  32. Crewest
  33. Subliminal Projects Gallery
  34. Jancar Gallery
  35. Morono Kiang Gallery
  36. Los Angeles Center for Digital Art
  37. REDCAT | Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater
  39. Merry Karnowsky Gallery
  40. Ace Gallery Beverly Hills
  41. Fahey-Klein Gallery
  42. Couturier Gallery
  43. Jack Rutberg Fine Arts Inc
  44. Nineteen Eighty Eight
  46. Adamson-Duvannes Galleries
  47. Daniel Weinberg Gallery
  48. Acme Gallery
  49.  Edward Cella Art+Architecture Gallery
  50. Timothy Yarger Fine Art
  51. Gagosian Gallery
  52. L.A. Louver gallery
  53. La Luz De Jesus Gallery
  54. The Ronin Gallery
  55. Jack Rutberg Fine Arts Inc
  56. Sam Lee Gallery
  1. Pacific Design Center
  2. Santa Monica Museum of Art – SMMoA
  3. Museum of Neon Art
  4. The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
  5. Japanese American National Museum
  6. Pacific Asia Museum
  7. L.A.C.M.A.
  8. The Museum of Tolerance
  9. The Getty
  10. Skirball Cultural Center
  11. Hammer Museum
  12. California Heritage Museum
  13. Hammer Museum
  14. Museum of Contemporary Art
  15. Pacific Design Center
  16. Watts Towers Arts Center
  17. Norton Simon Museum
  18. Pasadena Museum of California Art
  19. Huntington Library Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
  20. C4 Contemporary Art / Center for Contemporary Art Los Angeles
  21. Griffith Observatory
  22. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
  23. California Science Center
  24. Autry National Center
  25. Museum of African American Art

Student Life


Students come to LAAFA from all over the world; some from neighboring communities, many from other states and countries.  Attracted by the climate and the allure of Los Angeles, they discover our little gem of a school here at LAAFA, where they get total immersion with like-minded students.

Our classes have a small student to teacher ratio, allowing for individual attention to every student.  LAAFA is a personable environment.  Each and every student is in close personal contact with all of the administrative and teaching staff of LAAFA.  LAAFA’s instructors are all working professionals, bridging the gap for the students between school and professional life.  This kind of networking is essential in the art world.  Students here are able to rub elbows with the best in the industry.

Special guest lecturers and mentors, artists’ studio visits, museum and gallery trips, and sketching on location are all an important part of the student perks at LAAFA.  Additionally, our Anatomy/Ecorché course provides the students with a rare and beneficial opportunity – the chance to visit a lab at a prominent university for hands-on dissection.  Additionally, LAAFA students have “Carte Blanche” access to available Extension classes and workshops at no additional charge.  We are busy here at LAAFA constantly striving to offer our students the best in resources and teaching opportunities, and with Los Angeles as our backyard, we are able to provide quite a full range of creative possibilities.

At LAAFA, the key qualities are “individual” attention and growth.  We expect personal artistic growth from our students and our students expect personal attention and professionalism from our administration and instructors.

Adapting to Life in LA


We understand that moving away from family, friends and your own environment is difficult.  Coming to another country or state is a big move, especially when you are starting college.  It is perfectly natural for you to be thrilled, worried, happy and sad, all at the same time and during different times of the year.  Be assured that we are here to help and support you through your transition and beyond.  We encourage students to communicate with us or others especially when feeling depressed or confused.  You have choices such as talking to us, seeking counseling, talking with advisers, or joining a support group. We are here to assist you in any situation that might arise.

Listed below are a few phone numbers in case of emergencies.  You can also see a list of helpful hints in the “Survival Tips” and “Resources” in this section.

California Department of Health Services

Los Angeles County Alcohol/Drug Program Helpline

Help Now Hotline – Referral for mental health

Suicide Prevention Center


Survival Tips


Here is a list of steps and ideas to consider during this time of transition in your life:

Manage Your Time

  • Write down your class schedule, personal appointments, and activities.
  • Set a schedule for yourself.  Although this schedule may change, try to stick to a basic regiment during the week.
  • Create a daily “to do” list.
  • Make time for homework, fun time, and rest.
  • Prioritize!

Reduce Stress

  • Avoid overuse of caffeine and other stimulants.  This is only a temporary fix.
  • Keep a well balanced diet.  Try to incorporate fruits, vegetables and whole grain into your diet.  Also, be sure to be well hydrated with water throughout the day.
  • Motivate yourself to do extracurricular activities.
  • Take naps or breaks during the day to revitalize your mind.
  • Balance and adjust your schedule to accommodate your needs.
  • Make friends and create your own support group.
  • Try to keep a consistent sleep schedule of 7 to 9 hours per night.  Unfortunately, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to many side effects including lack of concentration, irritability, and overreacting to normal situations.
  • Pursue your goals and focus on what you need in order to be successful.

Class & Study Management

  • Be early and prepared for class.  You may think being late is not a problem, however this type of tardiness does not earn respect from your instructors, advisers, peers or school administration.  You may be missing opportunities due to your lack of commitment.
  • There are several ways to be proactive in your education.  If you find that you are falling behind, talk to your instructors, advisers and other students.  Get involved!  You may find that other students have formed a study group that you can join.  Talk to the administration office about available resources.  Find out what LAAFA has to offer you.
  • Be responsible.  Choose to create good study habits.  You may need to be flexible and have to adjust your schedule to accommodate your school load.  Be sure to map out your weekly schedule with your calendar and allow enough time for studying.  This will also elevate unnecessary stress.

Reach Out and Get Involved

  • Talk with students, instructors, advisers, and the school administrators.
  • There are international community organizations in Los Angeles to help and welcome you.
  • Religious Institutions are a great way to feel welcomed in the community.
  • Visiting Parks and Recreation, City Leagues, YMCA and local gyms are an easy way to meet new people and participate in your favorite sporting activities.
  • You may take advantage of local community colleges that offer adult education programs for an inexpensive alternative.  These classes can include: ESL (English as a Second Language), Computers, Cooking, Crafts and several other options.

American Culture & Customs

  • Greeting people in social and professional situations:  Students generally greet peers by using their first name.  It is customary to greet instructors, professionals, and initial introductions by using a sir name (Mr., Mrs., Dr.) followed by their last name.  Common greetings used in the US are “Hello”, “Hi”, followed by a “How are you”, “Nice to Meet you”.  It is also customary to greet with a handshake for both men and women.
  • Just as being on time for your class, punctuality is very important for your daily life.  By being late you may jeopardize your appointments and may then need to reschedule for another date, which is not an efficient use of your time.  This also applies to professional appointments.  You never want to be late for a job interview.
  • Personal hygiene is very important for personal and professional success in the US.  Be sure to bath and brush your teeth frequently, and see a doctor if you have any medical issues that need to be treated.
  • Personal space is also very important.  Always allow enough space between you and the other person.  If you notice that people are backing away, you will need to adjust your spacing.  As equally as important is personal property.  Always ask if you may borrow someone’s personal item(s).  It is not considered polite to take anything without asking for permission first.


It is crucial that students feel comfortable to talk honestly about any situations or concerns that they may have or encounter.  To promote a candid discussion with the administration office, all communications are confidential as specified by the state law.

Health Resources


If you are in need of health services and do not have health insurance, please review the list of local clinics available in the San Fernando Valley.  Most clinics have free or sliding scale health programs to help students.

El Proyecto del Barrio Family Health Care Clinic
8902 Woodman Avenue
Arleta, CA 91331
(818) 830-7090, Extension #: 219

North Hills
Mission City Community Network, Inc.
15206 Parthenia Street
North Hills, CA 91343
(818) 895-3100, Extension #: 601

North Hollywood
Valley Community Clinic
6801 Coldwater Canyon Avenue
North Hollywood, CA 91605
Clinic: (818) 763-8836
Admin: (818) 763-1718

Tarzana Treatment Center, Inc.
18646 Oxnard Street
Tarzana, CA 91356
(818) 996-7019
Languages: Armenian, English, Russian, Spanish

24-Hour Pharmacy
15232 Sherman Way
Van Nuys, CA  91406

(818) 374-3480

Personal Finances


When budgeting for each school year, the following fixed expenses should be considered in the calculation of your total budget.  These expenses vary greatly depending on your lifestyle.  The amounts listed below are general estimates.  Once enrolled in the program, we will be happy to email you a budget worksheet with a more detailed list of expenses to help you manage your money wisely.

Tuition and Fees – $18,800 a year

Housing (includes utilities) – $7,000 to $12,000 a year

Food – $2,400 (eating in) and $5,400 (eating out) a year

Books and Supplies – $500 to $1,500 a year

Additional items to consider are transportation, personal and miscellaneous expenses.  You should also have an Emergency Fund for unexpected expenses.  Many local stores, retailers and movie theatres offer discounts to students. Have your student I.D. on hand!

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