Welcome to the adventure of a lifetime! If you’re from out of town, you’re probably wondering what to expect in Southern California and what to bring with you. You aren’t alone – most Brooks students are also far from home. Here are some tips to ease the transition.
Creativity on the Coast
In Ventura and south to Los Angeles, you can come face to face with top movers and shakers in the entertainment and media industries. You can meet other professionals in your field through class lectures, field trips and guest speakers as well as public events and gallery shows hosted by Brooks Institute’s Gallery 27 and Visions Gallery.
Be prepared to show up at all of these events, as they may lead to networking and professional opportunities. Also, try not to go in cold. A little background research on who you are listening to and what work you are seeing goes a long way in the networking process.
At Brooks Institute, you can have the chance to work with faculty who are well known in their respective fields as well as with other key professionals you meet on internships and part-time jobs. Take as many of these opportunities as you can (without skipping class to do so, of course). Skipping class, even for one week, will make it tough for you to catch up and keep up, because most classes consist of hands-on learning that can’t be covered by catching up on reading later.
Southern California Weather
It’s true – the sun seems to shine in California more than anywhere else! That’s part of why Brooks Institute is such a great choice for those working in visual media. But leaving the snow and ice of New York City, Chicago and other cities behind doesn’t mean you don’t need sweatshirts and jackets. We do get cool days, and the evenings are almost always chilly. Bring your sunscreen, shorts and sandals, but know that when you work in any of our studios, sound stages or back lots, you must be in closed-toed shoes for safety reasons. Bring a few items from your cozy wardrobe and learn to layer. And remember – it rains here in the winter.
If you like sports, bring your equipment, as most days the weather is suitable for golf, tennis or volleyball. Brooks Institute also has its own softball team, and you can also horseback ride, bike, surf, hike or swim. Living in Ventura offers you a great chance to take surfing lessons and learn safety in and around the Pacific Ocean water. Even kayaking here is different than kayaking on a river or lake.
Apply for and get your passport before you come to Brooks. There are opportunities to go abroad by registering for specific classes. We also help students to go on trips (such as to the Olympics) that are outside of class or on their own time. Either way, you are best off having your passport ready to go.
Cars, Motorbikes & Bicycles
We do have public transit here, but if you are from a city with a robust bus and subway system, you will likely find our local options limited. Most students drive where they need to go because that is easier for picking up equipment and transporting it to a shooting location. Students without transportation can find a way, but sometimes it can be a challenge. If you can bring a vehicle or a bike, it’s a great idea.