January in Los Angeles, California at UCLA

  • Santa Monica Pier California
  • January in Los Angeles CA
  • Los Angeles skyline cityscape
Spend six weeks this summer studying at UCLA Extension – in vibrant Los Angeles (LA), California. Enjoy a beautiful, global campus with state-of-the- art amenities, including multiple gyms, pools, libraries, cafes and restaurants – all surrounded by LA’s most iconic neighbourhoods.

As a CISaustralia student you will be attending UCLA Extension on a program exclusive to CISaustralia and designed in coordination with UCLA Extension for Australian students. Students can choose from a set of pre-defined courses relating to Marketing, Sociology, Entertainment, Entrepreneurship, Design and Leadership. Courses are normally scheduled to take place Monday through Friday, though students should be aware that classes are subject to the professor’s availability. As such, there may be some classes held on a Saturday. Students should also obtain pre-approval from the Australian University for at least three – ideally four – courses prior to departure. 

In 2013–2014, UCLA ranked 12th in academics and 8th for reputation in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. In 2013, Business Insider ranked UCLA as having the most driven students in the world, boosting the school's prestige with respect to recruiting and hiring. 

The university is one of America’s oldest, largest and most comprehensive continuing higher education providers. It boasts of Emmy-, Grammy-, and Oscar-nominated alumni, including Iris Yamashita, who was nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Academy Award for Letters from Iwo Jima. Other notable alumni include James Franco, Marilyn Monroe, Gavin Hood (Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Film – Tsotsi) and Randi Mayem Singer, who wrote the screenplay for Mrs. Doubtfire

As this program has been designed exclusively for CISaustralia, it is likely that most students in the classes will be Australian; however, UCLA Extension will open class enrolment to US and international students, pending class numbers. CISaustralia and UCLA Extension will organise a formal orientation for the first week of classes and an informal social event to ensure that CISaustralia students will have the chance to meet their class colleagues. There will also be a guest lecture and networking event with other UCLA Extension students. 

UCLA Extension and CISaustralia strongly recommend that students bring their own laptops, as students will not have access to computer labs.

Academic requirement
To qualify students must be in good academic standing with a GPA of 4.5 (out of 7) or equivalent. If your current GPA falls below the requirement please contact us to discuss your situation. We will do what we can to find the right program for you.

How to choose your courses
Now this is the fun part. As part of your application you will complete a CISaustralia Course Selection Worksheet. The instructions provided will assist you through the steps involved in selecting your courses.

Course load 
As a visa requirement, students must undertake two full-time courses (8 US credits) while attending this program – no more, no less. CISaustralia requires students to get 3 or 4 courses approved for academic credit with their Australian university – two as their top preferences, two as backups in the rare case a class might not run due to low enrolment numbers or professor availability.

Course approval
It is best to get 3 or 4 courses approved by your Australian university before you depart for your overseas program. This way you will have plenty of classes to choose from and some flexibility in setting up your schedule.

UCLA will supply all required handouts and textbooks. Optional materials and textbooks can to be purchased in advance or on arrival by students (at the student's expense). Most textbooks will be available at the UCLA Store in Ackerman Union. 

Course descriptions
The courses scheduled for the January program at UCLA Extension are the following (click on each course title to view the detailed course syllabus):

Strategic Communications for Nonprofit Organizations
4US credits / 36+ classroom contact hours
This course addresses a broad spectrum of communications skills vital to the success of a non-profit organisation. It explores external communications, including marketing and branding, message development, and conveying the message. It presents a way to communicate across a variety of platforms, adapting a nonprofit organisation's story in a variety of mediums, including social and digital media, public events, and one-on-one networking.

Social Media Marketing
4US credits / 36+ classroom contact hours
This course looks at the new channels of marketing, advertising and communication that make up social media and the Web, exploring how these tools fit into a company's traditional integrated marketing strategy. Using case studies and real-world examples from large corporations and small businesses, students explore how marketing professionals embrace online social networks, and leverage user-generated content and content sharing, blogs, podcasts, wikis and even Twitter, to create brand awareness and buzz. Learn practical tips and techniques, as well as see the bigger picture, to help successfully utilise social media marketing for your own environment and purpose. (Note: this syllabus is from a previous quarter that runs for 11 weeks. The course on this program will be condensed into 6 weeks.)

The Business of the Film Industry
4US credits / 36+ classroom contact hours
Learn how all the business, financial and legal considerations and requirements needed to produce a film fit together and impact each other. This course follows the trajectory of a film from the initial step of finding the project and analysing its market potential to the ultimate calculation of worldwide profits or losses. Each session covers another step in the process, including: considerations of the global marketplace and assessing a project’s potential for success; major studios vs. independent production companies; the development process; finding the right market niche and tailoring the production accordingly; buying, selling and protecting intellectual property; budget considerations in finalising the script, setting the schedule, attaching creative elements and choosing locations; negotiating deals; the players and their roles; preparation for commencement of film production; independent filmmaking; different types of film financing; negative pickups; securing a completion guarantee; maximizing ancillary markets and revenue; developing a marketing plan; distributing the picture in various media; and defining and accounting for profits.

Entrepreneurship and New Venture Formation
4US credits / 36+ classroom contact hours
This course surveys the factors essential for turning a "great idea" into a successful business and explores various benefits/costs of sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations and franchises. Topics include market surveys, site analysis, permits and licenses, patents and protection of ideas, risk management, legal requirements and regulations, capital requirements and financing sources, determining the costs and prices of goods and services, advertising and marketing, record keeping, and lines of credit and cash flow requirements. Participants' ideas and business strategies are evaluated in a supportive classroom environment.

Design Thinking
4US credits / 36+ classroom contact hours
Design thinking is one of the most effective ways to strengthen your insights, thinking skills and ability to innovate as a designer. Informed by Stanford's school, this multi-disciplinary process strengthens familiar skills that are often undervalued. You learn to launch successful and innovative design solutions across the spectrum of media, including Web, print and packaging. Class topics include prototyping and testing, rapid iteration, radical collaboration, empathetic observation, interviewing for empathy, persona mapping, assuming a beginner's mindset, introduction to complex problems, and testing and observation. Weekly assignments encourage you to learn by doing, and take you through a series of hands-on exercises. The goal of design thinking is not simply to innovate, but to create innovators. By the end of the class, you will see solutions that would otherwise be invisible, which become what we call "innovation."

Leadership Communication Strategies
4US credits / 36+ classroom contact hours
This course is designed to create an awareness of the basic principles and skills of human communication. Students will learn the basic theories of interpersonal communication, small group communication, listening, public speaking, interviewing and intercultural communication. During the course, individuals will learn about their personal communication strengths and weaknesses and be given opportunities to improve their communication skills. The leadership side of the class will focus on the knowledge and skills required to lead individuals and in providing a sound understanding of group dynamics that allows you to evolve a group into a team. It will examine the coaching model of leadership and cover the communication roles of the facilitative leader. (Note: this syllabus is from a previous quarter that runs for 11 weeks. The course on this program will be condensed into 6 weeks).