Los Angeles

Join ACA for the Summer-of-a-Lifetime!


  • Overview
  • Courses
  • Campus Life & Activities
  • Weekend Adventures

Welcome to Los Angeles!

The University of California, Los Angeles is nestled beautifully along the Southern California coastline – the best of all possible settings for the ultimate summer experience! You’ve got the cities of Malibu, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills and all the best that SoCal has to offer. It’s an endless summer of enrichment and adventure decked out in real California style!

Southern California is famous for its warm sandy beaches and bustling city, the perfect setting for your ultimate summer experience! Dynamic, culturally diverse and breathtakingly beautiful, Los Angeles combines the finest the California coast has to offer.

  • Entertainment Industry
  • Technology
  • Fashion, Film, Graphic Design
  • Upscale Residence Halls at UCLA
  • 10:1 Student-to-Staff Ratio
  • Red Carpet Events

Weekday Schedule

  • 8:30 am - 9:15 am
  • 9:30 am - 11:00 am
    Course 1
  • 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
  • 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
    Course 2
  • 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
  • 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm
    Afternoon Activities
    (Choice of Several Options)
  • 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
    Shower, Change, Relax
  • 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
  • 9:00 pm - 11:30 pm
    Evening Activities
    (Choice of Several Options)
  • 11:30 pm - 12:30 pm
    Residence Hall (Social Time)
  • 12:30 pm
    Goodnight (Individual Suites)

Classes run Monday through Friday.

Safety & Supervision

ACA has always been committed to absolute safety for every student. We maintain a ten-to-one student-to-staff ratio – one of the lowest in the industry – to ensure everyone gets the unmatched attention and unique personalized programs they deserve. 

As part of our commitment to student safety, ACA staff members live on student-occupied floors, accompany students on all activities and excursions, and are always equipped with cellphones for emergencies. ACA takes care to use private transportation for our weekday activities and weekend adventure trips – never public transportation.

The Residence Hall adds an additional element of security, as well. The front desk is staffed 24 hours a day with trained personnel for your comfort and convenience.

Travel to Los Angeles*

We recommend that students fly nonstop to Los Angeles (LAX) International Airport. There they will be met by ACA staff members, who will escort them to comfortable, air-conditioned shuttles for the brief drive to campus along the Pacific Coast Highway.

Of course, parents are also welcome to drive students to ACA directly. Contact our office for further information on any of these travel options.

*Transportation is not included in tuition.

Our Courses

With ACA’s Los Angeles Program, you can spend the summer exploring your passion for Film, Acting, Entertainment industry, Tech, Fashion,  and more.

Our enrichment programs offer experiences that not only support you academically, but also let you grow intellectually. You can earn 3 college credits upon successful completion of specified courses. In addition, high schools often grant credit for ACA courses as well. We’ll be happy to work with your school ahead of time to determine whether your ACA coursework qualifies for such credit. Plus, the community-service component can often be applied toward high school graduation service requirements.

It’s a summer that’s sure to be filled with new friends and unforgettable experiences. Your time in the limelight awaits — get a head start today! 

Course Options: 

You will be able to two of the following options for your stay in LA:

Course Selection:

Whether you want to make compelling documentaries or blockbuster feature films, you need to understand the basics before anyone yells, “Action!” This high-altitude introduction lets students actually make a film while learning every aspect: direction, cinematography, editing — even special effects and soundtracks. Learn the details of screenwriting from initial story idea to final draft. Experience how directing, paired with cinematography and smart lighting, bring a script to life. Ground yourself in the important technical essentials, from the best equipment to the right way to select film stock or digital video gear. You’ll also get a VIP private tour at the Warner Brothers Studio back lot to see a Hollywood production in action, and then eat in the private WB restaurant. Who knows, you might be on your way to becoming the next Spielberg!

If making it to the silver screen is your dream, then start in the land where stars go to hit it big. You’ll explore the fundamentals of acting, finding your motivation, and creating dynamic scenes through conflict and resolution, while mastering any sense of stage fright. You’ll also gain the benefit of practicing these elements through both individual and duo-scene performances. Refine your talent further by engaging in the most popular acting theories, including Constantin Stanislavski’s “magic if,” Lee Strasberg’s “the method,” and the Meisner technique. To complete your acting class, you’ll also participate in a live audition with Emmy-nominated casting director Fern Champion.

Are you an aspiring Quentin Tarantino or Diablo Cody? Do you have awesome movie ideas? This course develops those natural storytelling skills in ways that shape a film’s plot, structure and characters, as well as honing the script’s descriptive writing. You’ll learn the industry standard for formatting a script, practice writing short scripts, and then draft your own original feature. You’ll also pitch your story to Hollywood producers to see if they might be interested in your screenplay. Get ready to see your story on the big screen!

Develop the essential, real-life skill set necessary to navigate a shooting set as director and crew and experience the creative process from the actor’s point of view. You’ll analyze and break down scripts to understand characters, dialog, and story as you learn how the most successful director develop rapport with their actors. Gain get hands-on experience using pro level equipment to block and stage action for the camera, make aesthetic choices in the moment and learn the ins and outs of the casting process using professional-level facilities, standing sets, studios and equipment.

Create a visual mood using a wide array of industry-standard lighting and camera equipment with individualized guidance from experienced professional Hollywood cinematographers. Gain advanced knowledge in lighting and camera essentials to better learn how to “Write with Light”. You’ll experience hands-on training and learn the inner workings of a wide array of cameras from 16mm to 35mm cameras, to the digital Alexa and Red cameras used on today’s Hollywood feature films. You will even create and be the Director of Cinematography on a series of challenging mini-scenes that tell a story without the need for dialogue.

But most of all, you have the entire city of Barcelona as your classroom! Remember most citizens of Barcelona are bi-lingual speaking, both Spanish and Catalan, so some words may seem a little different from what you learn in the classroom. And whether you’re a total beginner or practically fluent, you’ll be amazed at how much better your Spanish becomes and just how much fun learning a language can be, when you immerse yourself in the culture.

The program offers three levels of classes to choose from, with placement dependent upon previous Spanish-language experience, as well as your own comfort level:

Elementary Spanish – The beginning class covers basic pronunciation, sentence structure, numbers, present-tense verb conjugation and the introduction of past tense.

Intermediate Spanish – This class picks up where the elementary class ends, covering more in-depth use of the past tense, along with the imperfect, future and conditional tenses, as well as subjunctives.

Advanced Spanish – The ideal class for students who desire a greater proficiency in Spanish conversation as well as composition. The course employs readings and discussions on contemporary subjects to put the student’s speaking and writing ability to use.

Conversational Spanish – Encouraging basic conversation, this course will take your Spanish beyond the grammar and language focus of intro classes to the next level of fluency! Learn how to order from a menu or shop with conversational confidence. Discuss Spanish periodicals, appreciate popular Spanish music and discuss the lyrics. A fun, informative way to absorb and appreciate a great Romantic language! (Intermediate and Advanced students only.)

Immerse yourself in the real-life role of the digital film editor as you learn to tell screen stories in the most entertaining and exciting way possible. From studying the language and theory of editing to practicing your skills by creating a demo reel, this course has all the bases covered. You’ll experience hands-on training in Columbia College Hollywood’s industry-standard digital suites using the same editing software used by professional Hollywood editors.

Do you have an eye for the work of Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren and other top designers? This intensive program will help you hone your fashion sense and express yourself at the same time! You’ll learn how to combine colors, shapes, fabrics and textures to create a look that’s all your own. You might start the next fashion craze! You’ll learn essential fashion design concepts, and study the skills needed to bring fashion vision to the runway. You’ll experiment with fashion sketching, pattern-making, sewing, and construction. You’ll have access to a variety of materials and styles, both classic and contemporary.

You and your peers are divided into groups each holding a different role representing your tech start up from the CEO to CFO, COO to customer service and consumers. Each team is responsible for designing a new product, taking into account its user-friendly features and breakthrough potential. Teams are required to develop marketing strategies including doing research about competitive products, determining the sale price and advertising campaigns along with the profitability of your products. This program will help you think like an innovator, test your ability to work with a team, and push you to develop your leadership capabilities.

Los Angeles Life

Los Angeles is home to countless celebrities, and now you can call it home, too! Take in the excitement of UCLA, the beauty of Santa Monica and the unparalleled pristine beaches of Malibu. It’s the perfect place for anyone looking for an active summer! We are surrounded by great hiking trails and bike paths, and you can even surf, swim or kayak in the Pacific Ocean! Professional instruction and equipment are always available. Be sure to pack your sense of adventure!

You can count on outstanding accommodations – this is ACA!

Staying in Los Angeles has its privileges, which is why so many celebrities call it home. You’ll kick back in comfort at UCLA, enjoying safe, clean and comfortable dorms with in-suite bathrooms, internet access and much more. These rooms definitely serve up cool California style!  ACA creates a unique environment where you’ll be able to concentrate on getting the most out of your summer, staying refreshed and ready to excel.

Excellent Eats

Choices, choices, choices! With ACA, you never have to worry about going hungry. From home-style meals served at breakfast, lunch and dinner to ACA’s exciting Dining-on-the-Town-Plan on the weekends, no pre-college summer program gives you as many dining options as ACA!

Weekday mornings, our breakfast buffet features freshly-made specials like eggs, pancakes and waffles alongside plenty of fresh fruit, cereal, bagels, yogurt and pastries. You’ll have no problem fueling up for the day!

Lunch and dinner at the on-campus dining facility during the week feature a wonderful choice of kitchen-fresh entrees, a selection of side dishes, a soup-and-salad bar, beverage bar, desserts, and fresh-baked breads and pastries.

On weekends and occasional weeknights, you’ll be able to take advantage of ACA’s exclusive Dining-on-the-Town-Plan. It lets you choose great dining-out options at a variety of ACA-selected restaurants – and it’s included in your tuition! Whether you want to tackle some local delicacies or stick to hometown favorites, you’re sure to find a restaurant that suits your taste. And don’t worry, we make sure everyone eats just as well during our exciting weekend adventures!

Around Town & Beyond

With the Pacific Coast in the background, Los Angeles offers something for everyone, and the Westwood area is packed with plenty to do. You’ll have plenty of time to check out the attractions and activities that interest you most! Participate in an on-campus seminar or workshop, explore the shops, sights and scenes in Los Angeles, enjoy a favorite sport, or just relax on the beach.

Afternoon and evening activities are yours to enjoy. Play some tennis, head to the beach or get in a round of golf. Catch the perfect wave during a surfing lesson or browse the celebrated shops of Rodeo Drive. From semi-private sports instruction to creative arts workshops to cool shows, outings and summer concerts, there are new options to pursue every day! 

If your sport is shopping, you’ll find the best shopping worldwide at the upscale shops of Westwood, Malibu Country Mart, Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade and Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive, where you just might rub elbows with Hollywood celebs. From Prada to Polo, Valentino to Versace, it’s truly a street of dreams!

The Finest Fitness Facilities

The LA program offers outstanding athletic facilities that meet the needs of any exercise enthusiast. You’ll have access to state-of-the-art workout facilities such as the renowned John Wooden Center and plenty of other athletic and recreational options during your stay. You can lace up your running shoes for a jog on campus, or hit the gym to pump some iron or get moving on an elliptical trainer. Outdoor tennis courts, basketball courts and plenty of other options are sure to keep you busy. Of course, a game of touch football or a little Frisbee is always a campus classic. One of the most exciting things about LA is you never know who you may run into whether it’s Kobe Bryant shooting hoops in the Wooden Center or Real Madrid practicing out on the soccer fields. Just make sure to pack your workout gear — it’s going to be a very active summer!

You will have time to take advantage of all the outstanding options available at the John Wooden Center, which include:

Squash Courts
Indoor Jogging Track
Weight Room
Basketball Courts
Cardio Room


Complete your ACA Los Angeles experience with exciting weekend adventures.

Santa Barbara

Serious Shopping in Santa Barbara– Get a Mediterranean experience on the fabled “American Riviera.” This is one of Cali’s favorite shopping areas. Wander the cobblestone walkways of State Street and sunny expanses of open-air plazas and promenades in search of “must-have” fashions. Take a break for a gourmet treat, then get right back in the hunt!

Universal Studios

One of LA’s favorite tourist attractions and a must for film fans, you’ll tour famous sets and check out incredible special effects and movie-themed rides. Exciting attractions include:

  • Ride the Movie– Don’t just see the movie, ride it! Experience the thrill of the 84-foot plunge of Jurassic Park, the terror of Revenge of the Mummy and the virtual reality experience of The Simpsons.
  • King Kong 360 3-D– The monstrous classic comes alive in the world’s largest 3-D experience.
  • Special Effects Stage– An eye-popping new feature that reveals the secrets behind the making of your favorite movies. 

San Diego

San Diego Zoo– This animal sanctuary is actually the world’s leading zoo. Admire more than 800 species and 4,000 animals, including the mighty giant panda.

Sea World– Part amusement park, part aquarium, part outdoor marine zoo, this theme park has everything from shark encounters to orca shows. Ride the aerial tram over the bay and soar in the gently rotating sky tower. Of course, you have to say hello to Shamu.

La Jolla– Surrounded by the sea and the steep slopes of Mt. Soledad, La Jolla has a real Mediterranean feel set amongst West Coast splendor. The bustling business district offers chic boutiques, art galleries and restaurants, with a mix of turn-of-the-century Spanish architecture and eccentric modern designs.

Mission and Pacific Beaches– Miles of coastline offer the best sand and surf on the Pacific. Take a break from the waves and sip a smoothie while checking out the surf shops. Looking for a thrill? See if you can handle the Giant Dipper roller-coaster!

Seaport Village– This huge outdoor waterfront property has over 70 trendy stores. Right on the coast and overflowing with summertime excitement, Seaport Village makes the perfect shopping destination.

Balboa Park– The largest urban cultural park in America, home to major museums, renowned performing arts venues, beautiful gardens and the world famous San Diego Zoo.

Socal Seaside Weekend

Santa Monica Pier– A favorite for Hollywood movie scenes, this California icon comes alive at night. Take a ride on the world’s first solar-powered Ferris wheel or stop by the famed aquarium to get nose-to-nose with the ocean’s most fearsome predators!

Third Street Promenade– The world-famous strip features designer boutiques and award-winning restaurants, all in the heart of Santa Monica. The outdoor mall is full of colorful street entertainers and dancers enjoying perfect California weather.

Palisades Park– Stunning ocean views makes this the perfect place to savor nature. If the fast pace of LA living and Hollywood glamour get to be a bit much, this is an ideal spot to chill out.

The Grove– For shopping, dining and simply living life, you can’t do better than the Grove. Make sure to sample some of the freshest fruits and veggies next door at the original Farmers’ Market, an LA landmark.

Venice Beach– Stroll the shops and eateries on Venice Beach’s beautiful Boardwalk. It features plenty of far-out attractions and some of the best people-watching on the planet.

Hollywood Walk of Fame– This entertainment icon immortalizes more than 2,400 stars along a two-mile stretch of Hollywood Boulevard. Take a stroll and spot your favorite TV and movie stars.

Mann Chinese Theater– The most sought-after theater for Hollywood premieres, this famed theater has witnessed the debut of silver screen favorites like Avatar, Titanic and Due Date.

Zuma Beach– Stunning views along the Pacific Coast Highway lead to three miles of pristine beach that has been a favorite for movie producers. Feeling active? Grab a volleyball and try your skill on the same beach the pros have competed on for decades.

Universal City Walk– LA comes to life at the City Walk. Grab a bite at one of the famous restaurants and then hit the trendy shops before bracing yourself for thrilling activities, all set under the beautiful California stars.

Marina del Rey– One of LA’s most beautiful marinas lets you stroll down the docks while enjoying a California sunset.





What Alumni are Saying

"My summer at ACA was one of the greatest experiences of my life! I have amazing memories and made the best friends on this trip that I will cherish forever. ACA provided countless opportunities!"

Nicole Klein

"My son Brett had not only the greatest summer, but the greatest experience of his life. The friendships he made were so amazing! He now rooms with friends he met at ACA in college."

Lisa and Steven Barocas
New York

"ACA was by far the best summer camp I've ever had the privilege to attend. The experiences were unforgettable, and words cannot describe how many lifelong friendships I made."

Sydney Couch

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