- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Los Angeles Guide (PDF)
More and more expats and American citizens from elsewhere in the US are relocating to the "City of Angels". The second largest city in the country, Los Angeles is the US at its vibrant, bewildering best. The West Coast metro, commonly known as LA, provides a counterweight to the sometimes taciturn and dense cities of the East Coast. It's a sprawling behemoth of a city, boasting beautiful semi-desert scapes fringed by pristine, seemingly endless beaches.
In fact, it's these golden beaches along with the beautifully manicured people that frequent them that project the glamorous LA culture which resonates around the world. This "centre of the earth" type aura is what inspires ultra-modern trends, cutting-edge entertainment, trendy restaurants, and vibrant nightlife.
Unfortunately, such decadence comes at a price, and not all aspects of the city are a walk in the park. In stark contrast to the city's vaunted laid-back coastal lifestyle, some parts of LA have underfunded schools, high crime rates, and large ghettos.
A diverse population spread over such a large area has created microcosms within the city. These insular neighbourhoods can offer expats a sense of community within an expansive area. However, everyone must endure some realities of living within the greater LA metropolis, such as below par air quality and extremely long commutes across a city with a far from perfect public transportation system.
The residents of Los Angeles are a health-conscious bunch and, as a result, expats moving to the city will find a number of fantastic healthcare facilities available to them – provided they possess fully comprehensive health insurance. Expats should note that, while the standard of hospitals and medical treatment in LA is excellent, it does come with a hefty price tag.
The city also has a diverse business community, with industries tapping into nearly every sector of America's economy as well as overseas markets. While the business culture in LA might be a little more relaxed than one would find in cities along the East Coast, expats moving to the city for job opportunities will find that the working world in LA is still exceptionally competitive.
Despite the challenges of living in Los Angeles, the city continues to attract expats and Americans in their droves, all wanting to experience a bit of the magic of life in California. Expats open to the full experience of LA are bound to find their place in this dazzling city.
Are you an expat living in Los Angeles?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Los Angeles. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
With 86 million customer relationships in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.
Aetna International, offering comprehensive global medical coverage, has a network of 1.3 million medical providers worldwide. You will have the flexibility to choose from six areas of coverage, including worldwide, multiple levels of benefits to choose from, plus various optional benefits to meet your needs.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.