Woodbury University is a private, non-profit university located in Los Angeles (Burbank), California in the United States. The inclusive campus, small size, and dedicated professors make Woodbury a popular university of choices for international students.

SchoolApply interviewed Elizaveta Grigoryeva, an overseas student from Russia, about her experiences at Woodbury University.


Location: Burbank, Los Angeles County, California (USA)

Student Name: Elizaveta Grigoryeva

Age: 22

From: St. Petersburg, Russia

Expected Graduation: December 2017   



Favourite class: My favourite class was Photography. It was probably one of the hardest classes I have ever taken, but also the most creative and fun for me.

Favourite Event: Woodstock. It is the biggest event on the Woodbury campus - it attracts almost everyone in school and it truly unites people with live music and a comfortable atmosphere for socialising.

A few words to describe Woodbury University: Collaborative, Informative, Understanding, Eclectic, Accepting

The Woodbury Communications program, professors and staff members have guided me in my aspiration to be an event planner and remain in the Los Angeles area.

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your school experiences before joining Woodbury University?

I was born and raised in St Petersburg, Russia but due to my dad's work, we have been travelling around the world for some time. This has given me a very strong understanding of cultural differences and varied lifestyles. I have travelled all around Europe and have also been fortunate to go to places like Madagascar, Cabo Verde, Japan, the UK, and many other stunning places.

In my junior year of high school, I started to plan my college career and was exploring the idea of going to university in Japan because I was intrigued with the country and its culture. After a lot of research, I realized that it would be easier for me to go to Japan with a high school degree from the US. Soon after that, I ended up attending a high school in Maine in the United States. I absolutely fell in love with the US and its culture and decided that it was the right place for me to continue obtaining knowledge and personal growth.n


What made you decide to study at the Woodbury University?

During my last winter in Maine, I decided I wanted to live in sunny California, so I researched universities there. One of the reasons I chose Woodbury was, of course, its small size. I realised that this school could guarantee a good quality education because of the easy accessibility and personal contact with the professors.

What are you studying at Woodbury University?

Initially, I intended to pursue a psychology major but on the day of orientation I made a spontaneous decision and switched to a major I thought would suit me better- Communications. This decision was mainly provoked by my own confusion of what I truly wanted to do since I always had many interests and was involved in several different activities. Since communication is a broad subject, I believed that it would give me more options in the future.

Did you have any difficulty adjusting to life in the US or at Woodbury?

The transition from a little town in Maine to a huge city like Los Angeles was tough. I did not know anyone, I did not have a car to get around, and I found that making friends was a lot harder for me on the west coast. I managed to thankfully overcome all these challenges with the help of Woodbury Resident Advisors and the International Peer Advisor (IPA) program. There were also plenty of social events on campus and in the city that gave me an opportunity to meet people and learn more about Burbank and the surrounding Los Angeles area.


What were your first few days like at Woodbury University?

My first few days on campus were full of many emotions. At first, I felt a little lonely, but within a few days, I made friends who helped my transition into college life a lot easier. The campus community was certainly very friendly and welcoming which helped me a lot through those days.

When I first saw the university, I loved the campus with its absolutely beautiful mountain-views, lovely landscape, friendly people, great location, and manageable size. I was very lucky to get a great roommate who soon became one of my closest friends. Both of us were very good at managing and sharing our things around our room, making it feel like a comfortable and tidy home.

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What has your academic and social experience been like at the university?

I experienced a huge culture shock moving to the west coast. Los Angeles was my first big city living experience and everything in LA felt very different to me: food, human interaction, weather, and specifically the pace of life. On the east coast, things moved a lot faster and in an organised fashion, whereas the West Coast is more laid back and relaxed, which makes it a lot harder for me to get work done sometimes. I know it sounds strange, but it also almost felt like the people in California were too friendly! It was very different for me. My professors, friends and advisors have all helped me a lot in adjusting to my new environment.  

The university is located in Burbank, which is a very nice, peaceful area just outside of Los Angeles. The university has a mountain view and beautiful trees on campus, which creates a very peaceful environment. The Burbank Town Center mall has a movie theatre, shopping, and a range of eclectic restaurants that offer cuisine from all around the world, which is amazing for international students.

Woodbury offers many different services for international students such as International Peer advisers, Academic Peer Advisers, and the Writing Centre. There is also an amazing counselling service that is extremely helpful for both international and local students.


What jobs and extracurricular activities did you take part in at Woodbury University?

I am a very social person, but I was really worried that it would be hard to make friends in college. Well, Woodbury proved me wrong. I have worked on campus as an International Peer Advisor (IPA) which allowed me to meet people from all over the world and help organise on-campus events. I was also an intern and senator in the university’s student government. These experiences gave me a lot of insight on how dedicated Woodbury is towards its own growth, improvement, and future progress.

How has the Woodbury University prepared you for life after college?

Woodbury has been a great support to me in aspects of my future career. I am graduating this December 2017, and as an international student, I was absolutely terrified that I did not know what to do next. The faculty and staff at Woodbury understand these emotions and they all rally around to help and support their students.

The International Advisors and Career Advisors at Woodbury have been an amazing support and helped prepare me for my upcoming graduation and my future outside of Woodbury. The Woodbury Communications program, professors and staff members have guided me in my aspiration to be an event planner and remain in the Los Angeles area. With all this support, I am definitely more confident about my life after university.

What would you say to international students who are considering studying at Woodbury University?

I would certainly advise international students to come to Woodbury University! Due to its small size, every student gets personal attention from their class professors and you are treated as a respected individual. Woodbury’s location definitely benefits students as there are many great opportunities and it's very close to some fun attractions like Universal Studios and Warner Bros studio. Professors and student advisors are very collaborative and understanding providing for an excellent education. This is a great place to start your life as an adult, as the atmosphere and community will motivate and inspire you to grow, develop, and move forward every day.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Woodbury University click on its SchoolApply profile page and apply now!