We recommend arriving at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) which is approximately 25 km (15.5 miles) from USC. Driving time from LAX to USC may take from 20-40 minutes. Be sure to check with your airline for the latest rules and regulations about baggage rules, limits and fees. YOu may also want to check with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Transportation Security Adminisrtration (TSA) for the latest travel information.
The Academy can make arrangements for arriving students to take a shared van from LAX to USC at no extra cost. To make a reservation, you just need to fax or email the Airport Shuttle Request Form, to the Academy at least 2 weeks before your arrival. We will fax or email you an instruction sheet and confirmation number to give the PrimeTime shuttle driver when you arrive at the airport. You do not need to pay for this service.
Remember that shuttle drivers do not meet you at the gate at the airport. You will need to go to claim your baggage and exit the ramp into the arrival waiting area. Then exit the terminal and look for a large sign on the center sidewalk that says "PRIME TIME SHUTTLE". There may be an employee there to tell the driver that you have arrived. If the agent is not there, take a seat on the bench and a shuttle will be there soon.
You will need to give the driver the instructions and confirmation number that the Academy sends you. If you are not able to email or fax your arrival form to the Academy at least 2 weeks before your arrival, you must make your own shuttle arrangements (read below for more information on this).
Arranging Your Own Airport Transportation
You can make your arrangements to take a taxi, shuttle or towncar to USC or another Los Angeles location (hotel, apartment, etc.) any time 24 hours per day. You can make a reservation online or by phone before you arrive or arrange service once you are at the airport.
For taxi: YOu will not need to make advance reservations for this. The cost will be $50 or more depending on traffic. You will need to pay the driver directly for this service and should include $1-5 tip. After you have your luggage, exit the terminal and walk down the sidewalk to the taxi stand. The staff member there will ask where you are going and get a taxi for you. You may need to wait up to 20 minutes if there is a line. Be prepared to give them the address where you want to go and some instructions on how to get there. If you are coming to the Academy office, see driving directions in the Arrival section.
For shuttle van: To make reservations for Prime Time Shuttle service, click on the link or call (310) 342-7200 (press 1 for reservations). You'll need to tell them your name, flight information and zip code of the place to which you are going. Prime Time Shuttle also has a toll-free number for use in the U.S. at 1-800-733-8267. You will need to pay the driver directly for the service. The cost is about $15-$20 one way to USC. You should not have to wait more than 15-20 minutes even without a reservation. After exiting the terminal, cross the first street and you will see signs for several shuttle services--each has their own sign and bench. Tell the person working there your name and where you are going. They will direct you to the correct van as it arrives. If you are arriving between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM, you should ask the shuttle driver to drop you off at the Academy office in the JEF Building at Gate 5. (See driving directions in the Arrival Section). If you will be going directly to an apartment or hotel, give the driver the name and address of where you want to go. THe vans have navigation systems so you will not need to know how to get there. If you make your own shuttle arrangements, it is a good idea to give the driver a $2-$3 tip (you should expect to handle your own luggage after the driver drops you off).
Once you arrive at USC inside Gate 5, cross both sidewalks (one heading East across McClintock and one heading North across 34th Street) to where the metered parking lot is. Walk along the sidewalk past the metered parking lot and turn into this lot as a car would. Cross through the lot to the beige building (Jefferson Building) and enter up the ramp just before the grassy courtyard. Once you enter the Jefferson Building, we are located on the 2nd floor (just up the 1st stairway that you see). Go inside and ask to see an Academy staff member. Tell them that you are a new Language Academy student. See campus map.