The City of Angels may be home to the glitz, glamour and gaffs of Hollywood, but few of the 10 million angels here actually live in the paparazzi’s glare. Hopeful writers, actors, rockers and artists move here in droves, but LA is also the nation's largest international trade and manufacturing centre and a magnet for fashionistas, digital techies, finance gurus, tourism professionals and surf bums alike.

Professionally, it pays to speak English. With immigrants from over 140 countries, however, the streets and even some offices hum with languages like Spanish, Korean and Farsi. Thanks to this diversity - and contrary to a sometimes lowbrow reputation - LA claims some of the top cultural, medical and educational facilities in the world. Due to the city's sprawling nature, it can be difficult for newcomers to manouvre, both geographically and socially. This section will help get you started.

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