You're fulfilling your dream of going to school in California. Now, you just need to find off-campus housing near the University of California San Francisco. Fortunately, there are a lot of options in the area, so you're sure to find a place you absolutely love. Whether it's your first time living on your own or your first time in California, here are a few things to know.
Finding a Place and a Roommate
The sooner you start your search for a place to live, the better. You'll have a better selection and will be more likely to find an apartment that meets your needs. For example, if you have a pet, you'll want to find a pet-friendly building, and those tend to go pretty quickly. When you do find a place that looks ideal, ask a few questions before you decide to live there or not. Ask how much you'll need to put down as a deposit, if you're responsible for utilities, and if so, which ones, and what is included in the rent.
If you want to cut the costs of living in San Francisco (after all, it is one of the most expensive cities in the US), one way to do that is to get a roommate. UCSF has a few resources to help student who live off campus find roommates, or you could use social media to help you connect with prospective roommates.
Getting the Details
Know what you're signing and what you're responsible for before you move into your new place. Read over your lease and make sure you understand exactly what it says. You should know what the monthly rent is, what else you have to pay for, when the rent is due, and how long your lease is for. If you're living with a roommate, both of your names should be on the lease. It's also important to know how to pay your rent and whether you can pay online or need to mail in a check.
Getting to Campus
The location of your apartment matters. If you're living in South Beach, having a car can make it easier to get to school. If you don't have a car, taking the N route on the Muni light rail is the best way to get to campus. The trip takes about a half hour and the train runs every 10 minutes or so.
You can also bike to school, if you don't mind a 5-mile ride each way. Unlike the rest of San Francisco, the area around the UCSF and South Beach is pretty flat, so it's a pretty easy ride.
Living Off Campus
When you're on campus for class, the easiest thing to do is to find somewhere there to eat. There are 20 establishments across the campus where you can grab a coffee or a bite to eat. Some of the proceeds raised when you eat on campus go to funding programs at school, so it is a win-win situation.
Back at your apartment, it can be helpful to shop at Small Foods for your grocery needs. The store serves the South Beach area and is committed to providing plenty of locally sourced options. There's also a cafe onsite, so you can grab a meal and go when needed.