View of Silicon Valley at sunset taken from the eastern hills

Housing and Transportation

Welcome to your new home—Silicon Valley!

Resources for relocating to UCSC Silicon Valley Extension

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Finding your new home

We understand that the rental and housing market in the Bay Area can be hard to navigate.

We hope that this easy-to-use housing guide created by UCSC Silicon Valley Extension with the help of JM Consulting, will help you find housing in the San Francisco Bay area. It's filled with great tips to ease some of the stress and make your relocation an exciting new adventure.

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Get connected: Internet and phone service

You have many options for internet and phone service providers. One of the easiest ways to see what is available is to use Type in your five-digit zip code and compare available features.



Getting around the Bay Area can be tough without a car. Depending on your preferences, you can spend very little ($) or a lot ($$$$), on transportation.  

Applying for a California driver's license

To apply for a California driver’s license

  • Make an appointment through the DMV website.
  • Complete the Driver License Application before you go to the DMV.
  • Be sure to review test examples and study the California Driver Handbook.
  • Go to the DMV on your appointment day. Bring the following documents:
    • Valid passport
    • I-94
    • I-20
    • Two residency documents, such as a copy of the lease, utility bill, or credit card bill.
  • Pay the $38 application fee
  • Give a fingerprint scan and have your photo taken.
  • You will be asked for a Social Security Number. If you don’t have an SSN, tell the DMV clerk that you are not eligible for an SSN and are exempt from this requirement.
  • You must pass a vision exam and a test about traffic laws and signs.

After you pass the written test
Make an appointment to take the driving test. (Driving tests are not given without an appointment.) You will need to provide proof of auto insurance.

A California driver's license is required to purchase a car and obtain auto insurance. An international driver’s license is not recognized by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Car Leases

Instead of purchasing a new car, you can opt to do a short-term lease and pay month-to-month. VOLVO, in particular, has a leasing program for international students so check them out for pricing and terms.

Used Cars

Another cost-effective way to find transportation is to buy a used car. There are many offers on CRAIGSLIST but beware of scammers. You can also visit a CARMAX location when you're here.

Other Transportation Options

• Car Sharing • Taxi • Cab

Uber and Lyft are popular ways to get around if you just want to pay per ride. Average cost per ride is around $10. 

• Bus Service

VTA is the public transportation authority. A single ride is $2.25 and a monthly pass is $80.

• Train Service

CALtrain runs from San Francisco to Gilroy and rides range from $3.75 to $30 depending on the number of zones (1-6) you're riding through. Another option is the BART which covers most of San Francisco and the East Bay but none of San Jose. 


Top Silicon Valley Attractions

International Inquiry Form

Contact Us
Speak to an international programs representative.

Call +1 (408) 450-4945