We Make Things Happen
Innovation. Challenging the status quo. Creativity. Making waves. All words that define the culture of San Francisco State University.
Just one year after SF State was founded in 1899, as the San Francisco State Normal School, the school’s teaching methods were defined as “radical.”
We’ve been shaking things up ever since.
Through a process of continuous improvement and evolution, SF State has become a university like no other.
Firmly connected with its innovative home city.
Strongly committed to creating opportunities for each student to discover his or her unique path in life.
Deeply engaged with the world’s economies, cultures and politics.
Uniquely focused on excellence in teaching and research that can be actively applied toward improving the world we live in.
Attending SF State is more than an education -- it’s an experience, and true preparation for living a life of principle and value.
Our alumni are known worldwide as agents of change, creative artists, activists, inventors and company founders. Once a student at SF State, always a leader who is engaged and innovative.
At SF State, students learn how to make things happen.
Click on a link to read more about how:
- We Make Careers Happen
- We Make Communities Happen
- We Make Life Happen
- We Make Learning Happen
- We Make Success Happen
- We Make Economic Development Happen
- We Make Creativity Happen
Some of the initial expenses you will encounter include your books, university fees and tuition, living cost, temporary housing costs, and local travel expenses. Do not bring a lot of cash - we recommend that you use travelers’ checks in U.S. dollars as they can be easily replaced if lost or stolen. If you have a bank account with a debit card or credit account at home, you should be able to withdraw money from an ATM in the U.S.
Expenses often overlooked by new international students
- Overnight lodging: Hotel charges in big cities are very high-anywhere from $90-$200/night
- Tips: Tips on taxi fares and restaurant meals: It is customary to add 15% to the bill
- Taxes: State and local sales taxes added to the price of many items or services. Consumer taxes vary from state to state. The sales tax in San Francisco is 8.5%. This means if the price tag says US$10, you will need to pay US$10.85
- Housing deposit: You may have to pay up to three months’ rent before moving into an off-campus apartment
- Personal and household items: In furnished and unfurnished apartments, you will have to purchase linens, towels, kitchen utensils, etc.
Temporary Housing after Arriving San Francisco
OIP is not able to assist students in finding temporary housing. We recommend that you reserve temporary accommodations before you arrive in San Francisco. First and foremost, you should have a specific destination when you arrive. If you do not have a friend or relative in the area to stay with, booking a hostel or hotel in advance is the best option.
It is not feasible to attempt to find permanent housing immediately after getting off a plane, with your luggage, and no knowledge of the city.
A list of short term housing is available at SF State Housing website. Please note the University is not associated with any of these temporary housing options, nor does the University take responsibility for any of the businesses or referrals listed here. OIP cannot make any recommendations nor can reservations be made on your behalf.
If you are interested in living on-campus, it is imperative that you apply as early as possible, as space is limited and the demand is high. On-Campus housing information can be found at SF State Housing.
You do not need to wait until you are admitted to apply for on campus housing. As long as you have a SF State student ID and password you will be able to complete the online housing application.
If wish to live off campus, visit SF State Housing Off-Campus Housing resources. New students who join the the new students Facebook group will be able to post messages regarding housing. Students can meet other students who are looking for housing or roommates at orientation. It may take anywhere from 1-3 weeks on average searching for off-campus permanent housing.
San Francisco houses and apartments come in various architectural styles (Victorian, modern, etc.), many sizes (studios, 1-2-3 bedrooms, etc.) and also come unfurnished or furnished. There are a number of options for living situations, such as:
- Sharing an apartment or house with roommates of your choice
- Renting an apartment by yourself
- Renting a room from tenants in an established household with shared common areas
- Renting a room with an American family
Search and apply!