Living in San Jose
San Jose is hot in the afternoons and cooler in the evenings. We recommend that you bring enough layers with you so that you’re prepared for shifting temperatures throughout the day. Here are some items that you may want to pack:
- T-shirts, shirts, pants, jeans, shorts, sweatshirts, skirts, dresses, cardigan
- Comfortable walking shoes- Our campus is over 154 acres with over 50 major buildings. You will want to bring shoes that can hold up to your multi-day orientation.
- Adapter- If you are bringing electronics from your home country, you will need an adapter that converts to 120 V.
There are many ways to get around campus and the downtown area. For public transportation, please visit the TransportationSolutionsOffice to obtain a Associated Students SmartPass Clipper Card. The card will allow you to have unlimited rides on VTA buses and Light Rail Lines. The office can also provide information on regional travel outside of San Jose as well as information on regional public transcription such as BART and Caltrain. You can also refer to the following sites for help with planning your trips:
For a fun way to get around downtown San Jose, you can try using a Ford GoBike, Bird, or Lime Scooters which can be found around campus. Before you ride, you will need to download the app. You will be charged for unlocking the scooter and for each minute of your ride. Please be aware that you can’t ride the scooter on campus. If you are caught or reported, you are likely to incur a fine by the University.
Another transportation option is using a rideshare app such as Lyft or Uber. Throughout the year, these apps will periodically promote discounts to SJSU students for rides around certain distance from campus, so be on the look-out for special deals!
If you plan to drive to campus with your own car, there are 3 main garages you can use, which includes the South Garage, West Garage and North Garage. Please refer to this map for more information. For more information about your parking permit fees, please visit Parking Services.
SJSU is committed to ensuring your safety. All across campus, you will find bluelight phones, which you can use to report an emergency or request an escort during the day or night. Also, during the evening from 7:30 p.m to 1:00 a.m, you can take advantage of SJSU’s Safe Ride Program which is a shuttle service that will provide a ride to all SJSU students within a specified perimeter. For all other aspects of campus safety, you can contact the UPD’s office.
- Grocery Outlet - E. Santa Clara and 7th St (~ 3 minute walk from SJSU)
- Trader Joe’s - 635 Coleman Ave (~ 8 minute drive from SJSU)
- Mi Pueblo - 515 McLaughlin Ave ( ~ 5 min drive from SJSU)
- CVS - 821 The Alameda (~ 7 min drive from SJSU)
- Target - 533 Coleman Ave (~7 min drive from SJSU)
- Walmart - 777 Story Rd ( ~ 7 min drive from SJSU)
Downtown San Jose offers a variety of restaurants within easy walking distance.
- San Pedro Square - 87 N. San Pedro
(~ 17 minute walk from SJSU)
- Punjab Café - 322 E. Santa Clara St
(~ 4 minute walk from SJSU)
- Tandoori Fusion Grill - 225 E Santa Clara
(~ 5 minute walk from SJSU)
- Tofoo Com Chay - 388 E. Santa Clara [vegetarian]
( ~ 5 minute walk from SJSU)
- 4th St Pizza - 150 E Santa Clara
(~ 7 minute walk from SJSU)
- Ike’s Sandwiches - 75 E. Santa Clara
( ~ 10 minute walk from SJSU)
- La Victoria Taqueria - 150 E San Carlos St
( ~ 7 minute walk from SJSU)
- Thai Chili Express - 304 E. Santa Clara St #D
(~ 3 minute walk from SJSU)
- Spoon Fish Poke - 111 Paseo De San Antonio
( ~ 5 min walk from SJSU)
- Banh Mi Oven - 221 E San Fernando St
(~ 3 min walk from SJSU)
To set up a bank account, you can either apply online or go in person to the bank that best matches you. There are many ATMs on campus such as Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of the West, Bank of America, and US Bank. US Bank also has a branch on campus located in the Student Union. Here are some bank branches that are located in the downtown San Jose area:
- Bank of America - 99 S. 4th St (4 min walk from SJSU)
- Bank of the West - 50 W. San Fernando (8 min walk from SJSU)
- Chase Bank- 55 W Santa Clara St (10 min walk from SJSU)
- Wells Fargo- 121 Park Center Plaza (10 min walk from SJSU)
- Chase Bank - 99 E San Fernando St (6 min walk from SJSJ)
You are able to exchange currency for US Dollars at the airport or at any bank once you arrive. We also recommend that you exchange some money into dollars before you arrive in case of emergencies.
There are many phone carriers in the US, some of the major carriers include AT&T, Verizon, T-mobile, and Sprint. Be sure to research about at each carrier to learn about all of the different plans that are offered. Here are some phone carrier locations in the downtown San Jose area:
- T-Mobile- 100 E San Fernando Street (5 min walk from SJSU)
- Verizon - 66 W Santa Clara Street (10 min walk from SJSU)
To obtain a California Driver's License, first you will need to be in the States for at least 10 days. You will also have to take documents with you when you go to the DMV, such as valid passport, I-94 print out, I-20, and also 2 forms of residency documents (lease, utility bill, etc). It is highly recommended to schedule an appointment since the DMV is notorious for having long lines. To schedule an appointment and for more information please visit their website at: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/dl/dl_info
On campus there is a Student Health Center (SHC) where students have access to primary
care, pharmacy, immunizations etc. The Wellness Center is also part of the SHC where
you can take nutritional classes, learn about violence prevention, and also de-stress.
Here is their website for more information:
In the Spring 2019 Semester, our new SJSU Recreation and Aquatic Center (SRAC) opened.
Membership is included in your student tuition fees. Here is their website for more
At the Student Service Center, there are many different offices that can help you during your time at SJSU. Here are some of the services and offices that can be found there:
- Grade change
- Undergraduate graduation
- Academic standing
- Student fees/payments
- Payment plans
- SJSU ID (Tower) Card
- Graduation Writing Assessment requirement
- Transfer credit
Their offices are located on the 1st Floor of the 10th Street Parking Garage.