If you’re considering studying, interning, or working abroad in California, congratulations! You’ve made a great choice. The most populated and one of the largest states in the United States, California is home to all kinds of different industries and excellent institutions of higher education. But in a state with a population of 38.3 million people, covering an area of 423,970 square kilometers, choosing which part of the state to settle in can be daunting.
Here are some things to consider if you’re trying to choose between a move to Northern or Southern California:
The famous Silicon Valley of Northern California, just under San Francisco, is famous for being a hotbed of innovation in the tech industry. Home to Google, Apple, and Facebook headquarters, just to name a few examples, this area is ideal for those who are looking to get into the tech and social media industries.
Los Angeles, by comparison, is known for its bustling media industry. Major Hollywood studios are located in this area, making it ideal for those who are trying to “make it,” in the film industry, whether as talent, management, or behind the scenes.
Both cities and surrounding areas also house major financial centers, along with a slew of other industries. The middle and inner portions of California are known for agriculture, which is California’s largest industry.
Coastal California has some of the mildest weather in the entire United States. Most of the state has a Mediterranean climate, which is characterized by cool, rainy winters and dry summers. San Francisco tends to get a heavy marine layer all year round, and sunny days can be somewhat hard to come by. Los Angeles and San Diego can get a similar fog on the coast, but sunny days tend to be more frequent.
Once one heads inland, even just a few kilometers, temperatures plummet in the winter and rise sharply in the summer. California is mostly desert, and is therefore host to extreme temperatures. Northern California tends to be a bit more green and receives more rain than Southern California, particularly north of San Francisco.
California has all kinds of different and truly impressive scenery. From the vast deserts of the central south to the world-class beaches all along the coast, the famous redwood trees of the north, and the snow-capped mountains of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, California is perfect for the outdoors-lover.
Those who love warm beaches, surfing, and desert-like environments will find that Southern California is the perfect choice. Those who enjoy dense forests, and more scenery than urban sprawl will likely find that Northern California is the perfect choice.
Given the sheer size and population of California, it should come as no surprise that the culture, inclusive of slang, music, food, political views, and general demeanor all vary widely from city to city, region to region. The central part of California tends to be more conservative politically, while coastal Northern and Southern California, particularly San Francisco and Los Angeles, tend to be quite liberal with a few exceptions such as Orange County.
Los Angeles is full of people trying to make it in the glitz and glamor of Hollywood, therefore it tends to be a bit more focused on who you know and what you have. San Francisco is a bit more of a hippy culture, and San Diego is full of laid-back surfers. These are, of course, just generalizations and each part of California has of all kinds of different people with varied interests.
In a state as large and amazing as California, the choices are pretty much endless for finding the right place to settle. With a bit of consideration of what exactly it is you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it in California.