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Studying Abroad in California

Studying Abroad in California

Do the famous movies and songs that come out of the West Coast of the United States have you California Dreamin’? Has the United States’ most populous state infiltrated your interests? If you’re thinking of studying abroad in the United States, there’s no better state to experience than California. From arid deserts, to lush forests, snowy mountains, coastal cities and all kinds of varied cultures, California truly has it all.




California at a Glance:

Population: 38.3 million 

Capital City: Sacramento 

Languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese

Currency: United States Dollar 

Area: 163,696 sq mi (423,970 km2)

Trivia: If California was its own country, it would have the 9th largest economy in the world. 


Where is the Best Place to Study in California?

Given the hugeness of the state and the multicultural environment, it’s easy to find something for everyone in California. If you have interest in getting into media, Los Angeles might be your best bet. If you want peace and quiet, you may prefer to look towards the north eastern part of the state. If you want the perfect balance between a big city and the beach, San Diego might be for you. Interested in agriculture? Head to the center of the state. Love state parks? You’ll be delighted by all of the choices in California. 


Universities and Popular Cities

Here are just a few of the most well-known universities in California, a state that serves as home to more than 100 private and public institutions of higher learning:




Los Angeles: One of the world centers for international trade and media, Los Angeles is the second-largest city in the United States. Over 200 languages are spoken in this multicultural city by the sea

  • California Institute of Technology
  • University of Southern California
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • California State University Los Angeles 


San Diego: Known for having the best weather in the United States, San Diego is the perfect mixture of city and sea without being too large or overwhelming. Sitting right on the border of California and Mexico, it’s next to the world’s busiest land border crossing.




  • University of California San Diego
  • San Diego State University
  • University of San Diego


San Jose: The former capital of California, San Jose is the state’s richest county. For those looking to get into tech, this area might be the best bet. 

  • California State University San Jose
  • Stanford University
  • Santa Clara University


San Francisco: The city by the bay and a favorite amongst visitors, San Francisco is known for being cosmopolitan and being easy to get around. That said, it comes with a hefty price tag.




  • San Francisco State University
  • University of San Francisco


Fresno: If you’re interested in agriculture, Fresno, located in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, could be a great choice. It’s also much cheaper to live in than the aforementioned options. 

  • California State University Fresno 


Sacramento: The state capital of California, carrying a rich history as home to the former gold rush. 

  • California State University Sacramento
  • University of California Davis


Long Beach: Situated just below Los Angeles and just above the famous Orange County on the coast, Long Beach is a nice alternative to the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, plus, the local university has many study abroad programs that welcome students from around the world. 

  • California State University Long Beach 
  • University of California Irvine (nearby)


Cost and Lodging:

Most, if not all, major (and even smaller) universities in California offer on-campus housing. Generally, this is populated by freshmen and sometimes sophomores. Many campuses also offer housing geared more towards graduate students or juniors and seniors. 

For those looking to live off-campus, shared apartments with other students are generally the most popular option. Finding roommates is often easy enough by checking the university’s housing website or craigslist.org. 

Cost varies quite a bit depending on where in California one chooses to study. Parts of Los Angeles and San Francisco will be the most expensive, though any coastal town is bound to be costly. Smaller towns, those farther east, and agricultural regions are generally cheaper to live in but may not offer the same kind of social interaction or quality of student life. 


In Conclusion:

California is the perfect place to study for those who want a multicultural and multifaceted experience. Positively brimming with awesome options, it’s hard to go wrong in The Golden State. 

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22 April 2024

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