What To Consider When Choosing Student Housing In San Diego

Bobby Dyer
Student Housing In San Diego

Finding The Best Student Housing In San Diego

College life in San Diego is nothing short of amazing! From the constant 70-degree temperatures to the 70 miles of coastline, or the allure of the surfer lifestyle, life in California is paradise. Choose a great option for student housing in San Diego and the rest will fall into place!

Now that you’ve put yourself on course for the best school season of your life, it’s time to start planning out a few of the logistics for finding San Diego student rentals.

• Enroll in school – check.
• Book flight – check.
• Pack sense of adventure – check.
• Book student housing – wait, what?

You need something that will cover all the basics for the best San Diego student living.

San Diego is an expensive city to live in but with the right insights, you can find a way to live a fun and affordable life.

Student Coliving In San Diego

Choosing Your San Diego Neighborhood To Live In

San Diego has tons to offer. Depending on which school you are attending, being centrally located is key to a great lifestyle. From the beaches to Downtown, and all of the neighborhoods in between, San Diego has many great places to call home. Before you sign any leases, you should do a full tour of the city and explore all the best places to live.

If you want to be in the middle of the city, check out living in Hillcrest near Balboa Park. You will be almost equal distance between Ocean Beach, Gaslamp District, and San Diego State University. Everything is about 45 minutes away via public transportation. Don’t worry too much about getting around. We’ll show you lots of tricks once you get here.

No matter if you are attending SDSU, UCSD, UCSD School of Medicine, or one of the city’s English schools, you will be conveniently located in Hillcrest.

Top Neighborhoods For Student Housing Based on Your School

San Diego State University

  • College Area
  • Pacific Beach
  • Hillcrest


  • La Jolla
  • Pacific Beach
  • Hillcrest (UCSD Hospital)

University of San Diego

  • Linda Vista
  • Pacific Beach
  • Mission Beach

San Diego City College (Downtown Campus)

  • Downtown
  • South Park
  • Hillcrest

San Diego City College (Mesa Campus)

  • Mission Valley
  • Ocean Beach
  • Hillcrest


On-Campus Vs Off-Campus Student Housing in San Diego

The majority of students who go to school in San Diego spend the first year living on campus to fully embrace the college lifestyle. This is a great idea and will give you some of the most unique experiences. Not to mention, keep you close to your classes so you are never late and don’t have to worry about parking.

After a year of campus life, you will want to move off-campus. The hottest place for student housing in San Diego is Pacific Beach. I mean you are studying in San Diego, you need to be by the beach and work on your tan right?

If you are looking for a student apartment in San Diego, I recommend using Craigslist or Facebook groups to explore a wide variety of student rentals as well as potential roommates to share a place with.

Worried about transportation if you live off-campus? The city of San Diego provides discounted bus and metro passes for students to help you get to class.

Keeping Your Student Housing Cheap

The secret to living in San Diego is to not spend all your money on rent. The weather is so beautiful in San Diego, so you won’t be spending much time indoors. Many students share rooms to save money allowing you to still have a comfortable lifestyle. Hostels and CoLiving accommodations have become very popular lately for San Diego student housing.  If you enjoy great experiences and a social atmosphere at the most affordable price, consider looking into hostels and coliving lodging.


Things To Consider For International Student Housing In San Diego

For international students traveling to San Diego, finding student housing can be tough. The last time we checked, beds weren’t allowed as a carry-on item for your flight. We get it. You are moving to California from across the world and have tons of questions. We understand your situation and know that having a good community of like-minded students is the secret to feeling comfortable in your new home.

We recommend finding a more co-living style of accommodation with other foreign exchange students in San Diego because chances are you will meet a fellow student from the same country you are from. Many international students come to San Diego to learn English and need an all-in-one housing environment that is comfortable. Community-based housing establishments are the best solution for international students. When you are not in school practicing language, you will be using your English skills and conversating with fellow students in the community which will have drastic impacts on your language fluency.


San Diego Furnished Short Term Rentals

You are here to study and live great experiences! The good thing is that San Diego offers plenty of furnished short-term rentals. When looking for housing, you don’t need to settle for an empty apartment. I recommend exploring hostels and co-living buildings because they often are fully stocked with comfortable furnishings.

What you should look for with furnished student rentals:

  • Room and Bed with linens
  • Fully furnished living areas
  • Quiet library for studying
  • Communal kitchen
  • Social lounge with billboards, TVs, and entertainment
  • Free Wi-Fi


Save Money With A Communal Kitchen

As a student, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Just between classes, studying and tests it can be overwhelming at times. As a student, you add a whole other layer—you need to experience San Diego!

Find accommodation with a full-size kitchen and cooking utensils so you can make some meals yourself. Eating out in San Diego can be very expensive on your wallet. When you stay at a community-based lodging building, you may even be able to share the cooking with other residents and try new foods!


Student Housing in San Diego With Community and Adventure

You didn’t travel halfway around the world to spend the whole semester with your nose in a book? No, you chose San Diego for a reason.

In between your studies, it’s important to fit in fun experiences. Consider what activities or events are happening at the student housing establishment you choose. At ITH, we’re all about community, sharing cultures, and awesome people. We offer daily activities and monthly events to connect travelers and see the best parts of San Diego.

From sailing to surfing to yoga at the beach and more, you can’t help but have a good time while you are here.

San Diego takes care of its students with a variety of discounts. You can live in San Diego without experiencing our world-famous Zoo. Be sure to save money on our ticket with the San Diego Zoo Student Discount pass.


Looking for student jobs in San Diego?

Living in San Diego is not cheap. Most students work at least one job while living in San Diego to help pay the bills. Easy jobs with flexible schedules in San Diego include driving for Uber, DoorDash, or Instacart. San Diego is also built around tourism, so finding a job where you can earn tips is highly recommended.


San Diego Student Housing


Do Your Research And Find The Best Student Community For You

People who choose to stay at ITH are like-minded travelers who want to become part of a global community. If you are someone who wants to have an authentic, memorable and meaningful experience, then ITH is for you.

So if you are looking to make your next semester the best semester yet, book your room today. Ultimately, you are signing up for a semester with some of the coolest and friendliest people around. You couldn’t ask for better roommates or a better San Diego experience.

At International Travelers House, we are all about creating global, cultural, and sustainable relationships.

Cofounder of ITH Hostels. I love traveling, hosting, gardening, golfing, fishing, and sailing.