California State University - San Marcos

Student life at CSUSM in San Marcos

Student life in San Marcos

California State University San Marcos is located in the heart of coastal southern California, which is a wonderful place to live while studying in the United States. A short distance from the campus you will find some of California's most beautiful beaches and coastline where you can surf, swim, and sail. We are also near mountains and deserts, where you can hike, ski, bicycle, and camp. In this ideal climate you can enjoy outdoor activities all year round. Average temperatures range from 18 to 24 degrees.

California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) is located in North San Diego County, in between San Diego to the south, and Orange and Riverside counties to the north. This unique location offers endless opportunities for exploration and activities. You are only a short drive away from beautiful white beaches so why not go for a swim after class? If you prefer a more deserted landscape you have the opportunity to go to the desert which is about an hour away.

San Marcos City

San Marcos City offers unique dining and shopping opportunities. Quality centers like Creekside Marketplace, Nordahl Center, Grand Plaza and Old California Restaurant Row have all become popular shopping and dining destinations. Plans for future developments like the San Marcos Downtown Creek District, Palomar Station and University Village will quickly put San Marcos on the map as a regional shopping, dining and entertainment destination. Nearby points of interest include the world-famous San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Legoland, California Surf Museum and California Center for the Arts.

Community theatre, music and fine arts organizations are also alive and well in San Marcos. The City's own "Theatre West" group presents outstanding community theatre production, while the California Center for the Arts in Escondido bring entertainment of high acclaim to the local area.

San Diego County

From San Marcos it is super quick to go to San Diego. This city has plenty of entertainment options including theatres, music venues, museums, bars and restaurants. Oh, and Disneyland is only an hour away from campus as well. Go shake hands with your favourite Disney characters and take a ride in one of the spectacular rollercoasters if you dare!

For those of you who enjoy hiking, a visit to Palomar Mountain State Park is an absolute must. Explore the rugged beauty of the mountains and spot some wildlife while you are there. The perfect way to clear you mind.

Enjoy the beaches in San Diego, California
Enjoy the beaches in San Diego, California

5 Cool and fun things to do in San Marcos 

Although San Marcos has a lot to offer in term of shopping and going out, for some of the really fun stuff you need to travel a bit. But we promise it will be worth your while!

  1. Head to one of the many beaches in the area. They are all free to the public, to swim, body surf or hang-ten. Play in the sand, collect seashells or just bask in the sun.
  2. Spent the weekend in San Diego and visit Old Town and witness the living legacy of San Diego history. Guests are also invited to wander free through Old Town's historic buildings, including the blacksmith shop, Seeley Stables, Stewart House, Estudillo House and the oldest schoolhouse in San Diego.
  3. San Marcos has a few local breweries that are worth visiting, such as the Rip Current Brewing and Dos Desperados Brewery. If you are a true student you have to try the local beers!
  4. One thing not to be missed is to go and see an American football game. Support the local team, the San Diego Chargers and experience the excitement of watching the match in a huge stadium.
  5. San Diego has 15 museums, so surely there is one that sparks your interest. How about the California Surf Museum?

Student benefits in San Marcos

With your ISIC student card you receive tons of discounts and benefits all over California, the USA and the rest of the world. Download the ISIC Benefits App for free and take advantage of all the cool student benefits! Read more about ISIC and purchase your ISIC card here!

Climate in San Marcos

It's hard to beat the mild, year-round climate that San Marcos enjoys. An average of nine to 11 inches of rain falls annually and average summer temperature hover around 23 degrees Celsius. Due to the moderating influence of the nearby Pacific, temperatures rarely fall below freezing in winter and above 32 degrees Celsius in summer.

Rent a car or campervan in San Marcos

If you wish to explore the areas surrounding San Marcos and the rest of California, KILROY offers car and campervan rentals and we'll be happy to find you the best and cheapest option for your needs.

Travel to San Marcos

KILROY can help arrange your trip to San Marcos. We have student-friendly prices on flight tickets and can help you book a flexible ticket, if you plan to go explore more of the USA before or after your studies. Your study advisor can tell you more about it and hook you up with one of our travel advisors.

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