University of California - San Diego

Student life in San Diego

Student life in San Diego

San Diego city has about 1.3 million inhabitants. With 70,000 students you definitely feel the young vibe here. The atmosphere is warm and friendly, and if you are open to new experiences, you will definitely not be bored!

San Diego has an excellent climate, more than 100 km of beaches, as well as mountains up to 2,000 meters. It is an ideal destination for students who like outdoor activities like surfing running, cycling, rock climbing, kayaking, and swimming. In addition, Diego is also the perfect base for exploring California, the Southwest, and nearby Mexico.  

The fun side of university life in San Diego 

At UCSD, you can join university clubs to save the environment, read comics or join a fraternity or sorority. The university arranges many activities and parties that are often free. There's always something going on at UCSD and in San Diego!

Every neighbourhood in San Diego have their unique style and just soaking up the atmosphere is really cool. You get a very different feeling in Ocean Beach compared to La Jolla. A highlight of experiencing the different neighbourhoods is to simply talk with the people - "Californians" are generally very open and helpful. Do not be surprised if you become friends with a local, who will take you all around the city for activities you probably never would find out by yourself, and that is when you will experience the real gems!

Beaches in San Diego 

Forget Venice Beach and Long Beach in Los Angeles, in San Diego you have Pacific Beach and Mission Beach. Surfers from around the world come here to try the waves, and although it is not regarded as the World's best surfing spot, you can surf all year round here. In winter season the water temperatures decrease and wetsuit is needed, although the air temperature is comfortable. The best seasons for surfing is August to November and February to April.

Relax on the beaches of San Diego

There are also many beaches in La Jolla. Black's Beach in this area is a beautiful and isolated, two-mile long stretch of beach located north of Scripps Pier (also less commonly known as Torrey Pines State Beach). The beach resides at the base of cliffs towering 100 metres above you. Get here by taking a walk from La Jolla Shores or descending the steep, rough cliff path from above. The north portion of Black’s is clothing-optional, where you might spot nudists bask in the sun and play volleyball without bathing suits. Black's Beach is also famous among surfers in California, because of the strongest surf breaks but only recommended to the experienced ones.  

Combine city life and beach life in San Diego  

In San Diego the sun is almost always shining. Out of 365 days, 300 are without rain per year. The weather is warm and you will find numerous beaches. Anyone can benefit from opportunities for surfing, shopping along the promenade and visiting the many theme parks. In both San Diego and La Jolla you have a large selection of restaurants, cafés and other venues. 

Many happenings in San Diego actually are outside central area. You will find great shopping spots, venues and bars and meet many nice relaxed people outside the centre. Especially the districts Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach are good places to hang out, almost regardless of what you enjoy doing.

7 free activities in San Diego for students 

San Diego Girl Skating

  1. Skate parks! There are more than 30 skate parks in San Diego alone - did you do know that skateboarding was born in California?!
  2. Balboa Park, a 1,200-acre urban cultural park in San Diego. The botanical garden here is free of charge, and in the evening it is also very cosy lighted, and sometimes live bands are playing or various smaller festivals. 
  3. In the Old town, you can see the cultural history of how it was to live in San Diego in the 19th century. See old houses and shops or try some of the nice restaurants, especially if you are in the mood to eat Mexican and finish with ice cream at the Cold Stone Creamery! We also recommend a visit to the Gaslamp Quarter by the Marina.
  4. Wild sea lions soaking up the sun on the rocks at La Jolla Cove.
  5. San Diego Union Museum, where the San Diego Union newspaper got its start at. Visitors can tour the editor’s office and the original print room.
  6. San Diego County Sheriff’s Museum in Old Town, see vintage badges, handcuffs, and uniforms, as well as a patrol car, helicopter, jail cell and courtroom.
  7. BEACHES! So many beaches in San Diego, just locate your favourite one and bring the studies, parties, friends down there.

Student discounts in San Diego

Did you know that with an ISIC student card you get access to more than 40.000 student discounts all over the world, and of course also in San Diego. Download the free ISIC Benefits App to locate cool student benefits and save money in San Diego with ISIC. Read more about ISIC and purchase your card here.

Climate in San Diego 

The San Diego region has a Mediterranean climate, offering mild, sunny weather throughout the year. The monthly average temperature is 14 °C in January and 22 °C in August. The hottest period of the year is usually late summer/early fall when it can reach above 30 °C. Snow and ice are rare in the wintertime. 

Rent a car in San Diego  

Since you are here there are so much to see and do on a road trip. KILROY offers car rental in San Diego and we'll be happy to find you the best and cheapest option for your needs.

Ready to explore University of California - San Diego?
Get free study guidance