Relocating to San Francisco

Our San Francisco campus is in the heart of the city, overlooking the financial district from the 20th floor of WeWork 600 California Street.

Here’s an overview of local resources and links to help you get started as you prepare for your graduate program in San Francisco. If you have any questions or concerns, or simply need more information, please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected].

Transportation

Within the city of San Francisco, we are located in the Financial District. The campus is easily accessible from several major freeways, including Highway 101 (US 101), Interstate 280 (I-280), and Interstate 80 (I-80). We also are close to multiple public transportation options for travel within and beyond the city.

Air
The largest airport in the Bay Area and the closest to the SF location is the San Francisco International Airport (airport code: SFO), serving both domestic and international flights. We recommend the following steps to travel from SFO to the Northeastern location (about 15 miles) using public transportation.

  1. 1.  Take the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit). Board the Antioch (yellow) line from the San Francisco International Airport Station to the Montgomery Street Station.
  2. 2.  At Montgomery Street Station, exit towards Market Street and New Montgomery Street.
  3. 3.  Open Google Map walking directions here to view the route to campus.
  • Head north on Montgomery St. toward Post St.
  • Walk about 0.3 miles and then turn left onto California St.
  • Walk about 0.1 miles and then on the right, arrive at 600 California St. building.

Oakland International Airport (airport code: OAK) can also be a cost effective option to travel in and out of the Bay Area. Located just south of downtown Oakland in the East Bay, it is easily accessible by BART and Alameda-Contra Costa Transit Bus (AC Transit) as well as by taxis, Uber and Lyft.

Mineta San Jose International Airport (airport code: SJC) is accessible to the city by taking Route 60 to the Milipitas BART station. Visit the SJC Ground Transportation website for more information.


Public Transit
To get around the Bay Area using transit, purchase a Clipper Card at a BART station, participating store, or online (view purchase options here). You’ll add money to this card and to be used for fares on most of the various transit options both within and around the city.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority provides Muni bus, light rail Metro train, historic streetcar, and cable car services locally, while the Altamont Corridor Express, Amtrak, BART, and Caltrain offer transportation throughout the greater Bay Area region and Northern California.

Some of the regional public transit options have mobile apps to help you schedule your next trip. These will often give you better route options and more accurate schedules than Google Maps, so they’re worth downloading for the transit lines you use frequently. Apps are available for BART, Muni, Caltrain, VTA, and SamTrans.

There are also useful third-party apps for scheduling trips across all public transit options, including TransitApp and CityMapper.


Driving

In order to obtain a U.S. driver license, please visit the State of California’s Department of Motor Vehicles.  This page details how to apply for a license.

Note that if you are an international student holding an F-1 student or F-2 dependent visa, you are not required to have a Social Security Number to be eligible. Instead, please make sure to present immigration documents such as Form I-20, a printed version of I-94 electronic record, and passport with visa.

If you are not eligible to apply for a license, consider carpooling as a transportation option. Coordinate with your fellow students or check out the following ride-share websites: CarpoolWorld, eRideShare, and 511 SF Bay.

Lyft and Uber are also available throughout the region, as well as several carsharing programs available to the public like Zipcar, Gig Car Share, and Getaround. Each one allows you to rent cars by the hour throughout the Bay Area for simple trips to the grocery store or adventurous day trips to explore.


Bicycling
Check out this San Francisco bike map for bicycle-friendly roads with designated bicycle lanes. Learn more about California bicycle laws and sharing the road with motorists before you start biking.

Public bicycle and scooter options are available throughout the city with Lyft’s Bay Wheels, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, Uber Scooters, and Lime Scooters.

Housing

There are various rental options for both single and shared living in the San Francisco area. Many students live in buildings with studio or one-bedroom apartments. Often, single-family houses are rented out with individuals inhabiting different bedrooms while sharing the kitchen and living area.

First, check out the Off Campus Housing and Support Services website for useful information and resources on what to look out for during your housing search. Off Campus Housing and Support Services is available to review lease contracts and assist students with any landlord concerns, questions about renter’s rights, sublet issues, or roommate conflicts that may arise while living off campus.

Next, check out Northeastern’s Beyond Boston resource page for specific San Francisco listings. There are a number of housing options and general resources listed there.

Widen your search using the following resources:

Since a number of cities make up the San Francisco area, review the below breakdown of the nearest neighborhoods and cities to the SF location. Keep this Google map open as a visual reference while you explore the area.

  • The Northeastern-WeWork location is in the Financial District neighborhood of San Francisco, which is home to the city’s largest corporate headquarters, financial institutions, and six of our local Fortune 500 companies.
    • The Financial District neighborhood is situated between Chinatown and the Embarcadero and marked south of Washington St and north of Market St.
  • The closest main highways to the SF location are Highway 101 (US 101), Interstate 80 (I-80), and Interstate 280 (I-280).
    • You will encounter moderate to heavy traffic coming northbound/westbound in the morning and leaving southbound/eastbound in the evening.
  • To live within walking distance* of the location, consider staying in or near the Financial District neighborhood.
    • Surrounding neighborhoods and residential communities also within walking distance include Chinatown, SoMa (South of Market), North Beach, Russian Hill, and Nob Hill.
      *We consider “walking distance” here as a commute under 30 minutes or within 1.5 miles

DISCLAIMER:

Northeastern University provides information on housing in the San Francisco area for your convenience only. The University makes no representation as to the condition or suitability of any of the listed resources, or with respect to any particular neighborhood or housing. The University assumes no liability or responsibility for any housing you may find using the information provided nor for any agreement you enter into with the owner or operator of any housing.

California State Identification Card

Students living and studying in the state of California may consider getting a California State Identification Card (ID). The ID card serves as official identification, but does not authorize driving. It is useful to have legal identification for activities like banking or proving your age. To learn how to apply for an ID, please visit this page.

Banking

National banks with banking centers throughout the SF Bay Area include:

Before signing up with a bank, please check requirements for non-U.S. citizens and associated fees to accounts.

Phones

National mobile phone companies include:

Culture

There are endless ways to experience San Francisco through local museums, outdoor activities, and cultural events. As an introduction on insights to the life in the U.S., please visit this USA.gov page.

For a comprehensive list of fun and educational activities to enjoy in the San Francisco Bay Area, please visit:

Sports & Entertainment

The San Francisco Bay Area hosts many events, concerts, and shows, with tickets widely available through Ticketmaster and Vividseats.

For a daily rundown of free or inexpensive events of all kinds in the city, check SF Funcheap.

The city is also proud to be home to sports teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Join in on the spirit of being a fan and connecting with local residents by cheering the teams on or checking out one of the games!

Important Emergency Information

For information on how to stay safe in San Francisco as you explore attractions and attend events, visit SFGov.org.

  • For emergencies, call 9-1-1.*
    *This number is intended for life-threatening emergencies or crimes in progress. Calling this number for any other purpose may be considered a crime.
  • For general public safety information and non-emergencies, call the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) at 3-1-1 or 415.553.0123.
  • For a specific contact or department line, please visit the SFPD Contact Us webpage.