addition to getting ready for classes, there are important things you need to know as you begin to make San Diego your new home:
Cuyamaca College does not have any
housing facilities on
we are surrounded by many apartment complexes.
hundreds of listings on local San Diego area apartments.
Information is provided for FREE.
provides international students with "home away from home"
accommodations with American host families in Southern California.
bulletin boards are located across campus with ads for roommates by
fellow students. Check them out!
SIGNING A HOUSING CONTRACT
of the first challenges in your new community is finding a suitable place to
live. The choices of housing in
San Diego include: residence halls (located
usually near four year universities), apartments, houses, and rooms in
Almost every rental situation requires you
to sign a contract. This contract specifies the rental amount, the rental
conditions, and your responsibilities as a tenant, be sure to read
everything in the contract BEFORE signing it!
rental agreements include the cost of water usage. If you need to arrange
for gas and/or electricity, contact San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) at
1-800-411-SDGE (7343). A security deposit may be required. Utilities are
billed to you on a monthly basis, and are payable upon receipt.
service is usually not included in your rental agreement. Contact Southern Broadcasting Company (AT&T)
service information. Be aware of the various fees: installation charges,
security deposit, long distance, and monthly charges.
ESTABLISHING A BANK
is not a good idea to carry large amounts of cash
with you or hide your
money at home. Instead,
establish a savings and/or checking account at a
facility that is convenient for you. You will need identification to open
your account - usually your passport and/or driver's license.
Choosing the right financial institution is
important because it can save you money depending on checking account fees
and the interest earnings on any savings account you may have. Visit several
banks and compare their services, types of checking and savings accounts,
and costs before making your decision. Available types of checking accounts
Minimum Balance Accounts:
This type of account is well suited for those who write more than ten
checks per month. There is no charge for writing checks provided you
maintain certain minimum monthly balance. If you should fall below the
minimum balance, you are charged a processing fee for the checks that
There is usually a monthly fee for services which include unlimited
check writing, overdraft privileges (automatic loans charged to your
bank credit card which permit you to write checks for more than the
amount in your account), personalized checks, safety deposit box, check
guarantee card, and traveler's or cashier's checks. Although this type
of account is beneficial if you write a large number of checks each
month and do not maintain a minimum monthly balance, the monthly fees do
Interest Checking Accounts:
These accounts pay interest on the balance compounded daily. A minimum
balance is usually required and there is a charge for each check you
write, which can often consume the interest earned on this type of
Savings Overdraft Coverage:
This is a form of protection from overdraft charges which is provided by
some banks. If you write a check and do not have sufficient funds in
your account. Although there is a transfer fee, it is usually less than
the overdraft charges in a regular checking account.
you know by now, higher education in the U.S. is expensive. The greatest
problem international students’ face after arriving here is maintaining
adequate finances for meeting the costs of personal and educational
expenses. Since sources of financial aid are very difficult for
international students to obtain, an essential skill for your college
success is the ability to become an effective manager of your money. It is
an important skill which you will need throughout your life. The best way
to manage money is to develop a monthly budget plan. Here are some
suggestions for making a budget:
Determine your monthly "fixed expenses."
This will usually include rent, utilities, laundry, insurance premiums,
Estimate your "variable expenses" for a
given month. These will include food, entertainment, clothing, books,
supplies, and travel.
track of all your expenses in a notebook and analyze them regularly to
identify unnecessary or wasteful expenditures.
Avoid becoming dependent on credit cards.
The fasted way to bankruptcy is spending money you do not have. The "buy
now-pay later" approach to budgeting rarely succeeds.
It is important to note that your budget
represents only an estimate of monthly expenses. Set aside some money
every month for the "unexpected."
You may be asking yourself, "Should I purchase an automobile?" This is an
important decision, requiring careful thought and
consideration. There are several responsibilities and requirements in
driving and owning a motor vehicle. The costs
are always more than they appear at first. Please remember the following:
The Driver's License
You must obtain a valid driver's license in
order to operate a motor vehicle - car and/or motorcycle in California. To
obtain a California license, contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/fo/offics/appl/fo_data_read.jsp?foNumb=669 , located at 1450 Graves Avenue, El Cajon. To
qualify, you must pass an eye examination, a written test, and a driving
test. The CALIFORNIA DRIVER'S HANDBOOK is available at no cost from the DMV.
Having valid vehicle insurance is required by
law in California. This means you cannot legally drive a car without such
coverage. Consult the telephone YELLOW PAGES under "Insurance" for a list of
companies. Insurance rates vary based on your gender, grade point average
and even whether or not you are a smoker.
If you own a motorcycle or an automobile, you
need to register it with the DMV. Fees vary based upon price, size,
and the age of the vehicle.
You must have a valid permit to park on
campus. Permits and fee information may be obtained from the Cashier’s
Office in the One Stop Center.
have evaluated your need, financial resources, and ownership
responsibilities, and you have decided to buy a car. Purchasing the right
one for you requires careful shopping. Before you buy a used car, seek the
advice of someone with knowledge about automobiles, and the used car market.
It is also recommended that you take the car to a certified auto mechanic
and obtain an evaluation. It is also recommended that you read magazines on
how to "Buy a Used Car." The library should have several magazines in this
A variety of religious services
are offered in the San Diego area. Check the telephone YELLOW PAGES under
"Churches" or “Religious Organizations” for a complete listing.
OFF CAMPUS ETHNIC AND INTERNATIONAL
The San Diego community has a
large number of ethnic organizations which cultivate the cultural interests
and activities of a specific country or region. The House of Pacific
Relations at Balboa park has almost thirty nations represented which present
traditional festivals at various times throughout the year. For information
about these programs, call (619) 293-0739. In addition, San Diego State
University’s International Student Office schedules informal student
“get-togethers” every Friday. Information about these events is available
on-line at http://www.sdsu.edu.
There are several post offices
located in each area of San Diego county. Check the telephone YELLOW PAGES
under "Post Offices" for a complete listing.