Local Atmosphere

Irvine, CA
Tuition (in-state)
$36,000 ($13,122)
Admission Difficulty
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3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: There is a decent amount of things to do in Irvine but you will definitely need a car or transportation to do so since most of the malls or other places are far.

4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Irvine is extremely safe, and there are lots of high-end shopping places and restaurants right off the Newport Beach shuttle route!

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: The environment is great; it is safe. But other than the restaurants around, there is no where at which you can really find entertainment.

3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Irvine is kind of bland especially compared with the other awesome cities in southern california

College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: I don't go out much so I don't know how it is.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Tracey Xuan Nguyen
Hawthorne, CA
Business Economics
View all previous student authors

Irvine definitely isn’t a party town, which correlates with another frequently heard understatement in Irvine: “There are some old people here.” Pretty much 99.99 percent of Irvine consists of mild-mannered, upper-class denizens. If you’re going to UCI, be prepared for the social doldrums. Just repeat to yourself that you’re here to learn.

Having a car dramatically reduces the social despair that most students will endure due to the hour’s driving distance between UCI and surrounding attractions. Places like Disneyland, Huntington Beach, Staples Center, and the San Diego Zoo are pretty popular attractions for students who can plan the time and the funds to get there. Although there is a ton to do in the cities surrounding Irvine, like shopping at Fashion Island or visiting Knott’s Berry Farm, you’re still going to need transportation to get to many of the local places. It’s strongly advised that you bring your car to UCI or else you may be stuck with only visits to the Edwards University Town Center movie theater across the street. UCI has a huge pool of commuting students, so if you can’t bring your own car, you can at least find a friend who doesn’t mind you clinging on as a freeloader. Together, you can check out all the noteworthy sites outside of Irvine.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Several movies have been filmed or partially filmed in Irvine, including Iron Man, Ocean's Eleven, and You, Me and Dupree
  2. One of Irvine's sister cities is Tsukuba, Japan.
  3. The prehistoric man arrived in the Irvine area at least 12,000-18,000 years ago.
  4. The establishment of Irvine was a part of the negotiated deal to create UCI in 1959.
  5. The city flower is the Lily of the Nile.
Notable Natives
  • Amanda Beard
  • Coby Bell
  • Kobe Bryant
  • Kevin Costner
  • Lindsay Davenport
  • Will Ferrell
  • Korn
  • Jason Lezak
  • Mark McGuire
  • No Doubt
  • The Offspring
  • Michelle Pfeiffer
  • Dennis Rodman
  • Keri Russell
  • Stone Temple Pilots
  • Sugar Ray
  • Jeff Timmons
  • Warren G.
  • Tiger Woods
Local Slang
  • Hella: Rooted from NorCal (Northern California), means "hell of a," or "really"
  • SoCal: Southern California
Points of Interest
  • The Block
  • Disneyland
  • Downtown Disney
  • Knott’s Berry Farm
  • Laguna Beach
  • Newport Beach
  • The Spectrum
  • Wild Rivers Water Park
Shopping Centers
  • Fashion Island
  • Irvine Spectrum
  • South Coast Plaza
Movie Theaters
Edwards Island 7
999 Newport Center Dr.
Newport Beach
(800) 326-3264
Movie Theaters
Edwards Newport 6
300 Newport Center Dr.
Newport Beach
(949) 640-4600
Movie Theaters
Edwards University Town Center 6
4245 Campus Dr.
(949) 854-8818
Movie Theaters
Regal Theaters Irvine Spectrum
65 Fortune Dr.
(949) 450-4920
Major Sports Teams
  • Anaheim Ducks: hockey
  • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: baseball
  • Los Angeles Dodgers: baseball
  • Los Angeles Lakers: basketball
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Los Angeles: CA: 1 hour
  • San Diego: CA: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 147 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 148 responses

  • 2% Painfully remote.
  • 39% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 8% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 35% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 16% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 147 responses

  • 20% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 48% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 31% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 147 responses

  • 14% No way.
  • 63% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 24% Totally.



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