Local Atmosphere

Tuition (in-state)
$36,149 ($13,271)
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: There are more things to do outside of La Jolla. Downtown San Diego has everything you could ever imagine.

5 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: I have lived here in San Diego for my entire life and I dont want to leave. There is so much to do here. I personally love all of the outdoor activities that are close by. For instance: There are various trails on which to mountain bike, plenty of surfing at the beach and snowboarding in the local mountains. In addition to many outdoor activities available, people here generally strive to live a healthy lifestyle which provides a positive environment.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: This is great for young people who wish a combination of a nurturing location and yet a diverse, fun, and opportunity-rich location.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: It is great to live in San Diego. The weather is always great, not too extreme. The beach is right there, just a few minutes. The sunset at Blacks Beach is the best.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Nice to live by the beaches and the city but parking can sometimes be tough to find.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Juan Ramirez
El Monte, Calif.
View all previous student authors

La Jolla is a ritzy, stuffy community filled with rich, retired old people. However, this does not stop UCSD students from enjoying the beautiful place where they live. With the beach just walking distance from campus and sunny skies and water sports everywhere, it is hard not to enjoy living in San Diego. There are many exciting things to do away from the beach, as well. You can visit the Zoo and Wild Animal Park, Balboa Park, Mission Bay, Mexico, watch sporting events, or run in the Rock and Roll marathon. La Jolla is a beautiful and safe place to live—it’s just not like the college town students may have pictured when they planned to go away to school.

UCSD students are generally happy with the activities and environment San Diego has to offer. With such a laid-back atmosphere, everyone can find some place they fit in. A popular place with many students is Pacific Beach, more commonly known as PB, where you can find a more independent environment than La Jolla. PB is known for its fun little stores, great Mexican food, and huge bar scene. Also popular is the Gas Lamp District, located downtown. The Gas Lamp District has the feel of an urban city, and there are constantly concerts or events to attend. For an Animal House-esque college scene, UCSD students head over to San Diego State. Overall, there is no excuse for sitting at home and being bored in San Diego.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. The 2002 Superbowl (XXXVII) was held in San Diego. (The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Oakland Raiders.)
  2. Parts of Black's Beach are nude beaches.
  3. Sports Illustrated has named UCSD the best school for surfing.
  4. Terry Allen's "Trees," also known as the "Talking Trees," are three lead-skinned sculptures disguised as trees in the Eucalyptus Forest which regularly broadcast poetry, stories, and songs.
  5. Every year, Comi-con is held in San Diego, where you can meet actors and comic book authors.
  6. There are haunted houses in Old Town San Diego.
Notable Natives
San Diego has created a lot of famous surfers along with a few actors and musicians. Jack Johnson, Annette Benning, and James Avery are from San Diego.
Local Slang
  • The 5; The 805: Locals often put "the" in front of freeways (i.e. "I took the 5 south.") This is always a big debate between Northern and Southern Californians at UCSD.
  • Anything beachy or typical Southern CA: dude, like, and cool:
Points of Interest
  • Balboa Park
  • Beaches
  • The Gas Lamp District
  • Old Town San Diego
  • San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park
  • Sea World
  • Tijuana, Mexico
Shopping Centers
  • Fashion Valley
  • Horton Plaza
  • University Town Center
Movie Theaters
AMC La Jolla
8657 Villa La Jolla Dr.
La Jolla
(858) 558-2234
Movie Theaters
AMC Landmark La Jolla Village
8879 Villa La Jolla Dr.
La Jolla
(858) 453-7831
Movie Theaters
AMC Theaters Fashion Valley 18
7037 Friars Rd.
San Diego
(858) 558-2
Movie Theaters
Pacific Town Square
4665 Clairemont Dr.
San Diego
(858) 274-1234
Major Sports Teams
  • San Diego Chargers: NFL
  • San Diego Padres: MLB
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • The beach: : 10 minutes or less
  • Los Angeles: CA: 2 hours
  • Mexico: : 45 minutes

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 152 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 152 responses

  • 38% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.
  • 20% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 7% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 30% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 5% Painfully remote.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 151 responses

  • 40% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.
  • 50% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 10% There aren't any nearby schools.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 151 responses

  • 40% Totally.
  • 56% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 5% No way.



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