They say that living in the dorms is the best experience of your life. This is true, but they forgot to mention that living off campus is just as great, even better. You become nurtured and feel taken care of while living in the dorms, so it may feel quite intimidating when looking for housing in Isla Vista. Here are a few tips to make the process of finding a house easier: First, start early. The best time to look starts in January, but if you’re thinking about getting a spot on oceanside cliffs, then December is your best bet. Two, pick a solid group of friends. Remember that you don’t know what someone’s really like until you share a house. Three, if your housing decisions change at the last minute and you need to find a roommate or need to find housing, the Community Housing Office, located on the third floor of the UCen, can help you. Finally, prepare to pay the price. Housing in Isla Vista is close and convenient to campus, but it comes at a pretty price. The upside is that you will be living in one of the most unique college towns in the nation, surrounded by students door to door, bordering the University and the beach.
Although the majority of continuing students chooses to move to Isla Vista, many decide that the IV scene is not for them. Goleta is composed of primarily quiet residential neighborhoods, a very short drive from campus. The rent in Goleta tends to be cheaper, and some students rent houses similar to those they may have grown up in. A short drive down the freeway takes you to downtown, where older students typically live because of the proximity to jobs and internships, and not to mention the bars. Although intimidating, finding a place to live off campus won’t be that hard, and you can rest assured that you will find a housing option that suits your interests, but remember the closer to the beach, the higher the rent.