Local Atmosphere

San Francisco, CA
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Located in the city between the beach and downtown. City is small and all parts are accessible and vibrant

5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: It can get dangerous in the city or at least sketchy, and things can be a bit pricy but apart from that it is great to live in a city that has so much to offer.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: I absolutely love San Francisco. I think anyone who comes to USF, comes partly because it is located in such a great, diverse city. There is always something to do and if you are bored you can always explore a new part of the city.

4 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: City is great but the school isn't as awesome.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: The atmosphere is amazing here! The places and food to see and explore with your friends is never-ending! There's always something going on every weekend and the people there are usually average they won't bother you if you don't bother them.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Jiordan Castle
Huntington, New York
English (Writing Emphasis)
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

As major cities go, San Francisco is one the cleanest, friendliest, most eclectic places in the country, if not the world. Students generally come to USF for the surrounding city and for good reason. There’s always something to do or see, whether it’s eating brunch in the Mission, attending an opera or ballet, joining a pub crawl on Polk Street, or seeing a movie at the Kabuki theater in Japantown. There are always new discoveries to be made, and even some inexpensive or free events to attend, like the annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park.

Busy and overwhelming as the city can sometimes seem, San Francisco’s natural beauty is apparent from sites like Twin Peaks or the Golden Gate Bridge. If the stress of school gets to be too much, students should look no further than Ocean Beach or Fisherman’s Wharf to get a quick peek at the ocean, both of which are no more than a half-hour bus ride in either direction from campus. Culturally and aesthetically, the city is especially diverse. Certain courses at USF take students on field trips to the city’s museums and historical sites, while others encourage community service and volunteer work at local churches, parks, and tourist attractions like the San Francisco Zoo. There’s no other college town quite like it, with bars, bike shops, farmers' markets, and coffee shops practically on every corner. If you’re looking for a passionate, diverse community in one of the country’s most interesting cities, then come to San Francisco.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. San Francisco is home to the largest Chinese population in the world outside of China.
  2. Golden Gate Park, established on April 4, 1870, is a 1,031-acre man-made park that was built upon sand dunes.
  3. The infamous cable cars began running in 1873, originally with more than eight different lines. San Francisco was the first city to ever use the cable car, but the Great Earthquake of 1906 damaged many of the lines. Today, some of the original lines are still in use.
  4. Mark Twain once said, "The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco."
  5. Alcatraz Island has a rich history. It was originally occupied by the military as a fort, then it was an army prison camp. Most notably, Alcatraz became the famous prison where the nation's worst criminals were sent, after which it became the site of the Native American peace community. Now it is a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, open with tours daily.
  6. The historic streetcars, which run along Market Street and the Embarcadero to Fisherman's Wharf, began service in 1912. San Francisco has actual streetcars running that came from seven different countries and ten different cities across the country.
Notable Natives
  • Ansel Adams - photographer
  • Mel Blanc - voice of Bugs Bunny and other characters
  • Benjamin Bratt - actor
  • Darren Criss - actor ("Glee")
  • Paul Desmond - musician
  • Joe DiMaggio - former baseball player
  • Clint Eastwood - actor, director
  • Robert Frost - poet
  • Jerry Garcia - musician
  • Danny Glover - actor
  • Merv Griffin - television producer
  • Josh Hartnett - actor
  • James Hetfield - musician
  • Jack London - author
  • Kevin Pollack - actor, comedian
  • Rob Schneider - actor
  • OJ Simpson - former football player and infamous character
  • Jeffrey Tambor - actor
  • Robin Williams - actor, comedian
Local Slang
  • Bridge and Tunnel People: Commuters into San Francisco from around the Bay Area
  • Hella: Extremely cool
  • MUNI: San Francisco Municipal Railway, aka the bus
  • SoMa: South of Market Street; a popular area on the weekend where bars and clubs seemingly pop up overnight
  • Tenderloin: Section of downtown notorious for being dangerous and unpleasant at night, but has great restaurants and sites to see
Points of Interest
  • Alcatraz
  • The Castro
  • Chinatown
  • Coit Tower
  • Fisherman's Wharf
  • Ghiradelli Square
  • Golden Gate Bridge
  • Golden Gate Park
  • Grace Cathedral
  • Haight-Ashbury
  • Japantown
  • Mission District
  • North Beach
  • Presidio
  • San Francisco City Hall
  • San Francisco Opera House
  • Union Square
Shopping Centers
  • Stonestown Galleria Mall
  • Union Square
  • Westfield San Francisco Centre
Movie Theaters
AMC Loews Metreon 16
101 Fourth St.
San Francisco
(415) 369-6207
Movie Theaters
AMC Van Ness 14
1000 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco
(415) 674-4630
Movie Theaters
Sundance Kabuki Cinema
1865 Post St.
San Francisco
(415) 929-4650
Major Sports Teams
  • San Francisco 49ers: NFL
  • San Francisco Giants: MLB
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Lake Tahoe, Calif.: : 4 hours
  • Los Angeles: : 6 hours

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 86 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 88 responses

  • 0% Painfully remote.
  • 3% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 0% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 1% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 95% 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 87 responses

  • 8% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 43% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 49% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 87 responses

  • 7% No way.
  • 48% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 45% Totally.



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