Local Area

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Local Area

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3 College Freshman

Local Area: Berkeley is far out and has a very nice community

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Local Area: I love living in Berkeley. I'm only 20 minutes away with the BART to get to one of the most vibrant cities in the country. Directly in Berkeley there is plenty to do and amazing ethnic food. Lots of hikes and shopping.

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Area: Everything is local which is great.

3 College Senior

Local Area: There are plenty of activities to do in San Francisco with some nice shopping areas and museums.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Area: I enjoy Berkeley very much.

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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It may seem surprising to hear people refer to Berkeley as a “college town.” At a school so large, you might not expect people to feel like they’re regulars every place they go, yet with its relatively limited number of quality places to hang out, study, and eat, this reputation makes sense. For some people, it’s a good thing because with a school as large as Berkeley, the feeling of closeness in the community is a nice counterbalance. But for others, the closeness is more of a nuisance than a true benefit. While you may see the same people on your way to school every day, they’re often people you don’t know by name, or people you want to avoid.

 

The city of San Francisco is a nice escape from the college town doldrums—it’s a necessary reminder of what the world outside of the “Berkeley Bubble” is like. If you manage your time well, going to the city—or anywhere outside of Berkeley—doesn’t have to be an all-day affair, and you can fit this breather in easily between class, studying, and extracurricular activities. Also, many clubs and student groups organize events outside of Berkeley for people to attend during the week and on weekends. Getting outside of Berkeley’s altered reality is not only good for your social well-being, but it is helpful for maintaining your grasp on the more moderate outside world.

 

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. It was one of the settings for famous writer Jack Kerouac's Dharma Bums.
  2. Many radioactive elements were discovered in Berkeley; one has been named Berkelium.
  3. Berkeley's computer science departments led the UNIX revolution in the 1980s.
  4. Historians cite Berkeley as the spot where the free speech movement began in 1964.
  5. The city and campus have been featured in movies like The Hulk, The Graduate, and Boys and Girls.
Notable Natives
  • Patty Hearst - heiress who was kidnapped from Berkeley by the Symbionese Liberation Army in '74
  • Maxine Hong Kingston - Chinese American writer
  • Mario Savio - leader of the free speech movement at Berkeley in '64
Local Slang
  • Beezy: A female with attitude
  • Ghetto: Falling apart, in bad condition
  • Hater: Someone who is always saying negative things
  • Hella: A lot, really
  • Hyphy: A Bay Area-based rap movement
  • Legit: Not fake, cool, to be taken seriously
  • Smoke somebody out: When a person invites someone else to smoke her marijuana with her
Points of Interest
  • 4th Street
  • Bay Street, Emeryville
  • Berkeley Rose Garden
  • College Avenue
  • Telegraph Avenue
  • Tilden Regional Park
Shopping Centers
  • Bay Street, Emeryville
  • Broadway Shopping Plaza, Walnut Creek
  • Union Square, Downtown San Francisco
  • Westfield San Francisco, San Francisco
Movie Theaters
AMC Bay Street 16
5614 Shellmound St.
Emeryville
(510) 457-4262
Movie Theaters
California Theatre
2113 Kittredge St.
Berkeley
(510) 464-5980
Movie Theaters
Shattuck Cinemas
2230 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley
(510) 843-3456
Movie Theaters
United Artists Cinemas 7
2274 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley
(510) 843-3892
Movie Theaters
United Artists Emery Bay 10
6330 Christie St.
Emeryville
(510) 420-0107
Major Sports Teams
  • Golden State Warriors: basketball
  • Oakland Athletics: baseball
  • Oakland Raiders: football
  • San Francisco Giants: baseball
  • San Jose Sharks: hockey
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Lake Tahoe: CA: 4 hours
  • San Francisco: CA: 20 minutes by car 40 minutes by BART (mass transit system)
  • San Jose: CA: 1 hour
  • Santa Cruz: CA: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 204 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • 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 204 responses

  • 50% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.
  • 36% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 0% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 13% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 0% Painfully remote.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 203 responses

  • 30% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.
  • 53% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 17% There aren't any nearby schools.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 204 responses

  • 22% Totally.
  • 54% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 24% No way.

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