Relocating to Silicon Valley
If you’re relocating to the area to attend your program, here are some resources to help. Our Silicon Valley campus is located in downtown San Jose. This is the center of a large metro region with many possible places to call home, and our campus team is here to help you as you navigate your move. Reach out anytime at [email protected].
San Jose is easily accessible from several major freeways, including Highway 101 (US 101), Interstate 280 (I-280), Interstate 680 (I-680), and Interstate 880 (I-880). A number of public transportation options make it convenient to travel from San Jose to other cities in the region.
Mineta San Jose International Airport (airport code: SJC) is the closest airport to our campus, with both domestic and international flights. Located less than 4 miles from Northeastern, various public transportation systems, taxis, and ride-shares serve the airport. Visit the SJC Ground Transportation website for more information.
The largest airport in the Bay Area region is the San Francisco International Airport (airport code: SFO), serving more international flights than SJC. Located approximately 50 miles from our campus, we recommend the following steps to travel from SFO to San Jose.
- 1. Take the BART from the SFO BART Station to the Millbrae BART Station, which is located within the Millbrae Transit Center.
- 2. From the Millbrae Transit Center, take the Caltrain to the San Jose Diridon station, which is located in the heart of San Jose.
- 3. The campus is about 1 mile from the Diridon station, and can be reached by several public transit connections.
Oakland International Airport (airport code: OAK) can also be a cost effective option to travel in and out of the Bay Area. Located just south of downtown Oakland in the East Bay, it is easily accessible by BART and Alameda-Contra Costa Transit Bus (AC Transit) as well as by taxis, Uber and Lyft.
To get around the Bay Area using transit, purchase a Clipper Card at a kiosk, participating store, or online (view purchase options here). You’ll add money to this card and to be used for fares on most of the various transit options throughout San Jose, San Francisco, and the rest of the Bay.
The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority provides bus and light rail services locally, while the Altamont Corridor Express, Amtrak, Bay Area Rapid Transit, and Caltrain offer transportation throughout the greater Bay Area region and Northern California.
Some of the regional public transit options have mobile apps to help you schedule your next trip. These will often give you better route options and more accurate schedules than Google Maps, so they’re worth downloading for the transit lines you use frequently. Apps are available for BART, Muni, Caltrain, VTA, and SamTrans.
In order to obtain a U.S. driver license, please visit the State of California’s Department of Motor Vehicles. This page details how to apply for a license.
Note that if you are an international student holding an F-1 student or F-2 dependent visa, you are not required to have a Social Security Number to be eligible. Instead, please make sure to present immigration documents such as Form I-20, a printed version of I-94 electronic record, and passport with visa.
If you are not eligible to apply for a license, consider carpooling as a transportation option. Coordinate with your fellow students or check out the following ride-share websites: CarpoolWorld, eRideShare, and 511 SF Bay.
Lyft and Uber are also available throughout the region, as well as several carsharing programs available to the public like Zipcar, Gig Car Share, and Getaround. Each one allows you to rent cars by the hour throughout the Bay Area for simple trips to the grocery store or adventurous day trips to explore.
San Jose is a bicycle- and scooter-friendly city and has made impressive efforts in creating roads with designated bicycle lanes. Learn more about California bicycle laws and sharing the road with motorists before you start biking.
There are various rental options for both single and shared living in and around San Jose and the rest of Silicon Valley. Many students live in buildings with studio or one-bedroom apartments. Often, single-family houses are rented out with individuals inhabiting different bedrooms while sharing the kitchen and living area.
First, check out the Off Campus Housing and Support Services website for useful information and resources on what to look out for during your housing search. Off Campus Housing and Support Services is available to review lease contracts and assist students with any landlord concerns, questions about renter’s rights, sublet issues, or roommate conflicts that may arise while living off campus.
Next, check out Northeastern’s Beyond Boston resource page for specific regional listings segmented by cities in Santa Clara County.
Then check some of the below online common resources which provide information about available rentals segmented by cities in the San Jose area.
*Remember to be careful—do not send money to or share banking information with anyone before you have visited a property and are sure you are interacting with a real landlord. It is very common for scammers to post fake housing listings.*
- San Jose Housing Rooms and Apartments Facebook Group
- Visit our campus Yammer group to connect with new and current students for shared housing!
Since a number of cities make up the greater metro area within Santa Clara county, review the breakdown of the nearest neighborhoods and cities to our campus below. Keep this Google map open as a visual reference while you explore the area.
Northeastern University provides information on housing in the San Jose area for your convenience only. The University makes no representation as to the condition or suitability of any of the listed resources, or with respect to any particular neighborhood or housing. The University assumes no liability or responsibility for any housing you may find using the information provided nor for any agreement you enter into with the owner or operator of any housing.
California State Identification Card
Students living and studying in the state of California may consider getting a California State Identification Card (ID). The ID card serves as official identification, but does not authorize driving. It is useful to have legal identification for activities like banking or proving your age. To learn how to apply for an ID, please visit this page.
National banks with banking centers throughout the Bay Area include:
- Bank of America
- U.S. Bank
- Wells Fargo Bank
- Bank of the West
- San Jose Credit Union — CEFCU San Jose
Before signing up with a bank, please check requirements for non-U.S. citizens and associated fees to accounts.
National mobile phone companies include:
There are endless ways to experience San Jose through local museums, outdoor activities, and cultural events. As an introduction on insights to the life in the U.S., please visit this USA.gov page.
For a comprehensive list of fun and educational activities to enjoy in San Jose, please visit:
- Tripadvisor | Top Attractions in San Jose
- Visit San Jose, CA | Activities and Events
- Visit California | Silicon Valley
Learn more about South San Jose at SanJose.org.
Sports & Entertainment
San Jose is also proud to be home to sports teams in soccer, hockey, football, and baseball. Join in on the spirit of being a fan and connecting with local residents by cheering on the teams or checking out one of the games.
- National Football League | San Francisco 49ers (Santa Clara, CA)
- Major League Soccer | San Jose Earthquakes
- National Hockey League | San Jose Sharks
- Minor League Baseball | San Jose Giants*
*San Jose Giants is a farm team, where young players train and gain experience, and if successful, join the San Francisco Giants (Major League Baseball).
Important Emergency Information
For information on how to stay safe in San Jose as you explore attractions and attend events, visit SanJoseCA.gov.
- For emergencies, call 9-1-1.*
*This number is intended for life-threatening emergencies. Calling this number for any other purpose may be considered a crime.
- For general public safety information and non-emergencies, call the San Jose Police Department at 3-1-1 or 408.277.8900.
- For suspicious activity, call the SJPD hotline number at 408.277.4041.