Living in Davis

Finding Housing

Finding housing in Davis is challenging for nearly every UC Davis student, and international students have the additional responsibility of finding housing while still in another country. International students who are admitted to University Programs will receive continual advising and suggestions concerning housing, beginning with their admissions packet. University Programs students may choose to find an apartment or have a homestay.

Weather and Packing

Students who will be in Davis for more than one season generally only pack the clothes and items necessary immediately upon arriving. This saves space when packing, and it ensures that students will not bring unnecessary clothing. For example, a student arriving in the summer would bring only light clothes, such as shorts and T-shirts, even if they’ll be staying through the fall and winter. There are plenty of stores and opportunities to buy additional clothes and items as needed throughout the year. Keep in mind that people usually dress casually in Davis.

How to Get to Davis

Most international students arrive at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO). This airport is approximately 90 miles (1.5 hours) from Davis. The best way to travel to Davis from San Francisco is by car or shuttle.
  • SuperShuttle is a shuttle service between San Francisco Airport (SFO), Davis and Sacramento Airport (SMF). The shuttle bus will pick you up at the airport and drop you off at your residence in Davis. It is not required to make a reservation beforehand, but it is highly recommended.

Biking in Davis

The majority of UC Davis students bike to class, and many of the permanent Davis residents also choose to bike. A bike can get you across a large campus (like UC Davis) to class very quickly and on-time. Bike lanes and bike paths can make riding to and from campus a pleasure.

Getting a Bank Account

International students in Davis find that opening a U.S. bank account can make managing their finances significantly easier. Many banks issue debit cards, which are accepted anywhere credit cards can be used. This is particularly important, as not all U.S. banks will accept foreign ATM cards.

Student Health and Wellness Center

All UC Davis students have access to Student Health and Wellness Center services on campus, regardless of health insurance company. Most services can be found in the main SHWC building, which has a convenient central campus location. The SHWC offers primary care, specialty care, a pharmacy, nutrition services and clinical support services (including physical therapy). An optometry clinic is located on the second floor. Students are required to pay small fees for most services.

Cultural Guidelines

With so many people traveling around the globe, most international students already know a great deal about the United States and probably about the people who live there. However, there are any number of subtle cultural differences and surprises international students may encounter when arriving in Davis.

Each international student has a unique experience, with individual cultural “bumps” or “shocks” along the way. This list is not comprehensive but rather a list of the more common cultural differences for those new to the United States.

Cultural Adjustments

Living in a different culture is often a challenging experience. Besides finding housing, registering for courses, and getting to know a new city, most international students go through “cultural adjustment” or the transition to a new culture. This period is also commonly referred to as “culture shock.”

What to Visit Nearby

Davis offers a wide variety of events and activities to students, but students are not restricted by the city limits. Davis is located in center of California, within easy driving distance of many popular destinations. Remember that in California, an easy driving distance is usually considered to be about two hours.