Relocating to Silicon Valley

The thriving South Bay Area region and booming job opportunities attract students to Northeastern University–San Francisco Bay Area from around the world. With close proximity to top industry leaders, we are thrilled to call the Silicon Valley home.

If you are looking to relocate, here are some helpful tips and links to get you started.


Within the Silicon Valley, our campus is located in the city of San Jose. 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.

AirMineta San Jose International Airport (airport code: SJC) is the primary airport in the Silicon Valley and the closest to our campus, with both domestic and international flights. Located approximately 13 miles from Northeastern University—Silicon Valley, various public transportation systems, taxis, and ride-shares serve the airport. Visit 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. To arrive closest to the Silicon Valley campus, continue to take the Caltrain to the Blossom Hill station.*
    *Please note that the Blossom Hill station is only available for weekday commute-hour service between the San Jose Diridon station and the Gilroy station. Review the depart times for northbound and southbound trips here.

Public TransitThe 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. Be sure to get your Clipper Card for all-in-one Bay Area transit!

Driving — In order to obtain a U.S. driver license, please visit the State of California’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Please view this page to learn how to apply for a driver 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, Waze Carpool , and Craigslist: South Bay.

Bicycling — The City of San Jose has made impressive efforts in creating bicycle-friendly roads with designated bicycle lanes. Learn more about California bicycle laws and sharing the road with motorists before you start biking.


International students living and studying in the state of California may consider getting a state identification card. 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 a card, please visit this page.


There are various rental options for both single and shared living in the Silicon Valley area. 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 the city of San Jose and the Santa Clara County housing search website, which provides information about available rentals segmented by cities in the Santa Clara County. The following websites are additional common resources to searching for rentals.

Since a number of cities make up the Silicon Valley area, 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.

Remember, Silicon Valley is not an official name for a city or region. It is a nickname that represents the South Bay Area region of California, which consists of the Santa Clara County. How did Silicon Valley get its name then? Check out this Wikipedia page.

  • > The Silicon Valley campus is located in South San Jose, which is a geographical area in the city of San Jose. San Jose is a city in the Santa Clara County.
    • South San Jose is generally considered anything south of Downtown San Jose.
  • > The closest main highway to our campus is Highway 101.
    • Driving southbound to our campus is considered a reverse commute trip, which means that the driver is traveling in the opposite direction of the regular work population traffic flow.
    • You will encounter minimal traffic coming southbound in the morning and leaving northbound in the evening. Consequently, you will encounter moderate to heavy traffic coming southbound in the evening to our campus.
  • > To live close to the campus, consider staying in the area of South San Jose.
    • Neighborhoods include Almaden Valley, Blossom Valley, Coyote Valley, Edenvale, Santa Teresa, Seven Trees, and Silver Creek Valley.
  • To live moderately close to the campus, consider staying in the city of San Jose.
    • Geographical areas and neighborhoods include East San Jose, Willow Glen, Downtown San Jose, Japantown, Berryessa, and North San Jose.
    • Willow Glen, Downtown San Jose, and Japantown are great locations to live in if you would like to be within walking distance to restaurants and local stores.
  • > The nearest cities beyond San Jose that you may consider are Milpitas, Campbell, Cupertino, and Santa Clara.
    • For example: Rentals in Cupertino will lean toward the pricey and high-end side. However, it is a growing hub for popular restaurants, events, and activities. Additionally, there is a strong Chinese and Indian community population.


National banks with banking centers throughout the South Bay Area include:

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 Silicon Valley through local museums, outdoor activities, and cultural events. As an introduction on insights to the life in the U.S., please visit this page.

For a comprehensive list of fun and educational activities to enjoy in San Jose and Silicon Valley, please visit:

Learn more about South San Jose at


San Jose is 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

  • 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 nonemergencies, 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.