Our West Coast centre – UC Berkeley (near San Francisco, California) (pronounced: ‘burk-lee’)
Berkeley is a great base from which to explore the San Francisco area. The campus is situated on a hill rising steadily from the city centre, and your accommodation, in student apartment buildings, is at the far end of the campus, in a fairly quiet location.
Your accommodation is in twin-share rooms, with shared bathrooms. The accommodation is not air-conditioned (but then the San Francisco area doesn’t usually get very hot in the summer).
Breakfast and dinner are taken at the University, but you’re free to choose your own lunch in the city, which is just a short walk away.
Berkeley – the city (population: 115,000; location: about 20km east of San Francisco)
Berkeley is not technically part of San Francisco, but it is part of the San Francisco Bay Area, and there are good transport links by road or rail into the centre of San Francisco from Berkeley.
Berkeley itself is a very lively, student-oriented city, and a tourist attraction in its own right.
San Francisco – the city (population: 850,000 – the whole Bay area: about 8.5 million)
The city of San Francisco is located at the tip of a peninsula, and the city proper measures about 7 miles (12 km) from north to south, the same distance from east to west. The city is very hilly, but the streets go up and down the hills in straight lines, almost as if they weren’t there; cable cars are used to get up and down. San Francisco is famous for its beautiful houses, about 100 years old, and the way they cover the hills. When you visit the city, you’ll see Fisherman’s Wharf and the much-photographed Pier 39, together with the sea lions which live there. You’ll also see, across the water, the former prison island of Alcatraz. On the west side of the city is the Golden Gate Bridge, perhaps one of the best-known bridges in the world.
San Francisco has an unusually mild climate, where heat and cold are quite rare. The relatively cool summers are created by the sea mist which often rolls in from the Pacific Ocean bringing cool, fresh air. Most years, it doesn’t actually rain in the summer – so you can leave your umbrella behind! The city is usually regarded as one of the pleasantest places in which to live in the USA.
The University of California, Berkeley is large, with 36,000 students, and it dominates the city centre. The campus is a very green and attractive place, yet the lively city centre is just on its doorstep. Berkeley is actually a branch of the University of California, and was the first of the various branches to have been established. It’s a high-ranking university, famous in particular for its strengths in science and engineering, and it has strong links with the companies of Silicon Valley. Many students go to Berkeley for postgraduate study, and the University actually produces more PhDs than any other in the USA. Back in the 1960s, Berkeley was known as a centre of student protest, but today most students are more interested in their studies than in protests!
Please note: Kingdom Education organises accommodation, meals and classrooms with our host colleges/universities. But we arrange our own courses, and these are completely independent of the colleges/universities.