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Santa Clara University

Living in the US

Most international students at SCU thrive.     

Students appreciate the supportive academic environment and the opportunity to be involved with everything from campus organizations and student clubs to working on campus.  Americans are often perceived as informal and friendly and US culture both inside and outside the classroom may be different from what international students have experienced before.  Explore academic life, social and cultural life and find help with the logistics of getting started with a mobile phone, bank account, social security number, driver's license and more.

Avoiding Scams

Unfortunately, there are dishonest people who are far too eager and willing to steal your money. Many times, people will set up fake listings on websites such as Craigslist in an attempt to steal your money. According to Craigslist, most attempts to be scammed can be avoided if you follow a few simple rules:

  • Always deal with people in person when possible. Be wary of conducting business with anyone who is not willing to meet you face-to-face.
  • Never wire money via services such as Western Union, Moneygram or others to a person you are renting from, especially if you have never met them in person.
  • Never give out financial information such as bank accounts or social security numbers to people you are renting from.
  • Do not rent housing without first seeing the interior of the property. Things on the outside might be different than things on the inside.
  • If something seems like it’s not right it probably isn’t. It’s better to be cautious than to be a victim of a scam.


US immigration regulations are complex and change frequently.  The University strives to maintain a website that is both current and helpful, however, Santa Clara University is not responsible for students maintaining lawful immigration status; this is the responsibility of the student.  Further, resources and links do not constitute endorsement by Santa Clara University.

David Chan

David Chan


"There’s so much to experience here – the culture, the people, it’s sort of diverse.  There are so many opportunities, especially contrasting the North and South.  Relatively close, but sort of a different world."


Francis Tan

Francis Tan


"You don’t need to be a part of a culture by blood to enjoy that culture.  You just need to really be genuine about wanting to be part of that culture and that community and that’s probably a decision I really like, because it gave me a whole new insight about culture."