House hunting in San José

Hi there,

Nice that you are interested in reading my journey in California! I am about to start my studies at San José State University, SJSU for short, next week. Pretty excited about that! I have been studying at JAMK School of Business since 2016 to pursue the degree of Master of Business Administration. For the upcoming fall I am an exchange student at SJSU.

My background is in the beauty business. I have been working for the past twenty years in the field. Including 10 years in a wholesale company in charge of marketing activities.

I have been getting used to American lifestyle and customs quite thoroughly in the past years since I have been living in the States twice – first year 2015 and now for the past 9 months. My husband works in the University of California, Davis and that has brought us to the US in the first place.

We are living in the Northern part of California, Sacramento, which is the capital of California state. The city is about the same size as Helsinki and located in the middle of Sacramento Valley, about 1,5 hours drive from San Francisco to the northeast. Because SF is so close, we have been visiting there often. Absolutely one of my favorite cities in the world! (In the picture: Golden Gate Bridge, Russian Hill & Alcatraz.)

School starts next week and that means moving from Sacramento to San José. As soon as I got accepted to SJSU well before summer, I started to look for a place to stay. I did not manage to find accommodation from the International House where many exchange students are staying and therefore I had to find a place to stay from other channels. Regarding housing at San Jose, it is ridiculously expensive. I feel lucky to be able to find a private room for 850$ in the upstairs of a house that is very close to SJSU.

As a tip for anyone dealing with housing issues in the Bay area – be early, be fast, be persistent and be self-starter. There are many Facebook groups that are helpful in the searching process. The problem is that many land lords and apartment complexes are favoring 12 months commitment. Studios are easily 2000$ / month and therefore its really common to have a room mate(s).

In all, life in California, especially in the Bay area is really expensive compared to Helsinki where we used to live. Groceries, internet, TV, phones, housing… You can almost double all the expenses here. But on the other hand, Californian sun makes it little easier to handle 🙂

Stay tuned – I will tell you more about the SJSU campus next time!

With excitement,


P.S. If you are interested to read more about California and beauty business, check out my other blog (in Finnish, though):