The International Students and Scholars office and Education Abroad office are in their new location in the Student Services Building, 2nd Floor.

Scenic view of UCR campus and Box Springs mountains

Get Settled in Riverside


Welcome to Riverside!

The University of California, Riverside, is located in the northeastern part of the city. We also host the Riverside Sports Complex. Other attractions in Riverside include the Fox Performing Arts Center, Riverside Metropolitan Museum, which houses exhibits and artifacts of local history, the California Museum of Photography, the California Citrus State Historic Park, and the Parent Washington Navel Orange Tree, one of the two original navel orange trees in California.

Please click through the tabs below for useful information to help you get settled in Riverside. 


Find Your New Home


Whether you’re looking for short-term, on-campus, or off-campus housing – we can help you find your home at UCR. See temporary housing options, explore on-campus residence halls and apartments, use tools to find off-campus housing, and get advice on renting in the U.S.

Temporary Housing 

If you’ve arrived at UCR without making prior housing arrangements, there are many hotels and motels near UCR that may offer temporary housing solutions. Please contact them directly for details.

On-Campus Housing For Students 

Living on campus is a great way to make friends, immerse yourself in American culture and become part of the UCR community. 

Visit the UCR Housing website to learn about on-campus housing options for students.  

On-campus housing is popular, so pay close attention to the deadlines to submit a contract and pay your first housing payment. UCR Housing also has a list of resources for international students.

Off-Campus Housing

Find off-campus housing near UCR using the Off Campus Housing Resource Guide. It’s a tool that allows you to search multiple housing listings in the area.  Use the Off Campus Housing Listings Tool.


Opening a Bank Account

To open an account at most banks you will need one or two valid forms of identification and a local mailing address to receive mail. A passport and a UC Riverside identification card are usually sufficient. At least $25 is usually required to open an account, and depending on your account there will be a monthly service charge unless a “minimum balance requirement” is maintained. Banks often have “hidden” fees so be sure to inquire about all possible fees.

Not all banks require a U.S. Social Security number to open an account, however, bank services may be limited (no online banking etc.) if you do not have a Social Security number.

ATMs are located behind the Highlander Union Building on campus by Scotty’s Store. Using an ATM at a bank different from the one you are a member of may cost $1-$5 each time it is used.

ATM Safety Tips
An automated teller machine (ATM) provides a quick and convenient way to access your money. However, use caution and remember these safety tips whenever you use an ATM

Cell Phones

Cell phone companies offer two payment models for service—postpaid and prepaid. You will need to decide which option is best for you.

Postpaid Cell Phone Service

Postpaid wireless service is the traditional arrangement for a cell phone plan. When signing up, you sign a contract agreeing to pay a certain amount each month for the agreed-upon service. The provider delivers the service to you continuously and bills you each month. Large deposits are usually required, especially for those without Social Security numbers. This deposit is normally refunded at some point (this varies by phone service provider).

Prepaid Cell Phone Service

All major cell phone providers in the United States offer prepaid wireless plans. When buying prepaid wireless service, a provider makes an agreed-upon number of minutes available to your cell phone, and you pay for those minutes at the time of agreement. Once you have used the minutes you purchased, you need to buy more to be able to keep using your phone continuously. This option does not typically require a credit check or a deposit.

Can I Use a Phone I Have Purchased in Another Country?

Often, yes. Make sure the phone is GSM-enabled (Global System for Mobile Communications), and “unlocked” (the SIM card can be removed and replaced and is not tied to a specific carrier).

Information relating to student health

Social Security Number

Students who will be employed on campus must apply for a Social Security Number.   See Obtaining a Social Security Number for additional information.

Related Forms:

SSN Fact Sheet

F-1 Visa SSN Verification Form 

J-1 Visa SSN Verification Form 


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