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Life in San Francisco

For those of you new to San Francisco, welcome to the land of steep hills, great coffee, awesome tech geeks, and many things strange and wonderful.

Galvanize is in the SOMA (South of Market St) district of San Francisco.

The address is:

44 Tehama Street

San Francisco, CA 94105

This is an informal resource guide to help you prepare to navigate the search for HOUSING, options for TRANSPORTATION, and unique ways to EXPERIENCE SAN FRANCISCO.


DISCLAIMER: Galvanize does not provide student housing and cannot facilitate official assistance. We have done our best to verify the resources linked below at the time of distribution but do not claim any responsibility for changes in rates or availability by the parties listed.

Here are some ways to get started with your search.

Option 1: Rent a Place via Craigslist

The best bet to find housing really is Craigslist. On the Craigslist search page, you can filter by area (tabs) and neighborhood (dropdown). A place in San Francisco will be more convenient, but more expensive. The East Bay is a great alternative, particularly Berkeley and Oakland. South San Francisco/Daly City are also affordable options, but quieter. Our office is 2 blocks from the Montgomery BART and MUNI station, which makes commuting very easy. We are also close to a number of bus lines that go all over the city.

Where In San Francisco?

Popular neighborhoods for people in tech include: Mission District, Hayes Valley, SOMA/South Beach, North Beach/Telegraph Hill, Castro/Upper Market, Nob Hill, Haight Ashbury, Lower Haight, Alamo Square/Nopa, Noe Valley, Lower Pac Heights, Western Addition, Lower Nob Hill, USF/Panhandle, Inner Richmond, Cole Valley, Excelsior/Outer Mission, Inner Sunset, Richmond/Seacliff.

When looking, it is best to find somewhere close to a BART or MUNI stop. SF BART stops include: Balboa Park, Glen Park, 24th Street/Mission, 16th Street/Mission.

BART stops can be found here:

MUNI bus lines can be found here:

As you might guess, SF neighborhoods can be very expensive. There are lots of students in the Outer Sunset because of its proximity to San Francisco State University. It’s farther away but quieter and more affordable.

While geographically convenient (and often visually interesting), the Tenderloin has more crime than any other neighborhood in the city and it may not be for the faint of heart/spirit.

Want more advice on SF neighborhoods/life? Check out these links:

Where in the East Bay?

The East Bay is more relaxed, sunnier, and often cheaper than living in the city. It is accessible by BART, which runs all day until ~12:30am. There also tends to be a lot of turnover and temporary housing near UC Berkeley.

When looking, it is best to find somewhere close to a BART stop. Most of the popular places to live are close to these stops:

Berkeley: Downtown Berkeley, Ashby, Rockridge/Claremont, and North Berkeley.

Oakland: Macarthur, Oakland North/Temescal, Oakland Lake Merritt/Grand, Oakland Downtown.

Be sure to visit any potential apartment in these Oakland and Berkeley neighborhoods. These neighborhoods can change drastically from block to block.

Pro Tips for Contacting People via Craigslist

People who post places on Craigslist that are a good deal regularly get 50 emails a day about their place. You have to stand out. Always write a friendly email introducing yourself with your name, approx. age, what you’re doing in the city, for how long, and what you like to do in your spare time.

Many of our students have had luck posting in the Housing Wanted section with information about themselves. See this example from a student who landed a great deal in a great location, along with his tips on how to craft a quality Craigslist post:

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Here is what I think is important:

1) Most importantly, think about the person that you want to attract to your ad and sell to that person!

2) Make yourself a real person: People are always worried about scams on Craigslist. Put up a picture and post links to Facebook or Linkedin.

3) Give some info about yourself. There are a bunch of ads that just say "Hey, I'm moving to the city, get in touch!" Nobody is going to reply to that!

4) Be realistic and open about location and price requirements. Research prices in areas that you want to live and go in with realistic expectations. With unstated or unrealistic requirements, the person contacting you will be responsible for and in power to frame the conversation.

5) Going back to point 1: After you write your ad, explicate the entire thing and evaluate how you are portraying yourself.

After the ad goes up and people start getting in touch, which happens very quickly, just do your due diligence making sure the places and people are legitimate.

Let me know if I can be of any more help.

Birmingham => San Francisco,


Option #2: Group Living Houses

You’re not the only one moving here temporarily to do cool stuff in the technology industry. Some of the places listed below are intended for shorter term stays (several months) but some are open to longer terms. They are also great places to start out and get to know people.

There are a few hacker houses in the city which work a bit like dorms or hostels for founders and technologists.

We’ve had alumni and friends stay at:

Other groups and individuals have reached out to us directly describing their group living houses. The descriptions and contact info is below. Please note we cannot guarantee accuracy of the statements below. Please reach out to the

managers directly.


  1. The Drew West House

Phone: 775.379.7629


My name is Drew West, and I provide housing for coding students in SF. I graduated from Dev Bootcamp in 2014, and it's such a pain to find a  place to live while you're studying short-term. You should have a home that's close, convenient, and safe enough to walk, bike, or bus; that's why I created the coding students' community.

The coding students' community includes:

I feel this offers several benefits like increased safety traveling with other students, and increased comfort staying with people you know. I know what the experience is like because I went through it myself and this is my way of contributing back to the community.

The guest fee is $1,200 per month, including all utilities, professional cleaning, and use of bicycles. Spaces are limited by the number of openings, so please contact me right away!

Details and poster with images here:

CohortX Sale.jpg

2) Minerva House

This shared house is on Market Street, West of Civic Center, close to BART and Muni.



If interested, please email with your name, email, phone number, and school affiliation.

3) Amplifi (for women)

Amplifi is a housing for women and people who identify (and live) as women who are attending coding and data science bootcamps. Amplifi is a direct housing partner for Hackbright, Galvanize, and Metis and accepts residents from other major coding bootcamps.

With room for up to six residents, each person has a personal desk and a curtained bunk. There is a large living room (intentionally without desks) for recharging after a long day in class.

Located near West Oakland BART Station (less than a 10 minute ride to SOMA, trains every 3-4 minutes - all lines pass through West Oakland). Major local and transbay bus lines pass near the home and there is a casual carpool pick up point a few blocks away.

About our mission:

Amplifi is coordinated by Frances Haugen and Tobias Merkle, but we do not live onsite. Frances was inspired to set up Amplifi after visiting where her brother lived while attending Dev Bootcamp. Like many coding camp students, her brother lived in a large shared housing space which had beds for 16 people in two rooms (he lived with 16 men). Frances has extensive backpacking/hosteling experience across Europe, and remembered how much she preferred women-only hostel rooms. One way to make coding camps more accessible for women trying to enter tech is to provide women-only accommodations at a similar or lower price point to what men already have access to. Amplifi is our first step towards this mission. We hope to help you on your journey into Tech!

If interested, please email with your name, email, phone number, and school affiliation.

4) Hack & Sleep

Hack&Sleep: Two hacker houses in SF and Daly City.
Our guests are international entrepreneurs & developers.

Flexible & affordable housing with other tech people.

Tel. +1 415 4836781


Please keep in mind that these are group living situations, and we don’t endorse or partner with any of these groups. Take the time to visit the location to evaluate the living situation, and research reviews, to make sure it will be a comfortable place for you.


Roomate @ Bay

SF Bay Area - Rooms, Apartments, Rentals, Sublets


If You Are Flying

There are two easily-accessible airports: San Francisco (SFO) and Oakland (OAK). There is also San Jose (SJS), which sometimes has discount flights especially on Southwest. Both SFO and OAK are BART-accessible, meaning you can walk out of the airport and get on a BART train to the city or wherever you’re going.

If you have too much stuff, it’s very easy to book a shared van service ride to or from the airport using Super Shuttle:

Public Transit: Get a Clipper Card

When you arrive in SF, find a Walgreens and ask for a new Clipper card. These transit cards work on the MUNI buses, MUNI light rail, BART (commuter train to East Bay), and CalTrain (commuter train to South Bay and San Jose). You can add cash to them at any MUNI station or online, or add monthly passes for any transit company.

You can view transit maps at

Ridesharing Services

Increasing in popularity are services like UBER and LYFT that make getting around SF more convenient, though costs are much more expensive than public transportation. Be aware that prices can also fluctuate during high-demand periods.



San Francisco is a great place to live, work, and study. Here are a few blogs and resources for activities and things to know. We encourage you to reach out to fellow cohort-mates on Slack and hit up some of the great spots and events together!

Meeting people and things to do:

Tech Meetups


It’s perpetually 60-70 degrees. A light jacket is your best friend. We also have fog.