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Housing

Like most Community College-based Intensive English Programs, SVIEP does not have on-campus dormitories and does not directly arrange housing for students. SVIEP does provide information regarding private and independently-owned housing options (see below) and recommends that students stay in homestays.

  1. Homestay

    International Student Placement (ISP) has successfully placed thousands of international students with host families in the San Francisco Bay Area. They place each student in a living situation where they will feel comfortable and secure. ISP hosts are personally interviewed in their home, screened, and selected for the program. Host homes are located within a reasonable distance to the student's school, typically within a 5-mile radius. Hosts are a variety of families and come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds that matches the interest and needs of international students. ISP provides support during the student's stay, and airport pick up (for a fee). Click here   for more information.

  2. Short-term Temporary Housing

    Cañada College is located 15 minutes from downtown Redwood City and is accessible by SamTrans Bus #274. View a listing of hotels located in downtown Redwood City  .

    Skyline College is located 25 minutes from downtown San Bruno BART or the Tanforan Shopping Center. You may take SamTrans Bus #140 from the San Bruno BART station to Skyline College. View a listing of hotels located near San Bruno BART  .

  3. The Cañada College Housing Board allows students and community members to list available rooms for rent or students seeking roommates. Other housing resources can also be found on the Housing Board that is located next to the Center for Student Life & Leadership Development in Building 5, Room 354. View the Housing Board website and request to add a listing.

  4. Other Resources
    • Universal Student Housing: a homestay provider for colleges and universities in California.
    • ApartmentList.com has a list of housing available in the Bay Area with detailed neighborhood information
    • SFGate lists housing in the San Francisco Bay Area.
    • San Mateo County Times focuses primarily on San Mateo County and is a good source for housing on the Peninsula.
    • CORT provides furniture rental packages and housing information for students living off-campus. Most apartments in the U.S. are not furnished. CORT offers furniture rental, with additional packages for cookware, towels and linens, a TV, and more.

New students should plan to arrange for their housing prior to arrival. New students should plan to arrive at least two weeks before registration. Early arrival is necessary to provide adequate time to adjust and become familiar with the area.


SVIEP uses the Cambridge Michigan Language Assessments (CaLMA) English Placement Test to assess how well you can understand written and spoken English.

You can prepare for the CaLMA test by taking a sample test.

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