American Language Institute

         at San Francisco State University

Image: Photos of ALI students and scenes from around San Francisco

Housing for ALI Students

Living in San Francisco can be a very exciting and rewarding experience.  For many of you this is your first experience living away from your family and in a foreign country.   San Francisco is a beautiful city in which to live and study; however, it is one of the most expensive cities in the U.S.  It can be hard to find affordable student housing. Start early and use the information and websites below to help you to find a place to live in San Francisco.

Permanent On-Campus Housing:

  • You can live on campus in a dormitory while studying at the ALI.  Many students want to live on campus so you must complete an on-campus housing application early.  We recommend you apply one year before your studies at the ALI.

Permanent Off-Campus Housing:

  • You may choose to rent an apartment by yourself, or to share an apartment with other people. When you share an apartment with one or more people, you have a roommate(s).  Another kind of off-campus housing is a Homestay, which allows you to live with an American family and stay in a room in the family’s home.

Temporary Short Term Housing:

  • You may need temporary, short-term housing when you first arrive in San Francisco, while you are looking for a permanent place to live. It is important to have temporary housing before you come to San Francisco.  The ALI is not able to find housing for you.
  • The hotels and motels listed here are close to  SF State and are good for a short stay of one week or less because they can be expensive:
    Hotels & Motels near SF State (PDF)
  • Hostels (Youth Hostels) are cheaper than hotels, but you must share a room with several people. Residence Hotels usually require a stay of one week or more and give a furnished room, meals, bed sheets and bath towels.  Residence Hotels may require that you pay a money deposit in advance in order to save a room. 


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