Mesa JourneysAsk Mesa




Ivonne Alvarez
Director of Admissions and Records
Residency and International Student
Admissions Supervisor

Student Housing

International Students
Student Housing

Finding an Apartment

Housing in San Diego is very expensive in comparison with other U.S. and international cities. It is important that you set a realistic budget before you begin looking for a place to live. You will find competitive pricing and plenty of options to choose from in San Diego. Be prepared to pay a security deposit equal to one month's rent (which may be refunded when you leave) in addition to the first month's rent. Many landlords attract prospective tenants by offering incentives like a discount on the first month's rent, free utilities, or free cable installation for your television set. Be sure to shop around to find the best bargain.

Apartment Listings

The Reader is a free newspaper containing many housing listings. It is published every Thursday, and is a valuable source of information for apartments for rent and roommates wanted. The San Diego Union Sunday classified section, also lists apartments for rent. Other Sources are For Rent magazine and Apartment Connection.

Signs and Community Notices

If you are walking or driving around the community, you may see "Apartment for Rent" signs in the windows of apartments or on signs posted in front of an apartment complex or bulletin boards around major grocery stores. Write down the telephone number so that you may call the owner or leasing agent for more information.

About Leases

A "lease" is a written legal document in which the renter agrees to make rental payments for a specified period of time. The advantage is that a six-month or one-year lease guarantees that the price of rent will not be raised during the time period. In contrast, renting month-to-month allows you the flexibility to move out with 30 day's notice. If you plan to stay in your apartment for six months or more, a lease is a good idea. If you sign a lease and then move out before the lease ends, you may be liable for rental payments for the remainder of the lease time.

Setting up your apartment

Once you have found an apartment, there are a few things you will need to know to get settled as quickly and easily as possible. At most apartment complexes, the landlord pays the water bill, and the renter pays for utilities (gas and electricity), as well as telephone and cable television service.


San Diego Gas & Electric Company supplies San Diego County with power service. To begin service, you must pay a deposit, plus a fee for reading the meters. Call 800-411-7343,( press 3, and then press 3 again) and service will begin within a few working days. You can request a service start at and choose "online service request"

The Pacific Bell Telephone company serves all of San Diego County. Service begins in two to five business days. For new service call 811-5888. If you need help choosing among competitive long distance companies, call (800) 332-1124.


Inexpensive Furnishings

There are many ways to find inexpensive furniture and household items for your new home. "Discount" Furniture is sold at a reduced price due to out-dated style, minor damages, unfinished wood, etc. "Used" Furniture is usually less expensive than "discount" furniture and can be found at garage sales or from second-hand stores.

Household Items

To find used household items for sale, look in the Want-Ad section of local newspapers under "Household Furnishings," "Miscellaneous," and "Garage Sales." Garage and yard sales offer low prices on used household items. The sales are usually held on weekends. Although prices are marked, some bargaining may be possible.

The weekly papers The Reader and Pennysaver are also good places to look for advertisements for garage sales, used furniture items, and other items for sale. The bulletin boards have advertisements for used household items.

Furniture Rentals

Furniture rental companies are listed in the yellow pages of the telephone directory under "Furniture Rental." They rent complete room sets and individual pieces.

  • Brook Furniture Rental 8288 Miramar Road (858) 549-4571
  • Cort Furniture Rental 7480 Miramar Road (858) 549-0800
  • Fashion Furniture Rental 6970 Miramar Road (858) 549-0100 (take #30 bus)
Appliance Rentals

Most apartments provide major appliances like refrigerators and stoves free of charge. If these appliances are not provided, you may wish to rent them. Look in the telephone yellow pages under "Appliance Rentals." When asking about the price, be sure to ask about delivery and pick-up charges or other fees. It may be cheaper to buy used appliances instead of renting if you are staying in the U.S. a year or more.

Youth Hostels

Hostels in the San Diego area are far from Mesa College but offer dormitory-style housing. They have kitchen facilities and are open from 4:30pm to 9:30am. Some of the local hostels are:

  • American Youth Hostels (619) 239-2644
  • Downtown Youth Hostel, 521 6th Avenue (619) 237-0387
  • Hi San Diego Downtown 521 Market, San Diego (619) 525-1531
  • Ocean Beach International Hostel 4961 Newport Avenue, San Diego (619) 223 7873
  • Point Loma Youth Hostel Point Loma (619) 223-4778
  • Jim's San Diego Downtown San Diego (619) 235-0234
  • YMCA Youth Hostel Downtown San Diego (619) 525-1531
  • It's a good idea to call ahead in order to clearly understand check-in polices.
Second Hand and Thrift Shops

There are also many stores listed in the yellow pages under "Thrift Shops" and "Clothes, Used."

Goodwill Industries
(858) 274-4960
1430 Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach

The Salvation Army
(858) 272-6514

Discount Stores

(858) 279-6823
7655 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard

(858) 576-0811
5454 Balboa at Genesee

(619) 276-7094
1240 West Morena Blvd.

Kobey's Swap Meet
(619) 226-0650
3500 Sports Arena Boulevard (parking lot)

Santee Drive-in Swap Meet
(619) 449-7927
10990 North Woodside Avenue

(858) 270-1600
4829 Clairemont Drive

(858) 571-6094
3382 Murphy Canyon Road

Rite-Aid (858) 292-9396
4437 Genesee Ave