Contributed by Lucie
ana Winter of Brazil.
There are 3 main
areas you should know about:
Isla Vista (IV)
refer to all of them as Santa Barbara. That causes some surprises
(not very pleasant sometimes).
Barbara is not in Santa Barbara. It is in the Goleta / Isla
Vista area, which is far from downtown Santa Barbara. So is
ELS School. Santa Barbara City College and English First (EF)
School are near downtown Santa Barbara.
Barbara Airport is not in Santa Barbara. It is in Goleta, near
UCSB and about 10 minutes by car from Santa Barbara City
College. If you arrive in the Santa Barbara Airport and have
rented a car to go to UCSB / Isla Vista, do not follow the
signs to Santa Barbara. Follow the signs to UCSB. If you are
looking for Santa Barbara City College, follow the signs to
The bus system
in Santa Barbara stops at 6pm. This is important to know.
Because UCSB is not in Santa Barbara this means that if you
live near UCSB you cannot travel to/from downtown at night
without some alternate form of transportation. This also means
that if you live far from your school at night you might get
stuck. A taxi cab, bike or friend's car might be your main
transportation options at night. Because of the distance, a
bike is not always good option for traveling between UCSB and
downtown Santa Barbara at night.
The 101 Freeway
is the main road that connects all cities & schools in the
Santa Barbara and Goleta area. There is a bike path system
between UCSB and Santa Barbara.
If you are a
student or you will stay with a host family, you will probably be
living or going to school in one of these areas.
The area is very big, and you should be very well informed about
were you are going to live.
You might find out you're going to be all the way up on a hill,
with no transportation close to you, quite isolated.
Some students have to walk 30 minutes (or more) to the nearest bus
And the bus is not available everywhere and all the time.
Downtown area is detailed in the Downtown page.
ELC and EF schools are on that area.
SBCC, City College, is on the West Side, around the Mesa area.
Goleta downtown is 15 minutes (by car or bus) from downtown Santa
It's a small village where there is a several shopping malls, and
Most of the host families receiving international students are in
You should also check carefully where, to see if there is easy
access to transportation where you will be.
The cheapest motels are between Santa Barbara and Goleta.
This is where most of UCSB students live.
It's close to the campus and it's mostly an apartment's area.
The last 2 streets before the beach (especially Del Playa street,
known as DP) are the "party headquarters".
Lots of party, people and noise.