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Santa Barbara

Read SAYIT's advice on and contact information for accommodation and J1 summer job hunting in Santa Barbara, California, USA.

Santa Barbara “The American Riviera”. Imagine London, Sydney or Buenos Aires - great food, great shopping, and great culture. Now shrink it to about 20 square miles. Delete traffic and noisy, crowded streets. Keep the pedestrian-friendly, easy-to-get-around part plus the great architecture. Now surround it with beautiful mountains, rolling valleys and miles of beautiful beach. Welcome to Santa Barbara!

Isla Vista

Santa Barbara itself is quite expensive so for this reason most students chose to live in Isla Vista, a student town 20 mins from the city. It is a small compact student town right on the beach. It's located right beside University of California Santa Barbara, which provides easy access to the internet through their computer rooms.

The weather in Isla Vista is fabulous; warm enough to lie out all day yet not so hot that you can't bear to be outdoors. The surrounding college campuses provide a mix of American and international students, giving Isla Vista a laid back, youthful atmosphere. 

There are two small supermarkets in Isla Vista itself where most items can be purchased for fairly reasonable prices. However, for the more budget-conscious student, there is a Kmart and Alberton's a 20 minute walk away where groceries and other basics can be picked up very cheaply.


The best place to get accommodation is in the neighbouring town of Isla Vista which is only a $2 fare from the town of Santa Barbara where most students find employment. This is a college area with lots of student apartments and frat houses. As the majority of UCSB students will be returning home for the summer this gives J1 students the opportunity to live in their accommodation during the summer months.

Accommodation can be found in advance however be wary of putting down a deposit before you see where you will be living for the summer! The best thing to do is to have a series of potential places lined up to see when you arrive.

Accomodation wise you're looking at paying maybe $1200 a month for a house or apartment in the centre of IV. However, this figure will decrease the more people you have to share the accommodation.

Job Hunting

Past J1 students have worked as waiters in many of the restaurants in the town, retail opportunities exist in places such as the shopping centre Passe Noeaveo and all along the main street (State Street). Opportunities also exist in hotels, restaurants and bars if you are over 21.

The majority of jobs are in Santa Barbara itself but a small number of students may find work in IV working in cafes, supermarkets, ice cream shops or even UCSB.

Business Type        



Phone Number


Various Addresses


+1 888-726-3972


Various Addresses




Various Addresses




900 San Ysidro Lane


+1 805-565-1773

Email: rrodriguez@sanysidroranc h.com

Job Database


https://www.belmondcareers.com/career_lis t.asp


Restaurant Listings


https://www.belmondcareers.com/career_lis t.asp


Bar listings




Bar listings


http://www.10best.com/destinations/califor nia/santa-barbara/nightlife/











Additional Tips

While living in Isla Vista you may want to invest in a bike. Most UCSB students cycle and there are cycle lanes everywhere in the town. Bikes can be bought off students themselves who are leaving for the summer, or from one of the two bike shops in IV. Both of these shops allow you to sell your bike back at the end of the summer and get some money back.  In addition, if you are up for a challenge and want some healthy exercise you can cycle the beautiful coast route along the cliffs all the way in to Santa Barbara itself. It's a great place if you are interested in surfing and some J1 students have found jobs on the beach as surfing instructors. 


Bike shops:  

1. Isla Vista Bicycle Boutique

880 Embarcadero del Mar · 

+1 805-968-3338

2. Varsity Bike Shop

6547 Pardall Rd ·

+1 805-968-4914


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