Frequently Asked Questions by Scholars & Students

Where can I find resources related to moving and adjusting to life in the United States?

  • You can find this information in the Resources section of our website by clicking on the following link:

More specifically, how can I find additional information about housing?

  • UCSF's Housing Services provides information at the following link:
  • You can also find information about housing strategy, rental guidelines and resources at the following link: Please review the housing options on the left hand panel of the webpage.

Please note that international students and scholars are independently responsible for locating and securing housing.

Where can I find information about transportation in San Francisco?

Information related to UCSF shuttles, public transportation, obtaining a California drivers license can be found at the following link:

Where can I find information about applying for a U.S. social security number?

You cannot apply for a social security number until both of the following actions have taken place:

  1. You have been in the U.S. for 10 business days, and
  2. ISSO has validated your record in the federal database. For international scholars, this will be completed after the scholar checks in with HR. For international scholars, this will be completed after the student has checked in with their ISSO adviser.

You can find step-by-step instructions at the following link:

Where can I find childcare services information?

Please visit UCSF Family Services at

Are there ESL classes offered at UCSF?

UCSF does not offer classes in English as a Second Language (ESL). However, we do recommend the English Language Programs offered by the following schools: San Francisco State University; University of California, Berkeley – Summer English Language Institute. Visit "English as a Second Language Resources" for more information.

Can my F-2, J-2 or H-4 dependent work in the U.S.?

  • J-2 dependents may obtain employment authorization to work in the U.S. For more information about J-2 dependents, visit "J-2 Work Permit".
  • F-2 dependents are not allowed to work in the U.S.
  • H-4 Dependents generally cannot work in the U.S. For special circumstances where an H-4 may be able to work, please contact your H-1B adviser.

Where is your office located?

ISSO is located in the William J. Rutter Center on the Mission Bay campus. The Rutter Center (also known as the Community Center) is a big, red building in the middle of campus. It is also houses the Bakar Fitness Center. ISSO is located on the second floor in room CC 290. Visit "Office Hours & Location" for specific directions.

Where can I find additional resources related to my stay at UCSF?

  • If you have questions about your UCSF academic appointment, contact your HR representative. You can identify your HR representative by typing in your UCSF Department at the following link:
  • If you have questions related to San Francisco, please click on the following link: Resources are listed in the left hand panel within the previous link.