Last June I started an internship in San Francisco with the help of Architect US. I am trying to build a career as a Cloud Engineer, so a placement at a tech company in the heart of the San Francisco seemed like an amazing idea – and I wasn’t wrong!
10 months later, my internship is coming to an end, and I want to look back and go over some of the things that have amazed me, surprised me and even shocked me about this city.
When I first got here, I basically lived in a hotel for 10 days, while I embarked in a frantic undertaking to find a studio to move into. As a Spanish resident that had done quite some traveling around Europe before moving to the US, one of the first things that was a big shock for me were the prices. The rate at that hotel was around $100 per night, and that was the cheapest one I could find. The rents were not any cheaper; a small studio can average 3000 dollars per month. Luckily, my stipend was reasonable for the cost of life in the city, but that did not make sharing an apartment less of a need.
Once I got over the cost-of-life shock, I quickly realized that this city has an amazing food culture. This is in part driven by the incredibly-broad cultural diversity that reigns the different neighborhoods of the city (Italytown, Chinatown and Japantown are some examples), but also because of the ramifications of the American culture itself. Bottomline, if you’re craving anything you’ve had internationally, chances are you’ll be able to find it either in the city or in its close surroundings.
Last, a not-so-pleasant aspect of the city became obvious: it has a big homelessness issue. The moderate that dominate most of the year lead a lot of homeless people into migrating here, and this comes with some negative implications, including security (in some neighborhoods more than others), uncleanliness (on the streets and public transportation) and general disturbance of the urban landscape. It definitely required some effort to get used to this and learn how to navigate the city.
To finish, it’s probably worth a mention the swift response the city had to the COVID-19 pandemic: it was one of the 6 first counties in the US to impose shelter in place measures, a measure that I admire and applaud.
Overall, if you’re considering doing an internship or a traineeship in San Francisco yourself, I would 100% recommend it. However, don’t forget to do some research before coming, to find out where are the best places to live.