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Life in the USA


The temperature in the Bay Area is comprised of microclimates with varying temperatures, depending on geography and location.  The Bay Area is made up coasts, valleys, inland areas, and hills.  The temperature in Oakland is considered mild with an average high of 73°F/22°C and an average low of 45°F/7°C.  December through February tends to be rainy and cold, although it never snows.  However, you should plan to bring a range of clothing, from warm weather clothes to winter clothes.  For more information on weather, you can go to www.weather.com

Culture Shock

Students are always welcome to stop by the International Student Advisor’s office to chat about cultural issues, adjusting to life in the US, and much more.  Trinity College also has an excellent online handbook, which describes the cultural shock many international students may experience. 

Counseling Services

If you do find yourself feeling very depressed please contact your International Student Advisor to help you get free professional psychological support.  You can also go to the Counseling Services page to find out more information.

Life in the Bay Area

Oakland and the surrounding SF Bay Area are well known for its diversity in cultures, ethnic representations and colorful neighborhoods.Below are some links to get you started in exploring the Bay Area.

Oakland Neighborhoods

San Francisco Neighborhoods

Nearby Destinations

Area Attractions& Lodging


Living, incidental and social expenses will depend on your personal interests and lifestyle, whether you choose to live on campus, rent an apartment, or have roommates.  Social activities may also require additional expenses.  Rent, food, and other costs are subject to inflation. 

  • When you arrive in the US, you should have sufficient funds to cover your expenses when you reach HNU. Once you have decided on your itinerary and estimated expenses, you may wish to purchase traveler's checks in U.S. dollars for the amount of money you need. Traveler's checks, obtained at banks or travel offices, can be cashed by banks and most businesses, including hotels, restaurants, and airports.
  • Payment of tuition, fees, and other charges is due prior to registration (when you enroll for classes). Payment may be made by cash, check or credit card (American Express, Discover, Visa or MasterCard only). Questions can be referred to the Student Resource Center.
  • If you cannot make full payment at the time payment is due, you must make special payment arrangements with the Student Billing Manager. If you fail to do so, you will be charged a late fee.
  • Little if any financial aid from the University is available for international students, therefore, plan on meeting your own educational expenses for the duration of your studies. All students must have enough money to cover their expenses. You can work on campus when jobs are available.
  • Married students who wish to have their families join them should realize their financial burdens. A married couple who can live inexpensively will require at least $5,000 more per year than a single student will. Additional funds are necessary for each accompanying child for a minimum standard of living. Visas are not issued to the family of students unless they have sufficient funds for dependents in addition to the amount required for the single student. Many students find it best to delay bringing their families until they have found housing and settled in the community.


Navigating Your Way Through the American Education System

  • Registering for classes
  • Buying books
    • Students are expected to purchase their books at the HNU Campus Bookstore. Students can order their books online ahead of time or buy them on campus once school starts.  










Learning Communities