Make your travel plans early! San Marcos is about 60 km (37 miles) north of the San Diego International Airport (SAN) and 160 km (100 miles) south of the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). We strongly recommend that you arrive at the San Diego International Airport; it is closer and also much less busy than LAX.
If you have to change planes in the U.S., you must allow at least three hours between flights. International passengers go through immigration upon first arrival in the U.S. (not upon reaching their final destination), so you will need time to accomplish this processing before you find your connecting flight. Immigration and customs is generally much less busy at San Diego International Airport than at LAX.
You must make your own travel arrangements from the airport to San Marcos. Again, we recommend that you arrive at the San Diego International Airport. If you arrive in San Diego and you are living in homestay, you may reserve airport transportation with the homestay company. You can also reserve a spot on an airport shuttle from Los Angeles International Airport, but this can cost about $350 and can take 2 hours to get to San Marcos. Flights from Los Angeles to San Diego generally cost between $150-$300. Reserve a shuttle or arrange your transportation before you leave your home country; CSUSM does not provide airport transportation.
Local companies that provide transportation from the San Diego airport include:
It is very helpful to print or write out your new address in the U.S. to give to the shuttle driver so that they know exactly where you want to be dropped off. Make sure you have your address with you when you board your flight to the U.S.
If you will be living in the University Village Apartments (UVA) on campus, your address will be 305 Campus View Drive, San Marcos, CA, 92078.
The front office of UVA is open during the following hours:
If you arrive at UVA outside of these hours, you MUST call (760) 750-6400. The Resident Advisor on duty will then let you in to the building.
If you will be living in The Quad apartments, your address will be 200 East Barham Drive, San Marcos, CA, 92078.
The Front office of the QUAD is open during the following hours:
Monday-Friday: 8:30 am-9:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 3:00 pm-8:00 pm
If you arrive at The Quad outside of these hours, you MUST call (760) 750-3733 and the Resident Advisor on duty will open the door for you.
If you will be living in homestay, make sure you have your host family's address and phone number.
You must bring enough money to pay for your tuition, homestay or housing fees, health insurance, books, and personal expenses. Most businesses in the United States will accept Visa or MasterCard credit cards. However, you should arrive with enough U.S. currency to pay for food, transportation, and other expenses during your first days in San Marcos.
Estimated undergraduate expenses for the first semester are as follows: