Here is a list of resources that you might find useful to start your new life in Berkeley: Find information about housing, spouse support, doctors, activites and other fun stuff below.
Please contact us anytime you have a question.
At the University:
Berkeley Spouses and Partners: An organization initiated by the VSPA for spouses and partners of UC Berkeley graduate students, visiting scholars, and postdocs.
Subscribe to the Berkeley Spouses and Partners email list. You can use this list to get in touch with other spouses, here about fun events and clubs, as well as items for sale. You don't have to be at UC Berkeley to be part of this list. It's open to everyone.
Work/Life Balance: A Guide for the UC Berkeley Campus
Check out the event calender.
Find apartments, rooms, houses, furniture:
CalRentals: In order to have access to this list, you must pay a small fee. This list offers a wide array of furnished and unfurnished apartments in Berkeley, offered by locals, faculty, UC Berkeley staff members, and others.Please note that you must have a direct affiliation with UC Berkeley (grad student, Postdoc, Visiting Scholar, staff, faculty title) in order to access this list.
Craig's List: On this well-known website, you can find everything you need right in your neighboorhood. From apartments to rooms for rent, from kitchenware to furniture, cars, bikes, pets, friends, volunteer opportunities, everything is for sale on Craig's List. Tip: They also advertise Moving and Garage Sales there.
Padmapper.com: This cool website shows you apartment rental ads on a map, so you can specifically look for places in the neighbourhood you would like to live in.
Furniture and Household items
Equipment Rental by the University Section Club: For a small $10 fee you can rent all sorts of household items, silverware, plates, pots, cups, glasses, plates - you name it.
Craigslist: On this website you can't only find apartments, but also furniture and many other things for sale. Also Yard Sales and Estate
Sales are listed there. These sales are great way to buy used goods from private owners.
Find out about events, great restaurants, bars, and cafés:
Yelp: This website has ratings for pretty much all restaurants, bars, and cafés in the Bay Area. The ratings are done by locals who have been there, so they are a 100 percent trustworthy. Yelp can be compared to the European QYPE.
Berkeleyside.com: Berkeleyside.com is an independently owned local news site with great restaurant reviews, local news, current events, movie recommendations and much more. A true gem!
East Bay Express: Great local FREE newspaper, published weekly. It always has restaurant, CD and movie reviews in it and also informs you about local events. Great resource, not only for foodlovers.
How to get around the Bay Area without your own car:
Public Transit 511.org: This website will tell you how to get from A to B. You can print out bus schedules, check on fares and plan your trips with BART, bus, muni or streetcar.
Amtrak: American train service. Berkeley does have a train station!
The ClipperCard: This FREE card is great for getting around on public transit in the Bay Area. You can load money on it (in all Wallgreen's drug stores and ticket machines in BART stations) and then use this cool card for ALL public transportation in the ENTIRE Bay Area. Just swipe it when you board the bus. You won't even have to get transfers anymore. I love this card!
Berkeley Bowl: Great Deals on produce in two locations. The other stuff (bread, meat, cheese, etc.) is all organic and ergo very expensive, though. But the prices for fruit and veggies are really cheap. Check it out!
Monterrey Market: This is another great place in Berkeley to shop for produce while not having to spend a fortune. The market can be very busy on the weekends.
Berkeley Farmer's Market: You like organic food and love to shop local? Then this is the place for you. Check out the different locations and days.
Grocery Outlet: Great deals on all sorts of food. They don't always have a wide selection, however.
ACE Hardware Store: Anything you can possibly think of for your household is for sale here (from cables, plugs, door knobs, table linens, fertilizers, plant seeds, light bulbs, tools, maps, etc.) Open on Sunday. Very helpful staff!
For Paperwork of all sorts:
California DMV: This is the place you want to go to in order to get your California driver's license or your ID card. Bring some time, there is always a wait. Or make an appointment online.
Social Security Office Berkeley: The Social Security Office will assist you with getting your Social Security Number and all issues associated with it.
Going to the doctor can be expensive in America. Take advantage of the many free or low-cost medical options listed by the Berkeley free clinic. Look for the Handout "Womens' Medical Health Referral". If you qualify for low-income, Planned Parenthood might be also a good option for you: They offer free exams, pregnancy tests and birth control.
Meetup.com: On this website you can sign up for all kinds of local activity groups (hiking, cooking, walking, sightseeing, languages, i.e.)
Sierra Club: Organizes free hikes at all intensity levels in the Bay Area.
YMCA: Affordable sports classes (Aerobics, Pilates, and much more, look for the updated class schedule) and other fun activities.
Berkeley City Library: Renting books and DVDs from the Berkeley City Library is free. All you need is a Berkeley address and you can apply for the card. The library is even open on Sundays and has several locations throughout Berkeley. They do offer free drop-in career counseling every 4th Wednesday of the month.
You have more ideas on what should be listed here? Let uns know and write us!
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Great Resource for all of us Expat Women all over the world! Interesting success stories, tips from locals, checklists and much more.
Check out our Flyer! You can print it out and hang it up in your local coffee shop, clip it on your fridge as a reminder or just pass it along to your friends! The Berkeley Wives look forward to meeting new faces.