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Embassy English 7 September 2017 - by Nicole Williams. Student Services Representative, Embassy English San Diego

Insider’s Guide: America’s Finest City San Diego

Hello, my name is Nicole Williams and I am one of the Student Service Representatives at Embassy San Diego. I was actually born and raised in San Diego, so I would like to think I am the perfect guide to this city. I have worked for Embassy English for about a year and a half now and it has been a very rewarding experience. The most amazing part is now I have friends across the world.

What makes San Diego unique and a good destination for international students?

I like to explain San Diego as a BIG, little city. It is the eighth largest city in the United States however; there is still a small town feel outside of downtown.  San Diego is such a unique city because we have a variety of indoor/ outdoor activities to participate in! We are known for our beautiful beaches and amazing weather but don’t forget we are only a short trip away from the mountains and desert!

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During the winter months, I would suggest staying at ski resort! Take a trip to Big Bear, Mountain High or Mammoth Mountain and enjoy skiing or snowboarding. If you are not interested in winter sports, all the resorts have a sledding area and a snow park nearby. Be sure you and your friends head to the mountains during your stay!

Besides visiting the beach during the summer, make sure you check out San Diego’s deserts! If hiking, camping and riding ATV’s is more your style, you definitely need to check out one of Southern California’s many deserts.

Then there are water sports all year round, paddle boarding, surfing, snorkeling and whale watching are all great activities to do in San Diego. There really isn’t a “bad” time of the year to come which is why I think it’s a great destination for international students! You will get the best of both worlds.

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What advice would you give a student on their first day in San Diego?

My advice for your first day in San Diego is to get a California burrito at a local Mexican taco shop and eat it on the beach! Pacific Beach, Mission Beach and Ocean Beach are all great options.

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What are some fun facts about San Diego’s history and culture?

The average temperature in San Diego is 70 degrees Fahrenheit, absolutely the best weather in the United States. Secondly, SD is home to the world’s largest sailing ship, The Star of India. It has now been converted into a museum and is a great tourist attraction.

Lastly, I think the people are amazing in SD. We are such a diverse city! We have diversity in people, food, language and culture. San Diego is a melting pot of all different kinds of people. I believe ALL San Diegians practice tolerance! We embrace all ethnicities, races, religions and beliefs.

What are the best indoor/ outdoor activities in San Diego?

It really varies person to person depending on what you like to do. As I explained earlier, there are plenty of outdoor activities involving water sports, hiking and camping. On the other hand, I would suggest visiting our historical Balboa Park if you are interested in seeing museums. I think that is a wonderful indoor activity.

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What are some famous local food and restaurants?

First and foremost, In-N-Out hamburgers! It’s a must if you are in San Diego or are on the West Coast of the US. My favorite Mexican taco shop growing up (and still to this day) is Lolitas Taco Shop. I would suggest getting the California burrito!

What is the best place to go shopping San Diego?

Definitely visit Las Americas Outlet mall for the best shopping deals!

Tell us three things to do walking distance from school.

Visit our historical Balboa park, a short 15 minute walk from Embassy. Seaport Village for good food and shopping and lastly, Horton Plaza our local shopping mall with lots of clothing stores and even a movie theater!

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What is the weather like and what should students pack?

The weather is always nice. Bring shorts, short sleeve shirts and a couple pairs of pants for the night time. I would also bring a light jacket in case you go to a bonfire on the beach at night or have a night out on the town.

If you want to go out to a club downtown, you must wear dressy attire. That means a nice pair of shoes, a collared shirt and slacks (for men). Women need to “dress to impress” as well meaning, heels and a nice outfit. There is a strict dress code in San Diego for nightlife.

Bring a pair of tennis shoes if you are into outdoors activities. One of my favorite outdoor activities is hiking. We have some amazing hiking trails in SD! Depends on the scenery you prefer, you can enjoy a hike by the beach or even in the mountains.

Tell us three words to sum up your city!


America’s Finest City


To learn more about studying English at Embassy San Diego, contact us today! 

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