International Scholar Resources

English Language Learning Opportunities

J-1, H-1B, TN and E-3 Scholars may participate in English Language opportunities as long as coursework remains incidental to the research/teaching program.

University of California, Santa Cruz

English in Action

International students, research scholars, and spouses practice English for an hour each week, conversing with a volunteer American partner from the UCSC Women's Club. There is no charge to participate in this program. Contact Karin Grobe, , (831) 427-0984.

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz Adult School

English as a Second Language classes are 'open entry' throughout the year, providing instruction in English speaking, reading, writing, and listening for adults who range in ability from absolute non-speakers of English to thoe who are nearly fluent.

The Volunteer Center

Local volunteers work with scholars on an individual basis in English instruction. There is no charge for instruction. Contact Barbara Davis (831) 427-5070 for more details, or go to their website.

Santa Cruz City Schools

Santa Cruz City Schools offer English language instruction to both students enrolled in the Santa Cruz School District, and to their families.


Cabrillo College: English as a Second Language (ESL)

Offers courses specifically designed for students whose native language is other than English. Courses range from beginning, intermediate and advanced language study to ESL for Job Hunting and the Job Market, Writing Improvements for ESL Students, Pronunciation Improvement, Vocabulary, Reading and Note Taking. Fees are charged for these programs. Contact (831) 479-6400 or (831) 479-6478, or go to the Cabrillo College website.

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California Driver License

DMV Capitola Office

4200 Capitola Road, Capitola, CA 95010 

Phone: 1-800-777-0133

In order to be eligible for a license to drive, your J-1, H-1B, TN or E-3 status must have an expiration date 30 or more days beyond the date that you submit your application. Go to the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office to apply.

Additional Eligibility Requirements for J-1 Scholars:

  • Must attend the Mandatory J-1 Scholar Orientation, and submit required legal documents
  • Must wait at least 48 hours from the date that the J-1 record is validated in the SEVIS database, and
  • Must be physically present within the United States at least 10 days

Bring your Originals of the following documents with you to the DMV:

  • Passport
  • I-94 with port of entry stamp
    • Beginning mid-May 2013, U.S. Customs will be phasing out the issuance of I-94 cards at the port of entry. Scholars can then access their I-94 printout at Bring your I-94 printout to the DMV.
  • DS-2019 with port of entry stamp, if in J-1 status
  • I-797A if in H-1B status or if applicable for TN and E-3 status

Ordinarily, individuals applying for a California driver license, or an identification card, are required to first have a social security number obtained from the Social Security Administration Office. If you encounter any problems while applying at the DMV, please speak with DMV Representative, Marianne or Bernie.

J-2 dependents who are legally present in the US, but who are ineligible for a social security number, must follow additional steps in order to be eligible for a drivers license. In short, J-2s must apply for a social security number and receive a denial letter from the Social Security Administration Office. The J-2 must then present the denial letter to the DMV, along with documents demonstrating legal presence, to apply for their drivers license. 

For more information, go to the California DMV website.

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Santa Cruz Bus Passes

UC Santa Cruz offers subsidized bus passes for some academic staff and faculty. For more information, please contact the Transportation and Parking Services Office. You will need to either complete the online application with a UCSC staff ID number or go to the office and present your academic offer letter and identity as proof of eligibility.

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Enrolling Children in School

According to law, every person having control of any child between the ages of 7 and 18 years who has not completed the 12th grade is required to send such child to and maintain such child in regular attendance at a public full-time school during the entire school term.

Dependent children who live within the Santa Cruz City School district may enroll in Elementary, Middle and High schools. Each school district will have their own enrollment procedures, however you can expect that an enrollment packet and a health form will be required. Typically, placement at a school within a school district is based upon your residential address.

Pre-school & Pre-Kindergarten         -Approximately for children 18 mo - 5 yrs old

Elementary school                          -Approximately for children 5 - 14 yrs old

Middle school                                 -Approximately for children 12 - 14 yrs old

High school                                    -Approximately for children 14 - 18 yrs old

Preschool/Pre-kindergarten and Kindergarten information can be found on the Santa Cruz City Schools website.

Elementary, Middle, and High School information can also be found on the Santa Cruz City Schools website.

Please note that UCSC's Early Education Services (on-campus childcare) is limited to enrolled UCSC undergraduate and graduate students. International scholars are unfortunately not eligible for Early Education Services.

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Income Taxes

All international students and scholars in the U.S.A. must file an income tax form each year regardless of you were employed in the U.S. or not. More information can be found here.

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Cultural & Extracurricular Activities

International Education Office Upcoming Events

UCSC's Event Calendar

Office of Physical Education, Recreation, and Sports (OPERS)

City of Santa Cruz

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