Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Santa Barbara so expensive?
Yes, Santa Barbara is expensive and is in the top 5 most expensive cities in the USA. Lucky for us, we have the best weather in the country, the most beautiful views from all over the city, we enjoy the beauty of the mountains and the ocean, our community is safe, and SBCC is ranked #1 for best community colleges in all of the US. I guess we pay for location, location, location. Our Independent housing is located in the heart of Santa Barbara which is on one of the most expensive areas in our city. In our housing we include more than your average student housing. Covered: all utilities (water, gas, electric, trash), wifi, cable TV, furniture, kitchenware, dinnerware, linens, appliances, cleaning twice a month, grocery shopping rides and our events. Students pay one price per month, no added fees. Students don't need to worry about buying any house items or setting up cable or wifi when they arrive. We take care of everything for our students.
What kind of students live in your independent housing?
International and American students who are looking for a quality, comfortable and safe place to live in Santa Barbara are very happy with The Coral Group locations. All independent housing properties are centrally located within walking distance to SBCC, downtown State Street and the beach. Each property is fully furnished with modern amenities. Our students are independent and mature adults who are focused on their studies and are making the most out of their stay in Santa Barbara. The Coral Group staff is available to help at all times for issues that may come up. We also respect the independence that students seek. The Coral Group includes the following: placement and resource agent, property owners/managers, cleaners and assistants. We all look forward to getting to know the international students at all the locations and helping them achieve their dreams and goals while in Santa Barbara.
What kind of students live in your host families?
Students that live with the host families we work with are interested in getting a glimpse into the American way of life. We also have American students from out of state that would rather live with local families for their first and second semesters. They are mature young adults that are responsible for themselves but want the experience of living with an American couple, family or single person to practice their English skills, participate in family events, share in meals together and get to know Santa Barbara through the eyes of a local.
What is the benefit of sharing a house/apartment?
Students who are in Santa Barbara for less than one year find our housing convenient because we include everything in the monthly price. Students do not need to worry about paying utilities, buying furniture and kitchenware or setting up cable and Wifi. Additionally, sharing a household with other students from other countries is a great experience for most students and encourages English skills. For students staying for more than one year, it is a great way to start their Santa Barbara living with us while they look around and get acquainted with the city, their school and neighborhoods.
What is the benefit of living with a host family?
Living with a host family is a great way to experience local Santa Barbara. Host families are the typical American family who most likely work full time, enjoy dinnertime together, particpate in local events and will include students in as much as they want to be included. Students must practice their English skills while living with hosts and experience the culture of Santa Barbara first hand.
How can I make a reservation?
Please go to our 'Apply Now' option and submit your application. A representative will contact you shortly thereafer with housing or host family availability. A Skype interview is recommended during which you can ask as many questions as you would like. This also gives up an opportunity to meet you. All payments must be made to confirm placement. The Coral Group accepts cash, local checks, credit card and bank wires only.
What is your Skype Name?
Can I choose what apartment/cottage/house/studio I want to stay in?
Absolutely! As long as we have the space open and your application is accepted, we will reserve your space of choice.
Do you have a map that shows where the independent housing is?
Yes, please go here.
What if I have some friends and we want to live together, is that ok?
Yep! As long as we have enough room for you in an apartment, cottage, studio, house or host family we will honor your request.
How long can I stay in the independent housing or host family?
Our leases at all properties are for one semester minimum: 5.5 months. Students may always extend their leases into the next semester. Discounts may apply at certain properties for 11 month leases. Host families are available for a 4 month minimum stay only. There is a 6 week cancellation policy.
What is your Cancellation Policy?
For cancellations made 4 weeks before the lease start date, payments are 100% refunded less application and international bank wiring fees. For cancellations made less than 4 weeks before lease start date, payments are refunded less first month’s rent, application and international bank wiring fees.
Once you sign a lease for any duration at any independent housing option, you are responsible to pay rent for that time period.
Once you agree to live with a host family, you are confirmed for the duration of your chosen time period.
Is everything included at the independent housing?
Everything is included: furniture, linens, dinnerware, kitchenware, oven, pots, pans, appliances and curtains. There are washers/dryers for all guests. We also provide Wifi, all utilities (gas, electric, trash, water) and includes cable TV. You will need to bring all your personal items and purchase household items such as food, paper, bath towels and essentials. However, we do not provide bath towels.
What is included when I live with a host family?
Your hosts will provide you with a bedroom, desk (or availability to a desk), Wifi, laundry use, 7 continental breakfasts and 5 dinners per week. You are responsible for transportation to school and back, snacks, food for lunches and laundry soap.
What happens to my deposit at the independent housing?
Your deposit will be returned to you by the property manager upon your departure given everything is left as you found it. There is a required $55 cleaning fee when students move out. Under CA law, tenants must return the properties clean and sanitized. With our students busy with finals and getting ready to travel back home, we do not require students to clean the properties. They must throw away their trash and we do the cleaning and sanitizing for them. Any damages or missing kitchen items are deducted from the deposits.
What about parties? Can I have all my friends over for a big party?
Not such a good idea. Coral Group properties are not party destinations. There are no big parties, no drugs, no smoking inside and no candles allowed on any property or at any host family home. Consequences for rules being violated may include probation, SBCC disciplinary action or termination.
What about drugs?
We do not allow drugs of any kind on any property. For the safety of our tenants and host families, we have zero tolerance for all drugs.
Who can I ask for help if anything comes up?
There is a 24 hour helpline available to our students. Once you arrive we will introduce you to all personnel who can assist you during your stay and we will give you phone numbers for who to call when. Our office is located downtown. Appointments must be made to speak to personnel.
Are the independent properties really that close to SBCC and downtown?
Yep! All our properties are within walking distance to SBCC, the beach and downtown Santa Barbara. For the properties a little further away from SBCC, students ride their bikes. It typically takes about 10-15 minutes to get to SBCC.
Are the host families close to SBCC and downtown?
The host families tend to live at a short distance from SBCC. Students will need to learn how to use the bus system, which host families will assist with. Some host famileis are available for rides, but students must ask in advance. Otherwise, host families will show students the best route to get to school and back.
Do you have a Facebook page?
We do! We started one so that we can post photos and keep in touch with all the students coming through our doors. Join us!
There are so many places in town to choose from! Why choose The Coral Group housing?
The Coral Group has many years experience working with international students. We set ourselves apart from other student housing in that we form a small community, we are actively involved in our students' lives and take great care to make sure all students are comfortable and safe. While international students are independent living in our housing options, we are available to help at all times. We've driven students to the doctor, helped with roommate issues, suggested trips and local destinations, arranged to house guests when they come to visit, arranged hikes, beach BBQ's and other fun events for our community. Also, all our independent properties are clean and updated and our prices affordable for the quality you will get with everything that is included. We have cleaners, gardeners and maintenance staff taking care of all properties. Our host families have been carefully chosen because they have shown a genuine interest in hosting international students. Our host families are wonderful examples of our American culture. Our students are genuinely cared for while staying with us.
If I'm already in town and I want to come by to meet, may I?
Absolutely! Just give us a call and we'll arrange for someone to show you around.
See you soon!
We proudly support and donate a percentage of our profits to SlingShot Art Studio & Gallery, a beautiful art studio and gallery for our Santa Barbara community members with developmental disabilities. For more information, please go to the SlingShot website.