Student Life

San Francisco is thriving, and SFAI is your gateway to the cultural scene.

PreCollege organizes visits to museums such as SFMOMA, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Asian Art Museum, Berkeley Art Museum, de Young Museum, and Legion of Honor, as well as galleries, pop-up spaces, and site-specific happenings. Our ample green spaces, eclectic music venues, spirited technological innovations, and proximity to the Pacific Ocean are part of what makes the Bay Area such a vibrant and inclusive setting to practice any form of art.


Supervised housing provides PreCollege students with a convenient, affordable, and secure living environment that supports artistic growth.

Professional housing staff and a team of enthusiastic full-time SFAI Resident Advisors live with PreCollege students, helping to familiarize them with the school and its surroundings.

You will live on the edge of SoMa, adjacent to the Mission District. This bustling neighborhood is filled with galleries, alternative art spaces, restaurants, and other entertainment venues. Public transportation between the Residence Hall and SFAI campus is readily available within close walking distance. All students in housing receive transportation passes valid on the San Francisco MUNI system.

Frequent events provide structured opportunities for you to explore the city, gain confidence in living away from home, and bond with other students.

We encourage you to explore and immerse yourself in the vibrant Bay Area arts scene and community in groups of two or more.

CHECK-IN: Sunday, June 14 | 10am–3pm
CHECK-OUT: Saturday, July 10 by 10am

Residence Hall Amenities

City Gardens is a 200-unit apartment project at the western edge of SoMa, adjacent to the Mission District. There are Suites which have four bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, and 1 1/2 bathrooms.


  • Coin-operated washers and dryers are conveniently located on every floor of the residence halls.

Internet Access and Computers

  • The residence hall is equipped with wireless Internet throughout the building and in the rooms. Residents also share use of community computers located in the building.

Community Room & Garden Space

  • Residents relax and socialize in a fully furnished space. As well as a shared garden area in the building ideal for enjoying. This popular community space is also used for residence hall programs and activities.


All students are automatically enrolled in a $380 SFAI Café meal plan that provides weekday breakfasts and lunches.

All food at the SFAI Cafè is made from ingredients that are organic, local, and seasonal. Breakfast offerings include juice, pastries, bagels, eggs, fresh fruit, and parfaits. Lunch includes salads, sandwiches, a hot entrée with a vegetarian option, and desserts. The café also serves organic fair-trade coffee, espresso, and organic teas.

Students in housing enjoy the flexibility of selecting or preparing their own dinners and weekend meals. Helping students adjust to independent living, Resident Advisors plan at least one cooking-oriented event per week, including shopping trips to local grocers. 


For Students in SFAI Housing

Join us for housing orientation Sunday, June 14 at 3:30pm at the Residence Hall. We’ll get you settled, begin getting to know each other, and review housing policies.

Required for PreCollege students residing in student housing.



For All Students, Parents Welcome

Join us for a lively orientation, beginning with a continental breakfast reception at 9am on Monday, June 15 at 800 Chestnut Street. Students will attend class, beginning at 9:30am, at which time we invite parents to attend a special discussion with PreCollege staff, and join students at 11:30am to meet the faculty, tour campus, enjoy a communal lunch,  and learn more about program policies.

Required for all PreCollege students–parents welcome, but not required, to attend.

Extracurricular Activities

Housing programs on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays provide structured opportunities for you to explore the city, gain confidence in living away from home, and bond with other students. Events may include dance parties, movie nights, community dinners, bonfires on the beach, photo shoots, and more. Musical instruments and party tricks are strongly encouraged.

A full schedule of events will be distributed during orientation and posted to our website calendar.

Student Safety

As safety is always a top priority, PreCollege students are required to abide by set evening curfew hours, as well as a zero-tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol, in addition to other special rules. All residence hall policies are outlined upon acceptance to the program.

We encourage students to explore and immerse themselves in the vibrant Bay Area arts scene and community in groups of two or more, keep a strong awareness of their surroundings at all times by; not wearing earbuds, walking with purpose, listening to your gut, pre-mapping how to get to where they are going, and keeping valuables out of sight. We will discuss city safety at both housing and program orientation. For further information, please see some great articles online:

If you have any questions or concerns regarding housing at SFAI, please contact us: 415.351.3556 or

"During my time at the SFAI PreCollege program, I have learned to take creative risks and to always be confident in my work. The close community that is full of support has helped me understand myself creatively in a way that I didn't understand before. The experiences that I've had here will stick with me throughout my future."

Liv Bigtree, Nedrow, NY