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Living in Silicon Valley

A comprehensive guide about living well in Silicon Valley

Home to companies such as eBay, Adobe, Hewlett Packard, and Google, the area attracts expats from around the globe, giving it a great mix of races and cultures. This InterNations GO! Guide provides you with fundamental info on living in Silicon Valley, from education to safety.

Need to move abroad? Organizing an international relocation is not something you should do on your own. As expats ourselves, we understand what you need, and offer the essential services to help you move and live abroad easily. Contact us to jump start your move abroad!

Life in Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is not a town or region as such; it is merely the nickname given to the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area due to its strong presence in the computer technology sector.

Culture and Leisure in Silicon Valley

The area generally regarded as being the Silicon Valley covers much of the Santa Clara County, and includes a diverse range of towns and cities. The region’s largest city is San Jose, which has palm tree-lined boulevards and a history going back to 1777. Originally a farming town, San Jose has expanded rapidly in the past 50 years due to emergent technologies, and it is now a place with much to see and do.

Museums are popular places to visit for tourists and expats alike. One that particularly captures the spirit of the region is the Children’s Discovery Museum. Based on Woz Way, its creation was largely funded by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and it features interactive displays that enable children to enhance their technology knowledge in hands on way.

Also in San Jose is the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, which has been open for more than seven decades and gives visitors an insight into the mystical brilliance of ancient Egypt. Among its 200-plus exhibits is an unwrapped Usermontu mummy that is believed to date back to 630 BC.

The Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center in Stanford is popular for lovers of visual arts, while those that like stunning outdoor scenery are typically attracted to the Japanese Hakone Gardens in Saratoga – where much of the movie Memoirs of a Geisha was shot.

Education in Silicon Valley

As Silicon Valley covers an area of more than 1,000 square miles, there are a wide number of education providers, including public high schools and private institutions. San Jose, for example, has 127 elementary, 47 middle, and 45 high schools. Los Altos School District boasts one of the highest Academic Performance Index (API) scores in the whole of California, while Cupertino is home to three high schools with scores over the state average.

Higher education is greatly important to Silicon Valley, and the area has no less than 18 colleges and trade schools as well as 16 universities.

The most famous and prestigious institution in the valley is Stanford. Located in Palo Alto, the university was founded in 1885 and has one of the largest campuses in the US. Its notable alumni include the founders of Nike, Google, Hewlett Packard and Yahoo as well as 59 Nobel laureates and 17 astronauts.

Safety and Security

Life in Silicon Valley is generally safe, and the Los Altos Hills has the lowest number of crimes in an average year (just 5.54 per 1,000 residents). Los Altos itself has the fewest violent crimes at 0.20 per 1,000 people.

The city of Campbell has the highest number of property crimes, but the number of people affected is still barely 4% of its population. San Jose has the most violent crimes at 3.63 per 1,000 inhabitants.

As with the rest of the US, the phone number to call in the event of an emergency is 911.

Do you want to relocate? If you have never moved abroad, the process will be overwhelming, and if you have, you know the burden that lies ahead. Whatever stage you are at, InterNations GO! can help you with a complete set of relocation services, such as home finding, school search, visa solutions, and even pet relocation. Our expert expat team is ready to get your relocation going, so why not jump-start your move abroad and contact us today? Best to start early!

Updated on: March 19, 2015
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