Santa BarbaraUSA

Study in Santa Barbara

Study in Santa Barbara and live the California dream in the West Coast’s quintessential coastal city.

If you’ve ever dreamt of spending a year immersed in the California lifestyle then studying in Santa Barbara is for you. An active beach culture, multicultural population and stunning natural beauty define this ocean-side community. Santa Barbara is home to the University of California at Santa Barbara, lending the city a young and progressive vibe. EF’s English studies are catered towards students planning on entering American university and our exam preparation courses, academic writing classes, and the EF University Foundation Year program ensure a strong foundation.

Our study programs are held in a Spanish colonial villa, complete with the traditional red-tile roof and white-stucco façade. The heritage building features an outdoor student patio, sporting facilities and several student lounges. EF Santa Barbara is situated in the city’s downtown, walking distance from golden-sand beaches, restaurants of the historic La Arcada district, and the hiking trails of the Santa Ynez Mountains.

California on the Coast

Long stretches of pristine coastline. Palm trees and a cobbled downtown. A young, multicultural population fond of dressing in board shorts and sandals. And toned bodies balancing atop surfboards, hiking up mountains and relaxing in sidewalk cafes. Welcome to Santa Barbara, the place where California dreams are a reality.

Study in Santa Barbara for an extended period and you’ll immerse in the famed California lifestyle. Enroll in early-morning surf lessons and start your days on the top of a longboard. Stay in shape by jogging along the ocean shore or biking on the city’s extensive bike paths. Join fellow international students for beach barbeques. And spend your weekends discovering California beyond Santa Barbara by visiting San Francisco and Los Angeles or camping among the thick redwood forests of the state’s national parks.

Read more

Program Highlights

  • Combine language and academic studies
  • Study abroad for 6, 9 or 11 months
  • Achieve complete language fluency
  • Network with students from 100 countries

School Highlights

  • Spanish colonial-style school building
  • Bright and modern classrooms fitted with the latest learning technology
  • Sunny outdoor courtyard features lounge chairs
  • 5-minute walk to discover shopping and dining on State Street
  • Cafés and restaurants located right outside the school
See large map
Close -

Your pathway to fluency

Combined language and academic studies. You’ll achieve language fluency with your personalized program – while focusing on the career or academic pursuit of your choice.

See less
  • EF Intensive Program

    Accelerated language acquisition, our most popular course

    32 Lessons / weekLearn more

    Beginner to Advanced

    9 months, 11 months (year) or 6 months (semester)

    32 of 40 min per week

    Start dates
    January, April, June and September

        Read more

      • EF General Program

        A well-rounded program of language study

        26 Lessons / weekLearn more

        Beginner to Advanced

        9 months, 11 months (year) or 6 months (semester)

        26 of 40 min per week

        Start dates
        January, April, June and September

        Read more

      • EF Exam Preparation Program

        Prepare for and take an internationally recognized language exam.

        32 Lessons / weekLearn more

        Beginner to Advanced

        9 months, 11 months (year) or 6 months (semester)

        32 of 40 min per week

        Start dates
        January, April, June & September

        Read more

      • EF Advanced Diploma in English for International Communications

        Acquire high-caliber language skills for a connected world by following a prescribed program of intensive English language classes, combined with university-level academic and professional subject courses.

        32 Lessons / weekLearn more

        Intermediate to Advanced

        9 months (Advanced Diploma) or 6 months (Advanced Certificate)

        32 of 40 min per week

        Start dates
        January, April, June and September

        Read more

      Live like a local

      Experience total cultural immersion. You’ll feel at home in Santa Barbara – whether you’re living with an American family or lounging poolside at EF’s residence.

      • EF Homestay

        Immerse yourself in the daily life of your new host country by living in a private local home. You’ll enrich your understanding of the culture, pick up expressions with greater ease and acquire a more authentic accent. Homestay hosts are conveniently located, so that you can come and go as you please.

      • EF Residence

        Live in the heart of the city alongside EF students from over 100 countries. Enjoy easy access to your course center by public transportation – as well as the city’s shopping, restaurants and sport facilities. Residences vary, but often offer Wi-Fi internet access, meal plans and more.

      Santa Barbara videos & photos

      • EF Santa Barbara - Teaser
      • EF Santa Barbara, California, USA - Info Video
      • EF Academic Year Abroad (adults, 16+)

      Student talk: Santa Barbara

      • MariaSpain
      • MichelleBrazil
      • Ai KikuchiJapan
      • “Santa Barbara is one of the best destinations. I will always remember the white houses, the towering palm trees on every avenue, the meditative atmosphere of the Mission and the fantastic sandwiches for breakfast.”


      • “EF Santa Barbara has many great teachers and a good method of teaching. The school is really big, and has computers in reception for students, a recreational area and a lot of classrooms! It’s also in a great location in central Santa Barbara, where you can dive into the thousands of shops and several restaurants. Santa Barbara offers shops and restaurants for all tastes, and today I found out that there’s even a Brazilian restaurant! And even better, we have easy beach access and trails in the Santa Mountains!”


      • “Santa Barbara is a great place to live during the summer. My host family was very warm. We had dinner together everyday and talked about our days.”

        Ai Kikuchi

      Close -

      Student life in Santa Barbara

      If you’ve dreamt about living the California lifestyle then you’ve come to the right place. Santa Barbara’s surfing history dates back nearly a century and even the youngest locals are comfortable atop a long board. Celebrity-filled homes dot the hillside and the city’s large student population adds a jolt of youthful energy.

      Sightseeing & CultureShoppingSports & OutdoorsExcursionsEntertainment & Nightlife
      Santa Barbara’s beaches are its main attraction. Relax under an umbrella on East Beach, whose white sand and palm trees are framed by the surrounding hills. Stroll along Stearns Wharf for dozens of shops and one of California’s best views. Take in the Spanish architecture of the Old Mission Building and discover over 2,000 plant and animal species on Channel Island National Park.
      EF is just a block away from the cobblestone walkway of State Street, offering more than a mile-long stretch of everything from trendy boutiques to popular chain stores. Check out Paseo Nuevo for upscale shopping and sample local produce at a Santa Barbara farmer’s market.
      With a climate boasting year-round sunshine, active locals spend most of their time outdoors. Take surf lessons on the steady swells of Rincon. Scuba dive or kayak around the Channel Islands. Hike the Santa Ynez Mountains or join EF-organized soccer, tennis, basketball and beach volleyball games.
      Spot celebrities in Los Angeles, walk across San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge and get up close and personal with dolphins at San Diego’s Sea World. Nature Lover’s will marvel at vast North American nature on a trip to Yosemite National Park.
      Thousands of students play a big role in the city’s nightlife, especially around the lively State Street. Sample fresh guacamole made from local avocados at an authentic Mexican restaurant. Catch a concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl, an outdoor amphitheater with spectacular canyon and Pacific Ocean views.

      Prices & Dates for Santa Barbara

      Personalized and flexible. Your program is personalized to meet your specific needs. With start dates in January, April, June and September and programs lasting 6, 9 and 11 months – you can study when it’s most convenient for you. All prices include accommodation with a local host family.

      Included in the Price

      • 20,26 or 32 English lessons per week (40-minute lessons)
      • EF Placement test and progress tracker
      • EF Course Certificate
      • EFELT report
      • Online pre & post course
      • Access to My EF™ from enrollment
      Lesson materials
      • Digital learning media (tablet)
      • Academic material
      • Welcome package and orientation
      • Wireless Wi-Fi Internet at EF school
      • Monday-Friday: breakfast & dinner
      • Weekends: all the meals
      • Twin room with homestay
      CourseStart DatesSemesterYear11 months
      08 Sep 2014, 03 Nov 2014, 05 Jan 2015, 13 Apr 2015
      $ 11,990$ 15,990$ 20,590Get price details
      Exam Preparation
      08 Sep 2014, 03 Nov 2014, 05 Jan 2015, 13 Apr 2015
      $ 12,790$ 17,150$ 22,230Get price details
      Advanced Diploma for International Communications
      08 Sep 2014, 05 Jan 2015, 13 Apr 2015, 07 Sep 2015
      $ 13,290$ 17,590-Get price details
      Most popular

      Additional Travel and Price Information