Resource Center

Adjustment to Life


City of Hope does not provide apartment search services. Therefore, visitors are urged to locate an apartment or home as soon as the decision is made to come to City of Hope. There are a number of ways this can be done.
  • Word of mouth: Many individuals locate housing by asking their future boss, friends who are already in the LA area, or colleagues. This avenue is often a useful way of discovering any vacancies of dwellings that may suit your needs financially, socially, and culturally.
  • Internet websites: accessing the Internet is probably the most convenient way to search for an apartment. Websites to visit include,,,, and These websites contain many listing of vacant apartments and are an easy way to review numerous units without having to drive all over Los Angeles. Be careful of websites that require a fee for these listings.
  • City of Hope Intranet: Once you arrive at City of Hope, you can search and visit the Postdoctoral Association, Home / Postdoctoral Association. You may also visit the City of Hope E-Board to search for property rentals, furniture, and other goods that are listed by COH community members. COH is not, however, authorizing or sponsoring any transaction that may take place in connection with "E-Board" and is not liable or responsible for any such transaction.
  • Stay with a family: Families often have a spare room available when a son or daughter has left for college. These families often rent out the room already furnished with utilities included in the rent. This type of living arrangement is very convenient and enables the foreign national to settle down very quickly. By living with a family, you will also have the opportunity to observe and interact with a typical American family.
  • On-campus housing: There is a limited amount of housing available on campus at City of Hope. This housing is primarily for first-year City of Hope graduate students. For information contact the Hope Village Office at Ext. 82380.
  • If you are unable to secure housing before your arrival, consider staying at a local motel or hotel for the first few days you are here. There are a few in Duarte and some of them have special rates for City of Hope employees. Be sure to mention City of Hope when inquiring about rates to the nearby motel or hotel.


City of Hope
1500 East Duarte Road,
Duarte, CA 91010

City of Hope is accessible by different public transportation services.
  • Metrolink Shuttle Service
  • Public bus services
  • City of Hope Shuttle provides a safe and reliable Shuttle Bus transportation service with comfortable vehicles and professionally trained, uniformed, and friendly Class B Commercial Driver licensed drivers.

    Morning Runs: Mon-Fri 6:20 to 9:07 a.m.

    Afternoon Runs:  Mon-Fri 3:40 to 6:10 p.m.
  • Other type of transportation most people commonly use are: Uber, Lyft, Private Taxi, Zipcar, Rental Car. Please contact If you have any questions.

Social Security Number

A Social Security Number (SSN) is an identification number that you must obtain for employment purposes. It is best to complete the J-1 Valdiation process and wait up to 10 days after arrival as it would allow data to be updated in the government systems to show that you would be eligible to apply. Complete an application form and bring your passport, admission record (paper I-94 or a printout from the internet), and DS-2019 with you. The primary use for a social security number and card would be for filing a US income tax and social security benefit purposes. ONLY visa holders authorized to work will and earn incomes in the US can get a Social Security number.

J visa holders who do not earn an income in the US may not not eligible for SSN. In the event that you receive a denial letter, you can use the denial letter to show proof of your ineligibility to still obtain a DMV, bank account, establish housing renting abilities.

To apply for a SSN number, you need the following documents:

Two nearby Social Security Offices are

  • Glendora Social Security Office located at 1165 E Rte 66, Glendora, CA 91740.
  • West Covina Social Security office located at 501 S Vincent Ave #201, West Covina, CA 91790.

Always Protect Your Number

  • Your Social Security number is used to keep a record of your earnings
  • Keep your card in a safe place
  • Protect your Social Security number to prevent their misuse/fraud

Driver’s License

Before applying for a Driver’s License or I.D card, it is best to complete the J-1 Validation process and wait up to 10 days after arrival. When you go to your local DMV, bring originals of the following documents:

  • Valid passport
  • Valid Form DS-2019
  • Form I-94
  • Proof of residence such as a bill or a letter addressed to you
  • An SSN card or a Form SSA-L676 or denial letter

Visit the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for more information.


Visa holder’s earning an income in the U.S. you are generally subject to filing two types of taxes:

  1. Federal Tax
  2. California State Tax

The season of filing your taxes takes place during mid- April. Filing your taxes can also be referred as filing Tax Returns. You will need to have obtained either a W-2 or 1099 or other forms from City of Hope’s Payroll Services to proceed with filing your taxes.

For more information on tax filing for international students and scholars including how to determine whether you are a “non-resident alien” for tax filing purposes, visit the IRS website.

Need help preparing your resident or non-resident tax returns? The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) offers free assistance.

Tax preparation can be complicated. You are strongly encouraged to consult tax professionals when needed. The International Student and Scholar Office staff are not tax professionals and cannot give advice on taxes. If you have general tax concerns or inquiries, contact Payroll Service at or call (626) 218-2707 or ext. 82707 for questions.

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