New to irvine?
Welcome to Irvine! This is one of the most beautiful cities in orange county and southern California. Irvine is know as a planned city and is run by the Irvine Company . This makes for a very nice community but, you might find some common amenities are missing from the near-by area (ie: Walmart, do-it-yourself carwash, etc).
Eating and shopping
Resturants in University Town Center
Local grocery stores


And, of course, welcome to UCI as well. One of the first things you might want to do is get your student ID. You must go to the UCItems store in the Student Center to get your ID. The first ID is free but be careful not to loose it as they will charge you for another. You need to know you student id number (SID) or they will not issue you an ID. You should also activate your UCnetID as soon as possible because you cannot do much of anything at UCI without it. To activate your UCnetID go to the ucinetID activation page . You can access you email from the school's mail server or set up a mail client such as Entourage, Outlook, Mail, Thunderbird, etc. Parking is extremely difficult and expense here at UCI. If you live on campus, congratulations and you might consider investing in a bike. Another option for alternative transportation is the ASUCI shuttle that runs students to campus from near-by on campus housing. Find out more about the routes and pick-up times at this link . For those of you commuting visit this link to learn more about your options. If you are from out of the state or country you should get a drivers license as soon as possible to help you prove your residency later. The closest DMV is at 650 West 19th in Costa Mesa, 23535 Moulton Pkwy in Laguna Hills, or 1330 1st St. in Santa Ana. If you are registering a car get your smog certification before going to the DMV and look for coupons in the penny saver magazines that come in the mail. Make an appointment at the DMV online at this link if you don’t want to wait in a 1-2 hour line. Those of you from abroad may drive a vehicle in CA for one year if you have the license from your country but will most likely have to first clear a written test. International students you will need a social security number before you are able to fill out any official paperwork. The nearest social security office is at 4525 MacArthur Blvd in Newport Beach.


Orange County has many churches which give you lot of options to find the place that will help you grow the most. Here are some of the churches UCI students attend.

Mariners Church is a large, non-denominational campus very close to UCI. Its services combine fairly conservative evangelical sermons with contemporary worship and it is home to many young Orange County families.

New Song is another large church nearby that caters more directly to UCI students. Its congregation is much younger on average and the message/music is generally a bit edgier than Mariners.

Saddleback Church is non denominational and the largest church in Orange County and home to Rick Warren, author of “The Purpose Driven Life.” Like Mariners, it tends to attract young local families along with students.

Irvine Presbyterian is another popular church and its congregation is generally older than Mariners, New Song, or Saddleback.

Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, and Baptist churches are also nearby. These are just a few of the choices, all of which offer unique atmospheres, messages, and worship styles. We encourage all new grad students to visit a few and find the one that is most comfortable for them. Let us know if you have any questions!