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Things to Consider when Renting an Apartment in San Jose

The market:  The apartment market in San Jose is pretty well standardized, which means you should expect pretty consistent rental conditions as far as lease length, security deposit amounts, and such. Application criteria also tend to be pretty similar from one apartment to another.  Come prepared with your documentation in hand, and you'll do well.

Transportation:  Unless you're attending SJSU and don't see yourself straying too far from campus, you should probably have a car while living in San Jose.  Apartments in the downtown area typically charge for a parking space, but it's a worthwhile expense for easy access to transportation.  In a pinch, the city does have transportation in the forum of buses, and CalTrain connects to the entire Bay area.

Crime:  So, is San Jose safe?  That depends on your definition of safe.  Compared to Los Angeles, San Jose is safe as houses go, but next to her sister city San Francisco, it may be marginally more dangerous.  That said, the dangerous parts of town are generally easily identified and avoided, and though you'll see more police downtown than you may be used to, their presence ensures that the bars downtown stay relatively peaceful.
Affordability:  How does living in San Jose compare to living in other major cities? Affordability, of course, is relative, and the answer depends on which part of town you're living in, and what neighborhood you're comparing to.  Rental prices tend to run in the $1,300–1,500 range for a studio and go up from there as you add bedrooms, which is pretty typical for a major city in Northern California.
Embrace diversity:  Even when compared to other cities in California, the level of diversity in San Jose is an order of magnitude greater than anything you may have experienced before.  Hispanics, Asians, and American-born Caucasians all make the South Bay their home, and other neighborhoods contain large numbers of Vietnamese, Japanese, and African-Americans. In fact, more people in San Jose speak Tagalog (the native Filipino language) than anywhere else in California!  If you can't get enough multicultural content in your life, you'll feel right at home in San Jose.