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My brother lives in Bakersfield. It is exactly what the name describes. It is in the San Joaquin Valley/fields and it does get toasty. It can get extremely hot,and can get cold (low 20's) within a day. It is not near beaches nor the ocean. Think small rivers. Remember, California is a HUGE state.
The people are very friendly and it is like a "small" town; you are living in a midsized farming community. The air pollution can be horrible on some days because of the oil derricks and the pesticides used on the crops. Most of the homes have air conditioning. Housing is less expensive than most other areas of California because the area is an irrigated,flat, high desert. (The grocery stores do have excellent produce).
The area is very conservative in their politics. There are a lot of "cowboy" farmers. It has a large Spanish population given the people who harvest the crops; there appear to be more radio stations in Spanish than English.
To get there, you are either driving north from LA, driving south from San Francisco, or driving west from Las Vegas. It's a place where people stop to refill gas tanks and get quick bites to eat. Some people stay in Bakersfield on the way up to the Sierra Mountains (Sequoia/Yosemite) a full days' drive, or to get to northern California (Sacramento, San Jose, etc.). The highway into Bakersfield is the 99 which intersects with the 5. There are a number of farm highways that meet in Bakersfield.
So if you are from the Middle East, you can expect similar weather conditions and desert/farmland.
The CSU campus has around 9000 students, both full and part time. In comparison to the larger CSU's like SDSU (33K students) and CSULB (37K students), it is considered a medium-sized college. Once you figure out the grid of the town, it's not too hard to get lost, unless you accidentally get on a farm highway going to the Mojave Desert or similar.
People are not trying to be negative about Bakersfield; it's just not a "tourist" type of town.
The cowboy or hick stereotype is just that.