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Everything posted by 3dender

  1. Not to be harsh, but if you don't have at least a vague idea of what area you want to eventually make a career for yourself -- Local Gov v. Environmental Policy v. IT -- you probably shouldn't be going to grad school yet. Why not just get a job in one of these areas for a year or two to see how you like it? You should at least know what your predominant one or two interests are before applying to school.
  2. I don't know much about Indiana's program but I do know that Harris is one of the best in the world, has a solid quant focus, and has a far-reaching name for international purposes.
  3. I think the Grad housing is a fine option, though I don't know anyone who has stayed there and I'm not sure on details such as cost. There have always been lots of international students going that route. The main downside is that the location, basically right next to the hospital, is not the greatest in terms of amenities and things to do. That said, Chapel Hill is a small town and you'll only be a 10-minute car ride from just about anything, as well as a 5-minute walk from several bus routes. My first post on the last page addresses this, in response to thetemp. Good luck on bugs, as ants and roaches are all over the place - even some new construction ends up having problems, but nothing that a little bait/boric acid can't fix.
  4. It's one of the few places in the country that went pretty unaffected by last decade's housing crash. University + Liberal + Quality of Life + Limited space for growth = overpriced housing. That said, it's only really expensive in comparison to the rest of NC and other cheap-to-live states.
  5. I don't know that complex specifically, but all of the budget ones are pretty similar -- definitely safe, but otherwise you get what you pay for in a relatively expensive market (for NC). The good news is that your bus, the J route, is the most frequent, running every 15-20 minutes throughout the day, and every hour after 7pm. The last one leaves from the University at 11:30pm. Details below (you are stop 7): J Route PDF
  6. Yes I can't imagine a better bus system for a small town. Free buses every 15-30 minutes most weekdays. Depends on how far out you're living, but yes I think it's do-able without a car. The problem is that there's not much to DO if you're not ever leaving CH. But if your spouse has a car then you'll be fine. As for internet service, yes $45/month is about as low as it gets. You could try going back and forth between them and AT&T to see if someone will give you one of their totally arbitrary discounts.
  7. The Sanford degree travels pretty much anywhere domestically, from what I understand just a step below the elites like HKS, Harris and WWS. Stronger on the east coast for sure with a strong network in DC -- basically like the east coast version of Goldman. I'll be fine wherever I want to go.
  8. All the school's you've listed are the ones I would suggest for non-DC East Coast. Sanford is known for its education faculty, and Harris has some good ones as well. I'm not sure about HKS or Ford. You might check into NYU -- it's an MPA but I'm not sure how education-focused it can be. I only have one other suggestion, and it's overstepping my bounds a bit but I'll go ahead and say it anyway because I feel strongly: unless you want to help dismantle public education, please don't work in charter schools. There are good ones out there, but the movement itself is absolutely a Trojan horse for school privatization.
  9. Unless you use a lot of electricity that is high. I live in a 3BR/2Bath house with a family of 4, and our electricity runs from $50ish in the spring/fall to $150ish in the winter, with the summer in between. We don't have a TV, so if you watch a lot of TV this might be an okay deal. We are a pretty energy conscious family, fwiw -- our thermostat is at 74 in the summer and 68 in the winter. Our water bill, which we actually share with the 2BR/1Bath house next door (unique arrangement), is never more than $80, and usually $70. That's for 6 people total, albeit eco-conscious ones. A person of average environmental consciousness should probably expect to average $40 for water and $80ish for light (understanding that this will be much cheaper in the ideal climates of spring/fall and higher in the extreme seasons. If your place has gas heating your energy will be even cheaper. So yes, that's high, especially for just one person.
  10. Yes they'll have a fair amount of undergrads, but perhaps you can talk to them about locating you in a quieter section of the complex. Estes Park will be closest to downtown Carrboro/Chapel Hill, while Royal Park and Kingswood are closest to buslines. PineGate is the furthest away from campus, kind of in the no-man's land between CH and Durham. But if you think you'll want to spend more time in Durham/Raleigh that could be the way to go.
  11. Being a town and not a city, there is little in the way of studios. For that price you will need either a roommate or to look at the most budget-y of complexes, which I would hesitate to recommend. They're safe enough, but not in very good condition. In Carrboro there is one on the west side of town called Collins Crossing. They have tried to renovate it in recent years (basically kicking out all of the Latino/immigrant residents in the process), so the prices may have increased. A marginal step above that, there is a large sampling of complexes that will be more expensive than your price, probably in the $800 range for a 1BR. There are many such complexes along Martin Luther King Blvd. in Chapel Hill, off of Estes Dr. Extension across from University Place (also in Chapel Hill), off of Hwy. 54 Bypass in Carrboro, and off of Smith Level Rd. in Carrboro. There are also 1BRs on Fidelity St. which I mentioned above, but they will certainly be above your preferred budget. I wish I could be more helpful with your request, but I'm unfamiliar with this market as it's been over a decade since I was involved with it. My hunch is that you won't be able to live alone for less than $800, if that. Sorry! P.S. Just found one called Estes Park that apparently has 1BRs for $710. That's the cheapest I can imagine. But now that I think about it, another route would be Craigslisting to see if people are renting out garage apartments. A friend of mine was recently staying in one for $500/month. Definitely rundown, but cost effective. This one was at 208 Hillsborough Rd. Good luck!
  12. April is a little early to find a lot of stuff. We are on a college schedule here, so you see leases starting in either June or August for the most part. As far as specific places to look, there are some decent townhouse complexes that will be in your price range located on Fidelity St., which is a great location in proximity to downtown Carrboro. There's a complex at the end of Fidelity (400 Davie) that has a bunch of brick townhouses, maybe not 3BR but at least 2. There is also the White Oak complex at 105 Fidelity that's even closer to town. On the North side of town, there are a few complexes off of N. Greensboro St. which are also at an excellent, walking/bus location. These complexes are located on Todd St., Sue Ann Ct., Thomas Ln. and possibly even Pleasant St. (though I haven't been down there for awhile). Finally, there's a complex a little further west of downtown (actually very near where I live), on Westview Dr. which is right off of W Main St. near a cool coffee shop called Johnny's. I'd be surprised if you couldn't find something that fits your family out of all of these possibilities. (Garages, however, are few and far between in the rental community.) I'm much less familiar with Durham, but I know that in general you will get more bang for your buck over there. The 25-min. commute gets unpleasant from what I hear, but if you're a student you get a free pass on the Robertson's shuttle that connects Duke and UNC. I will be attending Duke this fall and will be commuting via shuttle. I hope this helps, and if you have any further questions just let me know.
  13. I heard back only to hear that she will be letting people know on the 13th or 14th. You could try emailing her to see if she'll tell you earlier I guess. . .
  14. I've lived in CH/Carrboro for 15 years, since undergrad basically. I know the area well and can answer questions on specific locations. In general, grad students will want to either go west to Carrboro - older crowds, less slummy lodgings - or east toward Durham in one of the complexes off of 15-501 or Hwy. 54. The latter (assuming you have a car), gives you closer proximity to Durham and Raleigh. You can't really go wrong in Carrboro, though it is getting pricey (up towards $1k for a 1BR). Feel free to PM me with questions on specific streets/areas within town.
  15. Bottom line: Berkeley's rep is not better than Sanford's, Harris's or Ford's, especially outside of the west coast. So if "reputation" is the only reason you're trying to fit that square peg into a round hole, you should re-channel your energy.
  16. I think @QK91 summed it up pretty well. And from reading between the lines it looks like you're leaning toward Princeton on points 2 and 3. I would actually go further than QK on both points, because it's my impression that Princeton is one of the 3 or 4 globally recognized U.S. universities, whereas you can't say the same about Duke. Also, for point 3, I heartily agree with your suspicion that the Princeton area -- an hour or so from NYC -- is way more interesting for an international student. That's where I'd want to be if I were coming to the U.S. for the first time. Don't get me wrong -- I've lived near Durham for 15 years now and I like the area. It's only 20 minutes from Raleigh too, which is a cool, up-and-coming mid-size city. But it's no NYC. So unless you see something about the Core or other course offerings at Sanford that really sways you, it seems like Princeton is a better fit. I say this reluctantly because I too am going to Sanford and would love to have another highly-competent international student in my cohort. . . but the good news it that you can't really go wrong when choosing between two amazing places, so congratulations on that at least!
  17. So if i'm reading the subtext correctly, it sounds like you really WANT to go to Boston (hence the anxiety attack?) but think it's too impractical. If that's correct, however, you never explained why you really want to go to Boston instead of DC. What about the program is better? You also say that a plus of DC is that you could keep your job in FedGov, but you never said if you actually like your job in FedGov and want to continue doing that. Basically, I saw you talk a lot about what you SHOULD do but not a lot about what you WANT to do. You need to figure that out and decide how important it is to you. And if you end up going with the less desirable choice (which I'm guessing is DC, again just on subtext), then you need to talk with your fiance about what he's prepared to do to make it up to you. Yes you can't "make him pick up his life" for you, but he also can't make you stymie yours for him. It's a two-way street and you BOTH have to work (and make sacrifices) for each other. </impromptu counseling session>
  18. You didn't say what you specifically see yourself doing afterward, or where. Do you want to be in DC (GW or Duke)? West coast (UCSB)? International (Duke or GW)? No idea (Duke or GW)?
  19. That's not much to go on. It depends on 1) what the business is and 2) what your title/duties were. But honestly the fact that you're having doubts about doing it means you probably shouldn't.
  20. If you haven't already, you should definitely contact them.
  21. In your shoes I would probably go to UW and work my tail off to forge connections in DC and NYC while I was there. You can let career services know from the outset that this is your plan and then stay on them to help you out. It's their job to do so, and in their best long-term interest to get their students what they want. So this would be the best of all worlds: cheapness in the short-term, and you can end up back in a big city pretty easily after two years.
  22. Nevermind, I PMed you.
  23. My thought, given your "vague ideas about. . . career goals," is that you should go with the more generalist program at Berkeley, which will give you broader training across policy areas and set you up better for domestic work (especially in CA, where the Goldman name weighs significantly more than Fletcher). Its broader scope could even reveal a new area of interest to you that you hadn't previously considered. At the same time, even though it will cost more effort than at Fletcher, you should still be able to forge connections abroad, given both your work experience and the quality of faculty/staff at Goldman. All of those points, combined with the significant savings of going to Goldman, makes it a better choice IMO. I would also recommend that you start thinking now, in earnest, about what and where you want to do. What area of policy most fascinates you? What type of work will give your life meaning and fulfillment? These are a couple of the questions that can help distill your true desires.
  24. I think she meant to say a step below HKS?
  25. My (inexpert) impression is that Harris is on the level of HKS and WWS in terms of brand strength. Sanford and Goldman are a step below (though I think the Goldman name isn't as useful on the east coast and I'm skeptical of its strength internationally). Internationally speaking, if that's where you want to work, I think Harris is either alongside or a short step behind HKS/WWS, with Sanford/Goldman on a distinctly lower tier. You may want to ask more knowledgeable people about Sanford's international strength (for instance on the Admitted Students' FB page, or PMing current students on GradCafe who have replied on the Sanford thread in the "Government Affairs" forum). It's a smaller program but as you know from the Open House their network is exceptional, and it is quite possible they have a significant number of alumni working in Europe, including at the organizations you're targeting. Lastly, when considering price, don't forget to factor in cost of living. Chicago will be at least twice as expensive as Durham. You also might consider posting this in the "Government Affairs" forum.