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San Diego, CA

housing cost of living things to do transportation USC

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#21 ewurgler

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 03:48 AM

Yeah--convex is right about living in La Jolla if you are not one who likes to go "out." And when I say "out" I do not mean a club or something gross like that. I mean a dive bar, a museum on weekends, coffee shops, art walks, farmers markets, etc.

I like to do the weekend farmers market, hang out in a quiet dive bar on wednesday night, get breakfast at a cool place on the weekend, etc. For me, La Jolla was miserable and expensive. All of the apartments have been constructed in the last 30 years (thin white walls and beige carpet), versus a lot of places in hillcrest, northpark, southpark that were built in the 30's (original hardwood floors with tiny doors and arched doorways). Just a difference in taste and lifestyle.

Also, it works out that most undergrads live in la jolla or clairemont, and most grad students (in humanities and social sciences) live in the grad housing or northpark, hillcrest or southpark. Just happens that way.
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#22 psycholinguist

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 05:24 AM

I am currently living and going to school in San Diego, and I live in La Jolla and don't mind it. There are several nice apartment complex within walking distance of UCSD. Since it's 70 degrees all year and only rains 10 inches a year, the ability to walk to campus is worth a lot. I would argue that it's worth paying a bit of a premium on rent (which you will) and being a bit isolated from restaurants and nightlife (which it is). You will be a pretty short bus ride to the nicest beach in town (La Jolla Shores). If you suspect that you'll be spending your Friday nights in the library anyway, save yourself some trouble and live in La Jolla. However, if you're the type of person who likes to go out a lot, I would second the Hillcrest recommendation.

As a quiet, library-dwelling type (without a car, at that), I must say that this is really good to know. Thank you so much!
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#23 arnufc

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 10:03 PM

I was browsing the grad housing website and it seems that there are four residential communities available to students.

• Mesa Residential Apartments
• One Miramar Street
• Coast Apartments
• Single Graduate Apartments

so I wanted to know which one of these are better for a single grad student who likes to study and have fun at the same time?
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#24 GreatMix

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 05:46 AM

From the FAQ's

Q. How long is the wait for housing?
A. The average wait for a student with children is 4-6 months. Depending on the time of the year, some students with children have received a housing offer within 2 weeks of submitting an application. For more information regarding the offering process, please refer to the Frequently Asked Question “How are Housing offers made?”

The average wait for single students and couples can vary greatly depending on your choice of community, apartment availability, and the time of year. The average wait for a Single Graduate and One Miramar Street Apartment is 2 months. The average wait for a Mesa Residential and Coast Apartment is 3 years.
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#25 ewurgler

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 07:22 PM

I was browsing the grad housing website and it seems that there are four residential communities available to students.

• Mesa Residential Apartments
• One Miramar Street
• Coast Apartments
• Single Graduate Apartments

so I wanted to know which one of these are better for a single grad student who likes to study and have fun at the same time?


Mesa only has 2 bedrooms (to my knowledge), so if you do that you will probably share. Coast are hard to get, I think. They are closer to campus and in a prettier area. Single graduate apartments are right on campus and very near undergrad housing, though they are probably the newest.

I think the best community for grad students is Mesa. It is bigger and they tend to organize stuff there more often. Plus, its a quick walk to groceries, pizza, bagels, shopping, etc.
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#26 arnufc

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 11:26 PM

thank you, very useful info. But it seems mesa and coast have a very long waiting list! Anyway, I've put my name on the list, let's see what happens.
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#27 ewurgler

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 11:44 PM

thank you, very useful info. But it seems mesa and coast have a very long waiting list! Anyway, I've put my name on the list, let's see what happens.


I know grad housing is a great deal if you really want to stay near the campus, but if you are willing to drive a bit, there are great deals in much better parts of san diego. If you at all want to try off campus, let me know and I can give you some good tips if you tell me the types of things you want in a neighborhood.

My life improved 100% when I moved to a different part of san diego away from la jolla.
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#28 arnufc

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 10:12 PM

thank you, very useful info. But it seems mesa and coast have a very long waiting list! Anyway, I've put my name on the list, let's see what happens.


I know grad housing is a great deal if you really want to stay near the campus, but if you are willing to drive a bit, there are great deals in much better parts of san diego. If you at all want to try off campus, let me know and I can give you some good tips if you tell me the types of things you want in a neighborhood.

My life improved 100% when I moved to a different part of san diego away from la jolla.


I got accepted to both UCLA and UCSD, so right now I am still not sure which one i'll attend.
I know that I wont be having a car for now, at least for the first quarter. So I was looking at areas near the campus. I also like to be close to coffee shops, restaurant, clubs, bars, beach etc :)
But why are you saying your life improved when you moved away from la jolla? where are you living currently and how far is it to the campus?

thank you
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#29 freshprince

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 11:12 PM

Hi, so here's my deal, and i may have acted to hastily...

I'm pretty sure i'm going to UCSD. I will be bringing my car. I already applied for Miramar as my first choice, coast for my second and third. That said, which is the best location for someone who wants easy access to campus and other social activities.

Additionally, is it a bad idea to put yourself in a 2-bedroom if you're going in blind for a roommate? I don't know anyone else going to UCSD but want to pay cheaper rent. Is this a bad idea?

Lastly, should I consider another alternative knowing I do have a car?
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#30 ewurgler

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 07:55 PM

Hi, so here's my deal, and i may have acted to hastily...

I'm pretty sure i'm going to UCSD. I will be bringing my car. I already applied for Miramar as my first choice, coast for my second and third. That said, which is the best location for someone who wants easy access to campus and other social activities.

Additionally, is it a bad idea to put yourself in a 2-bedroom if you're going in blind for a roommate? I don't know anyone else going to UCSD but want to pay cheaper rent. Is this a bad idea?

Lastly, should I consider another alternative knowing I do have a car?


Coast is closer to campus, but hard to get. Grad housing is the best deal if you want to be near campus for cheap. You will have to drive 10+ minutes to school if you want to live off campus for a reasonable price. But, if you are willing to drive or take the shuttle to live in a more fun neighborhood, check out hillcrest, north park, or normal heights. Lots of graduate students live in these areas and there is a shuttle that runs every 15 mins from Hillcrest to campus.

As for the blind roommate, it is often a good way to make friends outside of your department. But like any matching, you could end up with a weirdo.
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#31 belowthree

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 03:45 AM

Coast is closer to campus, but hard to get. Grad housing is the best deal if you want to be near campus for cheap. You will have to drive 10+ minutes to school if you want to live off campus for a reasonable price. But, if you are willing to drive or take the shuttle to live in a more fun neighborhood, check out hillcrest, north park, or normal heights. Lots of graduate students live in these areas and there is a shuttle that runs every 15 mins from Hillcrest to campus.

As for the blind roommate, it is often a good way to make friends outside of your department. But like any matching, you could end up with a weirdo.


Coast is only closer if you're talking about the east side of the university. Most of the engineering students living in university affiliated housing end up in Mesa and use the shuttle and that's about the same distance as Coast if you were to go to that part of campus.

In fact I can't think of anyone in CSE who lives in Coast. Seems like a cool place, but the communities are slightly fractured that way. :)
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#32 ewurgler

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 08:25 PM

Coast is only closer if you're talking about the east side of the university. Most of the engineering students living in university affiliated housing end up in Mesa and use the shuttle and that's about the same distance as Coast if you were to go to that part of campus.

In fact I can't think of anyone in CSE who lives in Coast. Seems like a cool place, but the communities are slightly fractured that way. :)


yeah, sorry I was thinking of the social sciences. Mesa is definitely closer for hard sciences and engineering.
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#33 freshprince

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 11:02 PM

So no one else is going to San Diego??

Anyone else going to UCSD? I want to start a UCSD thread and advertise it so I can meet fellow incoming students.
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#34 mochi7

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 04:59 AM

Yes, I am going to UCSD! Let's make a separate thread for that!
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#35 shamsp86

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 08:45 PM

even i am goin... do make a separate thread for 09.
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#36 PSi_light

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 10:54 AM



Coast is only closer if you're talking about the east side of the university. Most of the engineering students living in university affiliated housing end up in Mesa and use the shuttle and that's about the same distance as Coast if you were to go to that part of campus.

In fact I can't think of anyone in CSE who lives in Coast. Seems like a cool place, but the communities are slightly fractured that way. :)


yeah, sorry I was thinking of the social sciences. Mesa is definitely closer for hard sciences and engineering.



I think you mean Coast is closer to the west side of campus (yes, being from the east coast I still mess up east/west at times too). That being said, I'm really responding b/c Coast is definitely closer to Chem and at least some Bio and Physics. You're right that engineering is closer to Mesa. I don't know why engineering is completely across campus from Chem/Bio/Physics, but I have plenty of time to be annoyed by it when I walk between the two areas.

As for housing, I live in grad housing and like it. Sure I'd love to live somewhere move vibrant or w/ a dishwasher and washer/dryer, but grad housing lets me live off my stipend and not be broke. I use my car to get to museums/etc during the weekends, and I'm not much of a clubber (so maybe I am the boring La Jollan). Anyhow, if you're thinking its cheaper to live far off campus and commute, I will warn you that the parking permits were something like $800 per quarter! (Thankfully its free for grad housing other than single grad) I know a lot of people do bike/bus from other areas, and many of the single grads off campus have roommates.
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#37 ewurgler

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 08:30 PM



Coast is only closer if you're talking about the east side of the university. Most of the engineering students living in university affiliated housing end up in Mesa and use the shuttle and that's about the same distance as Coast if you were to go to that part of campus.

In fact I can't think of anyone in CSE who lives in Coast. Seems like a cool place, but the communities are slightly fractured that way. :)


yeah, sorry I was thinking of the social sciences. Mesa is definitely closer for hard sciences and engineering.



I think you mean Coast is closer to the west side of campus (yes, being from the east coast I still mess up east/west at times too). That being said, I'm really responding b/c Coast is definitely closer to Chem and at least some Bio and Physics. You're right that engineering is closer to Mesa. I don't know why engineering is completely across campus from Chem/Bio/Physics, but I have plenty of time to be annoyed by it when I walk between the two areas.

As for housing, I live in grad housing and like it. Sure I'd love to live somewhere move vibrant or w/ a dishwasher and washer/dryer, but grad housing lets me live off my stipend and not be broke. I use my car to get to museums/etc during the weekends, and I'm not much of a clubber (so maybe I am the boring La Jollan). Anyhow, if you're thinking its cheaper to live far off campus and commute, I will warn you that the parking permits were something like $800 per quarter! (Thankfully its free for grad housing other than single grad) I know a lot of people do bike/bus from other areas, and many of the single grads off campus have roommates.


Yes, parking passes are EXTREMELY expensive, but if you want to live off campus (hillcrest, northpark), there is a free shuttle that goes from hillcrest (ucsd hospital) to ucsd every 15 mins. I know lots of people who bike or even drive to the shuttle to avoid paying for parking (me included). It is reliable and on time, and allows you to live in more vibrant places (not clubs really, but more eclectic coffee places, bars, bookstores, restaurants, etc).
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#38 curiousgeorge

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 06:34 AM

That shuttle really works? The 9:30 cutoff scares me...but then again, why would I have to go to campus at 9:30 pm? I'm sure I'll dig myself into some hole that makes it necessary. I guess I ask because when I visited all the students mentioned how the grad housing shuttles are sometimes so full that you have to wait for the next one.

Any recs for a real estate agency to use? Craigslist can be unreliable, and when I lived in Austin I actually found much more cheap stuff through a broker.
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#39 belowthree

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 04:53 PM

That shuttle really works?

Yes, it's very effective.

why would I have to go to campus at 9:30 pm?

I've had research meetings that *started* at 10pm.
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#40 ewurgler

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 05:47 PM

That shuttle really works? The 9:30 cutoff scares me...but then again, why would I have to go to campus at 9:30 pm? I'm sure I'll dig myself into some hole that makes it necessary. I guess I ask because when I visited all the students mentioned how the grad housing shuttles are sometimes so full that you have to wait for the next one.

Any recs for a real estate agency to use? Craigslist can be unreliable, and when I lived in Austin I actually found much more cheap stuff through a broker.


Most people use craigslist. There is also an off campus housing site hosted by ucsd: http://offcampushousing.ucsd.edu/

But craigslist is usually best. All landlords post there.
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