UC Berkeley

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Posted

Anyone planning on matriculating? If you're already familiar with the area, where do / will / should you live?

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Posted (edited)

I am going to visit this weekend. I'm fairly certain that I will choose Berkeley, so I too would be interested in knowing where people do / will / should live. Mollie, what are you studying?

Edited by evolve

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Posted

Health economics & policy, with a biotech/ pharmaceutical focus. Will you go to the visit day?

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Posted

I live pretty close to campus. Where to live depends on what you're looking for... there is plenty of shared housing near campus, but I personally think that North Oakland (Temescal and Rockridge) and the Elmwood neighborhood in Berkeley are nice, quiet, and interesting. Also South Berkeley, though it's a little more rough around the edges.

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Posted

I live pretty close to campus. Where to live depends on what you're looking for... there is plenty of shared housing near campus, but I personally think that North Oakland (Temescal and Rockridge) and the Elmwood neighborhood in Berkeley are nice, quiet, and interesting. Also South Berkeley, though it's a little more rough around the edges.

Rockridge is awesome. I used to stay there for a period of time!

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Posted

The South side isn't that bad, close to campus. It's lively!

I've been accepted to the Journalism school, and I'm strongly considering attending. Great financial aid offer, and I really like the program. Recently enjoyed a new admit tour.

I'm just finishing up undergrad at Berkeley, though, so my choice is between staying where I'm comfortable or being a little braver and trying something new. :mellow:

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Ahh, this is where I did my undergrad and man, do I miss Berkeley! I would suggest living on either "Northside" (the north side of campus), Elmwood or Rockridge. Of the 3, Northside is closer to campus, but is quite hilly and your legs will get quite the workout walking or biking. It's really quiet up there almost all the time and you'd have to walk about 5-15 min west (depending on where you live) to get down to the grocery store, restaurants and bars. Elmwood and Rockridge are a bit further away south (Elmwood is about 1 mile south of campus, I used to live there; Rockridge is further south), but they are both very nice, quaint neighborhoods with lots of locally owned shops and restaurants. Walking to campus would take >30min, so people normally travel by bus (you get a transit pass, "class pass," when you matriculate) or bike (it's relatively flat). (BTW, Rockridge is in Oakland).

And while South side is lively and fun, it *can* be dangerous at night. Walking around I never felt I was in danger even though I heard of friends of friends getting mugged or sexually assaulted...until it almost happened to me. I don't mean to sound scary, but just exercise caution while walking around at night especially in the west and south parts of campus.

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I went to UCB for undergrad and I've lived in the Bay Area for 6 years now. I lived on Southside in the beginning, then decided to move two miles away from campus to a neighborhood called Temescal (North Oakland). It is recently gentrified and becoming more and more "hip." There is a weekly farmer's market nearby, a Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, cute boutiques, and independent bookstores. It's definitely cheaper here although it's not too far away from campus. It's a 10 minute bus ride or bike ride from campus. I'm sad to leave! I love the East Bay.

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Posted

Hi guys. I'm 90% sure I'm coming to Berkeley in the fall. :)

Regarding housing, most of the graduate students I talked to said to stay away from on campus housing and that the south side wasn't great for graduate students.

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coming to Berkeley Fall 2010! I'm going to be living in student family housing. Excited!!

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Posted

Change my 90% to a 100%. :)

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Posted

I guess after accepting the offer is look for a place to live. anyone have any idea where to look??

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Posted

I guess after accepting the offer is look for a place to live. anyone have any idea where to look??

I think craigslist is your best bet. It started in the Bay Area and is heavily used here as a consequence. When I was an undergrad, many moons ago, we used the campus housing office and/ or people posted flyers but I bet most stuff is online now. I would also ask the school or current grad students.

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Posted

I live pretty close to campus. Where to live depends on what you're looking for... there is plenty of shared housing near campus, but I personally think that North Oakland (Temescal and Rockridge) and the Elmwood neighborhood in Berkeley are nice, quiet, and interesting. Also South Berkeley, though it's a little more rough around the edges.

Second this. I've lived in the Oakland right next to South Berkeley (off Shattuck) and in South Berkeley itself and definitely rough around the edges. We actually moved from South Berkeley after our neighbor was mugged 3 houses down from his house and our house. Every week there was a new flyer up reporting a recent mugging or assault. There were other reasons for the move but this was the last straw, it definitely got to the point where I didn't feel safe walking to campus with my laptop in my bag (target). We live in North Berkeley now (HILLS! oh my legs) but North Oakland is also nice. I've always used craigslist to find places and it's worked out rather well. Since it's hard to really know what location is going to work for you I suggest places with month-to-month leases first. I thought 3 miles from campus sounded close enough, but combine it being in a sketchy part of Oakland (didn't know that), the buses not always running on schedule, and annoying/weird/creepy/bad fit roommates lead to a move after 6 mo.

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Hi guys. I'm 90% sure I'm coming to Berkeley in the fall. :)

Regarding housing, most of the graduate students I talked to said to stay away from on campus housing and that the south side wasn't great for graduate students.

Yep, the south side of campus is the undergrad side. Especially given your field, most of your classes will likely be on the north side too. :)

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Posted

Everyone seems to say to stay away from the south side because that's where the undergrads live. Is it so bad living around undergrads? I mean, I'm an undergrad now and I don't think I will be so different in four months that it will warrant living somewhere else. Can someone explain why it's not cool to live near undergrads? Is it noisy or something?

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Everyone seems to say to stay away from the south side because that's where the undergrads live. Is it so bad living around undergrads? I mean, I'm an undergrad now and I don't think I will be so different in four months that it will warrant living somewhere else. Can someone explain why it's not cool to live near undergrads? Is it noisy or something?

^… Ditto this! I heard similar things, like "if you stay over here, you'll be far from all the undergrads..." at my Berkeley welcome week, and I was like, um, hello, current Berkeley undergrad right here...and I hang out here all the time...in fact, I have a class in this building.... :P

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Posted (edited)

^… Ditto this! I heard similar things, like "if you stay over here, you'll be far from all the undergrads..." at my Berkeley welcome week, and I was like, um, hello, current Berkeley undergrad right here...and I hang out here all the time...in fact, I have a class in this building.... :P

My comment above was more related to class location (i.e., an added bonus to living in the safer north side is closer to grad classes given the posters field). But yes there is definitely some potentially unreasonable anti-undergrad sentiments among grad students. ;)

I went to grad school straight out of undergrad too. :) Even when I was an undergrad I was never much into parties, drinking, and cheap take-out food so all the more reason to like the quieter north side for me.

So basically, supposed "cool factor" aside, the south side is wilder, louder, busier, has some of the residence halls, and frat houses. North side is quieter, less food venues & stores unless you go down to Shatttuck, and is closer to a lot of science/math/engineering classes (although not all). If I was just coming to the area I would absolutely not limit myself to just north side. You're very likely to move several times so it's not a terrible mistake if you pick south side of campus and end up hating some aspect of it. I was and still am always more focused on getting a place that meets my needs, and quiet is just one of them.

Edit: I realize you don't need most of this info since you are already here, just putting it out there if it helps someone else!!

Edited by sciencegal

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My comment above was more related to class location (i.e., an added bonus to living in the safer north side is closer to grad classes given the posters field). But yes there is definitely some potentially unreasonable anti-undergrad sentiments among grad students. ;)

I went to grad school straight out of undergrad too. :) Even when I was an undergrad I was never much into parties, drinking, and cheap take-out food so all the more reason to like the quieter north side for me.

So basically, supposed "cool factor" aside, the south side is wilder, louder, busier, has some of the residence halls, and frat houses. North side is quieter, less food venues & stores unless you go down to Shatttuck, and is closer to a lot of science/math/engineering classes (although not all). If I was just coming to the area I would absolutely not limit myself to just north side. You're very likely to move several times so it's not a terrible mistake if you pick south side of campus and end up hating some aspect of it. I was and still am always more focused on getting a place that meets my needs, and quiet is just one of them.

Edit: I realize you don't need most of this info since you are already here, just putting it out there if it helps someone else!!

Thanks for the info. I am not really a party person; may be some gathering w/ friends. So, north side probably is the way to go.

Just curious. Are the rent much different between the north and south?

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Posted

I like the North side, it's pretty. But everything seems more expensive over there. I've also found it to be snobbier, rather boring (I prefer a city-vibe, but I guess that's just, ahem, a "supposed 'cool factor'"), and I dislike the food and coffee spots (coffee being my vice), which means I end up meeting up with people on campus -- and I like to get off-campus as much as possible.

In my opinion, as someone who doesn't party or drink, and eats healthy vegetarian food, I've found plenty of quiet, safe, cheap places on the South side, and can't start ruling it out because of the bad rap it gets.

But does anyone have good off-campus meet-up suggestions on the North side?

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I'm (hopefully!) attending Berkeley for an M.A/Ph.D in South and Southeast Asian Studies. Just waiting on the results of the FLAS fellowships to come out so I know whether I have any funding or not (eek). I'm excited to be going to Berkeley! It seemed like an incredibly friendly and interesting place when I visited, and I think it'll be a fantastic place to be in for the next few years. My initial impressions were that Berkeley's an expensive place to live--is this true? I'm not talking so much about rent (perusing craigslist has convinced me that if one's willing to live with people, rent's not too destructive), but about cost of living--food and transport and such. Any insights? And do people often go to San Francisco? Having gone to Chicago for my undergrad, I really enjoyed having the city to explore when I wasn't sunk in the library.

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I'm (hopefully!) attending Berkeley for an M.A/Ph.D in South and Southeast Asian Studies. Just waiting on the results of the FLAS fellowships to come out so I know whether I have any funding or not (eek). I'm excited to be going to Berkeley! It seemed like an incredibly friendly and interesting place when I visited, and I think it'll be a fantastic place to be in for the next few years. My initial impressions were that Berkeley's an expensive place to live--is this true? I'm not talking so much about rent (perusing craigslist has convinced me that if one's willing to live with people, rent's not too destructive), but about cost of living--food and transport and such. Any insights? And do people often go to San Francisco? Having gone to Chicago for my undergrad, I really enjoyed having the city to explore when I wasn't sunk in the library.

Berkeley is an expensive place to live, but that's true of the Bay Area in general. The sales tax in Berkeley is pretty high, but that's what makes certain parts of Berkeley so nice....

Don't worry about finding cheap eats -- there are plenty of options near campus. And there's Trader Joe's for groceries, which is popular, or you could go to El Cerrito's market places.

With your AC Transit bus pass, a sticker that goes on your student ID, you'll be able to ride nearly all AC Transit buses for free. This has equaled major savings for me, because the bus system here is quite good -- it's easy to get most places. (Unfortunately, Berkeley does not get you any kind of BART discount.)

Yes, we go to San Francisco. I go every day now. The F bus (I still giggle at the name) goes there, so you can ride that free if you're not in a hurry and don't mind some extra walking. I usually opt for BART to go to SF, because it saves so much time. Whenever I go to Japantown, one of my favorite hang-outs, I recognize other Berkeley (undergrad) students there. So people get around!

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The F bus (I still giggle at the name) goes there, so you can ride that free if you're not in a hurry and don't mind some extra walking.

I laughed out loud when I read that. Yay for (admittedly juvenile) senses of humor! :D

And thanks for all your super-helpful information! I saw in your signature that you've been admitted to Berkeley too. Are you going to attend?

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I laughed out loud when I read that. Yay for (admittedly juvenile) senses of humor! :D

And thanks for all your super-helpful information! I saw in your signature that you've been admitted to Berkeley too. Are you going to attend?

You're welcome! I'm an SF Bay Area native, but from the North Bay, not the East Bay where Berkeley is. So I've had to get acclimated to the area, too. Over my past two years of undergrad at Cal, Berkeley quickly became one of my favorite cities.

I'm probably going to attend Berkeley. I love their Journalism school, know I'd be happy there, feel completely welcomed, and they offered me impressive funding for a master's program. During my time as an undergrad, I have always been enamored with Berkeley's J-school. When I was in community college -- considering transferring to Cal -- people told me, no no, don't go there for undergrad if you're interested in graduate school there -- they won't admit their own! But I was stubborn and went anyway. I'm so glad I did! Go Bears!

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I like the North side, it's pretty. But everything seems more expensive over there. I've also found it to be snobbier, rather boring (I prefer a city-vibe, but I guess that's just, ahem, a "supposed 'cool factor'"), and I dislike the food and coffee spots (coffee being my vice), which means I end up meeting up with people on campus -- and I like to get off-campus as much as possible.

In my opinion, as someone who doesn't party or drink, and eats healthy vegetarian food, I've found plenty of quiet, safe, cheap places on the South side, and can't start ruling it out because of the bad rap it gets.

But does anyone have good off-campus meet-up suggestions on the North side?

As long as it is not near the South-East side (where the dorms are), and that you don't go further down towards the borderline of Oakland, the area near the end of the strip malls on Telegraph (near the Andronico's on telegraph, like Parker street) the housing is pretty decent and quiet. I lived on Parker for two years and while it was a bit of walk to the campus, as a Berkeley student you walk at least 10 blocks a day anyway, I had good times there.

By the North side meaning near the North Gate? I didn't spend much time there as all my courses were taken place at Dwinelle, Wheeler, etc. I used to walk a lot to North Berkeley though. As for the meeting spot, is Berkeley Espresso on Shattuck & Hearst too far? :)

Class of 2008 Film Studies major here, Go Bears! XD

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