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yin-bodhi

Columbus, OH

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Am waiting to hear back from the Ohio State University. Anyone familiar with the Columbus area? Has anyone ever lived in the family housing on campus? Any info would be great. Thanks!

Anybody still attending or applying to OSU this year? I'm visiting the campus the week after next and would love to know what I should look for, see, etc. Also, anyone in the graduate theatre program at OSU?

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If you get a chance (and it's not too cold), go on the campus tour. I went on the official campus one and really liked the campus. There's a stretch of shops and arts stuff near campus (can't remember the name but it's in this thread somewhere) that's also pretty cool. Oh, and there's a H&M in Columbus, I think.

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Hi,

I am newly join in this site.Columbus earned its nickname "The Arch City" because of the dozens of metal (formerly wooden) arches that spanned High Street at the turn of the twentieth century. The arches illuminated the thoroughfare and eventually became the means by which electric power was provided to the new streetcars.

===================================

Rosey

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I was wondering about the housing market in Columbus. Does anyone have advice on/has anyone bought a house and rented out rooms to other graduate students? Knowing I'll be there for 5 years or so (if that's where I decide to go), it seems like it could be a good idea. I'll have help with the down payment, so, ideally, the rent from the other rooms could cover the mortgage and slowly pay back the down payment. Any thoughts?

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I was wondering about the housing market in Columbus. Does anyone have advice on/has anyone bought a house and rented out rooms to other graduate students? Knowing I'll be there for 5 years or so (if that's where I decide to go), it seems like it could be a good idea. I'll have help with the down payment, so, ideally, the rent from the other rooms could cover the mortgage and slowly pay back the down payment. Any thoughts?

You might try looking at the off-campus housing website (http://offcampus.osu.edu/) or craigslist if you want to split a house with other people. You'll want to look around Clintonville, Grandview, or maybe the Short North/Victorian Village as that's where most graduate students live. I think that you should rent an apartment for the first year you're in Columbus and once you've lived here a while and met some people (and become more familiar with the city) see if you want to commit to buying a house.

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Can anyone comment on LGBT life in Columbus? I know that the area around OSU, particularly Short North, is where the gays are at, but what is the gay life like there? I am coming from Los Angeles, so anything must be better than this. Just curious.

And, if my stipend (with tuition waiver) is approximately 14,000, how well can I expect to get by? Particularly if I live in Short North or Clintonville?

Thanks, in advance, for any assistance any can give.

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Please also comment on whether it would be possible to support a spouse on a similar stipend (14K) :(

I did my MA at OSU and lived with my spouse there. He worked part time the first year and then quit the second year to focus on his own MA (at another school) more, and we got loans to help us through the second year. It really depends on your lifestyle - what you want to be able to spend money, what sorts of bills you have. As far as cost of living, everything is very reasonably priced - food, utilities, etc. You would be looking at rent around 500-600 for a nice one bedroom apartment. I've known people who spent less, but they were more tolerant of living in areas that could be a bit more sketchy or filled with undergrads. I lived in Clintonville, which is a really nice area. It's not as trendy at Victorian Village or the Short North, but I found that the rent for a comparable place was much higher there. My husband and I were not able to manage on just my stipend because we had credit card bills to pay. If you don't have extra stuff like credit card debt, a car payment, etc., you may be able to scrape by on the stipend. Let me know if you have other questions or if there are specific things about the city I can tell you.

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If I go to OSU, my wife would accompany me on a F2 (dependent) visa and that strictly forbids her from working. So we have to support ourselves with just one stipend. I will get a formal offer on the 10th (and will get to know exactly how much they'd give me). My final decision is going to be heavily based on living expenses and if I'd be able to support my wife on my stipend (in addition to all the other factors like research interests, etc). So your advice is greatly appreciated!

How is the music scene in Columbus? I would also like to continue taking piano lessons alongside my grad studies. Are there good private music schools in the area (that aren't too expensive, say I'd be willing to spend ~$150-$200 per month)?

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I think that if you don't have extra expenses and you need to pay for is rent, utilities, food, and the occasional fun activity, you will be okay in Columbus with a spouse on an OSU stipend. You can look at www.metro-rentals.com to get a sense of the prices of rentals, but I should mention that my husband and I found a cheaper place by driving around neighborhoods and just looking for "for rent" signs in front yards in areas we wanted to live in.

I don't know too much about the music scene, except that a friend of mine recently investigated getting violin lessons, and found a great violin shop that rented instruments and kept a list of independent teachers. Their business was doing quite well and there were a lot of instructors, so I'd imagine that the music scene is pretty good. Hopefully someone who knows more will chime in!

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I don't know if it would be more or less expensive, but you could take Music 101.01 (Piano for non-majors) to start with. Or, once you got here, you could always advertise for an instructor at the School of Music (largely confined to Hughes Hall). All the music majors I know at OSU specialize in other instruments (tuba, oboe, and violin), however, so I don't know anyone specifically who could teach you.

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I don't know if it would be more or less expensive, but you could take Music 101.01 (Piano for non-majors) to start with. Or, once you got here, you could always advertise for an instructor at the School of Music (largely confined to Hughes Hall). All the music majors I know at OSU specialize in other instruments (tuba, oboe, and violin), however, so I don't know anyone specifically who could teach you.

Thanks for the info. I would probably need to start with slightly more advanced classes that piano for non-majors. I last lessons I took were at the Vienna Conservatory, I've been playing for around 10 years now (but a lot of my practice methods were imprecise which led to some little technical flaws, some of which I corrected in Vienna). In any case, I believe, with the information that you just gave me, that I could find an instructor at the school of music.

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Hi all,

It looks like i'll be going to OSU. I am an international and i will not be able to visit early. Anybody knows of the graduate housing -the non-traditional neil apartments and the neil avenue efficiencies?

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Hi all,

It looks like i'll be going to OSU. I am an international and i will not be able to visit early. Anybody knows of the graduate housing -the non-traditional neil apartments and the neil avenue efficiencies?

I've never seen the efficiencies, but the apartments in the Neil Avenue Building, from their floorplans, are just about identical to my boyfriend's Worthing Building room. I really like it there - for a dorm, it's pretty comfy and spacious. It kind of makes me wish I still lived on campus. Both buildings were built at the same time (they're the newest dorms on campus), so I imagine they're very similar. The kitchens in the efficiencies aren't as big from the look of things. That's the only real disadvantage I see. The Neil Avenue Building is on South Campus and close to the hospital and most of the biological science buildings.

There are other graduate complexes, but they're not nearly as nice (Jones Graduate Tower on North Campus in in serious need of repairs).

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I did my MA at OSU and lived with my spouse there. He worked part time the first year and then quit the second year to focus on his own MA (at another school) more, and we got loans to help us through the second year. It really depends on your lifestyle - what you want to be able to spend money, what sorts of bills you have. As far as cost of living, everything is very reasonably priced - food, utilities, etc. You would be looking at rent around 500-600 for a nice one bedroom apartment. I've known people who spent less, but they were more tolerant of living in areas that could be a bit more sketchy or filled with undergrads. I lived in Clintonville, which is a really nice area. It's not as trendy at Victorian Village or the Short North, but I found that the rent for a comparable place was much higher there. My husband and I were not able to manage on just my stipend because we had credit card bills to pay. If you don't have extra stuff like credit card debt, a car payment, etc., you may be able to scrape by on the stipend. Let me know if you have other questions or if there are specific things about the city I can tell you.

Thanks for the info.. I'll get to know the exact amount today and I'll get back here and let you know so that you can tell me how easy/difficult life will be on that amount. My offer letter says that my funding is guaranteed for the first five *academic years* where one academic year runs from Oct1 to Jun30. Could anybody tell me about what activities graduate students who don't get funded for the summers engage in? I'm an international student and I might not be able to afford to pay for my flight tickets back and forth from home in the summer. I do hope I get to work on some project or the other and thereby have some summer earnings.. With a wife to support, every penny counts. Thanks for all the advice!

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I am also considering OSU with no car. Right now I use a bike to get around, and I would be interested to know if this would work in Columbus. Also, are there farmer's markets or other natural food stores (e.g. co-ops) near the university? And what do you think of the public transportation?

During the summer there are a few to choice from. I typically go to Grandview on weekends, though I believe the North Market is open year round. There is a Whole Foods right by campus, and a Kroger in Grandview that has a decent selection of organic food. If you make friends w/ someone with a car, there is a Trader Joe's about 20 minutes away in Easton Town Center (aka giant Suburban strip mall).

As for a bike, I have a car but almost never use it because I live in Grandview right by West Campus. I am on the 84 bus line at Northwest and Chambers. There are a ton of grocery stores, fast food places, cleaners, etc in the area. You can either take the 84 to campus, just walk to west campus and take the campus buses, or ride your bike (about 15 minutes) when the weather is nice. The 84 takes you to the Lennox Town Center (PetCo, Target, Barnes&Noble, World Market, AMC movie theater, Old Navy, etc). You can also ride your bike the half mile to the Shops on Lane Ave (Whole Foods, Bed Bath & Beyond, Ann Taylor Loft, etc).

Depending on your stipend, roommates, etc, you could live in Colony Club (about 600 a month), Heritage (more expensive, not as nice, but allows pets), the Meridian (about 800-900 a month, but nicer), Drayton Court (even more expensive). I recommend looking on Craigslist or driving through though b/c there are a lot of For Rent signs in the area. Everyone that I know that lives in the area (somewhere between 5th and Lane to the West of campus) loves the location. Some apartments are nicer than others, but the convenience is amazing.

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Hi all,

I'm moving closer towards accepting the PhD offer from OSU. Need some more information:

1) My first year stipend is likely to be around $12960 for 9 months + $1610 per month for the summers. They are also expecting a slight increase in that stipend amount of 12960 after some review that is to take place soon.

I do not know about the taxes that will be levied on my stipend. If there are international students from OSU who are on similar stipends, could you please tell me the approx amount you receive per month after taxes? I expect to pay around $500-600 towards rent. Another $100-150 for utilities. $100 more maybe for internet, phone, etc. I would also be taking private music lessons which will cost me some $150-200 per month. $400 for groceries. So I'm estimating my monthly expenses to come to around $1300-1400. Is this a good estimate? My wife will accompany me on a F2 visa and will not work. So she would be living on my stipend as well.

2) How much would a decent second hand car cost (post 2000 model)? Tell me about how car insurances work.. I really have no idea about the system in the US.

3) Are there nice places in or near Columbus my wife and I could travel to during the weekends for little pleasure trips?

4) Safe neighbourhoods for graduate students and families? I gather Clintonville is one such neighbourhood, from some of the posts here. Any other suggestions?

5) Any advice about other expenses I may have to consider. Any other advice for an international grad student with a dependent (spouse). My professor tells me about this great health insurance plan. 85% subsidized by the university and says it would cost me just $209 per quarter to pay for our insurance (both of us covered). Is this the only health insurance we'd need?

Thank you!

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Hi Liszt85,

Congrats on your decision! I don't know about the tax question or the car question, but I can tell you a bit about the others. There are tons of interesting things to do within driving distance of Columbus. Some of the things my husband and I have seen are the Hocking Hills (which you really have to visit a few times so you can see all the different stages throughout the seasons), the Serpent Mound, Newport Aquarium just across the state line in Kentucky (about a 2 hour drive), and visit some of the many parks in Columbus. Even the lesser traveled areas have some interesting stuff. We visited a place in Mansfield (about an hour northeast of Columbus) called Kingwood Gardens - they have beautiful gardens and an old home to tour, and there are peacocks that wander the grounds. Cleveland is also only a bit over an hour away, and there's lots to see on Lake Erie, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Other than Clintonville, Grandview is a nice, affordable place for graduate students that's decently easily accessible by bus if you don't find a car right away (you get free unlimited bus rides with your student ID). Other areas grad students tend to live in are Victorian Village and sometimes Worthington, but they tend to be a bit pricier. I'd definitely check out Grandview, though - I was looking at apartments there on Craigslist recently and it seemed like you could get a better deal there for your money than in Clintonville.

It sounds like you have most of the expenses pretty well covered - the only other thing I can think of is a parking pass, since you mention getting a car. I don't know if you plan on driving to campus, but the parking there is insanely expensive if you want a spot near central campus. The cheaper parking will put you in a parking lot in the middle of nowhere where you'll have to catch a campus bus to get to the central area. Having a car is a good thing in Columbus because none of the suburbs are easily accessible by bus, but for everyday commuting to campus, I definitely recommend using the bus system.

As far as the insurance, yes, this is the only insurance you'll need, and it's amazing coverage. I never had to pay for doctor's visits unless they referred me somewhere off campus, and I even had some minor medical equipment completely covered with no co-pay. It's the best health coverage I've ever had. The only thing is that you have to watch out with prescriptions - you can sometimes get them cheaper at local places like Giant Eagle or Walmart that have special pricing for generic medications.

As far as that apartment complex, it's in a good area of Clintonville. It's right on High St, which is convenient if you want to take the bus to campus (High St has the most frequent and consistent bus route in Columbus, the #2, and it will take you straight to campus), and not too bad if you want to drive. It's also far enough North to be solidly in Clintonville - sometimes apartments advertise themselves as being in Clintonville when they're really south of it (in between campus and Clintonville, also known as north campus), and that area can be shady. Clintonville Commons is right near the Whetstone Park of Roses, which is beautiful when all the roses are in bloom, and it's also near the public library's Whetstone branch. Since it's a complex, you might want to do a search for apartment rating sites to see if past tenants have good or bad things to say about the management. I don't know anything about the management there, although I do have friends who live in Olentangy Village, another complex along High St, and love it. OV is a bit more expensive, but they do offer discounts for employees of OSU, which you technically are if you have a teaching assistantship.

I hope all that helps, and feel free to ask me any more questions you might have here or via PM. I'm still waiting on a waitlist, but I will most likely be returning to OSU for my Ph.D. this fall, so I'm also in the apartment hunting stage.

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Hey all..

How's the beer in Columbus? :P I mean, I've been to Vienna and some other parts of Europe and the beer there was just awesome, so many to choose from. What brands do you get in the US and more specifically in Columbus, OH? I only drink a bottle occasionally but when I do, I like quality. I've not been drinking for a few months now because we don't get good beer here :| Recently though, Carlsberg set up a division here in India and so that is good.

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So I'm heading to OSU for this fall. Can anyone tell me:

(1) When should I start looking for an apartment for a September lease? June? July? August?

(2) Any management companies you recommend I avoid?

(3) Any management companies you recommend?

(4) Any realtors that may exist that help people find apartments to rent? (This is common where I'm from, although I've heard it's not common there.)

(5) What's reasonable rent to expect for a 1 bedroom grad student apartment, hopefully with wood floors, a parking spot, some outdoor space, a gas stove, and ac, and what's reasonable to expect to pay monthly for utilities?

Neighborhood wise, I'm planning on looking in Clintonville, Grandview, Short North, Victorian Village, and maybe Upper Arlington, although I have to say I fell in love with the German Village when I visited. Anyone know any OSU grad students who live there? I'll have a car, so I suppose distance isn't as important as nice apartment, nice area.

I'd appreciate any advice anyone cares to give, as I'll be doing my search from the East Coast and hope to fly out for no more than a weekend to actually look at places (when I don't work, I don't get paid :( ) Thanks!!!

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I am looking at a place ($330 studio in a apartment community) that is 15 miles from campus, google says a 20 minute drive. I don't like the idea of renting a room in a cut up Victorian house (cooking is important to me and the kitchens look horrifying, if they are there at all), and all the "grad student" areas are beyond my price range. All I have is my stipend and I don't want to take out loans. Is the commute worth it? Does the traffic (I70 and 315) double the commute?

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I am looking at a place ($330 studio in a apartment community) that is 15 miles from campus, google says a 20 minute drive. I don't like the idea of renting a room in a cut up Victorian house (cooking is important to me and the kitchens look horrifying, if they are there at all), and all the "grad student" areas are beyond my price range. All I have is my stipend and I don't want to take out loans. Is the commute worth it? Does the traffic (I70 and 315) double the commute?

I'm assuming you'd have a car then. I'm an international student, so can't tell you about the traffic. However, you can get studios nearby for a little more than what you'd be paying for yours. I'm getting one for myself for about $450 (all utilities included!). Its a 10 minute walk to the building that houses my lab. As a a grad student, its always a good idea to remain close to the campus. So if you're willing to shell out $450-500, you can get a studio with all utilities included somewhere nearby. A 9month OSU grad stipend should be able to afford this but you may have other expenses, so I cannot comment.

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hello

I will be attending OSU coming academic year and my monthly stipend will be $1100 per motnh (i dont know whether tax will be levied or not). I have to manage residence, utilities, food and clothing in it. No insurance premium or books etc. So, if I spend $600 on utilities and rent, would I be able to live within this stipend in Columbus?

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Kindly comment on this as well...

I am paid $14000 for 9 months (summer separate $1400-1500 per month after taxes). I have to pay $280 per quarter for health insurance and possibly $1500 during the summer for the health insurance. I am bringing along my wife too. We are moving into a studio ($450 utilities included). Since you are alone, you don't have to spend $600 on rent and utilities. There are cheaper options. Studios are cheap, or you can even think of renting a room in a house shared by grad students. That will cost you ~$300-350. You can live like that for the duration of your first lease until you figure out your finances.

Even if you spend $600 on rent and utilities, you should do fine on $500 per month for food and other expenses. Depending on which country you are from, there may or may not be a tax treaty with the US. So your taxes will be figured out only after you get there, somebody will help you with that.

Which dept are you in and are you in for a PhD?

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