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I'm going to be visiting UCSD in April and was just wondering if anyone had any hotel recommendations. Not looking for anything too fancy, but something relatively close would be preferable. Also, any dining or bar recommendations would be great.

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Any more up-to-date 2010 SD info? It's between SD (SDSU) or Seattle (UW) for me. I grew up in Cardiff but haven't been back since I was 8, so I don't really know what it's like to live there as an adult! I'd appreciate any more opinions on housing near / commuting to SDSU.

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Any more up-to-date 2010 SD info? It's between SD (SDSU) or Seattle (UW) for me. I grew up in Cardiff but haven't been back since I was 8, so I don't really know what it's like to live there as an adult! I'd appreciate any more opinions on housing near / commuting to SDSU.

I didn't go to sdsu, I went to ucsd, but I did live nearer to sdsu, so I will give my input.

SDSU is a pretty big party school for undergrads, so if you have a car, I would recommend living a bit farer away. College area is the neighborhood near the school. I would recommended Normal Heights, Kensington, University Heights, Northpark or southpark. They are all older SD neighborhoods that will be quieter than college area. Rent is cheaper, the neighborhoods are all walkable (nearby bars, coffeeshops and food) and are cool. I personally lived in Southpark and Northpark and loved them both. I no longer live in SD and I really miss my neighborhood.

Let me know if you have any more questions.

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Any more up-to-date 2010 SD info? It's between SD (SDSU) or Seattle (UW) for me. I grew up in Cardiff but haven't been back since I was 8, so I don't really know what it's like to live there as an adult! I'd appreciate any more opinions on housing near / commuting to SDSU.

I used to live there and occasionally would take a class at SDSU while my wife attended full time. We lived in North Park near 30th and Adams. That area is a great place to live and its a quick bus ride on the 11 to campus (or Hillcrest or Downtown). There's a lot to do in that area. Or you could live in Mission Valley and take the Trolley up to campus. Either place is better than trying to drive to school.

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I know there's already a San Diego thread, but the references to living accommodations and tips seems to be in reference to UCSD. Does anyone have info. about living near SDSU? Also, what is San Diego like? If you've lived there, has it been a positive experience? Why?

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I know there's already a San Diego thread, but the references to living accommodations and tips seems to be in reference to UCSD. Does anyone have info. about living near SDSU? Also, what is San Diego like? If you've lived there, has it been a positive experience? Why?

My best friend from HS and my future wife at the time both lived in seperate apartment complexes on Alvarado. Very college oriented, as are the neighborhoods immediately surrounding the school to the south. After our marriage we lived in North Park, an older neighborhood a few miles to the west on the same mesa with direct bus service to campus. In fact any of the neighborhoods--Normal Heights, North Park and Hillcrest--have a lot of character, are walkable with good access to campus. You might also try Mission Valley. With direct Trolley service to SDSU and a wide array of shopping nearby, this area couldnt be beat, though I enjoyed my apartment's view over that valley more than living in it. Over all, I liked the area. I worked downtown, took a class or two at SDSU and spent most of my time in the "urban" part of the city. We were also pretty close to the Border so we'd go down there to shop or have fun. We might have stayed there had I not been stuck in a dead end line of work I hated before being laid off in the 2001 recession.

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The areas Pea-jay mentions are full of character, plus Mission Hills, but that is a little more expensive. University Heights is right next to Hillcrest and has become very cool. I'm from San Diego and if I ever move back that's one place I would like to live. The area right around SDSU is not as cool, but probably less money. A little further east from University Heights is Kensington, which is also nice. It went way up in price around 2002, but it may have come back down. If you want access to the coastal highways/beaches, Kensington feels out of the way. Hillcrest is really the best as far as character, restaurants, movies and location.

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 Hey guys, I was wondering what the living costs in San Diego are like.  I was offered a 25k stipend at UCSD for a PhD in bioengineering and I'm debating whether or not to go there.  Is 25k enough for a years living?  I have a friend who I can share an apartment with as well which would help drop housing costs.

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 Hey guys, I was wondering what the living costs in San Diego are like.  I was offered a 25k stipend at UCSD for a PhD in bioengineering and I'm debating whether or not to go there.  Is 25k enough for a years living?  I have a friend who I can share an apartment with as well which would help drop housing costs.

Congrats on a big stipend! I'd say 25k is enough. There is grad housing that is very reasonable, but it is hard to get into. Also, your money would go a lot further if you would be willing to live a little farther away from campus, or be willing to share a place. My fiance was a grad student there on a 18k stipend and did fine--he shared a house with some friends. San Diego is beautiful and I appreciate it so much more now that I'm in school in bloomington, IN. I loved UCSD.

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Congrats on a big stipend! I'd say 25k is enough. There is grad housing that is very reasonable, but it is hard to get into. Also, your money would go a lot further if you would be willing to live a little farther away from campus, or be willing to share a place. My fiance was a grad student there on a 18k stipend and did fine--he shared a house with some friends. San Diego is beautiful and I appreciate it so much more now that I'm in school in bloomington, IN. I loved UCSD.

Be sure to factor traffic in if you are planning to commute into UCSD from any distance. The area was congested then and I doubt it is any better now. I was offered a job in that area, commuted one day and promptly quit. It sucked. The area is unusually dense for a suburban location (generating a lot of traffic) but lacks an effective grid to distribute traffic or comparable transit offerings found in the older parts (south of Mission Valley/La Jolla). If you can live there, it's a pretty nice area though.

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Be sure to factor traffic in if you are planning to commute into UCSD from any distance. The area was congested then and I doubt it is any better now. I was offered a job in that area, commuted one day and promptly quit. It sucked. The area is unusually dense for a suburban location (generating a lot of traffic) but lacks an effective grid to distribute traffic or comparable transit offerings found in the older parts (south of Mission Valley/La Jolla). If you can live there, it's a pretty nice area though.

I just finished a fellowship at UCSD this past quarter. I totally agree it's a sweet area. I lived in La Jolla/UTC within walking distance to campus, and paid $800/month for a shared apt. Utilities were about $50-100/month. I didn't think traffic was that bad, but I rarely had to commute in/out of La Jolla during rush hour.

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Hi, I will be moving from the pacific northwest to go to grad school at SDSU this fall. I have been offered a room with bathroom in a 2br/2ba condo for $700/month including all utilities such as internet. The condo is in San Carlos, it has a pool and air conditioning in the living room (but not in the bedrooms). Does anybody who is familiar with the area know if this is a good deal or not?

Thanks!

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I just accepted my acceptance to SDSU this fall so I'll be making the big move out to California from the Midwest so I have a few questions. What's public transportation like? I won't have a car so I'll have to rely on public trans to move around. What's the farthest place from campus that I can live in and still have access to public transport to campus? Any recommendations for areas to go out? Lastly, what are some good websites to look at for apartments? I'm currently living in Spain and I'm moving back to the USA in July. I'll be going to SD in mid-July to look for places to live. I hope this is a good time for the apartment search.

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I just accepted my acceptance to SDSU this fall so I'll be making the big move out to California from the Midwest so I have a few questions. What's public transportation like? I won't have a car so I'll have to rely on public trans to move around. What's the farthest place from campus that I can live in and still have access to public transport to campus? Any recommendations for areas to go out? Lastly, what are some good websites to look at for apartments? I'm currently living in Spain and I'm moving back to the USA in July. I'll be going to SD in mid-July to look for places to live. I hope this is a good time for the apartment search.

The short answer is anywhere where where the Trolley serves is a limit. Which is theoretically could be the Mexican Border area of San Ysidro. I wouldnt recommend that though. The ideal area if you are car-free is Mission Valley. This area is pretty densely settled and has most things you want in a neighborhood like shopping and recreational opportunities. The closer you can live to a green line trolley stop, the better. That line goes right under SDSU. You could also live inland from campus along the Green line in the Grossmont or El Cajon areas. But I know less about individual neighborhoods.

Further away you could live downtown which has just about everything but would require you to change trains in Old Town (Blue to Green) for the ride out to campus and would take longer. If you can stand a bus ride across town, the older neighborhoods of Hillcrest, University Heights, North/South Park, Normal Heights and Kensington are quite liveable without a car. I used to live in North Park and took the 11 to Downtown to work and my wife took it the opposite way to campus. Finally you could live in the neighborhoods immediately surrounding campus and simply walk to school. But the area isnt as nice as other areas listed in this post.

I dont know if it is still the case but back when we lived there, the college sold heavily subsidized MTS month passes which made commuting real affordable.

check out http://www.sdmts.com for more info

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Hey everyone,

I just found out about this site yesterday, actually, and have come to love it.

I was recently accepted into UCSD for their MFA in Writing and I'm wondering where would be a good option to live. I have only heard from one other school (Berkeley) and got a no, and it's taking so long for other schools to respond that I'm already looking at living in SD just in case I don't get in anywhere else. Don't get me wrong, I am absolutely stoked to have gotten into a Creative Writing program because I was only applying to a couple on a lark.

What I'm wondering is, Is it hard to live far from campus and be a grad student and TA? I've heard Ocean Beach and Hillcrest are really nice places in terms of personality and character, but the 20 minute drive is something I am completely foreign to. I attended Berkeley as an undergrad and I lived about a ten minute walk from campus which was also conveniently next to a bus stop, which took about three minutes max. I've never lived very far from campus and was wondering how difficult it is to go and come back, especially if you're a grad student. I was an architecture major in berkeley and being close to campus was a life saver sometimes because it honestly meant getting a crucial twenty or so more minutes of sleep than others.

I have a couple of friends who live in SD who I'd love to live with, and i was offered a free ride with a stipend of 17k a year, so I'm also looking at living cheap while still enjoying my living experience and being able to get studying done. I've read over the rental agreements with the university's graduate housing and it seems like I'd just be in the dorms 2.0. I enjoyed the dorms when i was a freshman undergrad, but I don't think I could live with such restrictions like Quiet Hours and not being able to play any musical instruments at any time.

Thanks for any advice

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Hillcrest might be ideal if you don't want to drive, since there is a shuttle from the UCSD Medical Center there up to the main campus. I don't know how long it takes, but I do know a PhD student who did it for a year (I also don't know what prices are like in Hillcrest, although probably cheaper than around UCSD). If you're used to Berkeley prices, then San Diego won't be a shock; depending on where you live, you should probably plan on at least $600/month for a private room in a house/townhouse (and more, most likely, if you're living in the UTC/La Jolla area, where $700-800 is probably a better budget). Ocean Beach is nice with a lot of old bungalows and aging hippie character; if you want to live close to the beach, it's probably the cheapest area north of downtown to do so. I'm not sure about traffic in Hillcrest, but traffic getting in/out of OB can get backed up. I also liked Point Loma; you probably can't afford a place super-close to the water there (like down on the actual peninsula or on the bay), but there's convenient access to the 5 (at least, if you live near Rosecrans in the Loma Portal area) and I never had many problems with traffic between UTC and Point Loma (plus, it's close to downtown). UTC is nice, but pricier, especially for what you get (and it's very upper-middle-class suburban, just FYI). Everything is very convenient there, though, and there is a UCSD shuttle that runs around, so you wouldn't need to drive (and you'd be a lot closer to school). Also, the weather is beautiful the vast majority of the time, so if you live close enough, biking would be a great way to get to campus (although San Diego can very hilly, so I'd check your route).

If I were you and my budget allowed it, I'd probably try to live close to UCSD my first year and just see how it goes; you may discover that you can live further away or that you really need that extra 20 minutes. The guy I know who took the Hillcrest shuttle lived near UCSD his first year and basically came home only to sleep his first year; he moved further away once he passed his comps.

What I'm wondering is, Is it hard to live far from campus and be a grad student and TA? I've heard Ocean Beach and Hillcrest are really nice places in terms of personality and character, but the 20 minute drive is something I am completely foreign to. I attended Berkeley as an undergrad and I lived about a ten minute walk from campus which was also conveniently next to a bus stop, which took about three minutes max. I've never lived very far from campus and was wondering how difficult it is to go and come back, especially if you're a grad student. I was an architecture major in berkeley and being close to campus was a life saver sometimes because it honestly meant getting a crucial twenty or so more minutes of sleep than others.

I have a couple of friends who live in SD who I'd love to live with, and i was offered a free ride with a stipend of 17k a year, so I'm also looking at living cheap while still enjoying my living experience and being able to get studying done.

Thanks for any advice

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Hey all,

Looking for general info on grad student life in San Diego. Specifically, at UCSD and/or Scripps. A couple of questions:

1) Is there subsidized graduate student housing, and what is the quality of the housing? Do they accommodate married couples?

2) What is the cost of living like? If I was to rent something off of campus, are there affordable neighborhoods close to the schools that would be desirable to live in?

3) What is public transit like around the city? Would I need a car to get to and from housing to campus buildings? To get into downtown SD?

4) Where do students hang out on or around campus? Good local bars, music, etc?

Thanks in advance

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University City is a good place for UCSD grad students to live. I think there is university housing in that area too, but I don't think it's really cheaper than living in a regular apt. The public transit isn't great- taking the bus to get places will take you a long time, but there are buses. But some of the areas near the university are very nice- west of University City is La Jolla, which has nice beaches and shopping areas. and the weather there is pretty nice, if you don't mind not having seasons.

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1) They accommodate married couples. Subsidized housing is available, but there's usually a long wait list. I lived there a year and paid $495/month for my rent, water, and Internet.

2) It's La Jolla. California's already an expensive place to live in, but the COL in La Jolla/SD is relatively more expensive. Cheaper places to live in would be Mira Mesa, Clairmont Mesa, University City, or near Hillcrest Medical Hospital (University Heights, Hillcrest, etc.).

3) Terrible. You do get a sticker for free transportation on select city buses. There are UCSD shuttles that cater to the neighborhoods around campus (especially the UTC area) and the grad housing, so no need to get a car unless you live somewhere not supported by the bus or shuttle system. You can take the 150 bus to downtown, if I remember correctly, otherwise you will need a car or a friend with a car.

4) Near campus? Not much. There are a few bars on campus (Porters Pub, the new sports bar near RIMAC) and a Peet's Coffee near the CVS by campus. Most students venture out a bit and hang out near Convoy (Kearney and Clairmont Mesa), downtown (Gaslamp, Hillcrest, East Village, etc.), the hipster areas (University Heights, Normal Heights, etc.), or near the beaches (La Jolla Cove, Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, etc.).

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1) They accommodate married couples. Subsidized housing is available, but there's usually a long wait list. I lived there a year and paid $495/month for my rent, water, and Internet.

2) It's La Jolla. California's already an expensive place to live in, but the COL in La Jolla/SD is relatively more expensive. Cheaper places to live in would be Mira Mesa, Clairmont Mesa, University City, or near Hillcrest Medical Hospital (University Heights, Hillcrest, etc.).

3) Terrible. You do get a sticker for free transportation on select city buses. There are UCSD shuttles that cater to the neighborhoods around campus (especially the UTC area) and the grad housing, so no need to get a car unless you live somewhere not supported by the bus or shuttle system. You can take the 150 bus to downtown, if I remember correctly, otherwise you will need a car or a friend with a car.

4) Near campus? Not much. There are a few bars on campus (Porters Pub, the new sports bar near RIMAC) and a Peet's Coffee near the CVS by campus. Most students venture out a bit and hang out near Convoy (Kearney and Clairmont Mesa), downtown (Gaslamp, Hillcrest, East Village, etc.), the hipster areas (University Heights, Normal Heights, etc.), or near the beaches (La Jolla Cove, Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, etc.).

Thanks, lots of good info in there.

1) That's an amazing price. Are you in a shared apartment? And which complex? I know they have a few, but from their website it looks like the waitlists for a lot of them are years long. Was that apartment building nice at all?

2/3) Are any of those neighborhoods walkable or bike-able to/from campus? It sounds like the shuttle system is pretty good and reliable, and my fiance has a car, but she will likely to need to drive to work as well. I'm really hoping we can manage with just one car between the two of us.

4) That's such a bad scenario. No bars nearby and no public transit to/from the bars. Do people usually just carpool with a DD when they go out?

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There's also another thread for UC San Diego on here that y'all can check out too:

I have an invite to an open house at UCSD, so I've been following it pretty closely. I really hope that I'll be moving down there.

I think I want to try to get into one of the studios on campus (which I've heard have a really awful waiting list). Otherwise, I'll try to find an apartment somewhere near Hillcrest or Balboa Park.

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Thanks, lots of good info in there.

1) That's an amazing price. Are you in a shared apartment? And which complex? I know they have a few, but from their website it looks like the waitlists for a lot of them are years long. Was that apartment building nice at all?

2/3) Are any of those neighborhoods walkable or bike-able to/from campus? It sounds like the shuttle system is pretty good and reliable, and my fiance has a car, but she will likely to need to drive to work as well. I'm really hoping we can manage with just one car between the two of us.

4) That's such a bad scenario. No bars nearby and no public transit to/from the bars. Do people usually just carpool with a DD when they go out?

1) graduate housing such as Mesa is comparatively old. however I know the rent is cheap. i know there is a new building by the medical / pharmacy school, but i'm not sure about the details. if you are looking for off-campus housing, like aforementioned posts, you can live in the UTC area where they have buses and school city shuttles to commute.

2) cost of living is about the same around the county or even the state, with the exception of housing. off-campus housing can be cheap and it depends how you work with it. you can rent a room for less than $500 a month if you live in a 3 bedroom apartment with 3 or more people. however, typically one bedroom apartment ranges from $1250 to +$1500 in UTC area.

3) this is southern california, and therefore buses are the major public transit. there are trolley in the county but there isn't a trolley station by UCSD until 2014/2016 (whatever that number is). again, it is california, you always need a car to get around. HOWEVER, if you are living by UTC area (or in graduate housing), you can always take the city shuttle (for the major off-campus locations) or campus loop (for grad housing). now, unlike UCLA where they have roads in the middle of the campus, there are only a road that separates the main campus and the medical & pharm school campus. therefore, if you are going to campus by any of the school shuttle, you will either get off the shuttle in a not-so-fancy bus station and walk around, or you'll have to sit on the campus loop that runs around / on the outside of the campus. most people choose to walk / bike / skate / whatever-applies-to-you to get around the campus. the campus have hills, too. therefore, sports sneakers are recommended. you can go to downtown SD by bus #30 and #150 from campus. 150 is the express version of 30 and it only runs between 6 or 7 am to roughly 7 pm on weekdays. #30 runs between 6/7am to roughly 1am everyday. however, during weekends, #30 stops at old town transit center instead of downtown SD, which is 5 to 10 minutes drive on local. it takes roughly half an hour or less to transit from campus to downtown SD by #150, but about at least an hour for #30 due to its route that passes through downtown La Jolla on local.

4) though i love the school, SD also stands for socially dead. with the majority of students are undergrads, they spend lesser time in social compare to other colleges due to lack of school spirits (e.g. no football team). the graduate student associate may be a good place to start. their lounge is right across a pub (yes, an on-campus pub) called Porter's Pub. in other words, there are drinking places on-campus and, for Porter's, it is quite popular by many grad students and some professors. along with another place called "the loft", they have concerts/shows once awhile that you can enjoy and have a good time with. if you need to drink off-campus, students tend to go to Pacific Beach (a.k.a. PB) and/or Ocean Beach for drinks. i believe you there is a bus to get there. I have been told that drunk (fist, street) fight can sometimes be found at PB in late night.

feel free to ask for other inputs from a person who wanna get outta UCSD as an undergrad.

Edited by aberrant

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Next year I will be at the UCSD for ECE PhD. At least for my first year, I want to be near the campus. I had a look at the grad housing facilities and found Rita Atkinson Residences stylish and well-designed. Anyone staying or stayed at Rita Atkinson? I guess it is a pretty new accommodation. Is there any ongoing construction work?

Any advices will be appreciated.

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I'm curious too about the Rita Atkinson apartments. They look gorgeous in all the literature. Anybody with first hand experience? The bad thing is they don't come with parking, so I guess you'd have to spend 60+ per month on a pass at one of the neighboring campus lots, which is lame since a big draw of Rita is its central location.

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I was dating a girl living at Rita Atkinson before I moved to the Midwest for grad school. She seemed to really like it--at least that first month she moved in.

It's cheap, located on campus (rather than near Mesa/OMS), and has great facilities.

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