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I actually was an undergrad at UCSD, and probably will be a grad student next year at SDSU, and I"m trying to figure out my situation as well. I will probably follow the Normal Heights advice, but also advise people to group together and look around and talk to other grad students. Off-campus housing is the way to go, and way more inexpensive than the options the state university has for on campus. I especially advise people to go to the areas mentioned, as well as Mission Valley and the Convoy areas. For me, I have to use a car for fieldwork. Also, even though San Diego doesn't have fast transit, it is easy to commute from SDSU ( way more so than UCSD which lives in its own La Jolla/University City world)

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Yes that's another good point; having a car in San Diego is great but not as necessary as everyone seems to think, I've been living in SD for 3 years car-less and it's quite alright. Again, Normal Heights is a great central location, but also any area near a trolley stop would be convenient. 

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Yes that's another good point; having a car in San Diego is great but not as necessary as everyone seems to think, I've been living in SD for 3 years car-less and it's quite alright. Again, Normal Heights is a great central location, but also any area near a trolley stop would be convenient. 

 

Do you mind if I pm you to get more info on car-less transportation?

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Bump!

I've been accepted to UCSD and am heavily considering attending there this fall. UCSD is my alma mater, and the thought of spending a few more years in beautiful San Diego is very exciting.

 

I lived off-campus (close to UTC) for a few years, but for graduate school, I am considering graduate school housing. Obviously everyone wants the Coast apartments, but the wait time is too long(~ 1 year). Does anyone have experience living in the Mesa or Rita apartments? Or does anyone strongly consider living off-campus in non-UCSD housing?

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Yeahp.So I am probably heading to UCSD and I am considering off-campus apartments.

 

Problem is that I do not drive. Carless transportation info would be great. I... think there are free bus services for UCSD students? What's a bus-ride away, and how reliable and frequent is the service? Has commuting been bothersome at all? Would you have used a car if you could?

 

Oh, and @StarofDawn and beccamayworth: Do you have any recommendations for taxi services there? There's about 3 miles between the train station and where I need to check in for the visit days (in a few days), and I would rather not walk it.

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Yeahp.So I am probably heading to UCSD and I am considering off-campus apartments.

 

Problem is that I do not drive. Carless transportation info would be great. I... think there are free bus services for UCSD students? What's a bus-ride away, and how reliable and frequent is the service? Has commuting been bothersome at all? Would you have used a car if you could?

 

Oh, and @StarofDawn and beccamayworth: Do you have any recommendations for taxi services there? There's about 3 miles between the train station and where I need to check in for the visit days (in a few days), and I would rather not walk it.

 

Hi! So, I go to SDSU, so take all of this with a grain of salt - but my friend at UCSD has been there for a year now and she decided to get rid of her car because she just doesn't use it enough, and parking permits are really expensive. She says there's school shuttles that go around. It will become hard to leave the La Jolla area, but you'll have most of things you need within reach.

 

If your train station is Old Town, I know there's usually cabs there. If you wanna call a cab, I actually recommend using LYFT or UBERX. I've been using Lyft for a while now (just download the app to your phone) and I believe it's not only cheaper, but also safer than cabs. 

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Hmmm...safer you say? I've heard of lyft (well, sorta, but up until now it was just known to me as "the thing with the mustache cars"), but I thought it would be random people who sorta volunteer to give rides. What's unsafe about cabs? What makes Uberx and lyft safer?

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Hmmm...safer you say? I've heard of lyft (well, sorta, but up until now it was just known to me as "the thing with the mustache cars"), but I thought it would be random people who sorta volunteer to give rides. What's unsafe about cabs? What makes Uberx and lyft safer?

 

Well, I've talked to several of the Lyft drivers - they're definitely not random, there's a *relatively* strict process they have to go through to become a lyft driver, which includes having a car not older than X (can't remember the year) and going through an interview/quick training. The network isn't too large yet - there's around 300/400 lyft drivers in the city. And lastly but most importantly, they work on a rating basis - that is, they rate you as a passenger and you rate them as a driver. So you can chose to accept a lyft only from someone who has, last say, 5 stars. (it works the other way around, too... they might refuse to pick you up if you only have two stars)    :)   

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Nono, I'm definitely intrigued. The problem at the moment is that I'm going to be coming in at midnight, so the availability of a lyft car might be unlikely. Do they service SD after midnight?

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Currently they're 24/7 in San Diego! But since you rely on the availability of drivers, it would probably be wise to have back up plans... I have the apps for Lyft and Uber, and I also have an app called "Gofastcab" which I used only once, a year ago (before I knew about Uber). 

 

I also know that (619) 444-4444 is the number of some cab company in San Diego - I've never used it, but I know it just in case. :)

 

Also - I know Lyft often has groupons available for first-time users... it might be worth looking into!

 

(I know you said that you don't want to walk the 3 miles - but now that you've mentioned that you're arriving at midnight, I definitely recommend not walking it. The area around UCSD is pretty safe, but still, after midnight, best to be cautious :) )

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I used to go to UCSD, so I actually think that taking a bus to Solana Beach by train is much easier and not as scary as taking a train from Old Town.  If you don't know how to do that from campus, the university has information that lets you get to where you need. 

 Also for UCSD students, the school the last I heard offers a free city bus pass for any route that has a 5 mile radius within the campus. 

So there, its cheap and you can take your luggage if time isn't an issue.

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Considering the graduate apartment wait-lists - and wanting to live with my non-student boyfriend - I'll probably be looking at off-campus housing. Does anyone have strong opinions (good or bad) about the different apartment buildings in the La Jolla/UTC area? I prefer to live close to campus (close enough to take a free bus/shuttle and get there within 20-30 minutes).

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StarofDawn, I really wouldn't look at somewhere in the Nobel Drive/ Lebon Drive Area only because those apartment buildings are up the creek. I would look at apartment buildings near Governor as many of my friends lived there and found affordable housing. 

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Thanks, beccamayworth! Turns out I couldn't use lyft because no one seemed to be awake at like 1AM when I got there, and well, it was significantly more efficient to take the bus back. But the cab number was useful, and I'm almost certainly going to use that app (Lyft) in the future.

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To those who will not be moving to graduate housing, and be moving to the La Jolla/UTC area:

 

- I recommend looking at bus routes (UCSD shuttles and city bus routes). If you live close to a stop, the bus ride is free and it will be simple getting to and from campus. Parking, for students, is very very tight and extremely difficult after 10am.

- Off-campus parking is available but also very difficult:

-------- To the north are mountains and the 5/805 freeway exchange. Not doable.

-------- To the east is the 5 freeway. Not doable. There are UCSD parking lots to the east of the 5 freeway, and beyond that is a school and some apartment housing. Easily a 15-20 minute walk to campus.

-------- To the west of UCSD are beautiful houses. There are parking restrictions; parking is doable for a single class, but not all-day parking. Also, spots are limited.

-------- To the south of campus is a big shopping center, plenty of parking is available, but you are forced to walk up a large hill to campus. Easily a 15 minute walk.

- If you look for an apartment close to a bus stop, just know that the bus stops along La Jolla Village Drive will be very crowded. There are disadvantages and advantages: while the bus lines will be very long and you may not make it on the bus, there are multiple bus routes along that road and it might only be a few minutes until the next bus comes along.

 

This is from my undergrad experience back in 2008-2010. YMMV. Hope it helps.

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So, having gone through this thread, and reading elsewhere, I'm thinking the following places would be good choices while I attend SDSU:

 

North Park, South Park, Hillcrest, Mission Hills, and El Cajon. Is El Cajon a good area? Safe? Expensive or cheap? I heard the trolley operates in El Cajon.

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Scarf in the wind, 

         El Cajon may be a cheap area, but there are some sketchy areas that may not be safe at night. 

 I am thinking of similar areas too for when I move only because of the location between the trolley line.  Mission Hills may run you up some money, I've been told. 

 But yeah SDSU is great because of the trolley line. Much of midtown from Santee to Downtown runs by it, so its a start for sure. 

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I'll be joining UCSD in the fall. As a European who's never actually been in the US (or in the Americas), I am naturally a little nervous. Any tips for those of us joining from abroad in particular? I'll be living in university housing for the first year at least, and am not planning on getting a car before my second year! How much should I budget as starting expenses (ill be bringing only one suitcase obviously)? Are there places to get good, authentic Chinese food? What about non-chloride chicken and non-genetically modified produce?

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I'll be joining UCSD in the fall. As a European who's never actually been in the US (or in the Americas), I am naturally a little nervous. Any tips for those of us joining from abroad in particular? I'll be living in university housing for the first year at least, and am not planning on getting a car before my second year! How much should I budget as starting expenses (ill be bringing only one suitcase obviously)? Are there places to get good, authentic Chinese food? What about non-chloride chicken and non-genetically modified produce?

 

Leaving the La Jolla area without a car won't be easy. Trader Joe's in La Jolla might have non-GMO foods. If you can make your way to Ocean Beach, OB People's Food market is a co-op and is AWESOME. They have many healthy, non-GMO, sustainable foods to eat.

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There is a Whole Foods (organic/natural market) that next to Trader Joes now. Should be easy.

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As for Chinese Food, you really need to travel a long way to get it in the area. You'll have to take the bus to get closer to SDSU for great Chinese food. 

 Although not the same,  there's so much more good Vietnamese and Mexican food near UC San Diego. 

 If you need stuff, thankfully you will be near  the mall on your free buss pass.  Also, you will not be alone if you are an international student.  Even if you are not an undergrad, UCSD has international housing and a large international presence in Eleanor Roosevelt College. Many international students' resources can be found there and in the International Housing building near Center Hall.

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I know its been a while since anyone has been on this thread, but I'm thinking about enrolling at UCSD in the Fall, and I am looking for recommendations on places to live, right now the only place that looks affordable is Tijuana, and I can see that causing quite a few problems with my wife... We also have a 75lb dog and a, shall we say, "special" cat...

 

Is there anywhere in the La Jolla area for a PhD student and a social worker to live without breaking the proverbial bank?! 

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Hey Bacchanalia I've actually been researching areas myself for attendance at SDSU. I know UCSD is in a different area, but I found the website forrentuniversity.com to be very helpful in seeing how close places were to the university and this map Community Profiles | Planning Department to be helpful in terms of knowing the surrounding communities. Hope this helps out a little

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