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I've applied to colleges in Florida and found there wasn't a city thread for Orlando....

Tallahasse and Gainesville are pretty squarely college towns, Orlando obviously is a much bigger city with a lot of things besids just the college. Anybody at UCF want to weigh in on what its like living in Orlando?

What is housing like, particulalry around campus?

Does it feel like the city is always over run with tourists?

What is the grad school feel at UCF?

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I grew up in Orlando but moved away in 2002 . UCF is far enough away from Disney and the theme parks that you won't have to worry about the tourists. Unfortunately, I don't really know much about housing around the university. When I lived there, the housing around UCF was cheaper than the rest of Orlando though! Orlando is quite diverse in terms of what to expect--each little section has it's own feel/atmosphere. How much commuting are you up for?

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Hello,

I just graduated from UCF with a Bachelor's. I was going to say that the sprawl was awful but if you are from most places in Florida than you already know! Around UCF is sort of like a separate community than the rest of Orlando. Downtown is about 20 minutes away and actually has some cool neighborhoods/restaurants, but it's a little far to drive everyday. I live about 4 miles from campus in River Park Apartments and am pretty happy, but there are a ton of apartments everywhere. You could also live in the Oviedo area close to campus where I think a lot of faculty live.

Let me know if you have any questions!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I went to UCF for my bachelor's and master's degrees (and was just accepted there for my Ph.D.). I agree with the other posters that 1.) apartments close to campus are everywhere and new ones are being built seemingly everyday (I live in Waterford, which I think is the ideal location, about 10 minutes from campus) and 2.) you don't have to worry about tourists at all because they are all about 20-30 minutes away from you at Disney, Universal, etc. As far as the grad school feel, I think it depends on the department/program. What program did you apply to?

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Hello,

I just graduated from UCF with a Bachelor's. I was going to say that the sprawl was awful but if you are from most places in Florida than you already know! Around UCF is sort of like a separate community than the rest of Orlando. Downtown is about 20 minutes away and actually has some cool neighborhoods/restaurants, but it's a little far to drive everyday. I live about 4 miles from campus in River Park Apartments and am pretty happy, but there are a ton of apartments everywhere. You could also live in the Oviedo area close to campus where I think a lot of faculty live.

Let me know if you have any questions!

I second the Oviedo option. I lived in O-town for about three years and always felt like Oviedo was a good balance between being close to campus whilst not being too close to campus.

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I'm at UCF finishing up my PhD and I agree with Oviedo, or the Waterford/Avalon area. The apartments off of University are full of undergrads, so if you want to avoid that scene I suggest you look South of Colonial on Alafaya or north Alafaya in Oviedo. I am over in Avalon and think it is perfect, the Apartments are affordable, dog friendly, and nice. Plus you are only a 15 minute drive from campus (6 miles). I have lived over in this area since I moved down here in 2007 and have never really considered moving, but know a lot of people that also live in the Oviedo area and love that too. If you have any more questions feel free to ask.

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Anyone have any suggestions as to places that are < 3 mi. from campus? I bike a lot, and am looking for somewhere relatively close. I'm visiting UCF this upcoming weekend for an open house, and I'm checking out Highpoint Club and a couple of other places near campus.

My ideal place to live would be an old house partitioned into separate dwellings... Anyone know of anywhere like this near campus?

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My ideal place to live would be an old house partitioned into separate dwellings... Anyone know of anywhere like this near campus?

That is a northern thing and is not present in orlando. You can rent a house and share it with others, but it will not be partitioned in the way you are expecting. There are not apartments within houses. Also, in that area there aren't any old houses.

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I'll be moving to Orlando this Fall as well (MA Rhetoric & Composition). Is there any student-affiliated housing that's neither terribly expensive (over 580 altogether) nor a shit hole? I'd love to take advantage of the campus shuttle if at all possible.

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I'll be moving to Orlando this Fall as well (MA Rhetoric & Composition). Is there any student-affiliated housing that's neither terribly expensive (over 580 altogether) nor a shit hole? I'd love to take advantage of the campus shuttle if at all possible.

You do not need to be campus affiliated to have a shuttle. In fact, I would HIGHLY avoid campus affiliated apartments for a number of reasons. First, they are packed with underclassmen and community college kids. There is a major shortage of on campus housing and so freshman are referred to these apartments when they don't get placed in a dorm. These places are therefore able to fill vacancies without ever really having to compete with other complexes on amenities and quality. The result: horrible, dirty apartments on delapedated land. Furthermore, they will nickle and dime you on the most egregious of moving out fees (I paid $15 per burnt out lightbulb in my room). Management is inaccessible and you will be continually stonewalled by 19 year old "leasing agents" if you ever need anything or have any complaints.

There are some really cheap duplexes (or townhouses as they are referred to on craigslist) that are on a shuttle route and are mostly rented out by grad students. But beware that they are in one of the sketchiest little neighborhoods that are full of shirtless unemployed men on the streets. I am told that there are countless drug dealers there and at least one expositionist.

I would sincerely consider moving in around waterford/Oviedo/university passed dean road. The shuttle is alluring, but I assure you that it is not worth what you're giving up in terms of quality, quietness and safety.

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  • 6 months later...

Hi everybody!

I was wondering if anyone has been through or knows anything about the Industrial/Organizational Psychology Ph.D program at UCF. Any feedback on the program, UCF, or the area in general? I am married with two small children, so I am looking for a place to live that is relatively inexpensive and safe.

Thanks!

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  • 2 years later...

Gunna try and Revive this thread. Moving to Orlando this summer. Any tips? I'm planning on limiting my search to Oviedo unless I get better intel.

Hey KingScilla, I'm moving to Orlando as well, though I'm waiting until just before the Fall starts. I got accepted into the MFA program there. It seems to me that Oviedo pretty much is the best or ideal location according to my future cohort. That's where I'm planning to look. I've found some promising scenarios in the area, but I'll have to see them in person to be sure which won't occur until August. I most likely will be staying at a hotel until I find the right place. Good thing I have a lot of Marriott points hehe.

But yeah, reviving this thread may be a good idea.

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Hey there, Jonny-P (can I call you Jonny-P?)! Good to see there is another Knight on this board. I've had a lot of luck looking in the area just West of campus "winter park" area. LOTS of listings that seem very new or redone around 700ish for almost 1000 sq/ft. I'm not sure what you're looking for in a residence but I wanted something dog friendly and chill, and I think Winter park is good for that. I'll probably move early summer... Late June ish. I'm paranoid about missing out on some good listings by waiting too long. Good thing you're in Tampa. Not quite as far a trek to apartment hunt as from Austin.

Edited by KingScilla
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Johnny-P is cool with me lol

I found a roommate which will hopefully make things easier. We're looking for a 2/2 or 3/2 depending on price that's pet friendly since she has a Taco Bell dog. (Have no idea how to spell the real name lol) I've been looking into the Winter Park area as well. We're planning a trip up there soon to look around. I'll let you know here if we find anything promising.

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Nice! You should have a lot of luck in Winter Park. I saw a ton of craigslist postings for 2/2s. Let me know what kind of information you get about the areas, what traffic is like, places to avoid, etc.

I'm planning on flying in sometime in June to get things sorted out too.

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Seems bad luck has tapped me on the shoulder. My roommate decided she wants to move to Texas with her ex, so I will now be looking for a studio lol. I probably won't be up there before you since I'll probably be visiting now around July. Let me know how things go in June! Hope you like the area.

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Hi all!  I'll be moving to Orlando and starting my PhD at UCF in August, sounds like I'm in the same boat as all of you.  I was originally thinking the Winter Park area but I'm wondering if the commute might be too long?  I would like to keep it at 15-20 minutes max.  I would really love to be able to walk to something, bars or restaurants or something.  Any ideas?  For rent I'm thinking 700-900 ish.

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From what I've heard from my future cohorts, Winter Park and Oviedo are the top areas for grad students to live. UCF has student apartments everywhere walking distance to everything, but that means rooming with either really cool undergrads or really foul, never sleep, or be able to study undergrads. I personally can't risk it lol.

I've gotten in touch with an apartment complex that fits my budget for a studio, and I'm not too sure if it was a sales ploy, but the man said he only had one available and that was the third week of June which is before when I planned on moving. I'm afraid apartments are renting out fast with the upcoming school year. It makes sense though since over 60,000 students attend UCF.

On craigslist, I found a bunch of apartments within your price range. And most of them have accompanying websites for further info and pics.

I think what I may end up doing is renting a room for a few months and then transitioning into my own apartment.

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Hi everyone, I'm a Winter Park native and a current grad student. Winter Park is a lovely area, but you are right, it is about 15 minutes from campus (depending on how close to downtown winter park you go and sometimes more during peak traffic times). The trouble (with east Orlando) is that there are 3 major schools all within a very close proximity: Full Sail, Valencia College and UCF. Because of this, traffic can get crazy. That said, Winter Park and Oviedo are some of the nicer areas. Most graduate students I know tend to find houses in these areas and split them with roommates since its usually cheaper than renting an apartment (Winter Park is kind of a pricey real estate area, but there are also some not-so-nice parts of Winter Park). I also suggest looking into the areas known as Avalon Park and Waterford. These areas tend to have great housing options for graduate students and you can sometimes bypass peak traffic by taking the back roads to campus. 

 

Orlando is super sprawled. Unless you live in student housing, it will be hard to walk to bars, the grocery store, etc. It's not a pedestrian friendly city and 4 of our students have died this semester alone trying to cross some of the major walkways to get to campus (granted some of these accidents involve drunk drivers, etc.) but I just wanted to emphasize that its not the most bike or pedestrian friendly city since some people aren't aware of that. Waterford has a pretty big outdoor shopping center/"mall" so to speak and there are apartments/housing in the middle of Avalon Park that are within walking distance of the grocery store, etc. 

 

Hope this helps! Feel free to message me if you have any questions about UCF, Winter Park, etc.

Edited by harrisonfjord
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Hi, late to the game here! Just want to add that Oviedo is really great. I love Winter Park, but I would strongly warn you about the traffic. If you live there your commute time could be a half hour at least each way. That's the only reason I'd avoid it, as there is much more to do in Winter Park than Oviedo.

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I lived in Orlando for over 20 years so I will weigh in. Winter Park is nice, but the commute can depend on where you live in Winter Park. If you live near downtown (off of Fairbanks), the commute can be quite a pain sometimes when it switches over to Aloma. Also, it can get quite expensive in that part as far as rent. If you do find some places with cheaper rent, there is a possibility that they could be retirement communities. I used to live at Whisper Lakes Apartments near the intersection of 436 and University, and the commute to UCF was easy (though I never attended UCF, so I don't know what it is like around campus during rush hours). Another option is anything along the Greenway. I lived most of my life in the Dr. Phillips area (which I love), and when I used to go to Valencia Community College East Campus, it would only take me 30 minutes from DPHS via the Beachline (or the Beeline for us old timers). Though in recent years, the Beachline has been backing up at I-Drive. Whatever you do, try to avoid I-4 at all costs. My personal opinion, I would look for apartments on 436 between University Blvd. and Casselberry, or on Alafaya between the UCF and Oviedo. 

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