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Guest Cheryl B

New Brunswick, NJ

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I'm seriously considering Rutgers... I'm about to visit in a few weeks.

I'm wondering about the lifestyle possibilities there... Is it necessary to have a car ( I should mention I'm a VERY attractive female.. haaahaa)?

Is there a market/ local foods culture? I'm currently living in Atlanta (yes, the cold is going to drive me crazy) and love having great local grocery stores and a farmers market (although I have to drive to them...).

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I'm seriously considering Rutgers... I'm about to visit in a few weeks.

I'm wondering about the lifestyle possibilities there... Is it necessary to have a car ( I should mention I'm a VERY attractive female.. haaahaa)?

So how YOU doin'?

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I'm also considering going to Rutgers. So far, it sounds pretty nice. Definitely better than Baltimore (where I live now), but not quite as nice as DC (where I am originally from).

BTW, Frencrit, is Rutgers paying for you to come visit? I'd like to visit ASAP but kind of perturbed about having to pay out of pocket.

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Yeah, they offered to fly me there/ host me Thursday-Sunday (March 5-8). I'll post details after the visit... so if you have any specific question before I go, please post them so I can do some investigating for us both on Rutgers' dime :)

What program are you looking at?

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Yeah, they offered to fly me there/ host me Thursday-Sunday (March 5-8). I'll post details after the visit... so if you have any specific question before I go, please post them so I can do some investigating for us both on Rutgers' dime :)

What program are you looking at?

I just got into the history department! I am very excited. I'm not visiting until the end of March, though, so when you come back I'd appreciate your opinion on New Brunswick as a place to live and on what neighborhoods might be good to live in, if that's something you're looking in to.

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Yes, please post any info, frencrit11! I'll be going down to visit the English dept. in a few weeks, and they say they'll "try" to help out if they can with expenses. :/ rebeccafav, I'm a medievalist too, so that's exciting! Are you planning to do the medieval studies certificate?

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Yes, please post any info, frencrit11! I'll be going down to visit the English dept. in a few weeks, and they say they'll "try" to help out if they can with expenses. :/ rebeccafav, I'm a medievalist too, so that's exciting! Are you planning to do the medieval studies certificate?

If I go to Rutgers, I probably do the medieval studies certificate, although I have to look into it some more. It's pretty much getting permission and taking classes outside your department, right? I already have a masters, which seems to mean they expect me to finish a year sooner, so I have to figure out how that works.

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Bumping this for information about grad student housing.

Can anyone familiar with grad student housing at Rutgers give a rundown/provide some insights on the various options offered?

In particular, if anyone could provide some information on the Old Gibbons Houses it would be much appreciated.

I'm trying to get as much dirt as I can about the on campus housing situation, mostly to determine whether or not I should consider going that route for a year or if I should be trying to secure off campus housing as soon as possible.

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Procrastinating...

To Rebeccafav:

Welcome to the department! Well...that's if you accept the offer :)

I'm a second year, mid-exams. I'm no medievalist - a specialist in Modern Europe, actually, focusing on 20th Century Spain - but I did come in with an MA (hence the mid-exams bit in my second year), and I can probably fill you in a bit on how that works, having already transferred credits, and taken the minor exam. It's actually a lot less complicated than the program statement makes it out to be.

As far as finishing on time, I will tell you that you should politely ignore what they'll tell you. Unless your MA was in precisely what you're planning on writing the dissertation on, and your latin is totally fab, you'll probably take longer than 4. This doesn't mean a whole lot to me (again, not being a medievalist), but from what I understand, our medieval section is rather fond of the UToronto latin language exam, so your latin will have to be up to that standard. My roomie is planning on doing a latin boot camp at Toronto this summer with precisely the exam in mind.

That said, people are starting to finish relatively quickly, and, if you're smart and cultivate a relationship with the Rutgers-Newark branch campus, you might be able to finagle an adjunctship there after your funding runs dry. Also, the 4 doesn't count any additional, external funding you might win. Our funding office is AWESOME - you might end up spending your dissertation research year abroad on a Fulbright or SSRC fellowship, so there's that. Certainly, that's what I'm hoping for.

Just out of curiosity, who would you be working with? Jim Masschaele?

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More procrastinating...

RaoulDuke:

I haven't heard of the building you're describing, so I'm guessing it's single student housing. I only know about that type of housing second-hand. My colleague hated it and moved out halfway through the year. I believe his main complaint was the noise. Note that, to the best of my recollection, single student housing is either intermingled with or at least very near undergraduate housing.

As for married/family housing, oh, could I tell you stories. Do NOT move into the one-bedroom option. Just...no. There weren't any roaches, and your utility bill is $0, not to mention that the rent is comparatively quite cheap, but other than that, there's pretty much nothing to say about it. Tiny kitchens, crappy appliances, cinderblock walls. All the fun rules and regulations that come with living in U housing, up to and including those rules about halogen lights and people having the right to enter your place at any time. Oh and the cinderblock construction means it's loud as shit, pretty much all the time. That, I suspect, may have been part of my friend's issues.

On the plus side, if you find a roommate, housing in the area is quite inexpensive. For nice suburban living (+1 to the previous post on this subject), check out Highland Park. The fact that professors frequently choose to live there should tell you something. Then again, it's also as boring (in my opinion) as that would also suggest. I live in Manhattan for a reason. But then, quiet college town might be your thing.

New Brunswick, especially near the Douglass Campus, has some rather nice flats, and not all that pricey. If you get a roommate, expect to pay somewhere between $600-$800/month, plus utilities. It can be lower, especially if you look outside the immediate downtown/highland park area. If you have a car, Edison's not far, nor is North Brunswick, I know a number of people living quite comfortably in both places.

Oh, and random note: if you do own a car, you should know that Jersey is weird, and you're not allowed to pump your own gas. By law. Seriously. I never got used to that.

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I just made a trip to Rutgers last week for a campus visit. This is what I gathered that might be useful to those considering Rutgers...

For housing, it seems like most graduate students prefer to live a bit further from campus. Around campus there are lots of undergrads (imagine unkempt and a bit noisy) and there is apparently a road right near campus that comes alive with undergrads at night. Highland park is small, but quiet and cute. Sommerset is a bit further out, but doable with a car (I didn't visit Sommerset during my visit).

In Highland Park, there were a few grocery stores within walking distance of the apartment where I was staying (I think it was Montgomery somthing...). It's also not a far walk to campus at all- although I'm coming from Atlanta, which is by no means a walking city. The trainstation is likewise very accessible both from campus and Highland Park. I think it was no more than a 15 minute walk from where I was stying in HP to the train. (Speaking of which, I took the train into NYC for the day and it is a really easy commute- just bring a good book and as long as you don't have any trouble with motion sickness, you're set).

I saw the graduate student housing and it looked dismal. I spoke with some students who all agreed that the quality of life is MUCH better off-campus. Based on my little research thus far it seems like sharing an apartment with in Highland Park is do-able on the grad student stipends (around 5-6 hundred a month) so I plan to look for a roommate and then head to New Brunswick in early august to find a place.

I know many of us have been asking about the necessity of a car... from what I gather, it's not absolutely necessary, but a big advantage (esp. when the weather is colder as well as for independence and having a social life). I'm planning to take mine, and see how life feels with it since I already have one. But if you don't have a car, I don't think you need to buy one before going to Rutgers by any means.

Hmm... I can't think of any other things to address... so any specific questions?

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Does anyone know the easiest/cheapest way to fly into NJ in order to go to New Brunswick? It looks like landing in Philadelphia will be the cheapest route, but is that more trouble than it's worth? Thanks!

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Does anyone know the easiest/cheapest way to fly into NJ in order to go to New Brunswick? It looks like landing in Philadelphia will be the cheapest route, but is that more trouble than it's worth? Thanks!

It might depend on the airline, but I found flying into Newark, NJ rather than Philadelphia cheaper, and Newark is much closer to New Brunswick.

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Let's see how many addenda I can possibly make on one post... I also forgot to ask about cost of living. They're offering me an $18k stipend - is that (plus an average of $3k a year from my savings) enough to live frugally in a one bedroom off-campus apartment with no roommates (I'm over the whole sharing-bathrooms and cleaning-up-for-other-people thing)? How much do utilities average in that part of the country - I'm used to paying huge electricity bills in the summer (and spring and fall) for air conditioning, but how much does heating cost anyway? Thanks!

Cheryl,

Housing costs in New Brunswick are exorbitant. Expect to pay MUCH more for a 1BR apartment - I lived a few miles north of New Brunswick (in Woodbridge) in 2008 and was paying $1015/mo for my 1-br apartment. If you want to pay less than $850/mo in rent, you will have to have housemates to live off campus. Consider living in Edison instead of New Brunswick - prices are lower as students generally want to live closer to the party scene in New Brunswick.

On campus housing is generally a bit restrictive, and the dining halls leave a lot to be desired; I recall that when I lived in undergrad suites and then an on-campus apartment, it wasn't a particularly luxurious experience. I lived in New Brunswick my senior year, and paid entirely too much for a tiny house with friends. The landlord was not a nice person. New Brunswick isn't a great town for living in if you want peace & quiet, or a clean house.

I will probably be living off-campus with friends in Edison, which is about a 5 minute drive or 10 minute bike ride from Busch campus. My suggestion for you is to find a 3 or 4 bedroom house and some housemates who are grad students - there are plenty of people around so finding matches shouldn't be terribly difficult. Grab a large bedroom and turn it into your sanctuary, and put a keyed lock on the door.

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It seems like a lot of grad students are looking for housemates at Rutgers NB/P campus!

It may be easy to coordinate on here - I know that I will be looking for something in the $500 range come August. I may have a nice two-family house lined up in Edison, very close to the train station, and also to Livingston and Busch campuses. The downstairs neighbors are friends of mine - one CS grad student, his sister, my old classmate and current coworker, and his girlfriend. The rent is $1500/mo and there is a large back yard.

My only restriction is that I am bound to a lease until October 1st. I may sign the lease in Edison a month or two earlier, or if I can find a suitable subletter for my current place, I'll be ready sooner than that.

Please PM me if you're interested in talking about grouping for housing - I'm willing to discuss personal habits, lifestyle, etc to determine housemate compatibility.

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To those seeking housing in NB:

Get a roommate. Live in Highland Park, especially if you don't own a car, or Edison, if you do own one and you don't mind having to drive to campus. Pay between $500-700/month plus whatever your share of the utilities are.

Yep, that's what you should do. And on the 18k/year fellowship, you will manage this well enough to eat out occasionally and go out for those beers with your colleagues.

Oh, word to the wise: Tuesday nights at the Olive Branch (behind the campus center), it's $1.00 Yuengling night, and 50 cent pizza slices until I think 7:45 or so.

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To those seeking housing in NB:

Oh, word to the wise: Tuesday nights at the Olive Branch (behind the campus center), it's $1.00 Yuengling night, and 50 cent pizza slices until I think 7:45 or so.

Actually, 50 cent pizza slices at the Olive Branch are Monday through Friday. It says 4:45 to 7:45 on the website but I just go from 5 to 7. You just said Tuesdays nights unless you were referring to just the Yuengling night.

I actually went to Rutgers for undergrad and recently was accepted to my alma mater for grad school, but I'm not sure if I will attend here again.

Personally, if I did go back to Rutgers for graduate work, I'd prefer to live in Highland Park or the graduate housing in Old Gibbons near Douglass. You could also do Edison which is safe and affordable, but I personally want to get away from my hometown. Somerset is doable as well if you have a car but the feeling I get from it coming from the central Jersey area is that cost of living is higher there. If your academic departments are on busch, piscataway is a possibility as well. Off campus apartments near Douglass Campus are options as well. However, I would stay away from Delvan/Delavan (sp?) or Townsend/Jones Ave. There's actually more decent on campus housing like single apartments (4 single rooms and those 4 people share a kitchen and common room) on cook or busch but I don't know much about them. I lived near Easton Ave where all the night life is during undergrad. I doubt many graduate students would want to live near that area since it can get pretty loud on weekend party nights.

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Anyone has any idea of whether graduate housing at Rutgers would be at least good for people not familiar with the area, say at least for the first year?

Ive been looking for off-campus housing and its very hard to find a good deal, especially that Iam looking for a single bedroom with private bathroom- I wouldnt mind sharing but would only share with other graduate students (Preferably in Highland Park). I am considering on-campus housing, but would still like to know what people think of on-campus grad housing?

Thanks

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Hello to all,

can someone please tell me something about 1-bedroom Russell Apartments at Busch Campus or Russell Apartment in general? I couldn't find any picture of the apartment on the Rutgers webpages.

Thanks.

Don't! Just don't! They are DREADFUL. My husband and I lived in one for a year and moved out as quickly as possible. It consists of two 12 x12 rooms, with the living room and kitchen being the same room. Your "kitchen" is a counter along one wall - no dishwasher, and you have a very tiny stove/oven. Walls are cinderblock or thin plaster, and you can hear everything from your neighbors. It's cold and dark, and there are only two windows. Oh! And our bathtub was so gross when we moved in, just from years of wear and tear, that eve after scrubbing it several times I never felt comfortable enough to lie down in it. Lastly, there are fire alarm drills about once a week - at all hours of the day - and you MUST leave your apartment when they happen, no matter what.

The only good thing about on-campus housing is that it's a little cheaper than living anywhere else. But it IS NOT WORTH IT. Moving out is one of the best decisions we made.

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How are bad are the winters? (Im worried, I HATE bone-chilling cold)

As a new jersey native moving to Minnesota, I can say we don't have freezing cold winters. Usually a little snow in January/February, 1-3" is normal, and around the 30s is as cold as it gets. Since everyone in NJ drives everywhere, though, it's almost a complete non-issue since you spend so little time actually outside.

If the Russell Apartments are the ones I'm thinking of... Are they the ones that overlook the smokestacks?

Somerset isn't too bad. Princeton township/borough is a little pricey, but it's a nice area.

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Hi everyone!

I'm strongly considering going to Rutgers this fall for their MLIS program. I'll be trekking all the way across the country, so I'd love to hear about good graduate housing. To tell y'all a little more about what I'm looking for - a clean place in good condition, homey atmosphere (not sterile looking, like some campus housing can be, nice people, in a residential or urban area that is safe. I do think it'd be fun to live in the city, but I'd also be happy in a nice residential area as well.

After looking on their website, I'm interested in hearing more about Old Gibbons. Are the buildings like actual houses with 9 or so people in them? Approximately how many people share a bathroom? Are the houses/buildings single-sex or co-ed? I would prefer to have a private bathroom or share with just one other girl, but I wouldn't be above sharing a bathroom between three or four clean people. :) The website described Old Gibbons as residential-style. What exactly do they mean by that - in contrast to dorms or what not? Also how convenient is it to get to a supermarket, movie theater, restaurants, train station/public transportation from Old Gibbons? I have a car, but I highly doubt I"ll drive it out there, so I will have to rely on public transportation. I'm from L.A., so now I heavily rely on my car, but I've visited and lived in areas with public transportation for a short while, and I really liked it. I'm just worried about those rainy or snowy days. Also, I've noticed that it takes approximately an hour to get from NB to NYC - is that true? How hard would it be to do that from Old Gibbons? I'm not the biggest neat freak, but I am kind of a cleanliness freak (had some bad experiences in college with disgusting rooms), so how clean is Gibbons? How old are the buildings, have they been renovated recently, and what, generally, are the facilities like? How close is the laundry facility and how much does it cost?

Any other suggestions for good graduate housing? What about Ford Hall? I'm concerned about living off-campus, as I'll be new to the area, won't have a car, and won't want to hassle with renting furniture and what not. Also, I wold really appreciate any general info about living in NB. Social life, culture, food, safety, etc. And if anyone knows where I can find any pics of Old Gibbons or other housing options, that'd be great! Thanks!

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Hi,

I have begun the hunt for housing for the fall and I am facing a dilemma. I really wanted to have a one bedroom, so I could use the living room as a study/library, however, as everyone says above, it can be extremely pricey. (Especially for those of us that did not get the stipend.) I

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Does anyone know the easiest/cheapest way to fly into NJ in order to go to New Brunswick? It looks like landing in Philadelphia will be the cheapest route, but is that more trouble than it's worth? Thanks!

Depends on whether you have a car. It'll take you three trains (SEPTA R7 to R1 [i think those are the numbers. One is for Airport, one for Trenton] plus the NJ transit northbound on the NE Corridor line) to get to the New Brunswick station. From Newark, you just go southbound on the NE Corridor line to New Brunswick, which takes less than an hour. Weirdly enough, the SEPTA-NJ Transit combo is probably cheaper than the Newark option, but that's because of the weird access fee they charge on airport train tickets.

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