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Guest Cheryl B

New Brunswick, NJ

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Bumping this thread. Curious about living situations near campus. If accepted I'll be looking for housing that is a within reasonable driving distance to campus, suitable for myself, my spouse, my 11yo daughter, and our two dogs. Good school district required. Apartment life isn't really our thing, we're hoping to find a townhouse/duplex/rental home with a private entrance.

Any suggestions?

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On 1/11/2018 at 1:44 PM, GCBrittany said:

Bumping this thread. Curious about living situations near campus. If accepted I'll be looking for housing that is a within reasonable driving distance to campus, suitable for myself, my spouse, my 11yo daughter, and our two dogs. Good school district required. Apartment life isn't really our thing, we're hoping to find a townhouse/duplex/rental home with a private entrance.

Any suggestions?

I haven't lived in NJ for years, but you could look at East Brunswick.  I grew up there and the school district is known to be good (though I attended private schools so don't know first hand.) I think there are a few parts that offer reasonable housing options.  It's a little far (maybe 30 minutes) but I am now in grad school with a family with a similar commute and it's quite doable.  My mom has also commuted East Brunswick to hospitals near Rutgers for years and finds it quite doable.

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Commuters dilemma here: my partner and I are both planning to start PhDs this fall at Columbia and Rutgers. Obviously we would prefer living together with our pup and in Jersey for financial reasons. We could have a car (or not depending on what's easier most cost effective) but want a manageable commute for both of us as our first year will be a lot of on campus obligations, though no teaching in the first year. Is it possible? Suggestions?

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21 hours ago, narple said:

Commuters dilemma here: my partner and I are both planning to start PhDs this fall at Columbia and Rutgers. Obviously we would prefer living together with our pup and in Jersey for financial reasons. We could have a car (or not depending on what's easier most cost effective) but want a manageable commute for both of us as our first year will be a lot of on campus obligations, though no teaching in the first year. Is it possible? Suggestions?

Did you look in the Newark/Morristown areas? Or maybe just a tad closer to NB, since I guess you'd be driving and your partner would be using transportation?

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Bumping this.

Accepted to Rutgers and I've never lived anywhere but Texas. What I'm concerned with:

 

1. Finding a roommate as a PhD student- I don't think cohabitating with an undergraduate would be wise for my sanity.

2.  Grocery stores- Living in Texas I have access to baller produce on every corner and I've heard things like HEB (Texas mecca of grocery stores), Central Market, or even Whole foods are hard to come by. I do all of my own cooking and meal prep for the entire week in one day, so a good store is imperative for me.

3. Dog-friendliness within the city- I live in Austin where dogs are fine in a lot of places like bars and coffee shops. Is that the same here?

4. Nearby areas to live that aren't in New Bruinswick- what's safe and not? What's feasible to commute and not? Is the bus/transport system decent? I've heard it's not quite bike-friendly.

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On 2/24/2018 at 3:44 PM, Clongoria90 said:

Bumping this.

Accepted to Rutgers and I've never lived anywhere but Texas. What I'm concerned with:

 

1. Finding a roommate as a PhD student- I don't think cohabitating with an undergraduate would be wise for my sanity.

2.  Grocery stores- Living in Texas I have access to baller produce on every corner and I've heard things like HEB (Texas mecca of grocery stores), Central Market, or even Whole foods are hard to come by. I do all of my own cooking and meal prep for the entire week in one day, so a good store is imperative for me.

3. Dog-friendliness within the city- I live in Austin where dogs are fine in a lot of places like bars and coffee shops. Is that the same here?

4. Nearby areas to live that aren't in New Bruinswick- what's safe and not? What's feasible to commute and not? Is the bus/transport system decent? I've heard it's not quite bike-friendly.

Are you planning on getting an apartment or living on-campus? Rutgers offers two or three apartment-style housing situations that are for grad students only, so that might be an option. They also have an online portal for off-campus information, and a lot of times it mentions whether the lister is UG or grad. 

There is a Whole Foods about 15 minutes away near Edison(where I am based), though there might be another that is closer. Farmers markets are the kinds of places that have the best produce, though Stop and Shop can have some good stuff too. I find the selection definitely decent. A general not to keep in mind is that, unlike Texas, there are some foods you just cannot get/shouldn’t bother with in the winter. The end up being shipped in from all over and not good quality. 

I cannot speak to dog friendliness in New Brunswick specifically, but generally speaking, NJ is not quite as dog friendly as Texas/Arkansas, etc. 

the city has cleaned up a lot of the “bad” areas near New Brunswick in recent years, and the commute would be feasible from many cities in the area. From Edison, it is a 20-30 minute ride. (I am also considering attending for a PhD program) Plainfield/South Plainfield, Metuchen, and Somerville are all commutable, though all north of the river. I don’t have a ton of knowledge base for anything south of New Brunswick.  

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Does anyone have any insights into graduate life at Rutgers New Brunswick? I am currently considering an offer for graduate study at the Engineering School but would like more information/insight regarding life there. I have lived my whole life in urban areas (NYC & LA) and am a little worried that I will feel out of place in what seems to be a suburban/rural environment. Also, would anyone have insight into Latino and/or queer/LGBT life in the area and on campus? Any info would be much appreciated!

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4 hours ago, TITX said:

Does anyone have any insights into graduate life at Rutgers New Brunswick? I am currently considering an offer for graduate study at the Engineering School but would like more information/insight regarding life there. I have lived my whole life in urban areas (NYC & LA) and am a little worried that I will feel out of place in what seems to be a suburban/rural environment. Also, would anyone have insight into Latino and/or queer/LGBT life in the area and on campus? Any info would be much appreciated!

New Brunswick has a huge Latin community. According to the US Census data on Wikipedia, New Brunswick is 49.93% Hispacin/Latino. Central NJ is suburban, but New Brunswick has tons of restaurants, bars, the state theater, and is about an hour train ride from Penn Station if you really miss the city. While not as large of a city as NYC, New Brunswick is still a city, and being in a northeastern metropolitan area, is relatively liberal. I'm not super familiar with the LGBTQ+ scene in the area, but I know it exists. Rutgers in and of itself has a huge graduate program which adds to the diversity of an already very diverse city. 

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7 hours ago, TITX said:

Does anyone have any insights into graduate life at Rutgers New Brunswick? I am currently considering an offer for graduate study at the Engineering School but would like more information/insight regarding life there. I have lived my whole life in urban areas (NYC & LA) and am a little worried that I will feel out of place in what seems to be a suburban/rural environment. Also, would anyone have insight into Latino and/or queer/LGBT life in the area and on campus? Any info would be much appreciated!

New Brunswick is really not rural! I went to undergrad in rural Pennsylvania and worked for a year in NYC. Central NJ, in general, is definitely more urban/suburban, though obviously not as much as NYC and LA. New Brunswick itself feels very urban. Many people live in Newark, Brooklyn, or Manhattan and commute down into Rutgers if that's a concern for you, as well.  It is only about a 45-minute train ride from Penn Station if you time it right to get on the express train. I personally have two people in my tiny cohort who are commuting from the upper west side and from Newark, respectively.

There is a HUGE Latino population as well. Speaking from personal experience, I can attest that there are tons of Latino communities on campus.  The Department of Latino and Caribbean studies is a major player in on-campus events, and the Center for Latin American Studies hosts tons of panels, conferences, film screenings, and events every semester. There are also a bunch of student groups and organizations.

Grad life is cool here. The vibe is fast-paced, supportive, and welcoming.  Rutgers has a lot of stellar opportunities for research/professional advancement and can be highly interdisciplinary as well. I'm in the humanities, which is distinctly different than the Engineering school, but I honestly love it here.

Queer/LGBT life on campus definitely exists as well.  There are lots of campus groups that focus on LGBT communities, and as grad students, you can participate in undergraduate clubs and organizations as well.

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On 3/25/2019 at 12:22 PM, TITX said:

Does anyone have any insights into graduate life at Rutgers New Brunswick? I am currently considering an offer for graduate study at the Engineering School but would like more information/insight regarding life there. I have lived my whole life in urban areas (NYC & LA) and am a little worried that I will feel out of place in what seems to be a suburban/rural environment. Also, would anyone have insight into Latino and/or queer/LGBT life in the area and on campus? Any info would be much appreciated!

I live in Rahway, which is definitely a very Latin area. It's an easy commute by train to New Brunswick (~20 minutes). I love living here, but its definitely not as busy as a place like New York or LA. However, Rahway for me is excellent because I have a small community here, but I'm also only 30 minutes from NYC, so I can go into the city whenever I want for a night out or a day or whatever it is I need. I love the area, and I am so happy that I moved here, I've really enjoyed living in New Jersey, even though I had it on reputation that it was going to be awful.

 It's very easy to live and commute around the area, but I would say that if you are looking for Latin neighborhoods, New Brunswick is even better than Rahway. I live in Rahway because I like having a bit of distance between my personal life and the campus, and also because my boyfriend works in NYC. There are plenty of excellent areas around, though, and I actually have a friend who graduated with a masters from Rutgers Engineering. He really loved the department and the program, but I personally haven't had much interaction. 

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Hi everyone, I'll be joining Rutgers this Fall. I would like to stay near the New Brunswick campus. I'm not sure what areas to look at. And what could be the tentative rent in the areas.

Also can you guys talk about how costly NJ is. My stipend is 25k before tax cut so I'm worried if I'll be able to make ends meet.

P.s. I am an international student from India.

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On 4/20/2019 at 3:23 PM, HopefulKid said:

Hi everyone, I'll be joining Rutgers this Fall. I would like to stay near the New Brunswick campus. I'm not sure what areas to look at. And what could be the tentative rent in the areas.

Also can you guys talk about how costly NJ is. My stipend is 25k before tax cut so I'm worried if I'll be able to make ends meet.

P.s. I am an international student from India.

NJ is pretty pricey. In the New Brunswick area, a studio or 1 bedroom by yourself will probably run a minimum of $1200 a month plus utilities. Your best bet is to probably try to connect with others in your program to try and find a roommate. Can you ask your advisor if they have some sort of student group? 

What areas to look at also really depends on if you have a car. The Rutgers bus system is ok from what I hear. The regular public transport in the area is atrocious. You can look at New Brunswick proper, but chances are everything is either crazy expensive, a bunch of undergrad party houses, or potentially unsafe neighborhoods. Highland Park is an option a lot of grad students choose. North Brunswick, Somerset, Franklin Township, and Edison are also potential options. Again, this all depends on whether or not you will have a car. Edison also has a large Indian population, so there are tons of Indian restaurants and grocery stores. 

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Hey thank you so much for replying. At least I know now what areas to look at. I won't be having a car there, so I'll be completely dependent on the bus system. I'm not sure if right now is a good time for hunting apartments as most of the ads/posts are for summer subletting. But I'm panicking that I won't have a place to stay when I reach there. Are you from Rutgers as well?

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1 hour ago, HopefulKid said:

Hey thank you so much for replying. At least I know now what areas to look at. I won't be having a car there, so I'll be completely dependent on the bus system. I'm not sure if right now is a good time for hunting apartments as most of the ads/posts are for summer subletting. But I'm panicking that I won't have a place to stay when I reach there. Are you from Rutgers as well?

I think your best bet is to reach out to your program. Sometimes current students may be looking for a roommate in their place, etc.

No, I'm not, but I've lived in the area for the majority of my life. 

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