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On 5/9/2017 at 11:47 AM, CoffeeNebula said:

Sandpiper. Manager in there seems quite prompt and helpful. Have you ever visited there?

Nope, but I think I've passed by them several times! Bike would probably be a good way to get to campus from there. People steal bikes off of campus and around a lot, so make sure to get heavy duty locks if that's what you decide to do!

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10 hours ago, maurmaur said:

Nope, but I think I've passed by them several times! Bike would probably be a good way to get to campus from there. People steal bikes off of campus and around a lot, so make sure to get heavy duty locks if that's what you decide to do!

 

Thank you for the comment! happy to hear that bike would be fine. I'll make sure to lock it when I buy one :)

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On 5/10/2017 at 11:54 PM, CoffeeNebula said:

Thank you for the comment! happy to hear that bike would be fine. I'll make sure to lock it when I buy one :)

You will be riding on major roads but I don't see why bike would be an issue. It does get really hot though!

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Definately do your research before you decide on a new city. I lived in Phoenix for a little over a year, & have also visited Tucson and grew to absolutely hate it overall. 

PROS: Sunny weather with no humidity for most of the year, lots of nature & hiking. Driving distance from Sedona, Flagstaff, Southern CA, and Mexico. If you want to get away, you don't have to go far. 

CONS: 

No culture, Little diversity, Everything is spread out with nonexistant public transport, VERY CONSERVATIVE, the Traffic & pollution, "snow birds," Long, HOT summers. You will spend a lot of money on air conditioning & drinking water (most of AZ has hard water) Summer literally lasts for 8 months. Oh and I have found a live scorpion in my bed before. :o

Again, I lived in Phoenix, but honestly Tucson didn't seem much better.

This is just my honest opinion & hopefully you'll have a better experience than me if you decide to go to school there. Good luck :)

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On 5/13/2017 at 2:45 PM, KLamb8 said:

Definately do your research before you decide on a new city. I lived in Phoenix for a little over a year, & have also visited Tucson and grew to absolutely hate it overall. 

PROS: Sunny weather with no humidity for most of the year, lots of nature & hiking. Driving distance from Sedona, Flagstaff, Southern CA, and Mexico. If you want to get away, you don't have to go far. 

CONS: 

No culture, Little diversity, Everything is spread out with nonexistant public transport, VERY CONSERVATIVE, the Traffic & pollution, "snow birds," Long, HOT summers. You will spend a lot of money on air conditioning & drinking water (most of AZ has hard water) Summer literally lasts for 8 months. Oh and I have found a live scorpion in my bed before. :o

Again, I lived in Phoenix, but honestly Tucson didn't seem much better.

This is just my honest opinion & hopefully you'll have a better experience than me if you decide to go to school there. Good luck :)

I agree that you should do your research before deciding on a new city.  I also agree that Phoenix sucks, at least in the few times I have passed through there, it kind of struck me as one giant, boring strip mall.  I actually think Tucson is pretty neat, though.  It is not as conservative as Phoenix, and I think it has a lot to offer in terms of culture.  I like how Tucson embraces the fact that it's a desert.  Instead of trying to grow fancy green lawns (which waste a ton of water), they plant a wide variety of cacti and desert plants, which look really cool IMO.  4th Avenue and downtown have a lot of neat bars and restaurants.  Also, the Mexican food here is really good (surprise, surprise).  

That said, it is really hot here.  Especially in the summer/early fall you will not want to spend more than 15 minutes outdoors at a time when the sun is out.  After sunset, I found it to be at least tolerable to be outside, probably because of how dry it is.  We do have Mt. Lemmon nearby (>9000 ft at summit) which you can drive up and escape the heat.  On the flipside, winter weather is really nice.  Also, there are a lot of good hikes in the mountains surrounding Tucson.

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On 9/7/2017 at 4:36 PM, deathinacan said:

I agree that you should do your research before deciding on a new city.  I also agree that Phoenix sucks, at least in the few times I have passed through there, it kind of struck me as one giant, boring strip mall.  I actually think Tucson is pretty neat, though.  It is not as conservative as Phoenix, and I think it has a lot to offer in terms of culture.  I like how Tucson embraces the fact that it's a desert.  Instead of trying to grow fancy green lawns (which waste a ton of water), they plant a wide variety of cacti and desert plants, which look really cool IMO.  4th Avenue and downtown have a lot of neat bars and restaurants.  Also, the Mexican food here is really good (surprise, surprise).  

That said, it is really hot here.  Especially in the summer/early fall you will not want to spend more than 15 minutes outdoors at a time when the sun is out.  After sunset, I found it to be at least tolerable to be outside, probably because of how dry it is.  We do have Mt. Lemmon nearby (>9000 ft at summit) which you can drive up and escape the heat.  On the flipside, winter weather is really nice.  Also, there are a lot of good hikes in the mountains surrounding Tucson.

All of this! I moved to Tucson for undergrad and am now working here and hoping to get into grad school. I love Tucson. It has a small town vibe, but still plenty to do. I love the weather, yes it's hot, but you have to adapt. If you like being outdoors, just work around the sun. The early morning and evenings are so pleasant and a wonderful time to be out. I love not needing a jacket when I'm out at 10pm. Winter time is awesome when only a light coat is needed. Campus is a good main hub of the city and there's always events, shows, or performers coming to town. Tucson has good food in general, it was ranked #1 city of gastronomy. 

I really just love the desert vibe and how Tucson looks and feels. It's definitely a place I could see myself settling in. 

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On 5/13/2017 at 2:45 PM, KLamb8 said:

Definately do your research before you decide on a new city. I lived in Phoenix for a little over a year, & have also visited Tucson and grew to absolutely hate it overall. 

PROS: Sunny weather with no humidity for most of the year, lots of nature & hiking. Driving distance from Sedona, Flagstaff, Southern CA, and Mexico. If you want to get away, you don't have to go far. 

CONS: 

No culture, Little diversity, Everything is spread out with nonexistant public transport, VERY CONSERVATIVE, the Traffic & pollution, "snow birds," Long, HOT summers. You will spend a lot of money on air conditioning & drinking water (most of AZ has hard water) Summer literally lasts for 8 months. Oh and I have found a live scorpion in my bed before. :o

Again, I lived in Phoenix, but honestly Tucson didn't seem much better.

This is just my honest opinion & hopefully you'll have a better experience than me if you decide to go to school there. Good luck :)

As someone who has lived in Tucson my entire life (and attended the U of A for undergrad), these claims do have some merit.

The weather is beautiful for half of the year, and hostile for the other half. Get used to hearing about how "it's a dry heat" as that's how everyone here justifies it; doesn't make it anymore tolerable. In the summer it's common to have lows in the 90s or even 100s, and during the monsoon season (about 6 weeks or so during the summer) we DO have substantial humidity.

We do have culture and diversity, just have to look for it. Most parts of Tucson tend to naturally segregate themselves, so you really have to explore the city to find diversity. 

The public transportation here is a JOKE. Agree with this comment 100%.

Overall, Tucson is a blue city in a red state. Even as a blue city, most of the blue is located in close proximity to the U of A, and the city tends to get gradually redder and redder the further out you get.

The traffic and infrastructure here are ridiculously bad. It takes about an hour to drive from one end of town to the other. There are two major freeways that go through the city, but they aren't the most useful or accessible for all destinations.

Critters do happen. I live pretty far on the outskirts of the city, and we do have our fair share of scorpions, spiders (including tarantulas), and snakes. But we also have really cool wildlife like coyotes, javelinas, and bobcats. If you have a newer house or even if you just maintain a regular cleaning routine, you probably won't see many critters in or near your house.

Hope that helps! If you have any specific questions about the city or the university, feel free to ask me!

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On 1/1/2018 at 1:53 AM, TrustYourGut said:

As someone who has lived in Tucson my entire life (and attended the U of A for undergrad), these claims do have some merit.

The weather is beautiful for half of the year, and hostile for the other half. Get used to hearing about how "it's a dry heat" as that's how everyone here justifies it; doesn't make it anymore tolerable. In the summer it's common to have lows in the 90s or even 100s, and during the monsoon season (about 6 weeks or so during the summer) we DO have substantial humidity.

We do have culture and diversity, just have to look for it. Most parts of Tucson tend to naturally segregate themselves, so you really have to explore the city to find diversity. 

The public transportation here is a JOKE. Agree with this comment 100%.

Overall, Tucson is a blue city in a red state. Even as a blue city, most of the blue is located in close proximity to the U of A, and the city tends to get gradually redder and redder the further out you get.

The traffic and infrastructure here are ridiculously bad. It takes about an hour to drive from one end of town to the other. There are two major freeways that go through the city, but they aren't the most useful or accessible for all destinations.

Critters do happen. I live pretty far on the outskirts of the city, and we do have our fair share of scorpions, spiders (including tarantulas), and snakes. But we also have really cool wildlife like coyotes, javelinas, and bobcats. If you have a newer house or even if you just maintain a regular cleaning routine, you probably won't see many critters in or near your house.

Hope that helps! If you have any specific questions about the city or the university, feel free to ask me!

Hello! I'm an international student who may spend the next 5-6 years on PhD at U of Arizona. A simple question, and this is one of my biggest concern: Is Tucson safe? Some websites for tourists say that the crime rate there is comparatively high.

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8 hours ago, Herac1itus said:

Hello! I'm an international student who may spend the next 5-6 years on PhD at U of Arizona. A simple question, and this is one of my biggest concern: Is Tucson safe? Some websites for tourists say that the crime rate there is comparatively high.

I lived in Tucson for 4 years during undergrad and can chime in here. Speaking specifically about the university, there's likely very few safer places in all of the city than campus. There are blue light emergency telephones that go directly to the police literally everywhere and, due to the high volume of traffic constantly traipsing across campus. I never felt unsafe day or night on campus (fwiw, I'm a big guy, but my female friends have told me the same). 

Outside of campus, there are nicer and worse areas. Your biggest worry if you are to have any at all is South Tucson (From 22nd down to the 10 after it curves eastward between 10 South and S Kino). Avoid that area if you're unsure about it and you'll be perfectly fine. 

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As an international student I had the same worries. Now that I am here I can confirm that I feel really safe, a lot safer than in most places I have lived in.

Campus is safe, full of student, emergency call booth and ua police is always around the corner. I have never experienced anything unsafe downtown or just walking home at night (I am a 5 foot 1 female). The worst thing that I heard of was a stolen wallet because it had been left unattended for a long time (and the wallet was even returned to the library minus cash and credit card)

Don't hesitate to message me for more info :)

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Also spent my undergrad in Tucson at UA, and regarding crime my only recommendation is to keep your bike securely locked up. Don't leave it overnight somewhere without locking up the tires too, otherwise they'll definitely get stolen. But that was the extent to which I experienced any crime. 

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Yeah @Megabyte has a very good point. The vast majority of the crime on and around campus involves bikes, they're like gold around town. Other than that, as long as you're reasonably cautious like you should be in any big city, you very likely have nothing to worry about

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Looking at going to UA for an MA in the fall. 

I have 4 kids and am hoping someone can help shed light on

  1. the public schools, elementary and high schools
  2. which part of town would be better for living in with a family
  3. anything about quality childcare
  4. job market 
  5. cost of living, like food questions
  6. health insurance through UA
  7. can good pest control keep critters at bay? I am arachnophobic and just generally hate bugs and creepy-crawlies
  8. anything else anyone wants to chime in :)

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I'll help with what I can.

 

11 hours ago, kpietromica said:
  • the public schools, elementary and high schools

Depending on whether you consider charter schools public or not, the BASIS schools are by far the best schools in Tucson. The best public high school is University HS. Borman is reputably the best elementary school, afaik. 

11 hours ago, kpietromica said:
  • which part of town would be better for living in with a family

Really I think any part of town is great for families. Tucson is a very family-friendly place. However, I would probably avoid the areas immediately around UA as noise and traffic are obnoxious. 

11 hours ago, kpietromica said:
  • job market 

This is largely dependent on what industry/sector that you/your spouse is in. Sadly, a lot of modern industries never made their way to Tucson unless related to the military. The service industry is large and thriving, and there's a large need for teachers, but the tech, manufacturing, finance, and other industries are not as strong as in cities even like Phoenix. 

11 hours ago, kpietromica said:
  • cost of living, like food questions

CoL, relative to other cities of similar size, including housing is unbeatably cheap. Unfortunately, this is slowly changing, but right now it is very low for a city of 1.5 million. 

11 hours ago, kpietromica said:
  • can good pest control keep critters at bay? I am arachnophobic and just generally hate bugs and creepy-crawlies

Overall, yes it is very effective, but you have to be vigilant including monthly sprayings or even twice-a-month pesticide applications in the summer months. To be frank, central/southern AZ is not a great place for arachnophobes - spiders and scorpions abound. You live in their territory, after all. I saw my fair share of both while I was living there but never felt attacked and was never bitten/stung. Just be sure to check shoes when you put them on for the first time in the morning and regularly clean dark and cool places like under the sofas and beds or in cabinets. 

Overall desert life is something to which you will most likely need some time to acclimate, but once you appreciate it it becomes something to marvel. Tucson is a wonderful city full of dozens of cultural influences and quaint old buildings and tiny houses, but it is a difficult place to stay permanently if you're not affiliated with the U of A or Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. I would never give up my time spent there, however, and am looking forward to going back to visit this summer (summers are not fun, make sure your AC works well and don't settle for a swamp cooler). 

Hope this helps! 

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On 3/1/2018 at 11:27 PM, wheresmysnow said:

I'll help with what I can.

 

Depending on whether you consider charter schools public or not, the BASIS schools are by far the best schools in Tucson. The best public high school is University HS. Borman is reputably the best elementary school, afaik. 

Really I think any part of town is great for families. Tucson is a very family-friendly place. However, I would probably avoid the areas immediately around UA as noise and traffic are obnoxious. 

This is largely dependent on what industry/sector that you/your spouse is in. Sadly, a lot of modern industries never made their way to Tucson unless related to the military. The service industry is large and thriving, and there's a large need for teachers, but the tech, manufacturing, finance, and other industries are not as strong as in cities even like Phoenix. 

CoL, relative to other cities of similar size, including housing is unbeatably cheap. Unfortunately, this is slowly changing, but right now it is very low for a city of 1.5 million. 

Overall, yes it is very effective, but you have to be vigilant including monthly sprayings or even twice-a-month pesticide applications in the summer months. To be frank, central/southern AZ is not a great place for arachnophobes - spiders and scorpions abound. You live in their territory, after all. I saw my fair share of both while I was living there but never felt attacked and was never bitten/stung. Just be sure to check shoes when you put them on for the first time in the morning and regularly clean dark and cool places like under the sofas and beds or in cabinets. 

Overall desert life is something to which you will most likely need some time to acclimate, but once you appreciate it it becomes something to marvel. Tucson is a wonderful city full of dozens of cultural influences and quaint old buildings and tiny houses, but it is a difficult place to stay permanently if you're not affiliated with the U of A or Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. I would never give up my time spent there, however, and am looking forward to going back to visit this summer (summers are not fun, make sure your AC works well and don't settle for a swamp cooler). 

Hope this helps! 

This helps a ton! Thank you!

We lived in Phoenix in 2010-2011, before the kids, and I only remember a handful of times critters were an issue, but with the kids, I worry a bit more. They're still small and haven't ever experienced bugs that bite, especially the kind that can do some serious damage. 

My partner is an automotive technician, so it sounds like they'll be able to find a job quite easily. 

You mentioned rent seeming cheap. Define cheap for Tucson? I've been looking and it seems like for a 3-4 bedroom house, we're going to be looking at around $1200-1600. Does that sound right? Our house now is pretty nice (I think :) ) and fairly modern and energy efficient, so we're looking for something in a similar ballpark. Also seems like near the better-rated schools, rent can jump quite a bit. 

I've heard South Tucson is where I should go only if I have no other choice?

Thanks again for the advice!

 

 

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I second the recommendation for the Tucson BASIS Charter schools.  BASIS started in Tucson and BASIS Tucson North is the second ranked high school in the country, behind only BASIS Scottsdale.  All three of our sons graduated from BASIS Scottsdale.  BASIS Primary takes kids from K-4.  It's at 3825 East 2nd St., roughly @ Speedway and Alvernon.  That's about 2.5 miles east of the University.  The BASIS schools are charters, so they are considered to be public schools with no tuition.  The downside is that admission is by lottery and the schools are very popular.  I would apply as soon as possible.  Once a student is in, then they are in for subsequent years.  If one student from a family is admitted, then siblings have a preference for future admissions.

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On 05.03.2018 at 11:57 AM, kpietromica said:

You mentioned rent seeming cheap. Define cheap for Tucson? I've been looking and it seems like for a 3-4 bedroom house, we're going to be looking at around $1200-1600. Does that sound right?

Rent prices are highly location, i.e. proximity to the university, dependent. Most places within 3-5 miles will probably not fit that budget that you've set out with a 3-4br house, but if you're willing to commute, it shouldn't be a problem. For example, I found a nice place on Broadway & Swan (a very nice area next to Rincon HS) that would probably be great for you and your family. Plus, you don't want to live next to campus, anyway, as I mentioned in a previous post. Finally, while it is usually better to start early, real estate is a highly season game with a lot of places not being snatched up until July or August. Maybe Tucson/UA is full of procrastinators, I don't know, but that is my experience. I'd worry more about getting your kids into a good school, as @Beaudreau mentioned. 

On 05.03.2018 at 11:57 AM, kpietromica said:

I've heard South Tucson is where I should go only if I have no other choice?

Frankly speaking, just don't even consider it. South Tucson is one of the highest crime rate areas in the country and provides little high-quality education. Especially while you don't know the area well, avoid it, particularly at night. I never felt in danger there, but that's probably because my time spent in South Tucson was restricted to certain areas and normally only during the day, never after midnight. Speaking for myself, I'd rather have a longer commute than live in South Tucson, even if it is closer. 

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Hello! Anyone from Tucson here? I’ve just been admitted to the University of Arizona and wanted to know a bit about the location as well before accepting the offer (I’m unsure whether to go to the U of Arizona or to the U of Oregon).

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Has anyone heard of Gateway at Tucson? Is this property safe? The place is quite far away from the U of A, and the neighborhood seems kind of desolate. How do students get their groceries if they do not have a car?

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Tucson's vibe is relaxed and the people are nice. It's a liberal city in a sea of red, and it's quite diverse and culture-rich. If you plan to live and mostly stay within a thirty-minute walk of campus, a car is nice, but not necessary. If you are going to live farther than that, I would recommend getting a car. The food is some of the best, and you can find cuisines from all over the world. In fact, UNESCO gave Tucson the title of the United States's first capital of gastronomy in 2015. Tucson is, indeed, hot, but if you have air conditioning and keep a bottle of water with you, it's manageable. I've only seen one (dead) roach since I moved here, in my apartment parking lot.

I live in the beautiful Sam Hughes neighborhood, and it's my favorite place in Tucson. There are lots of restaurants and little shops in the neighborhood, and lots of places to walk my dogs. The neighborhood is clean, quiet, and very safe. My neighbor even leaves his car windows open when he parks his car and he has had no problems with thieves or vandals. My apartment is a thirty-minute walk or a ten-minute drive to U of A. I don't have a bike right now, but I'm guessing the ride would be about ten or fifteen minutes. Some of the apartments in Sam Hughes are expensive, but there are cheap options as well. I pay $550 a month for my 550 square foot one-bedroom apartment.

I work up in Casas Adobes, and it's clean, quiet, and safe there too, but it takes me at least half an hour to drive to campus from there. Also, there isn't as much to do there and housing is generally more expensive. It's more conservative than Tucson and has an older population. Southern Tucson is mostly Hispanic. It has a bad reputation, but the areas I've been to so far down there feel safe and clean. In all parts of this region, crime varies from neighborhood to neighborhood. Not all of South Tucson is dangerous and not all of the areas North of Tucson are safe, so it's imperative to check out the particular area you want to live in.

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On 3/9/2018 at 5:51 AM, JoyZ95 said:

Hello! Anyone from Tucson here? I’ve just been admitted to the University of Arizona and wanted to know a bit about the location as well before accepting the offer (I’m unsure whether to go to the U of Arizona or to the U of Oregon). Seriously, I got a degree from the U of O and filed a police report about every six weeks for three years. It's the worst city I've ever been in or near in my whole life.

But now I'm looking at U of A, and figured out it's also the worst city in AZ. Of course it has the highest crime rates. And the school turned off so fast. I wouldn't attend here if it were my only option. I would expect to file police report after police report here too. And the school seems to be sure they are kind of Ivy League school!

 

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3 hours ago, LauraV said:

 

Hmm, I've lived here about a year and a half and crime isn't as bad as I thought it would be. Houses near campus are obviously going to be broken into more, especially around student breaks. My friend who has lived here since 2010 was just broken into but he lives literally across the street from the university. I like about 20 minutes away and honestly it's not a crime-ridden place at all. 

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