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Mohammad Ali

Raleigh, NC

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I will be working and living at NCSU in the fall. I'm also a local. I can't speak to what on campus housing is like for grads, though. I used to live in an apartment complex called Trinity Park, which is a very small distance from campus. The apartment complex wasn't the nicest, but it was very affordable and I never had any problems there.

There is plenty to do socially in town, depending on what your interests are. Here are some of my Raleigh favorites:

*Lincoln Theater- small music venue, brings in some really decent lesser known acts. If you don't mind a 45ish minute drive to Chapel Hill, they have a venue called The Cats Cradle that has a lot of great bands come through.

*Bars- Fox and the Hound, Bogarts, Tobacco Road, Crabtree Tavern, Lynnwood Grill, Raleigh Times, The Borough, Oliver Twist... A lot of the undergrads go to places like Farmhouse and East Village but I'm not a fan of either of those. The Boylan Bridge Brew Pub is a microbrewery with the best view of Raleigh from anywhere. The Flying Saucer has a "beer garden" and a good assortment of beer, including local beer... I recommend Shotgun Betty.

*There are a couple of good clubs if you like to dance. Mosquito is my favorite.

*Theater in the Park- This is a small community theater on the fringe of NCSU's campus that puts on incredible plays. If you're into theater and you have more money to dish out, we also have Memorial Theater and Raleigh Little Theater.

*Places to eat- Sullivan's is expensive but they serve up a mean steak. Tobacco Road has funky takes on standard American fare and decent prices. If you like burgers, Moe's is pretty good. Mellow Mushroom has the best pizza I've ever had, hands down. The Pit has killer barbeque and their sides are also really tasty.

*If you like indie films, there's a small indie theater called The Rialto near NCSU.

I am sure there is plenty of other stuff I could tell you, just drawing a blank.

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I went to NCSU for my undergrad and grew up in the sticks north of Raleigh. The campus is great, but the on campus housing was pretty scary when I was there. They've done a bunch of construction since then, including oncampus apartments, so the newer stuff could be good. There are a lot of apartments and houses for rent, especially south of the campus along Avent Ferry road. The further you go from campus, the nicer they get. I lived near Lake Johnson Park, about a mile from campus and it was lovely. Great park with a walking path about a mile from campus. If you are willing to live farther from campus, Cary is a very nice area, quite family friendly.

For entertainment, it really depends on what you're into. There's great cultural stuff on campus and in downtown Raleigh, and even more if you're willing to head to Duke or UNC (20 and 40 minutes away, respectively). There's a First Friday of the month Art Walk in downtown, and lots of nice restaurants and museums. If you're a nerd like me, I recommend a visit to the Museum of Life and Science in Durham. It's a kids museum, but lots of fun. If you're into outdoorsy stuff, the area is dotted with lakes and parks. Check out Falls Lake, Kerr Lake, and Umstead Park. There's also some good shopping at Crabtree Valley Mall and a nice Farmer's Market just a few miles from campus. Really though, the greatest attraction to the Raleigh area are the available day-trips and weekend trips. The beaches of Wilmington and the Outer Banks are 2 hours away, Asheville and the Appalachian mountains of NC and VA are 3-4 hours. Great camping at Hungry Mother State Park, Douthat, and the Peaks of Otter. Also, there are some nifty little wineries an hour west of Raleigh in the Eno River area, there's a neat isolated park called Medoc Mountain an hour and a half east of Raleigh, and you can go skydiving in Youngsville. If you're living in Raleigh and don't make it out of the town, you've missed out on the best the area has to offer. Not that the town itself is bad, there's just a lot of fun to be had!

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WoW, thank you guys for your tips. There is another thing that I really want to know about Raleigh and the surrounding area. Setting bars, museums and cultural places aside, I am really into hiking and bicycle riding. Does Raleigh offer some natural and beautiful places to do these kind of stuff??

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All the places I mentioned (Umstead, Lake Johnson, Falls Lake) have hiking/biking trails. Lake Johnson is a short trail, 3 miles, but close to campus if you just need to get out. Umstead's trail is 7 miles I think. The Falls Lake trails are part of the Raleigh greenways, and just the small part of them I've been on was over 7 miles. If you're into hiking and camping, there's the Appalachian Trail, but while I'm sure there's trails with camping closer than that, I just don't know them.

WoW, thank you guys for your tips. There is another thing that I really want to know about Raleigh and the surrounding area. Setting bars, museums and cultural places aside, I am really into hiking and bicycle riding. Does Raleigh offer some natural and beautiful places to do these kind of stuff??

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Hi everybody!

I was wondering if anyone has been through or knows anything about the Industrial/Organizational Psychology Ph.D program at NCSU. Any feedback on the program, NCSU, or Raleigh 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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Hi, I'm starting this fall at NCSU :) I've lived in Raleigh for two and a half years, so I have a little bit of knowledge of the area (especially the bus system -- get your gopass!). 

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WoW, thank you guys for your tips. There is another thing that I really want to know about Raleigh and the surrounding area. Setting bars, museums and cultural places aside, I am really into hiking and bicycle riding. Does Raleigh offer some natural and beautiful places to do these kind of stuff??

 

For bike riding, the greenway system here is extensive and continues to grow. Also, the trails around Lake Johnson are great for a hike or run. There really is no bar scene to speak of in the campus area, but downtown Raleigh is only a mile and a half away with lots of things to do. :)

Edited by 33andathirdRPM

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Also, if you're a full-time student who is 26 years of age or younger you can get $10 tickets to the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra on the day of the performance. It's a pretty amazing deal.

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Can we revive this topic to talk about housing? I am trying to find an affordable place to live, preferably all-inclusive. I have a $10,000 living stipend lined up but may have additional finances coming in, but let's say I wouldn't. I am looking as best I can for a place maybe under $700 that is close enough to walk/short drive/easy bus route to campus. If anyone has any input (current students, alums, etc), please let me know! Thanks!

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Raleigh has TONS of nightlife, outdoor life, places to eat, great housing.  It's the #4 best place to live in America, apparently.  There are some apartments in the North Hills area, near Crabtree Valley Mall about 5 miles from campus that are cheaper, safer, all-inclusive and get you away from the campus/undergraduate community.  Similarly, going south a few miles will yield the same results.  Anything on Gorman Rd, Tryon, or in Cary is likely to be a safer bet.  Cameron Village/Oberlin/Downtown Raleigh is a more expensive area.  NCSU is located on Hillsborough and Western Blvds, so there are a lot of side streets with houses for that that would be great for renting and splitting with roommates.  Dixie Trail, Clark, Pullen, Wade Ave are some streets within walking distance of campus.  Also, NCSU has a free bus service (the Wolfline) that extends slightly beyond the borders of campus and can get you closer to your housing.  I'd avoid any of the Wolf Village/graduate apartments, they're kind of dumpy.  There are literally thousands of opportunities to find housing within your price range and radius, I'd set your online apartment search for NCSU/central campus and if you have any questions, feel free to pm me.  I work there and would be happy to give you reviews from my coworkers/interns if I don't have the answers, myself.

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I will be attending UNC this upcoming fall and I am looking for a one bedroom in a safe apartment complex that is either close to UNC campus or is directly on the bus lines. I am looking at a budget for around $1000 / month. Do you guys have any suggestions?

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Yeah check out the Chapel Hill thread, there's some good info. Also, despite recent news, Chapel Hill is very safe and you will not have a problem finding a place on that budget!

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I will be attending UNC this upcoming fall and I am looking for a one bedroom in a safe apartment complex that is either close to UNC campus or is directly on the bus lines. I am looking at a budget for around $1000 / month. Do you guys have any suggestions?

 

Here's the Chapel Hill thread - 

I'm sure you will have no problem finding something within your desired price range - and yes despite the news Chapel Hill IS a safe place! The town itself is very family-friendly, quiet, definitely good for students. Good luck!

 

Edwards Mill Rd is another good location. Also north of Glenwood Ave/Crabtree Valley Mall there are some nice places that are pretty affordable.

 

I'll check out Edwards Mill - thanks! I guess the main concern for me is that I live in a house in Cary within 25-30 minutes of the campus currently and I'm looking to move closer, but I'm still searching!

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I will get a monthly stipend of $1400(after deducting tax and fee). I need to know the living cost in Releigh. I will be attending NCSU this fall. What is the monthly rent? How much are utilities and transportation cost? Is it possible to get an apartment near the campus in $500 range?

Edited by niketon

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I will get a monthly stipend of $1400(after deducting tax and fee). I need to know the living cost in Releigh. I will be attending NCSU this fall. What is the monthly rent? How much are utilities and transportation cost? Is it possible to get an apartment near the campus in $500 range?

Sure, but it might not be very nice or you might have a few of roommates. Raleigh has a huge range of living options, and you can live very cheaply -- as many undergrads do -- depending on your flexibility. Utilities are cheap, and supposedly Google Fiber is coming to Raleigh in the near future. Transportation depends. You probably want a car. While public transportation is decent right around State's campus, anywhere outside of that range becomes a challenge, and in my opinion Raleigh is a very drivable city. Plus there's tons of cool stuff to do outside Raleigh that having a car would facilitate.

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I will get a monthly stipend of $1400(after deducting tax and fee). I need to know the living cost in Releigh. I will be attending NCSU this fall. What is the monthly rent? How much are utilities and transportation cost? Is it possible to get an apartment near the campus in $500 range?

 

Pretty much everything esotericish said is true. You'll be hard-pressed to find a nice apartment in the $500 range if you want to live alone, however having roommates makes rent decrease significantly, and a large portion of apartment complexes near campus are 2-3-4 bedroom places, and there are also houses for rent. One bedrooms are expensive close to campus, ranging from $600-$1000, most of those including utilities. A place with 3 or 4 bedrooms will run you anywhere from $300-$600. One place I'm looking at is a 4br/4ba apartment with $340 all-inclusive rent, including parking, but it is a 10 minute drive from the campus. It's doable to find a place in your price range, but you'll either have to sacrifice quality, distance, or living alone, if that's what you want to do.

 

So, as far as transportation, having a car is ideal, especially in the campus area. But, I noticed that you've posted in International House of Grads, so if you're coming from outside of the United States without a vehicle, then there are plenty of other means of transport. The buses can be decent, the Wolfline is packed during peak hours on popular routes, as with any bus, and there are other systems such as CAT that charge a small fee to use, but it has a wider range of destinations. Something cool about the Wolfline though is that they have a live-update website that shows you where all of the bus lines are during running hours.

 

If you will have a car, a parking pass for a graduate student runs anywhere from $200-$300ish, for the year, and if I'm not mistaken you can pay by month as well, but that is outlined better on the parking site. You also have some time to decide since parking registration opens in July. The only place driving becomes a slight inconvenience is in the downtown area. If you can walk or get on public transport, you're probably better off if you aren't totally familiar yet with how the downtown roads work. It's a lot of one-way streets, and there are plenty of parking garages if you ever decide to head that way.

 

Utilities themselves are not bad in Raleigh if you know how to use them well (turn off things you aren't using, maximize heat, don't run your thermostat at outrageously high temps, don't run water when you aren't using it, things of that nature). My mother works at the utilities commission in the city and had college students call her because their electric bill was $150 OVER the cap that they were given (around $90), which is well above normal for this time of year. Heating a space around 600 sq ft (as far as electric goes) ranges from $30-$100ish based on the season. A lot of apartment complexes have built-in water/sewer fees, my knowledge is that this runs $15-20 a month depending on your usage, but most places that I have seen/spoken to say it's a $15 limit, and you pay if there is a difference. I will honestly say that if you're going to be a grad student, you can sacrifice cable TV. Internet costs are low, somewhere in the family of $20 but they can be higher. If you do want to watch TV shows, use Netflix online (unlimited streaming of TV shows and movies provided by Netflix) for $7/mo. It's got plenty, and a trial month is free. 

 

I hope this was of some help. If you have any other questions, please feel free to message me!

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Did anyone here live in ES King Village Apartments or Western Manor? Reviews about ES King Village are ruthless,  and Western Manor is unfurnished which makes it a bit more difficult for an international student moving to the US.

More generally, I'm looking for advice on renting a two-bedroom apt in a safe area close to the wolf line. King Village would be fine if it didn't look that scary.

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5 hours ago, BayesianLove said:

Did anyone here live in ES King Village Apartments or Western Manor? Reviews about ES King Village are ruthless,  and Western Manor is unfurnished which makes it a bit more difficult for an international student moving to the US.

More generally, I'm looking for advice on renting a two-bedroom apt in a safe area close to the wolf line. King Village would be fine if it didn't look that scary.

I'm currently an undergrad NC State. They were making some renovations to ES King a few months ago, so some units look a bit nicer than what pictures may show (albeit, maintenance is moving pretty slow with that and I don't know if they are updating all buildings and units).

While it will be hard to find an affordable, furnished two bedroom place near campus and/or Wolfline (that isn't one of the student-centered complexes that are generally a bit more expensive), I've listed a few suggestions of some apartment complexes that will fit your criteria and that I know some grad students live at:

Rhynes Gate (I think they're unfurnished, but utilities included in rent with a Wolfline stop right across the street. super close to grocery stores and food places on Western Blvd)

Bristol Creek (pretty close to Gorman St Wolfline stop, recently built)

Kensington Park (close to Avent Ferry and Gorman St Wolfline stops, close to shopping complex with fast food and grocery store)

Parkwood Village and Gorman Parkwood (both super close to Wolfline stops to Main and Centennial Campuses, relatively nice from pics online)

If these don't necessarily fit what you're looking for, I'd look on this site in the areas around Avent Ferry Road, Gorman Street, and Hillsborough Street.

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Thank you a lot @devbioboy ! This is quality input indeed :) Do you know how safe is ES King's neighbourhood? I saw the crime mapping in the NCSU Police website but I could use a first hand impression here.

Rhynes Gate and Kensington Park look quite nice at a quick glance, I'll definitely take a deeper look at them all. Unfurnished is OK as long as they come with basic kitchen equipment. It's reassuring to know that some grad students already live there, otherwise it feels like you don't know where you'll end up.

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@BayesianLove Overall, I think that the neighborhood that ES King isn't the safest. I think that the side facing Jackson St (a side road of Gorman) is a little bit sketchier than the side facing Ligon St. I think that it may be because there's a few apartment complexes right off of Jackson St where people tend to loiter around during the day and Jackson St isn't very well lit at night. The side on Ligon St is way better lit and is near a mosque, a church, and a school, so it's a lot safer. I'm not sure if there's a way that you can ask to be put in a specific building in the complex if you do decide to live there, but I don't think that it'd hurt to ask if you were seriously considering living there. 

You should also look at Wolf Ridge if you're interested in 2 bedroom, furnished apartments. They're on Centennial Campus (where Engineering and Textiles are housed) and are super nice. While they may be a bit pricey, you're definitely paying for it in convenience and furnishings. Also, they're super close to Hunt Library and are a few minutes away (walking) from Wolfline stops.

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