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Hello everyone.

I've been accepted by Emory, and I was wondering about Atlanta. It seemed to me during visiting weekend that one could absolutely not get by without a car... and I don't have one or have seriously thought of getting one. How true is this? Anyone familiar with the Emory area? Tips, info? Thanks!

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gt6    1

Well, I can't comment on the Emory area, but I've lived in the metro area for over 15 years.. and have lived in Midtown for the last 5.

Generally, I would say a car is very important in Atlanta. Public transportation in Atlanta isn't the greatest. The trains are pretty good, but I would stay away from the buses. However, unless you live within short distance of the train stations, they are fairly useless. Here is the rail system map.

http://www.itsmarta.com/getthere/schedules/index-rail.htm

Even though I only live 2 miles from school, I still chose to drive. It is very difficult to walk that much on a regular basis in the Atlanta heat during the warmer months. This is also a major city, so you must always be aware of crime. Walking everywhere leaves you more vulnerable. I would not call Atlanta a bicycle friendly city, but that is a better option than walking ofcourse. I personally find it very hard to imagine having to survive in the city without a car. Unless you live next to a grocery and retail center, you are going to need a car just to get the basics to survive.

On the other hand, if you plan to reside on campus and don't plan on going out much, then perhaps you could survive without a car. However, to experience everything that Atlanta has to offer, you almost certainly will want a car.

Congratulations on your acceptance, and I think you will enjoy Atlanta. The cost of living is pretty good for a major city, and Atlanta has everything that you could possibly want, including great weather.

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gt6, why would you advise staying away from the buses? Personally, I think MARTA is overpriced for the services it offers. They haven't really upgraded the system much since the 96 Olympics while the Atlanta suburbs have grown massively. As is true in most cities in the South, a car is pretty much necessary. Although years ago I went tons of places on MARTA with my family. We'd drive to the cloest train station and park rather than fight traffic all day (particularly true for things like baseball, football, and basketball games).

I have to say that I love Emory. It's campus is fairly pretty though some of the building can use renovations. The area is great. Midtown is a great place to be near. ENJOY!

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Let me put a disclaimer before answer your question related to the MARTA buses. It is not my intention to demean people who use the MARTA buses. However, it is no secret that the vast majority of people who use the MARTA buses are the very poor and desolate. I am not directly implying that riding a MARTA bus is somehow "below" that of an Emory student, but as you said, the MARTA system is not the most modern and efficient system. The bus system is not utilized by the professional or middle class of Atlanta, but mostly by the people who have absolutely no other choice. I know this might sound bigoted against the lowest class of Atlanta's population who use MARTA buses, but it's just a reality. The system is also inefficient and unreliable. If the person who started the thread is capable of owning and affording a car, that is absolutely the best choice given the state of public transportation in Atlanta.

But as I said in my earlier post, the rail system is actually quite good (although certainly limited in its routes). If you plan on traveling from major cultural and business centers in Atlanta, then the rail system is certainly the way to go. Otherwise, it is pretty much expected that people have cars for basic transportation.

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Guest cd1   
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Here is the real deal with Emory/Atlanta. I currently attend Georgia State, but I actually live closer to Emory. I take the bus to campus every single day. While it is true that the MARTA buses don't always stay on schedule, there are advantages to taking the bus rather than the train. You will never be hit up for change or have someone try to sell you socks, lighters, etc. when you ride the bus. However, these are very common occurences on the train.

You will want to live in the Virginia Highlands area. There are a lot of apartments in this neighborhood, prices for a one-bedroom will range from $500 up to $1500 or so. There is quite a range in the quality of apartments, but this is a very safe and nice neighborhood. It is approxiamtely 2 or 3 miles from Emory. There is a specific MARTA bus route that runs back and forth between the Highlands and Emory. Since this route is so short, this particular MARTA bus will virtually never get off schedule. There is a lot of shopping in the neighborhood, including a grocery store very close on Ponce DeLeon Ave. I do have a car, but I only drive it about once a week. It is definitely more convenient to have a car in the ATL, but if you live in the area that I have recommended you can easily get by without one.

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i agree with cd1, virginia highlands would be a great place to live. Also, buckhead, midtown, and dunwoody are decent places to live, where depending on where your actual apartment is, you can access MARTA fairly easily. Although, I agree that unfortuanately MARTA is generally for the poor and you will not see many middle class or wealthy people on it with the exception of some of the stops on the northern line through dunwoody and north springs. I would like to say that being hit up for change or having people trying to sell you their crap will be the worst things to happen to you while riding marta. Yet, if you ride it everyday for a couple of years while going to school, you will definitely have some stories to tell if you are not used to taking public transportation in other cities. The buses are less efficient, yet also generally safer and just quieter. Having a car in metro Atlanta in my mind is pretty much a necessity, although I sometimes question the point with all the traffic. Overall, it is like any other sprawling city. Virginia Highlands is probably the best place to look for an apartment.

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As a grad student at Emory, the best way to live without a car is to take the slightly expensive graduate housing at Clairmont Campus. Living there is like being at a resort year-round, with the only drawback being about once a semester when the Clairmont Resident Council has a concert on the field in the middle of the campus. There are 2 pools, tennis courts, indoor and outdoor basketball, and beack volleyball, as well as a huge fitness center with computer labs and classrooms and a cafe. The campus lies on the other side of Lullwater Park, where the President's mansion is located, along with running trails and a small lake. It's beautiful like the rest of Emory, with a 10ish minute shuttle ride to main campus. It's within walking distance of a grocery store, natural food store, Blockbuster, UPS store, bookstore, YMCA, storage center, some of my favorite restaurants. You can also get to Target with about a 5 dollar cab ride. Do not rely on MARTA -- schedules are inconsisent and it's expensive. Plus MARTA is in serious financial trouble right now so no telling what is in its future.

Living without a car at Clairmont is definitely feasible! And while the prices seem very high, when you factor in the 400 dollar per year parking fee when living off campus plus utilities and high speed internet and the free food you can get at Clairmont, you're getting a decent deal.

I also know people who lived at Gables Montclair without a car, which is sort of next to Clairmont Campus, but you don't get the same amenities or the easy shuttle access.

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Can anyone comment on Georgia Tech housing? I'm probably going there for grad school. I've been told living in Midtown would be the best bet since public transportation is not so great, and even if you don't live too far off campus, you'd have to get up at 6am just to beat the traffic. Anyone had any good experiences with any particualr apartment complex?

Funny thing is, I started undergrad at Emory, but had to transfer soon after since Emory was too expensive for me. I was only there for one semester, and I never really left the campus much, and when I did I rode in friends' cars. I just remember the traffic and the way people drove made me uneasy even in the passenger's seat.

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In terms of housing at Georgia Tech, you have several options. They have graduate only suite style housing available that is not too bad. They also have apartment style housing for grad students, however, these are intended more for graduate students with families who need more of a traditional apartment housing situation (kitchen, washer+dryer, etc).

There are several neighborhoods near Tech (such as Homepark) that have a good bit of houses for rent.

There are also several new complexes that are either recently completed or going to be available before fall semester. They include Metropointe lofts on the west side of GT, Atlantic Station lofts north of GT, and another complex ("100 Midtown" http://100midtown.com/index.html on the east side of GT. All of these facilities offer suite style living, where you would have your own bedroom, but would share a kitchen and living area with a few other roommates. Of course, these will probably be occupied by undergraduates for the most part, so you will have to put up with undergraduate behavior.

Of course, there are also dozens of other housing options available. Personally, as a Tech student, I have done everything from freshman dorms to suite style living, to off-campus house rental. All of them have their ups and downs, but I think when I start grad school this fall, I will look into a nice loft in the heart of midtown. Ofcourse, those will mostly likely start around $1000/month, but I think the privacy and lack of distractions, along with the opportunity of true urban living, will be worth the price. I am ready to settle down so I do not want the distractions that come with living with roommates.

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Guest Chelley   
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I am an Atlanta resident. I am not a student. I didn't move here for school. I'll be answering from the POV of a "regular Jane" who has lived here for a year (the second time around), and who had to ride MARTA regularly for eight long months (this time around).

Atlanta is an okay city to live in, overall. However, you'll find that it's overrated and doesn't live up to its hype if you're part of the working/striving class... anywhere is great to live when you have money. It's all relative.

MARTA is a mixed bag. I do agree with some of the previous posters who advised to avoid riding the buses. Like someone said, unless you live a SHORT distance from where you need to go, or from one of the MARTA train stations, forget about taking the bus. They suck. They just do. Off schedule, overcrowded, and LOUD.

The trains are better, schedule-wise. They are pretty good about sticking to schedule. They run 5-10 minutes apart during morning and evening rush hours, and 15-30 minutes apart during non-peak hours depending on what line - North/South or East/West - you're on (if the N/S line has the most ridership, the trains will run sooner... it depends on rider volume). Yes, there will be people sometimes trying to sell you socks and/or batteries on the train. But, they are not beggars nor are they aggressive. There may be some panhandlers on the train asking for change, but they are usually deaf-mutes and they'll have a little card that they'll show you that introduces them by name. This is LEGAL. If you decline to give, you are not harassed or given the evil eye. They just move on. Atlanta has a BAD problem with the homeless, and in the winter, they will ride and sleep on the trains to avoid being in the cold. Some will stink, badly. Just move to another train car. I've never seen a homeless person bother anybody, even the couple that I've seen that talk to themselves.

MARTA is mostly ridden by people who, for whatever reason, don't or can't drive. Yes, as someone pointed out, many of them are poor. But, most are what is called the working poor - the key word is working. They work, but make only enough money to provide for their necessities, and not enough to afford all the financial output that goes into not only getting a car (which is easy), but maintenance, insurance, gas, etc. Anybody who would not ride MARTA because "poor" people ride it the most is stupid. Desolate is NOT accurate. :roll:

How much do you want to bet that sentiments like those are not about socio-economic status at all, and are really "code words" to point out the (so-called) race of the majority ridership of MARTA, which (in a city whose residents make up over 70% of this group) just happens to be black? :x

If you plan well (about where you're going to live, etc), living in Atlanta without a car is very doable - especially if you only have to take MARTA infrequently, to say like Movies on the Green at Piedmont Park or to an event. Barring that, it can be done, but it'll be VERY VERY VERY inconvenient, and a straight pain in the ass.

BTW, Candler Park, Inman Park, and Little Five Points are also good places to live. All three of these areas border each other and are less than a mile from Ponce de Leon and the Virginia-Highlands area. I used to live in Inman Park. I loved it.

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In terms of housing at Georgia Tech, you have several options. They have graduate only suite style housing available that is not too bad. They also have apartment style housing for grad students, however, these are intended more for graduate students with families who need more of a traditional apartment housing situation (kitchen, washer+dryer, etc).

There are several neighborhoods near Tech (such as Homepark) that have a good bit of houses for rent.

There are also several new complexes that are either recently completed or going to be available before fall semester. They include Metropointe lofts on the west side of GT, Atlantic Station lofts north of GT, and another complex ("100 Midtown" http://100midtown.com/index.html on the east side of GT. All of these facilities offer suite style living, where you would have your own bedroom, but would share a kitchen and living area with a few other roommates. Of course, these will probably be occupied by undergraduates for the most part, so you will have to put up with undergraduate behavior.

Of course, there are also dozens of other housing options available. Personally, as a Tech student, I have done everything from freshman dorms to suite style living, to off-campus house rental. All of them have their ups and downs, but I think when I start grad school this fall, I will look into a nice loft in the heart of midtown. Ofcourse, those will mostly likely start around $1000/month, but I think the privacy and lack of distractions, along with the opportunity of true urban living, will be worth the price. I am ready to settle down so I do not want the distractions that come with living with roommates.

Hey sport, I did look at a few places around midtown that have $700+ studio apartments. They all seem very nice and I'd love to live there, but unfortunately I was only offered a 1/3 time assistantship to start with, that is 12.6k a yr stipend (*fist in the air*). So sadly I can't afford to have my own place, at least not til I can get 1/2 time assistantship. I've been recommended to the Homepark area that is directly north of the Tech campus (Terrel St, Tumblin St, Calhoun St, Atlantic Dr etc). The prices seem reasonable and some of the houses are within walking distance to campus, although the downside is that I'd have to share a house with 3-5 other people, but I get my own room. I've been told most people that live there are grad students. What are your opinions on those houses?

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Guest sport   
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In general, Homepark is a nice area. It is indeed within walking distance. It just adjacent to the campus on 10th street. If you wanted to live in a house, Homepark would be a great option. You have campus directly to the south. You would have midtown Atlanta (with all the restaurants and parks to the east), and to the north you would have Atlantic Station (which has retail spaces, along with a Publix supermarket). Homepark has some nice houses occupied mostly by students and a lot of young professionals (and a lot of people who have lived there a long time). My biggest suggestion would be to make sure you pick good roommates. There are a lot of house parties over at Homepark, so you want to make sure your lifestyle reflects that with your roommates. However, there are also many grad students that live there, so just make sure your roommates are either grad students themselves, or mature undergraduates. Home Park has a website where you can probably do a search for houses for rent.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/homepark/

I currently live in a similar neighborhood (known as Howell Station) thats a few miles west of campus. There are fewer students living here, mostly just regular home owners. We have 4 people living in this house (all friends) and we split the $1700 rent. Per person, that works out to a fairly cheap rate. The only downside about Howell Station is that there is nothing to do on this side of town, and there is a train switching depot with lots of tracks just a block away.. so you will always hear lots of train whistles.

Home park is definately a good option if thats what you want to do. It's definately the closest neighborhood to the GT campus. If you wanted to live a bit further away, other good neighborhoods include Virgina Highlands, Inman Park, Candler Park, Berkeley Park. You could always search craigslist too.

http://atlanta.craigslist.com/apa/

Which program are you entering?

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I'm doing MS in Electrical & Computer Engineering in the fall, how about yourself? Since I'm out of state right now, it is somewhat difficult for me to personally check out the houses. But I do know someone that is living in Homepark right now, I suppose I can always ask him if a certain house is always rowdy or not. How safe is the Homepark area? It looks to be walking distance just looking at a map, but is it feasible to walk or ride a bike to class? I'd get a parking pass but it's pretty expensive, and I heard parking on campus is hell.

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gt6    1

Home park should be fairly safe. You wouldn't want to leave your windows open at night or anything... there are some homeless people who are very opportunistic and would not pass up the opportunity to steal something from you if you dont secure it. You can refer back to that link I gave you to the Homepark message board. They often discuss crime issues in their neighborhood. It seems they are very proactive about keeping their neighborhood safe. You wouldn't really need to worry aboug gang shootings or anything.. :wink: Home Park and GT are, of course, right in the heart of a major city, so with a bit of city smarts, you will be perfectly fine. Keep your car locked at all times with the windows up, keep your house secure, don't walk alone at night... just the obvious big-city basics will be enough. The area around Home Park is being developed more and more as time goes on, so there should be less and less crime. Georgia Tech just put up new graduate housing units adjacent to Home Park, Turner Broadcasting is doing some construction to enlarge their facilities, and there are new Georgia Tech facilities being built on that side of campus adjacent to Home Park. There has been a big revitalization in Atlanta in the past 5-10 years, so there are lots of new growth that has helped to push crime and run-down areas away from the midtown region.

A bicycle is probably a better option than just walking, although both are doable. The GT campus is pretty big, so if you need to get from one side to the other, you will probably want something faster than just walking.

http://local.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&sll=33.781172,-84.400567&sspn=0.00832,0.013497&q=Landon+Learning+Ctr+atlanta&cid=33748889,-84388056,12243601431545132802&li=lmd&z=14&t=m

Hopefully that URL will not get malformed, but should give you a good idea about the relative distances between Home Park (I just picked that learning center because it seems to be right in the middle of Home Park) and Georgia Tech. The Georgia Tech bus system should also be able to get you from Home Park to campus. Here is a map of the GT bus system. The "green" route encircles the Home Park area at the north side of the map.

http://www.parking.gatech.edu/info/1_maps__schedules/2_stinger_all_routes.php

However, I find the bus to be a bit slow. If I am in a rush, I never take the bus because I can always get their faster by walking. GT is trying to utilize a GPS system to tell you where the buses are at all times.. I think it's operational, so maybe that could help you in timing your departure so you could catch the bus. I would categorize the bus system at Tech as pretty good. For distances less than half of the campus in length, I find that with a brisk walk, you could either beat or tie the bus. You could also use the Trolley system to get between campus and Technology Square (an extension of Georgia Tech on the other side of the interstate that has the bookstore, retail, food, and other facilities). You can read about the transportation system at Tech at the following link:

http://www.parking.gatech.edu/index.php

You can also read about the parking permit situation. The good thing is, as a graduate student, you should have no problem getting a parking permit since you would have priority over undergraduates. Parking isn't so much a hassle as it is expensive. A yearly pass cost, I think, $520 last year. Expect it to be the same if not a bit higher this coming fall. There are other parking options, such as a commuter pass that allows you to pay a daily rate (I think it's about 4$ per day after getting a $25 dollar permit). This is good if you have a car, but only drive it when its raining or cold or dark or something. I never had a problem finding a spot in my parking garage, but parking anywhere in Atlanta is a big deal.

In terms of what I'm doing.. well.. I'm doing MS Aerospace.. I'm actually the same guy that replied in the Meet & Greet board.. I just never bothered to log in when posting in this board so thats why I'm a guest ...

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You mean... sport and gt6 are one the same? :shock:

I've actually spent quite a lot of time looking over Google map (I even memorized the address: 777 Atlantic Dr, Atlanta, GA 30322), and checking over the parking site. I'd rather not pay the $520 if I don't have to, do you think it's doable to not park on campus? The SmartPark commuter pass does seem interesting, and could come in handy during adverse weather. But it says you can only park in W23 and E81:

http://www.parking.gatech.edu/parking/1 ... rtpark.php

Parking Map:

http://www.parking.gatech.edu/info/1_ma ... N_2005.pdf

Looks like W23 is only steps away from Homepark, so after I park I would still have to get out and walk to where I need to go.

By the way, how long does it take for you to walk from where you live to the engineering building?

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gt6    1

Hehe.. sorry.. yes.. "sport" and gt6 are the same person.. I forgot to log in when I replied to your first message.. and just entered the first thing that came to my mind for a user name.. don't worry.. I'm confused myself..

Hrmm.. I thought SmartPark was available in a few other areas, but I guess not. You're info is correct. If those are the only two parking areas where it's available now, then I would say it is not very convienent. I think most people live in Home Park so that they don't have to drive; so yes, it is very doable to live in Home Park and not drive a car. There are a lot of bicycle riders on campus, so that would probably be your cheapest option. (Motorcycle parking is only $55 a year, and is a good option if you ride). You're still going to bring a car to Atlanta though, right? Atlanta is similar to Texas in that you really need a car to get anywhere (well.. at least from my experience living in the DFW area).

It's hard to say how long it would take you to walk to the engineering building simply because just about every building at Tech is an engineering building.. :wink: Luckily for you, just about all of the buildings that ECEs use are all clustered together along Atlantic Drive (van Leer being the main building, at the end of Atlantic Dr).

I think the distance from Home Park to the van Leer building will be about 3/4 of a mile. That would probably translate to about 10 minutes walking or probably less than half of that on a bicycle.

You don't want to know how long it takes *me* to walk from where I live to my engineering building. I live about 2.2 miles away.. so that takes about 30-40 minutes.. but I drive anyways.. I park in the W02 parking deck which is next to the student center (probably the best parking spot for most commuters, unless all your classes are on the north side of campus, which is when the North parking deck is the best option).

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Guest guest   
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I live right near Emory and ride MARTA daily so I can throw in a few thoughts. There's two stations that I can think of offhand that run through the Emory area - Arts Center station and Lindbergh Station (both on the N/S line). There's the #36 from A.C. and the #6 and #245 from L.- and maybe even more, those are the ones that I've used. Both of those stations are very clean and the riders on the buses aren't cracked out. MARTA unfortunately doesn't run very frequently or very late, however if you know when and where the buses run it's not too bad. The #6 runs fairly frequently for a MARTA bus. In terms of safety, I don't feel comfortable riding it alone past 9 pm if I can help it, but 6 AM to 8 PM I've found to be no issue as a single female.

I'd love to go carfree here, but it's just not going to happen for me personally. It is possible to go car-light though. This is NOT a bike-friendly city! It's safer to walk. Drivers don't know how to handle bikes in the roads and either freak out entirely or try to mow you down. As an aside, a friend of mine doing her PhD at Emory has no car or bike and simply walks or MARTAs everywhere, so it can be done.

There are also quite a few apartment complexes near Emory, some better than others. I saw where someone posted above about Emory housing on Clairmont and honestly it sounds like a pretty good deal. VA highlands area can be really expensive.

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Guest girrums   
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Hey guys, me going to Gatech too for PhD in Aerospace. Nice thread you guys got going. Hi to Morfinx from Usnews forum.

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Someone posted this job announcement on applyingtograd and I thought I'd repost it here since it could help some of you struggling with finances or trying to figure out housing...

Hiya everyone -- ...

my school, Spelman College, is restructuring our housing department and has thus created openings for Hall Directors in our residence halls! Hall Directors are part-time positions. A bachelor's degree is required, and you must be on a full-time graduate program working towards a graduate degree. Any graduate degree is sufficient but they prefer someone in counseling, higher education administration, etc., basically someone who is getting a graduate degree in a field related to managing tons of people effectively.

It's a 10-month position (although they're talking about upgrading it to 12 months, even though we don't have summer school). Free room and board, and a $12,000 stipend payable in biweekly paychecks. We're a women's college, but when the housing director was speaking about the position she said "she...or he" so I believe they are also looking to hire males as well.

Here is the job description: http://www.spelmancareers.net/spelman/j ... &Keywords=

hope that helps someone!

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In order to make my decision (by this Saturday...EGAD!) can anyone comment on Georgia Tech as a school (atmosphere, academics, life, safety) either in general terms or specific to the bioengineering program (Coulter School of BME). Undergrads at Georgia Tech, please feel free to comment on the campus life and such.

Thanks in advance

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Guest GT to Stanny   
Guest GT to Stanny

I have been an udergrad at Tech for 5 years now, and I really like it here. Tech has a lot of strange people, but they are usually pretty nice. There are way more males than females (70/30 ratio) which is what you might expect from an "institute of technology", but the BME program itself is not bad at all as far as the ratio goes. Most people either play sports or video games, and the fraternity/sorority scene is pretty well developed (though I don't have anything to do with it). Also important, the BME complexes are all brand new and amazing. I think you will be hard pressed to find better facilities for class, research, etc., and there is a massive computing facility right across the street that will be finished (supposedly) this Fall. There many many new buildings going up around campus, which means construction for us current students, but will mean brand new buildings for any incoming students in the Fall. I'm done after this semester and I have enjoyed all of my time here, so no complaints from me.

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Guest GSU   
Guest GSU

I got in the Georgia State University. Can any one please suggest me where would be the best place to look for one or two bed room apartment (500 to 800 range)? Also any other suggestion will be appreciated. The discussion here really helped me a lot. How far GSU is from Virginia Highland?

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