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I will go to Atlanta this fall, attending Emory RSPH..

This city will be my first stop in USA..I am from China so I have no idea about how my life will be..

I knew that the cost of housing is not expensive here in Atlanta..but I want to know more about this city...! Is there friends in Atlanta? ^_^  :D

Is car necessary for living in Atlanta(or the place where Emory located?)..I had driving license in China but had to get an American one, is it hard for foreigner to get driving license in USA?

Thank you...

Hi, I will start my PhD program at Georgia State U this fall. I definitely wanna befriend with people from GA tech and Emory :). I've never been to this city despite four years in US, but from other's advice, areas like Buckhead, Druid Hills, Virginia Highland, Decatur are decent and safe places to live and they are not far from Emory. In Georgia, as far as I learned, you can use the Chinese license in the first few months (Emory should tell you exactly what other documents you should bring along with the foreign license). You definitely wanna get a Georgia license in a few months. I don't think it's hard to get a license. I passed the written test and driving test in Indiana with a breeze...should be similar in Georgia i think...Use www.dds.ga.gov for more info. Get a car, your life will be much easier, but i guess in Atlanta, you don't have to drive everyday...

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Buckhead is the farthest from campus of the neighborhoods mentioned and is not where any graduate student should be living.  If you want to play there - by all means.  Living there?  No way. 
 
Most grads, seem to default to Campus Crossings - or a related complex - around Emory (if you are Emory bound).  There are however, no shortage of roommate situations one can pursue on Craigslist that will take them away from the university, so that they have an actual incentive to discover the city.
 
If you are going to Georgia Tech, you might be tempted to venture to the West of the freeway to live. . .don't.  I would suggest something close to the East/West train line or the border between Midtown and Virginia Highlands.
 
GSU folks can really live anywhere on a bus line as the train has a Georgia State stop.

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Im going to GSU this fall for a Ph.D in Neuroscience, and looking to move to Atlanta early on in the summer.  I've been looking at apartments primarily in the midtown area and east of Georgia State along Decatur/Dekalb Ave SE.  I have been told that if I can stand the heat biking 2-3 miles a day to school is entirely doable.  Which is good since the majority of decent looking apartments in my search area average about $1000/month for a 1 bd/1br. 

 

I had heard good things about the MARTA and living in Decatur, and Buckhead as well...until I did a campus visit 3 weeks ago and talked to a bunch of current grad students and faculty.  Nobody suggests living in Buckhead if you're attending GSU.  It's inconvenient to get to/from, traffic is a pain, MARTA line doesnt really go through most of it, and nobody from GSU tends to frequent the clubs up there.  Decatur was more positive, you can easily take the MARTA from there (depending on how close you live to the train line), driving to/from is only about 10 minutes in moderate traffic, and there's plenty to do with a safe environment.  I do own a car I plan on bringing with me, but if I can bike everyday I feel like that would would preferable to me personally. 

Does anybody with more experience in Atlanta seriously disagree with my assessment of biking to GSU from the areas around southern midtown or east between Highland/Decatur(DeKalb)?

 

I am also looking for a roommate(s) who will be going to graduate school in the fall as well.  Could be GSU, Georgia Tech, or Emory.  I'd be more flexible on where within the city I'd be living if I was splitting the rent and not having to spend roughly $1k every month.

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My significant other and I are moving to Atlanta (I was waitlisted and she was accepted to GSU), so we're looking at apartments. Problem is, the ones that seem to be affordable all seem to be in iffy looking neighborhoods and the reviews that we find pretty much confirm my suspicions. We are completely unfamiliar with the city, and as such, are kind of at a loss. What parts of Atlanta are safe? Where should we be looking for apartments? We're looking for a two bedroom apartment around 700-800 dollars a month. Is that doable? And what is the cost of living like? Any help you guys/girls could provide would be immensely appreciated.

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Georgia State has pretty nice dorms.  Are dorms a possibility or no?  

 

I'd do whatever I could to avoid Atlanta traffic.  As I'm sure you're aware by now, it sucks.  Another option is to find an apartment with access to the MARTA train.  That way you could find something way away from downtown but still avoid the traffic.  

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Georgia State has pretty nice dorms.  Are dorms a possibility or no?  

 

I'd do whatever I could to avoid Atlanta traffic.  As I'm sure you're aware by now, it sucks.  Another option is to find an apartment with access to the MARTA train.  That way you could find something way away from downtown but still avoid the traffic.  

I doubt that dorms are really a possibility, given that we're looking to live with each other and we aren't married yet. I don't know how bad things really are traffic-wise, but if it's a choice between safety and a long commute, I'd choose the latter.

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We're looking for a two bedroom apartment around 700-800 dollars a month. Is that doable? And what is the cost of living like? Any help you guys/girls could provide would be immensely appreciated.

800/month total? Or per person? If you're talking about total, then no, you won't find anything in a safe neighborhood near GSU for that price. If you have a car, you could probably find a more affordable space outside the perimeter or in north Atlanta. 

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What parts of Atlanta are safe? Where should we be looking for apartments?

You'll want to stick to parts of Atlanta that are north of I-20 and east of Northside Drive. Decatur and Midtown are good neighborhoods, but tend to be pretty pricy. 

Edited by dat_nerd

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I'm in Atlanta now. Look up Decatur (north of Memorial Drive). It's where I live and its a nice place, good school districts, very family/dog/kid oriented and safe. Also, Virginia Highlands has decent places for roughly 600-800 for a 1 BR or about 900 for a 2 BR. Candler Park/Little 5/Poncey Highlands and Inman Park are super nice but also super expensive. You could also try Old Fourth Ward. There are some cheper apartments in Midtown, but they are generally iffy.

 

If your wife is going to GSU she could also look into Oakhurst which near is along Dekalb Ave and this road will take her straight into the GSU area without much traffic to deal with.

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I don't know if you have children and that's why you want the 2-bedroom, but if you don't, you really should consider a 1-bedroom.  I will say that the kinds of things you can expect in an apartment in Atlanta (or at least in the metro area; not sure about downtown) are far different than you can in other cities, like decent closet space, large bedrooms, updated appliances (including gas stoves, usually!), a washer & dryer in the unit, and central air and heating.  Out in the suburbs many are swim/tennis communities.  They're much bigger, too.

 

I'm from the suburbs of Atlanta.  If you want to live in the suburbs, you could find a two-bedroom apartment in that price range.  Lithonia and Stone Mountain are the next towns over from Decatur so it'd be about a 20-30 minute drive into the city (in perfect traffic, of course) but they're nice suburban towns with an affordable cost of living.  There's also Snellville which is teensy bit further out.  To the north a bit are Dunwoody, Doraville and Chamblee, which are nice suburban areas too.

 

If you want to be closer to the city I definitely recommend Decatur.  Druid Hills is very pricy but also closer and pretty nice.  I LOVE Virginia Highlands and a lot of young professionals live out there (nice area).

 

Check this out: http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwphi/8383.html

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I don't know if you have children and that's why you want the 2-bedroom, but if you don't, you really should consider a 1-bedroom.  I will say that the kinds of things you can expect in an apartment in Atlanta (or at least in the metro area; not sure about downtown) are far different than you can in other cities, like decent closet space, large bedrooms, updated appliances (including gas stoves, usually!), a washer & dryer in the unit, and central air and heating.  Out in the suburbs many are swim/tennis communities.  They're much bigger, too.

 

I'm from the suburbs of Atlanta.  If you want to live in the suburbs, you could find a two-bedroom apartment in that price range.  Lithonia and Stone Mountain are the next towns over from Decatur so it'd be about a 20-30 minute drive into the city (in perfect traffic, of course) but they're nice suburban towns with an affordable cost of living.  There's also Snellville which is teensy bit further out.  To the north a bit are Dunwoody, Doraville and Chamblee, which are nice suburban areas too.

 

If you want to be closer to the city I definitely recommend Decatur.  Druid Hills is very pricy but also closer and pretty nice.  I LOVE Virginia Highlands and a lot of young professionals live out there (nice area).

 

Check this out: http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwphi/8383.html

Thank you. I really appreciate it. We're looking for two bedroom places because my fiancee's sister may or may not be moving in with us (it's still a bit up in the air). But if she does, we can't all be living in the same bedroom, so, for the moment, we're looking for two bedroom places. 

Edited by bar_scene_gambler

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Thank you. I really appreciate it. We're looking for two bedroom places because my fiancee's sister may or may not be moving in with us (it's still a bit up in the air). But if she does, we can't all be living in the same bedroom, so, for the moment, we're looking for two bedroom places. 

I think the main question is this: how important is driving distance to you? If you are okay commuting from other parts of the Atlanta metro area, I think you'll be able to get a 1BR apartment for the price you're looking for. If you're talking about living in downtown or midtown, any place in a decent neighborhood will put you well over $1k/month for a 1BR, and probably closer to $1.5k/month plus utilities if it's a good neighborhood. It is an unfortunate tradeoff between location and cost.

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I live in the Metro, grew up here, and currently am a grad student at GSU. GSU is a definite commuter campus, so your peers will be coming from all over the Metro. If you have a car, look into Smyrna and Vinings, too--just outside the Perimeter, but nearly as convenient as Decatur, plus a bit cheaper (excluding the luxury complexes).  Don't rent or buy in the Old 4th Ward even though its becoming trendy and avoid anything on the south side of the city.  Stay as close to the Perimeter as you can.

 

I live in Marietta and take an Express commuter bus everyday.  It is $5 a trip, but is very nice, drops me off right at GSU, and saves me from having to fight ATL traffic and pay for parking.  Unfortunately, it stops running around 7, so a few times a week, I have to take a train and a local bus back to Marietta.  That's cheaper, but a little less nice.  I did the same as a 17 year old high school senior when I did joint enrollment at GSU.

 

I think the handwringing over transit can be overblown sometimes.  I'm a single white female and yet I've never been threatened or attacked on MARTA and never felt super unsafe.  Mind your own business and you'll be fine.  The denizens of Woodruff Park are likely to be more shocking to you than the average MARTA commuter.

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Hi all, I'm heading to GSU in the fall, and I'm wondering what banks/credit unions are prominent in Atlanta. Are there any that you'd particularly recommend or suggest avoiding? Thanks!

 

P.S. If anyone on this thread is looking for a female apartment hunting buddy or new roommate beginning in August, feel free to message me!

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Hi all, I'm heading to GSU in the fall, and I'm wondering what banks/credit unions are prominent in Atlanta. Are there any that you'd particularly recommend or suggest avoiding? Thanks!

 

P.S. If anyone on this thread is looking for a female apartment hunting buddy or new roommate beginning in August, feel free to message me!

 

We have pretty much all the big name banks, plus Georgia's Own Credit Union is quite active.  

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Hi all, I'm heading to GSU in the fall, and I'm wondering what banks/credit unions are prominent in Atlanta. Are there any that you'd particularly recommend or suggest avoiding? Thanks!

 

P.S. If anyone on this thread is looking for a female apartment hunting buddy or new roommate beginning in August, feel free to message me!

Pretty much all of the big banks are in Atlanta. Bank of America is a big one down there. There is BOND which is another community credit union if you want to avoid the big banks. 

I had Fifth Third when I lived there and they were hard to come by. I know they've expanded their branches in the metro area more recently though. 

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Hi, I live in Atlanta and have lived here on and off for the last 12 years.  I currently live in West Midtown (near Georgia Tech - highly recommend for Tech students but avoid Home Park) and have lived in Virginia Highlands aka VaHi (very close to Emory and very popular with the recent grad crowds), and Inman Park (also fairly close to Emory).  I went to Emory as an undergrad and am mostly familiar with where I've lived and that area.

 

If you live in Atlanta then you need a car.  Yes, you can live really close to your school and get by with shuttles and stuff but it will often be a pain if you do not have one and it will greatly limit your housing choices.  Reliable public transportation is not a reality in Atlanta.  MARTA trains are reliable but their lines are very limited and there are genuine safety concerns during off peak times.  The buses are wholly unreliable.  I don't have experience with commuter buses so I can't say anything about those.  Nevertheless, I highly recommend against living Outside the Perimeter of I-285 (aka OTP).  You DO NOT want to drive in from the suburbs if you value your time or your sanity.  Yes, it is cheaper to live out there.  No, it is not worth it.  Anyone who treks in from Smyrna to downtown Atlanta is a much more patient person than I.

 

If you are going to Emory, here are some suggested areas with a variety of price points:

area immediately surrounding Emory

North Druid Hills

Downtown Decatur

Candler Park

Inman Park

Little 5 Points

Virginia Highlands

Morningside

 

A little farther out in various directions, you've got:

Midtown

Kirkwood

Oakhurst

 

For people going to Georgia Tech, I'd recommend Midtown and West Midtown.  Georgia Tech is basically in the middle of the city so just look at it and go outward in a circle.  You definitely don't want to go too far out and say, try to live in Downtown Decatur and try to go to Tech.  It's not worth the hassle of driving back and forth.

 

For GSU, you're still really close to Inman Park, Old Fourth Ward, Kirkwood, Grant Park, VaHi, Midtown, etc.

 

Whoever said that you shouldn't live in or buy in Old Fourth Ward (O4W) is crazy.  O4W is right off Inman Park and gentrification, for better or worse, has made it a good area to live in, even if it's a bit riskier (and therefore cheaper) than other areas.

 

There are other neighborhoods I've left off, which I am sure are great, but just wanted to throw my experiences and perspective in the mix.

 

I have paid (for all decent places): $850 for a 1BR in VaHi; $1150 for a 1BR in VaHi; $1200 for a 1BR in Inman Park; and currently $1600 for a 2BR TH with a garage in West Midtown (at MWest near Tech and convenient to GSU).  At the first place I shared a W/D but otherwise I have had my own.

 

Also, my favorite neighborhoods for living and walking to stuff are: VaHi; Inman Park, and Midtown.  L5P is also great for walking around but I wouldn't want to live there.  I think downtown decatur would be awesome for that but I haven't ever lived there.

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Hi - I'm starting a masters program at GSU in the fall, and I was wondering where the best neighborhoods are to hang out? Not necessarily to live in, but where are the best areas with restaurants/bars and events and things? It sounds like Downtown is mostly offices, so what about Midtown or Decatur? Where do most grad students go to hang out?

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I did my undergrad at GSU, and you're right downtown is primarily offices. There are a few good restaurants in the general area of GSU, but it's pretty limited in general. 

My preference for hanging out was always East Atlanta Village. There are like 10 bars within two blocks of each other so if you're into drinking I'd wager that's a good spot. There are also some good restaurants over there, and Joes Coffee is a good place to hang out and people watch. 

 

Aside from that, I worked in Inman Park off of North Highland Ave and there are some good places to hang out there as well. Virginia Highlands is another good area. Little Five Points is kind of over the top (and overrated in my opinion) but there are a ton of places to eat and drink around there. 

 

I know less of Decatur, but it does have good restaurants and I would sometimes go and do work in any number of coffee shops out that way. People that I know who live in Decatur really love it, and seem to say that it has everything they want/need. So if you're looking for spots to hang out I'd bet Decatur could accommodate. 

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This seems as good a time as any to profess my undying love for Atlanta.  Those apartments look soooooo nice and you couldn't rent a box in NYC for those prices, much less a downtown apartment with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances!

 

Have you advertised yourself on Craigslist?  That's how I found my roommates.

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I'd suggest reaching out to current grad students in the program.  You could also ask your program coordinator to get you in touch with other incoming students who may be looking for housing as well.  I found my apartment and roommate by simply asking a current student if she knew of anyone looking for a roommate... and she did!  It was the easiest housing search I've ever been through.

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I live in the Metro, grew up here, and currently am a grad student at GSU. GSU is a definite commuter campus, so your peers will be coming from all over the Metro. If you have a car, look into Smyrna and Vinings, too--just outside the Perimeter, but nearly as convenient as Decatur, plus a bit cheaper (excluding the luxury complexes).  Don't rent or buy in the Old 4th Ward even though its becoming trendy and avoid anything on the south side of the city.  Stay as close to the Perimeter as you can.

 

I live in Marietta and take an Express commuter bus everyday.  It is $5 a trip, but is very nice, drops me off right at GSU, and saves me from having to fight ATL traffic and pay for parking.  Unfortunately, it stops running around 7, so a few times a week, I have to take a train and a local bus back to Marietta.  That's cheaper, but a little less nice.  I did the same as a 17 year old high school senior when I did joint enrollment at GSU.

 

Mr./Ms. 

 

I think the handwringing over transit can be overblown sometimes.  I'm a single white female and yet I've never been threatened or attacked on MARTA and never felt super unsafe.  Mind your own business and you'll be fine.  The denizens of Woodruff Park are likely to be more shocking to you than the average MARTA commuter.

Hi 

I am an International student accepted into PhD program in AL at GSU. We have received Our visa and me and my wife are going to travel on Aug, 15 to ATL. We are searching for one bedroom apartment relatively near the GSU and within price range of 500-700. We are a couple and we are looking for decent place to settle down. As we are not coming earlier than stated date we want to know where we can find an apartment to that price range. we appreciate it if anybody can give us some area names (Zip Codes). 

Edited by factfinder

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I just moved to ATL to start a doc program in Bio and I have found a really cheap place in East Point.  It's not the best neighborhood but the house is clean and spacious, I can drive to the West End Marta station in 2 minutes and I couldn't be happier.  So far, I've been exploring all parts of ATL and despite what people say about the crime, I fell very safe; walk with confidence, avoid transients and bums and be friendly. 

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