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uberskooper

Detroit, MI

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I am applying to Wayne State. It's a great program. The only thing I'm concerned about is the city. Whenever I tell someone that I want to study in Detroit, people usually respond by telling my about some acquaintance of theirs that went there for some reason and thought it was unsafe. If it had been just one instance then I would have dismissed it, but has happened multiple times.

So for anyone in Detroit: is it as terrible as everyone would have me believe?

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i worked at wayne state for two years, but lived in the 'burbs (with my family, for purely economic reasons). a lot of students live in the suburbs and commute, but i honestly think living in detroit near campus isnt a bad idea. for starters, commuting during rush hour is a nightmare. there is plenty of housing (on and off campus) for grad students. the area is relatively safe -- fine during the day, i wouldnt recommend walking alone at night, but plenty of people do. its not the most exciting place in the world, but there are some good restaurants and the museums are nearby. go a little further off campus (you'll definitely want to bring a car -- public transit is practically nonexistent) and there's more stuff to do. i recently moved but am really familiar with wayne and detroit in general so feel free to hit me up with any questions.

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sorry, after all that i realized i never really answered your question. detroit is a really big city, physically. some areas definitely are as bad as you've heard. i never felt unsafe around wayne state, at least during the day. occasionally stuff happens on campus -- a robbery or whatever. if you consider the overall crime rate in the city, the campus is extremely safe, comparable to other colleges in michigan. the statistics are out there. the campus police have a very good reputation. if you do decide to live in detroit stick to the areas around campus where other students live.

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I am applying to Wayne State. It's a great program. The only thing I'm concerned about is the city. Whenever I tell someone that I want to study in Detroit, people usually respond by telling my about some acquaintance of theirs that went there for some reason and thought it was unsafe. If it had been just one instance then I would have dismissed it, but has happened multiple times.

So for anyone in Detroit: is it as terrible as everyone would have me believe?

There are probably areas of Detroit where you will be safe, but it's reputation as a shithole is warranted. I have never heard a positive review of a Detroit visit, either. I've never personally been there (because I value my life), but my brother went this year. He was optimistic, that at least downtown Detroit had to be kind of cool. He was unimpressed.

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Hello, I went to undergrad in detroit right by wayne state (an art school) and lived by wayne state campus and I loved it. There are certainly parts of detroit that one should be cautious of but midtown especially woodbridge is a great place to live. I knew my neighbors and cost of living was incredibly cheap. Also wayne state wants the area to be safe so if you live right around campus (not on campus) and something happens their security will respond much faster than the police. They work hard to keep the area around campus safe. I love detroit and I've always had a bad reaction when I tell people I live here. Yes there is a high crime rate but having spent 6 years here (as a white girl who walks by herself at night) I still feel safe and I am confident that if you are aware of your surroundings there is nothing to fear. Please at least visit and give detroit a chance. There is a wonderful young and supportive community here (especially in the arts) if you have any specific questions I will answer them to the best of my ability. I still live here (although now in Hamtramck which is a small city within the city of detroit) and spend almost all my time in mid town and downtown.

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Hello, I went to undergrad in detroit right by wayne state (an art school) and lived by wayne state campus and I loved it. There are certainly parts of detroit that one should be cautious of but midtown especially woodbridge is a great place to live. I knew my neighbors and cost of living was incredibly cheap. Also wayne state wants the area to be safe so if you live right around campus (not on campus) and something happens their security will respond much faster than the police. They work hard to keep the area around campus safe. I love detroit and I've always had a bad reaction when I tell people I live here. Yes there is a high crime rate but having spent 6 years here (as a white girl who walks by herself at night) I still feel safe and I am confident that if you are aware of your surroundings there is nothing to fear. Please at least visit and give detroit a chance. There is a wonderful young and supportive community here (especially in the arts) if you have any specific questions I will answer them to the best of my ability. I still live here (although now in Hamtramck which is a small city within the city of detroit) and spend almost all my time in mid town and downtown.

I'm with the above. I actually don't live in Detroit. I live in Cincinnati. My partner is a professor at UDM and finishing her MFA at Cranbrook, so we lease a place up there year round and we commute every weekend (headed up there tomorrow actually after I give a presentation at a conference here in Cincinnati). I think Detroit is a cool place. Hamtramck is a fascinating little enclave. Mexicantown (I'm Hispanic) is a wonderful little part of town regardless of whether one is or isn't Hispanic... mmmm.. yea, and again, what bettycraft said.

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Thought I'd chime in. (a) I'm also a PhD applicant at Wayne State. (B) I grew up in the suburbs and go to church near campus.

Detroit gets a bad rap. The downtown area is being revitalized by young people. I love the city. You have to be smart sometimes, but it's not a bad deal.

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The reputation of detroit being "as bad as it sounds" is founded largely on institutional racism and classism. I agree with StephanieJ. Detroit gets a bad rap. It's just as bad as any other major city, but it has felt the effects of an industrialized economy backsliding harder than most others. There are a lot of poor and street involved people in the city, and people equate these things with "bad." I've never felt particularly unsafe in Detroit, but every person has their own level of street awareness.

Campuses and the areas surrounding them tend to be little bubbles of student life and not always reflective of the city at large, as well.

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Hi everyone!

I am considering applying to a Wayne State Ph.D program because the program and faculty is a great fit for me. However, like many who posted above, I am very wary of the city's reputation. I will be bringing along my husband as well as our children (4 and 5 years old). Especially with children, safety is our #1 concern. Can anyone give advice on SPECIFIC neighborhoods, suburbs, etc. that are genuinely safe and reputable? I am not concerned about whether there are cool things to do, although this would obviously be a plus. I am really just trying to decide whether I can, in good conscience, move my family to Detroit.

I appreciate any feedback!

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I am applying to Wayne State. It's a great program. The only thing I'm concerned about is the city. Whenever I tell someone that I want to study in Detroit, people usually respond by telling my about some acquaintance of theirs that went there for some reason and thought it was unsafe. If it had been just one instance then I would have dismissed it, but has happened multiple times.

So for anyone in Detroit: is it as terrible as everyone would have me believe?

I'm new to this site, so of course I started out by going right to the Detroit, MI posts to see if any of my people from Wayne State University are on Grad Cafe.  Yours is the first post I saw.  DO NOT BELIEVE THE NEGATIVE HYPE! Detroit may have had more than its share of economic and political troubles in the past, but I LOVE going to school in the city and I have not had any reason whatsoever to feel unsafe.  Of course, in ANY city, you should be careful, there will be a lot happening at once.  But Wayne State is the artistic, cultural, and medical hub of Michigan, with enough libraries to keep you reading for years straight, and a great community of students and professors.  Wayne State is in an expanding phase right now, building all its programs, including receiving a 165.9 million dollar contract for perinatal research.  Don't let the haters sway your decision.  Let us know if you get accepted, and I hope to see you on campus.  Good Luck!:)

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I'm an undergrad at WSU, finishing my BS this semester. I have worked in Detroit for over a decade and I have attended WSU since 2011. If you have any questions that haven't already been answered, feel free to pm me.

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With young school age children, living near campus isn't really a feasible option. Off the top of my head, I'd recommend Grosse Point, Royal Oak, Livonia (listed in order of expected commute time, from lowest to highest).

 

Hi everyone!

I am considering applying to a Wayne State Ph.D program because the program and faculty is a great fit for me. However, like many who posted above, I am very wary of the city's reputation. I will be bringing along my husband as well as our children (4 and 5 years old). Especially with children, safety is our #1 concern. Can anyone give advice on SPECIFIC neighborhoods, suburbs, etc. that are genuinely safe and reputable? I am not concerned about whether there are cool things to do, although this would obviously be a plus. I am really just trying to decide whether I can, in good conscience, move my family to Detroit.

I appreciate any feedback!

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There are plenty of rental options near campus. In particular, you might want to consider University Towers, The Belcrest, or Studio One if you're new to the area. There are some newer apartment buildings that have opened this year or will have opened by next school year, but they're pretty pricey. Be aware that the number of people living in Midtown (the area of Detroit where WSU is located) has increased substantially in the past 5 years so rent quotes might be higher than projections made from data from previous years. Also, you're going to want to start scouring Craigslist, etc for room openings pretty soon if you're not looking to get your own place.

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Gosh, I love this city so very much. Great social/music/religious/academic/art scene. For apartment finding, check out the Twitter account d:Hive Live -- they update their feed with new apartments regularly. 10 years ago, Midtown was the safe neighborhood. 5 years ago, you could live in Corktown/ Downtown. Now folks live in Eastern Market, New Center, Woodbridge, North Corktown, Brightmoor (with a car, of course), Riverfront, and in the Villages. We walk downtown on Woodward and side-streets at night to go out/ get late-night food/ etc. Great cafe culture here. 

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Gosh, I love this city so very much. Great social/music/religious/academic/art scene. For apartment finding, check out the Twitter account d:Hive Live -- they update their feed with new apartments regularly. 10 years ago, Midtown was the safe neighborhood. 5 years ago, you could live in Corktown/ Downtown. Now folks live in Eastern Market, New Center, Woodbridge, North Corktown, Brightmoor (with a car, of course), Riverfront, and in the Villages. We walk downtown on Woodward and side-streets at night to go out/ get late-night food/ etc. Great cafe culture here. 

 

I agree with MeowMeowMeow. You can*W check out http://liveinwoodbridge.com/ for housing options in woodbridge (which is maybe a quarter mile away from campus). 

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Anyone moved there more recently? I'm starting at Wayne State in the Fall, and it seems like the city has changed (read: improved) quite a bit even in the past 2 years. Would love to hear more recent opinions on this city!!

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So happy to find this thread! I've been accepted to a PhD program at Wayne State (love the faculty and research) but am nervous about Detroit. Any recent updates from current residents/other newcomers who'd be interested in chatting?

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