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I've heard only good things about Seattle. But...is it in any way possible to live on a $13,000 stipend?

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Guest taobenli

Is your tuition covered, so that that 13k only goes towards your living expenses? I live in Seattle and am doing an MA at the UW now, and get a stipend of about $14,000 (for the 9-month academic year). Some people say that Seattle is an expensive city, but I don't think it's that bad- though I guess it would be if you wanted to buy a house. It's also a city that's possible to get around by bus, although I've liked having a car. I live in the university neighborhood, and housing isn't bad- I'm in the basement of a house that's $725 with utilities, and I share it with my boyfriend. I think there's cheaper housing available if you can deal with a studio.

I don't live in luxury and don't buy much, but have actually saved some money every month and even make a loan payment every month...

Let me know if you have more questions.

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Guest twosday

what neighborhoods, aside from the udistrict, are convenient to campus? i guess more specifically, i've been eyeing capitol hill and wallingford. any thoughts re: rent, bus access, grad student conduciveness, etc?

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Guest taobenli

Seattle is not a very big city, so from the University District a lot of places within city limits only take 15-20 minutes by bus (a bit longer if you go out to suburbs like Shoreline, though some students live there- and a few neighborhoods require a bus transfer, for example Greenwood is a nice, quiet neighborhood that's a little harder to reach).

I have some friends who live in Capitol Hill and they love it. Once you get off the main street, Broadway (which can be a little sketchy at night, btw, but nowhere in Seattle is really that dangerous) there are great residential neighborhoods and bargains to be found. Capitol Hill is conveniently located between the U. district and dowtown.

I also really like Wallingford and if I stay at the university here next year will probably be moving there (I'm getting a little sick of the frat parties in my neighborhood). Rent is usually cheap (I have friends that live in a spacious 2-bedroom for $800 a month) and the neighborhood is really cute and funky. It's an even easier bus ride than Capitol Hill and on a nice day you can also walk to campus in 20-30 minutes (depending on where you live in Wallingford).

Other neighborhoods where grad students live are Ravenna and the University Village. Ravenna starts where the main University Way ends, and it's a quiet area with a lot of parks, and mostly families and grad students seem to live there. There is a little commercial area (mostly pubs and boutiques, and grocery stores) and would be a quiet neighborhood to study! The U. Village is a kind of outdoor mall area atrocity, full of upscale stores and chain restaurants and nice grocery stores. If you got a little ways away from that, though, it could be nice, and shopping would be very easy without a car. It's less than 5 minute bus ride up the hill to campus, or a 15 minute walk. There may be more undergrads there but the residential areas seem peaceful (U. Village kind of overlaps with Ravenna in places).

Other neighborhoods to consider are Fremont, Ballard or Greenlake. They're a bit farther out than Wallingford (especially Ballard) but still an easy busride. Property value in Greenlake is high because of the lake, but apartments don't seem unreasonably priced. Looking on craigslist should give you a good indication for rent, as a lot of people use craigslist here. Also, keep in mind that having a bike is a good option....there's the Burke-Gilman trail, which winds through most of the neighborhoods I mentioned.

Let me know if you have any other questions and welcome to Seattle!

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Guest me

taobenli,

I have been accepted to UW and they haven't offerred me the fundings yet. I hope they do so when I visit them during its Visit Days. If I get RA, they pay around 1800 a month. Is that enough for a living in Seattle? I hope I dont have to pay any tuition if I am awarded with RA.

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Guest taobenli

If you get an RAship that should cover tuition (as well as health insurance). I have been fine with $1600 a month, although I do live with my fiance and share costs. If you find a roomate it should be fine!

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I was an undergrad at UW and lived in Seattle for 20+yrs (from there)

$1800 is going to be plenty to live and go to school unless you like to waste money or you want to be in a really nice apt near campus. (well, okay, it should be enough for cheap grad students)

the campus has a big parking lot you can commute to campus for about $2.5 a day and there are even places to park around the campus for free if you know the right areas as I did, which is only about 0.25 miles from this main parking lot. So, if you want to have a better place & cheaper, commuting shouldn't be an issue if you drive or take the bus.

Seattle's housing is higher than the average definitely but you still can find cheap and good housing if you look in the right areas.

about Seattle not being a big city, that is true, the city of seattle is 80sq miles but the metro area is in the top 12 for population for the US so it isn't a small area. One of the most beautiful cities in the US and you will enjoy your stay there.

if you have more questions about the city, campus, surrounding areas (skiing, hiking), maybe you are an INTL student so I would recommend the (small but good) chinatown, feel free.

about capitol hill... if you are liberal, you will like the area, if you are not, you won't. there is a lot to do there but it is also one of the more dirty areas of seattle with homeless, a lot of drugs, etc. so if that is not what you want, definitely don't go there. But it has plenty of frequent buses that go from there to campus.

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Alice In Chains... my nickname, was a grunge rock band from Seattle in the 90s. The more popular seattle bands at that time were Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden but most grunge fans I know put Alice In Chains at the top.

Seattle has a lot of musical history from tons of rock bands in the 90s to Jimi Hendrix to Kenny G (a UW alum!) and a famous Jazz star and others I don't remember.

Though it is butt ugly on the outside, check out the EMP (experience music project) that Paul Allen had a hand in getting it put together, but the inside is awesome. It is in the Seattle Center.

Where are you from?

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Guest agrippa

How practical/necessary is a car? I drive to school in Salt Lake now from about 25 miles away. I have gotten used to the luxury of being able to get to places easily. I hear that the public transportation is good (except for the monorail that exploded or whatever). I have the option of buying a car from my parents, so naturally this is a good deal, and I might want to take advantage of it. However, the expensis-- insurence, gas, etc.-- are still going to set me back. Any advice? Also, this might be a little random, but does anyone have, or know someone who has, a pet-friendly apartment? I have a cat. Am I going to have a hard time finding a place, and if I do, will I have to pay much more? Thanks

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The monorail is only for tourists, you won't ever use it except for that reason.

Seattle has a pretty good bus system and there are lots of neighborhoods you can live in that will give you good access to the university. Some places you can access the U at any hour. The buses I had to take to get to campus were the ones that went through more of the poorer, bad neighborhoods so you might not like that.

However, I would still recommend a car if you plan on doing more than just be a student while you are there. Unless maybe you find a good friend and then you share. There is just too much to do in the surrounding areas for any person from going skiing at any one of the many passes to enjoying a bonfire at alki beach to the nightlife and it will be a lot more convenient to have a car.

It also gives you the option of commuting to campus in order to avoid higher rent. Parking on campus was $2.35 for me a couple years ago by using my husky card. You can also find places to park for free if you know where to look that are still close to campus (I know one good spot if you arrive before 10am). The distance I had to walk to the campus from some of these free areas was just a bit longer than parking in their main lot or walking to the bus that I needed to get to the campus so I found this as my best option.

If you live close to campus though you won't need a car. There are plenty of grocery stores within walking distance and the U-District has plenty of activities, places to go to, variety of food options. Then, you also have the buses to get you to many different places as well.

Downsides of having a car are traffic if you will drive to campus (you can still take the bus if you have a car) and insurance. It is high in Seattle, at least for single males under 25 it is. Parking is not an issue for most areas, it is an issue if you live close to campus. I lived about 10 miles south of the campus. On a typical day it took about 40 minutes to drive to the campus & then 15 minutes to walk from where I could park for free to my building on campus. The pay lot was only about 5minutes closer.

I don't know of any specific pet friendly apartments but there should be ample choices for cats. Typically, you will need to put a deposit down on the cat, some also charge higher rent as well.

If you are already commuting to campus from 25 miles away then I would say you definitely should just have a car since that is probably what you like.

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http://transit.metrokc.gov/

bus system for King County (Seattle is within King County)

click on trip planner if you want to see whether a bus will take you from your area to the campus.

if you are interested in getting a good view of where you will be going, visit:

http://local.live.com/

and find the UW campus and click on bird's eye or take a look at the downtown area.

to find the campus, it is on the west side of Lake Washington and just north of Lake Union, just north of the 520 bridge.

http://www.washington.edu/home/maps/northeast.html?NHS

E1 is the main commuter parking lot where you pay by the day. I know the raised the price after I left. It is probably under $3 a day if you use your student card, which you just add money to as you wish it doesn't require a plan.

But if you want to park for free, look at the road: Mary Gates Memorial Drive, which is at the boarder of the campus and this road turns into NE 41st St. This is where the Horticulture bldg is that is circled on the link above. Along this road there is free parking anytime. And there is a trail that takes you straight from there to that E1 parking lot that you have to pay for. The walking time is less than 10 minutes to E1. You get a good walk in the morning and save $. Oh, the campus is on a hill from E1 so you will have to climb some stairs or take the escalator.

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http://ed.sjtu.edu.cn/rank/2005/ARWU2005_TopAmer.htm

http://ed.sjtu.edu.cn/rank/2005/ARWU2005TOP500list.htm

http://www.webometrics.info/top3000.asp.htm

http://thecenter.ufl.edu/research2005.pdf

http://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/postgraduate/T ... ings04.pdf

for any of you going to the University of Washington, just take a look at these 4 different rankings of universities.

This should help convince you that you are making the right choice.

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Guest twosday

two questions:

1/ any suggestions for foraging for apartment listings/vacancies, aside from craigslist?

2/ are there months or a time of month during which it's easier to secure an apartment?

thanks for all the suggestions, by the way.

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http://www.washington.edu/students/#STDLIFE

main UW website for student life that includes off-campus housing

http://housing.asuw.org/

off-campus housing website.

honestly, I don't know of any great website to search for great apartments. I lived in Seattle till I was 22 but that was with my parents since I was saving $ for grad school so I have never searched any website for Seattle apts.

But seattle has plenty of options, just go through google.

If you are looking for more of a quiet, nice neighborhood, definitely wallingford. If you have a wild side and like night life & more diversity in things to do, people, go for capitol hill.

capitol hill probably has more bus route options and better access to UW though. There won't be a big different for the main part of the day but there are more later buses that go through Capitol hill because they connect up with Downtown.

For rent, that is hard to say. Capitol Hill definitely has some problem areas so those areas should definitely be cheaper than Wallingford but then there are a few nice places that can be expensive too, especially since it is right next to downtown. Overall, I would say capitol hill is cheaper.

Capitol Hill has a lot of homeless teens, that is where Seattle has a strong Gay population, strong liberal area of Seattle where protests occur, gothic stores, etc. If this is who you are, then you will very much enjoy it. Though, not all of capitol hill is like this.

If this isn't who you are, then if you want to live in Capitol Hill, I suggest you inspect where your apt is first. There are still plenty of nice areas to live in Capitol Hill and these areas are closer to the north side, closer to the UW campus and further from downtown but then the $$ increases.

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two questions:

1/ any suggestions for foraging for apartment listings/vacancies, aside from craigslist?

2/ are there months or a time of month during which it's easier to secure an apartment?

thanks for all the suggestions, by the way.

I saw your post on Berkeley... that is where I am heading while you are going to UW.

Interesting on how we are switching locations. Any advice you have on Berkeley housing would be appreciated. :)

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Guest twosday

I saw your post on Berkeley... that is where I am heading while you are going to UW.

Interesting on how we are switching locations. Any advice you have on Berkeley housing would be appreciated. :)

ahh, berkeley. i did my undergrad there but i moved to pennsylvania shortly after, so it's been awhile since i had to brave the berkeley housing market. when i left two years ago the market was actually a bit better, compared to my sophomore year when i competed with 50 other poor souls to secure an overpriced apartment.

i highly suggest the elmwood and rockridge neighborhoods -- going south along college ave. after, say, derby st. there are lots of cute cafes and restaurants in those neighborhoods, housing might be cheaper, and there are less undergrads around.

have you been to visit yet? i must say that telegraph reminds me of broadway in cap hill...

but this is a seattle forum, so i'll shush. i'm always up for gushing about berkeley, so send me an email if you have any other questions: sickeasily at yahoo dot com.

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Guest Guest

not to bag on whoever was posting earlier, but someone said that seattle/university district is pretty safe. i beg to differ on that opinion, i think the university district is not THAT safe. there are a lot of homeless people, drugs, and gang crime. granted that the FBI got involved and cleaned up the gang activity (who were apparently involved with prostitution, gun running, and drugs). when i lived right by north campus, i lived within a block of 2 stabbings and a gun fight, 3 from shootings.

so i mean like, yeah you're not going to get shot walking down the street, but i think saying that seattle is safe is callous.

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Guest taobenli

That's a good point. I live on 50th and 21st (a couple blocks away from all the frats). I regularly walk back home through campus and the frats at 11 at night, and have never felt threatened in any way. And I feel like most of places I have been in Seattle at night I have felt safe. The exceptions are the international district area, some parts of Capitol Hill (Broadway) and a certain section of University Ave. (between 47th and 50th). You encounter a lot of homeless people on all parts of the ave. (and Capitol Hill, because there is a curfew for them around midnight on the ave., and then they relocate to Capitol Hill), but most of these people are harmless, just down and out people. The gangs are more worrisome- there are some on Capitol Hill, and there was a ton of gang activity in the aforementioned 47th-50th section of the University Ave. Most of the gang was busted but there area still isn't exactly nice- many of the shops and restaurants on those blocks closed down.

If I'm still in Seattle next year, I'm thinking of moving to Wallingford, since it's more peaceful and will be a nice change of pace.

Seattle is quite safe, don't let warnings keep you from coming. But yes, crime happens here just like in most cities.

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I live on 50th and 21st (a couple blocks away from all the frats).

we're neighbors! i'm on 52nd and 21st. :D

anyway i was the guest that posted, it wouldn't let me log in at the time. yeah i don't think it should deter anyone from coming here either. but i think in the end, i wouldn't really strongly reccomend living in the university district. i've been here for 4 years, and i just think it is appalling for all sorts of reasons. granted, it is convenient, but there are better places to be living in seattle.

neighborhoods i'd reccomend for those without a car (i.e. like me): greenlake, wallingford, ravenna, fremont, ballard, university village, capitol hill

without a car: greenwood (you can manage without a car too, just some parts of greenwood it can be annoying), queen anne, northgate (maybe)

UW has some grad housing too, i think its radford court for grad students and there's something else i've seen behind the university village but don't recall its name. i think that nordheim court is generally occupied by undergrads, but i think they have studios or one bedrooms there as well. actually there are more that i can't think of, but i'm sure the housing site has all the info.

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Guest taobenli

Oh, hi neighbor! Do the parties in that one big brown house bother you, too? :)

I agree that the U. district isn't the nicest place to live, I've stuck with it for two years for convenience, and since my fiance also works on the UW campus, he likes being able to walk to work. But we'll move to another nearby neighborhood if we're still around next year (I'm on a waitlist). Whenever I get out of the U. district on the weekends I realize how nice Seattle really is and how much it has to offer (other than frat parties and Teriyaki joints).

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I'm considering heading to UW. I'm looking into the geography program.

So it's a 9 hour drive in one direction. I have one day to spend in Seattle, the morning of which looks largely dedicated to the campus. If there were some "must-see" aspects to Seattle living (touristy attractions don't count), what would you recommend me checking out?

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It seems as though rents have gone up over the last 1-2 years. Check Craigslist for neighborhood-specific info, but typically in Capitol Hill, Wallingford, U-District, Ravenna (neighborhoods bordering UW), studios are $600-800, 1 bedrooms almost always $750-1100. If you need an especially cheap place, those do pop up, especially in the U-District. And of course house sharing is always cheaper. I've found all my places off of Craigslist and don't know of better ways, other than driving around and looking for signs. If you don't have a car, I'd recommend neighborhoods that border the University District. As for the U-District itself, some people like living there and there are certainly better/worse parts to it. I wouldn't recommend living there if you have a car (break ins). Also, the area just north of campus is Greek Row. Noisy parties, etc. Avoid if this kind of thing bothers you.

Capitol Hill is very conveinent- #43 and 49 buses go from there straight to the school. It's a big neighborhood. Parts closer to Broadway and I-5 are louder/limited parking/more nightlife/pros and cons to this. Further east is (12th-23rd) is generally quieter. Wallingford, to the west of UW, is also quiet and safe (#44 goes from there to UW). Neighborhoods to the North, like Northgate, tend to be cheaper. Further west, but still within 1 bus ride of campus, are Ballard, Fremont, and Greenlake. These are all nice neighborhoods, with plenty of nice restaurants, grocery stores, etc. As with any city, there is crime here so take caution when walking around at night. Certain areas of the Central District (south of Capitol Hill) are dicey and the same goes for other further south neighborhoods (Beacon Hill, etc).

Seattle is great in terms of outdoor activities- there are some beautiful places within a 1-2 hour drive of here (Deception Pass, Olympic Nat'l Forest, North Bend, to name just a few). Great area for kayaking, snowshoeing, hiking, etc. And many gorgeous parks close to UW. Yes, it does rain a lot but I think what gets to people more than the rain is just the general lack of sun. Do buy a good rain coat and keep in mind that a few days out of the year it may snow and be quite cold. And even a couple inches of snow is enough to shut down transit and make commutes horrible!

I'm not a big nightlife person, but there are a ton of clubs and shows in Capitol Hill, Belltown, Pioneer Square (check thestranger.com for listings). There are fantastic restaurants (see http://www.urbanspoon.com/c/1/Seattle-restaurants.html for details) and a surprisingly active literary scene. (Elliott Bay, in Pioneer Square, is a fantastic bookstore with many readings/book groups.) Phenomenal Ethiopean and Vietnamese food.

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Not sure what your specific interests are, so I'll give generalized suggestions. One option would be to head down to Pioneer Square, visit Elliott Bay Book Company, then head up through the International District to the 12th and Jackson area to get Vietnamese food. From there, you could take 12th into Capitol Hill and check out Broadway or Volunteer Park up on 15th (Beautiful park, greenhouse and Asian art museum there. Also a water tower, which if you're willing to walk up 8 flights of stairs, gives you a great view of the city). It could also be nice to head west from campus, check out Gasworks Park along Lake Union, then continue on into Fremont (a lot of restaurants, book stores etc there...nice place to walk around). Downtown Ballard is only about 3 blocks long but again, a nice place to walk around. Seattle has great/unique movie theaters so if it's raining and you're tired, I highly recommend the Harvard Exit or Egyptian theaters in Capitol Hill. Really nice coffee shops in Capitol Hill, as you'd expect (recommend: Vivace on north end of Broadway, B&O Espresso, etc).

You're wise to avoid the touristy stuff. Accordingly, I'd recommend avoiding the Space Needle/EMP complex and downtown in general. Pike Place Market is actually pretty fun but I personally would not describe it as "must see".

I'm considering heading to UW. I'm looking into the geography program.

So it's a 9 hour drive in one direction. I have one day to spend in Seattle, the morning of which looks largely dedicated to the campus. If there were some "must-see" aspects to Seattle living (touristy attractions don't count), what would you recommend me checking out?

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I've been accepted to UW and will be visiting next week. I'm very interested in the program and I have heard great things about the city. My main concern though is that I won't be able to have a car while I am there. How good is the public transportation there? Does it run 24 hours?

I'll also have just one afternoon/evening to see the city. Where should I go if I have only from about 230pm onwards in one evening to explore?

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