Jump to content
Guest Hermy

Worcester, MA

Recommended Posts

Guest Hermy

I would be going to UMass med school at worcester this fall. I am interested in knowing more about the place, the living expenses, housing, safety etc. I am an interntional student. So I have little idea about all these. I would be very glad if someone could tell me about Worcester.

Also I am given a fellowship of $25k+ apart from a fee waiver and health insurance. Will this be sufficient? People tell me it is, but I want to know this from a person who has lived in Worcester.

Thanks in advance! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest guest

Yuo can get a nice two bedroom apartment in Worcester for about 750$. That being said, it is not a pretty city. There are lots of schools, but the city itself hasn't done anything to pull itself up from high crime and low wage jobs, so there aren't really artsy cinemas or music venues around. Best bet would be to go into Boston (an hour away) for your socializing unless you like heavy metal music and Budlight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Guest

To be fair, though, Worcester isn't quite as unsafe as it looks. It looks very ugly, and it never urts to be careful. Muggings are common, but most of them actually happen along Shrewsbury St., which is fairly nice and has lots of nice restaurants (so people on Shrewsbury St. often carry around a lot of cash).

If you split an apartment with other students, you will definitely have money to spare in Worcester. Lots of people survive in Worcester without a car, but a car would make your life much, much easier, as the public transportation sucks. The sad thing is that some cool places (such as this cool bookstore and a cinema that played foreign and independent movies) closed in the last few years. There are two cinemas playing regular movies in or right next to Worcester, but you'll need a car to get there. Not far from the med school (farther east on Route 9 in Shrewbury), there is a Borders bookstore. Worcester has a museum of history, a small art museum, as well as a museum of natural history (the EcoTarium)--oh, and the Higgins Armory for military history and various fighting courses. There's lots of bars--both sleazy and nicer ones. If you like to hike, Worcester has the Broadmeadow Brook Audubon Reservation (and there are other Audobon reservations and state parks nearby). There is also the Tower Hill Botanical Garden in Boylston (but you'd need a car to get there.) Just beware of ticks, which are fairly common in the "wilderness" around Worcester (and extremely common south of the city).

There is a train (the "commuter rail" or the "purple line") run by the Boston subway system (the MBTA) that will take you to Boston for $11 (round-trip), but the schedule isn't too convenient. If you plan use the commuter rail to travel to Boston, look at the train schedule very carefully. Not all trains go all the way between Worcester and Boston; some only go between Worcester and Framingham and Boston and Framingham.

Of course, as a med student, you'll probably find little time for entertainment, but good luck!

If you are able to drive while in Worcester, look up on the map where Kelley Square* is, and at least at first, don't go there during rush hour. It's an intersection of several major and minor streets, and it doesn't have any traffic lights--only stop signs--so usually the person in the more intimidating car gets to go first.

Over all, Worcester looks extremely ugly, but it's not as dangerous as it looks (though be careful walking alone at night, as you would be in any city). Actually, the area around the med school is fairly nice from what I can tell--although I've never lived there. I went to Clark University, which is in a neighborhood that's famous for being ugly and dangerous, but even that area has its charms.

* In Massachusetts, "squares" seldom have four courners. Some "squares" are even rotaries (that is, traffic circles).

P.S. I've never been there, but I heard that it is wise to avoid the Great Brook Valley "housing projects" (city housing for poor people) as far as safety concerns go. I've been to a couple of other "projects," though, and survived without getting mugged or raped or anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Hermy

Thanks a lot for all the information. Glad to know that the apartments are cheap. Any suggestions as to where I can look for apartments? I want to live at walking distance from the med school building.

Btw I am also worried about the weather at worcester. I come from a place where temperature never goes below 10 degree C. so worcester is going to be very cold as per my standards. of course one cant do anything abt that! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest guest

I would make sure you have good boots for snow, lots of sweaters and blankets, and a big warm coat, hat, scarf, etc, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I spent my early childhood in Worcester, and my best friend went to college there. First of all, you can't compare Worcester to Boston or New York. Worcester is an ugly town although not as dangerous as Boston or NYC. Its a small city without much art or public transportation. In fact, I think you need a car in Worcester. The perks are that you can score a sweet apartment (w/o roommates) for cheap, having a car will prevent you from waiting in the cold for buses or trains to come, and you'll have a ready-made excuse to go drinking instead of to musuems.

I think UMASS med has a great reputation, so congrats. And, for that kind of money (aka someone else paying you to go to school instead of work), you've got a sweet deal despite the city. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be joining Worcester Polytechnic Institute, MA for MS in CS this fall.

So any information regarding the school, area, social life, food, housing etc is welcome.

I'd specially love to know about the housing (off campus primarily) in the area.

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to college in Worcester- not WPI, so can't say much about the school or housing in that area. Generally, since there is a lack of reliable public transport in Worcester I found that most (at least at my school) who lived off campus lived relatively close to the school. It doesn't seem like that would be a problem at all in the WPI neighborhood. It's a pretty campus and the area directly around WPI seems to have a college-towny sort of feel. There is a pretty good grungy but fun Mexican restaurant Tortilla Sam's (BYOB!) right near WPI that we used to go to alot. I think there was a record store near there too. The Worcester Art Museum (WAM), which is actually a decent museum, is in walking distance of campus. Nightlife in Worcester is very college-y... there are a bunch of fun dive bars but be prepared to encounter lots and lots of drunk undergrads from all the area schools - Worcester State, Assumption, Clark, Holy Cross and WPI. I liked Mahoney's best, it's a bit more low-key than the others. I don't really know what the grad student set would go since I went to an undergrad-only school, but I imagine they'd be going to most of the same places. There's also a bunch of cute coffeehouses, particularly one on Shrewsbury St. - Cafe Dolce. Restaurants- there are some great ones- 111 chop house is amazing. Lots of independently owned restaurants on Shrewsbury St- including some great Italian food. Diners and dining cars are a staple of Worcester... definitely check those out. Best of all Worcester's only an hour from Boston and 45 mins from Providence so when things start feeling too Worcester-y you can easily escape.

In general Worcester is similar to any 100-something year old mid-sized city that was dominated by industry and now is a little run-down and sad, but somehow charming at the same time. It hasn't really entirely found a new identity but it's continually making a comeback in the form of good restaurants, minor league hockey and baseball, etc. It's really not a bad place to spend 2 (or 4) years. It's also waaaaay more affordable than Boston, so that is a bonus. It could take some getting used to if you're from a major metropolitan area but there are definitely things to like about Worcester.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey silencino, thanks for the info. I now have the somewhat rough idea of the city. And I'm sure I'll find the info far more relevant when I get there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to bump an antique, dilapidated thread here, but I'm considering Clark in the fall. Can anyone give me an impression of what the area around the school is like?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL! That's too funny! I was just reading this thread. I also second kotov's request. I'd like some information on neighborhoods, especially ones located near Clark and what areas to avoid. My biggest priority/concern is safety.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to undergrad at Clark so I can say a little bit. Basically, I didn't really like Worcester that much, but you get what you pay for; it's much cheaper (bars, groceries, rent, etc.) than other big cities like Boston (obviously). I lived comfortably in a 2 bedroom apt. about 0.3 mile away from campus (6 minute walk) paying about ~$450 a month for rent + utilities, and there are probably even better deals than this because this apartment was kind of a last minute thing. There are buses for public transportation but I never used it once and honestly don't know anyone who did. There is no subway or anything. Having a car or knowing someone who does will be a HUGE help, but not completely necessary because Clark does have an escort service that can drive/pick you up within ~0.5 mile of the campus, which does include a grocery store called Price Chopper. And there are plenty of bars within walking distance of Clark on Main St. and Park Ave.

For me, the biggest negative about Clark was the area. Not all of Worcester is bad, but Clark is definitely in a crummy area. It's a shame because even just 2.5 miles away at WPI is a much nicer/"cleaner" area. There are also nicer bars on both Main St. (near WPI) and Water St., but those are ~2 miles away so it's not walkable (this is where having a car helps). At night, I was never really scared walking around (I'm a guy), but you will learn to avoid certain streets (Beaver St., Crystal St.) and get emails from campus police every now and then about incidents. The campus itself is also pretty small - 95% of it is basically on just a couple blocks (see this map) and with only ~3200 total students, you will get used to seeing the same people over and over.

Feel free to ask any more questions if you have any and I'll try to answer them.

Edited by sokipdx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to undergrad at Clark so I can say a little bit. Basically, I didn't really like Worcester that much, but you get what you pay for; it's much cheaper (bars, groceries, rent, etc.) than other big cities like Boston (obviously). I lived comfortably in a 2 bedroom apt. about 0.3 mile away from campus (6 minute walk) paying about ~$450 a month for rent + utilities, and there are probably even better deals than this because this apartment was kind of a last minute thing. There are buses for public transportation but I never used it once and honestly don't know anyone who did. There is no subway or anything. Having a car or knowing someone who does will be a HUGE help, but not completely necessary because Clark does have an escort service that can drive/pick you up within ~0.5 mile of the campus, which does include a grocery store called Price Chopper. And there are plenty of bars within walking distance of Clark on Main St. and Park Ave.

For me, the biggest negative about Clark was the area. Not all of Worcester is bad, but Clark is definitely in a crummy area. It's a shame because even just 2.5 miles away at WPI is a much nicer/"cleaner" area. There are also nicer bars on both Main St. (near WPI) and Water St., but those are ~2 miles away so it's not walkable (this is where having a car helps). At night, I was never really scared walking around (I'm a guy), but you will learn to avoid certain streets (Beaver St., Crystal St.) and get emails from campus police every now and then about incidents. The campus itself is also pretty small - 95% of it is basically on just a couple blocks (see this map) and with only ~3200 total students, you will get used to seeing the same people over and over.

Feel free to ask any more questions if you have any and I'll try to answer them.

Thanks for your information sokipdx, it really helps. seems clark is a very small college and i'm wondering if this "small" causes any disadvantages (vs. big public university like SUNY-UB or U of MN, thanks. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sokipdx, I grew up in the Worcester area and my parents and most of my family still live near there. Depending what you like it a city, it is not nearly as bad as many of the people on this forum would have you believe. Like any city, there are bad parts and the area around Clark (Main South) is indeed one of the worst. That said, I believe the Clark campus itself is probably pretty safe. I wouldn't venture too far from there on foot at night though. Other parts of the city are actually quite nice. Many have seen a lot of redevelopment in recent years, and there is a massive redevelopment project downtown called City Square that is now underway.

I would say that you probably will want a car. Worcester is a fairly sprawling city and public transportation is practically non-existent. On the plus side, having a car is pretty easy - there is lots of parking pretty much everywhere. Having a car would also allow you to access many of the nicer areas outside of the city proper.

If you have specific questions, feel free to PM me. I know the area very well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to Clark for undergrad and am a huge Worcester advocate! It is a very, very safe city. I wouldn't even call it ugly, there are many fun outdoor things to do! There is also an arts scene there as well, the Worcester Art museum and the Worcester Center for Crafts are just starting points. Then, there are tons of music shows from the Palladium to other smaller venues to peoples basements. PM if you want more info! and good luck, you lucky ducks moving to Worcester!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How is Worcester MA in 2014?

Any suggestions on where to live around UMass Medical School? I don't mind commuting ~15 mins/trip. 

My budget for rent is $1000.

Edited by ReResearch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A $1000 rent budget will go very far in Worcester. I went to undergrad there, and the cost of living is remarkably cheap.

 

If you want to live in a more walkable part of town, about 15 minutes west of UMass is the WPI neighborhood. It has a lot of big beautiful historic homes that have been separated into apartments, a grocery store, and a decent night life with lots of bars and restaurants. As long as you have a car, you should be able to get to campus easily.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there anyone going to WPI this Fall 2014 (master program)? any housing / apartment recommendations near WPI campus? Either in campus or of campus option will be okay :) 

 

thank you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How is Worcester ,MA ? Any details about housing,security,nightlife,dining & cost of living from a students perspective appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm thinking of attending UMass Medical School this fall, so I'd also like more up-to-date information about Worcester. Is the cost of living still pretty cheap, and if so, is that only the case for housing that's a little farther from UMass Medical School? Is a car necessary, or would I be able to get around by bike? I'd really prefer not having a car, but I'm worried about when it snows or when I have to get groceries since I only know about a Trader Joe's that's about a mile away from the campus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Public transportation barely exists. Just a few buses. I imagine it's not impossible, but most people I know who went to school there had cars. If you're just going from your apartment to school, I'm sure there will be some bus available, but make sure to live near a bus stop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.