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I don't go to school in Windsor, but since I visit family there I can comment on the city in general. It's right across the river from Detroit, which means the under 21 Detroit kids come to Windsor to take advantage of 19 year drinking age. They mostly party in the downtown strip. The rest of the city is average in many respects, but seems to be dealing with a lot of poverty -- especially since many have lost jobs due to the tanking auto industry. You must eat at Pizza Plus! It's a 24 hour pizza and wings joint. They also have foosball and neo-geo.

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I attended Windsor for a year of undergrad and then about 2 years for my MA. It's true, as the other poster mentioned, that there are some financial issues in the city with the auto industry troubles, but things are picking up again with new types of manufacturing companies coming into the city.

One thing to consider is where you plan to live. Windsor's public transit is lousy if you do not own a car. If you own a car, there are very limited parking spaces available, which sell out very quickly. Another item you might keep in mind is that next to the university is the Ambassador Bridge. Underneath the bridge are empty houses (the bridge owner wants to build another span, but the province has not approved it, and it building their own crossing -- long convoluted issue). You want to be careful if you are choosing a place to rent over the web, rather than going to look in person. You do not want to live too close to this area as it is not so great after dark.

If you have more specific questions I can be more helpful.

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I am going to graduate school at Windsor U come September and have never been to Windsor before! Can anyone suggest where students mostly live?

I think I'd like to live downtown but I have no idea where that is. Did anyone do undergrad there or live there??

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It really depends on what you are looking for. I did my undergrad at Windsor and most of the people I knew including myself lived fairly close to the campus in shared houses on the west side of the city near the Ambassador Bridge to Detroit. Downtown Windsor (Ouelette St.) really isn't that nice even if you are into the bar scene and panhandlers can be very aggressive and are a constant problem for the city. It is about a 15 minute commute from the main strip to campus via bus. If you look around campus there are some decent apartment buildings on University Ave. and a lot of students rent houses on Partington, Randolph, Bridge, Josephine and the streets that intersect University and Wyandotte. I hope this helps! Windsor definitely has some great qualities to it. It is a tight knit community around the campus and I loved it while I was there. 

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Bump!

I'm thinking about going to Windsor for grad school and am really being held back by my negative perceptions of Detroit (and Windsor too by association).

Can anyone clarify on how it is to live there as a grad student - in terms of activities, places to go out, the closeness of the community etc? I'm doing my undergrad at Queen's and the student area is phenomenal, everyone is within a 15 minute walk and I love it. I'm guess it wouldn't be the same at Windsor.

I love fishing too so if anyone's knowledgeable in that respect that would be pretty cool :)

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On November 14, 2015 at 12:50:07 PM, Jimtastic said:

Bump!

I'm thinking about going to Windsor for grad school and am really being held back by my negative perceptions of Detroit (and Windsor too by association).

Can anyone clarify on how it is to live there as a grad student - in terms of activities, places to go out, the closeness of the community etc? I'm doing my undergrad at Queen's and the student area is phenomenal, everyone is within a 15 minute walk and I love it. I'm guess it wouldn't be the same at Windsor.

I love fishing too so if anyone's knowledgeable in that respect that would be pretty cool :)

Send me a PM. Just finished my master's there. We have lots to talk about!

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Anyone considering going to the University of Windsor should seriously reconsider their decision. This is, of course, my biased opinion, but I think it is important to present a fuller picture to contextualize the situation. In my experience, it is a highly disreputable institution (for many reasons details of which I shall refrain from going into).

It is a thoroughly bigoted environment, racist, homophobic, cliquey, and I would go so far as to say misogynist as well. Such rampant bigotry is visible amongst the students, the staff, the faculty, and the general citizenry. The University itself operates a "ponzi" scheme by recruiting international students to feed the much needed infrastructure developments on campus. None of its programs are well reputed, those that are are a far cry from sophisticated or analytical. An institution that has developed a means to survive through international student money without any adequate (let alone equal) investments in international student welfare (for instance, there are limited vegetarian options on campus, where such options exist "two spring rolls" form an entire meal, no facilities for food on campus past 11pm, little to no guidance from international affairs/recruitment staff, no scholarships/funding, no accommodation of gay/lesbian international students, and so on).  

The city itself reeks of desperation like a cinematic actress long past her prime hanging on to shards of long lost glory. Windsor's downtown is one of the worst I've seen in Canada, in fact, at first glance, it does not look like it is a part of Canada at all. As a country that prides itself on its multiculturalism (which in itself is debatable in our day and age but a point for another day) and diversity, Windsor refuses to accept that spirit of inclusion. There are far better options in Ontario, especially if you are spending good money on a graduate degree.

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On January 2, 2016 at 2:41 AM, rbakshi said:

Anyone considering going to the University of Windsor should seriously reconsider their decision. This is, of course, my biased opinion, but I think it is important to present a fuller picture to contextualize the situation. In my experience, it is a highly disreputable institution (for many reasons details of which I shall refrain from going into).

It is a thoroughly bigoted environment, racist, homophobic, cliquey, and I would go so far as to say misogynist as well. Such rampant bigotry is visible amongst the students, the staff, the faculty, and the general citizenry. The University itself operates a "ponzi" scheme by recruiting international students to feed the much needed infrastructure developments on campus. None of its programs are well reputed, those that are are a far cry from sophisticated or analytical. An institution that has developed a means to survive through international student money without any adequate (let alone equal) investments in international student welfare (for instance, there are limited vegetarian options on campus, where such options exist "two spring rolls" form an entire meal, no facilities for food on campus past 11pm, little to no guidance from international affairs/recruitment staff, no scholarships/funding, no accommodation of gay/lesbian international students, and so on).  

The city itself reeks of desperation like a cinematic actress long past her prime hanging on to shards of long lost glory. Windsor's downtown is one of the worst I've seen in Canada, in fact, at first glance, it does not look like it is a part of Canada at all. As a country that prides itself on its multiculturalism (which in itself is debatable in our day and age but a point for another day) and diversity, Windsor refuses to accept that spirit of inclusion. There are far better options in Ontario, especially if you are spending good money on a graduate degree.

Having finished a master's degree at the University of Windsor this past August, I agree with every single thing you're saying about both the school and the city. 

I hope that people who are considering going to UWindsor for grad school see your post and understand how awful it actually is. 

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I'm an American student who would do almost anything to go to school in Canada.  "Almost anything" does not include going to Windsor after taking a tour of the city and of Detroit as well.  Not trying to be mean, but I couldn't do two years in Windsor, let alone five plus for a PhD.  I thought that even if Windsor itself wasn't all that great, there's always a large US city right across the bridge.  In order to maintain a respectful tone, I will not share publicly what I thought about my one night in Detroit, but let's just say that I saw enough and NOPE.  Absolutely not.

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On 2016-01-02 at 2:41 AM, rbakshi said:

Anyone considering going to the University of Windsor should seriously reconsider their decision. This is, of course, my biased opinion, but I think it is important to present a fuller picture to contextualize the situation. In my experience, it is a highly disreputable institution (for many reasons details of which I shall refrain from going into).

It is a thoroughly bigoted environment, racist, homophobic, cliquey, and I would go so far as to say misogynist as well. Such rampant bigotry is visible amongst the students, the staff, the faculty, and the general citizenry. The University itself operates a "ponzi" scheme by recruiting international students to feed the much needed infrastructure developments on campus. None of its programs are well reputed, those that are are a far cry from sophisticated or analytical. An institution that has developed a means to survive through international student money without any adequate (let alone equal) investments in international student welfare (for instance, there are limited vegetarian options on campus, where such options exist "two spring rolls" form an entire meal, no facilities for food on campus past 11pm, little to no guidance from international affairs/recruitment staff, no scholarships/funding, no accommodation of gay/lesbian international students, and so on).  

The city itself reeks of desperation like a cinematic actress long past her prime hanging on to shards of long lost glory. Windsor's downtown is one of the worst I've seen in Canada, in fact, at first glance, it does not look like it is a part of Canada at all. As a country that prides itself on its multiculturalism (which in itself is debatable in our day and age but a point for another day) and diversity, Windsor refuses to accept that spirit of inclusion. There are far better options in Ontario, especially if you are spending good money on a graduate degree.

Hey, thanks for your response! This is definitely an interesting perspective. Funny thing is, when you start listing the issues you have with Windsor, I can't help but think that Queen's (where I'm completing my undergrad right now) sort of fits those categories.... so yeah... maybe it's not as severe as Windsor? If you've been to Kingston/know other people who have, what would a comparison be like?

One of the things I wondered was how a very successful professor in Aquatic Ecology came to reside at UWindsor. I just assumed that it was the location which was beneficial for him.

Ugh, I guess Windsor is my super back-up in case nothing works but after reading that...

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On January 13, 2016 at 1:58 AM, Jimtastic said:

Hey, thanks for your response! This is definitely an interesting perspective. Funny thing is, when you start listing the issues you have with Windsor, I can't help but think that Queen's (where I'm completing my undergrad right now) sort of fits those categories.... so yeah... maybe it's not as severe as Windsor? If you've been to Kingston/know other people who have, what would a comparison be like?

One of the things I wondered was how a very successful professor in Aquatic Ecology came to reside at UWindsor. I just assumed that it was the location which was beneficial for him.

Ugh, I guess Windsor is my super back-up in case nothing works but after reading that...

Be it Heath or MacIsaac or whomever you want, none of them are worth the suffering. 

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8 hours ago, NonparametricBananas said:

Be it Heath or MacIsaac or whomever you want, none of them are worth the suffering. 

Haha bit too specific eh? Funny how the students I contacted said Windsor was fine. I guess people who have chosen to go there wouldn't mind the place.

Shouldn't have wasted one of my CGS-M spots on them either then...

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On January 15, 2016 at 8:08 PM, Jimtastic said:

Haha bit too specific eh? Funny how the students I contacted said Windsor was fine. I guess people who have chosen to go there wouldn't mind the place.

Shouldn't have wasted one of my CGS-M spots on them either then...

When you have to live there for at least 2 years for a master's degree, you have to teach yourself to like the place. The river was beautiful, exploring Michigan was loads of fun, but Windsor itself was such a sullen bedroom community lacking few if any redeeming qualities that not much could help. For the first year or so, I went home to Toronto a lot -- it was $40 one way on the VIA and coincidentally, by the end of my degree, I racked up just enough to take a free trip home. It got a lot better once I made some great friends and got into a relationship, but without meaningful supports and friendships, it would have been a nightmare.

You must have spoken to a few of my friends over at GLIER lol. Some of them are from Windsor, so they likely haven't seen the wonders beyond Windsor-Essex hehe.

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On 2016-01-18 at 5:36 PM, NonparametricBananas said:

When you have to live there for at least 2 years for a master's degree, you have to teach yourself to like the place. The river was beautiful, exploring Michigan was loads of fun, but Windsor itself was such a sullen bedroom community lacking few if any redeeming qualities that not much could help. For the first year or so, I went home to Toronto a lot -- it was $40 one way on the VIA and coincidentally, by the end of my degree, I racked up just enough to take a free trip home. It got a lot better once I made some great friends and got into a relationship, but without meaningful supports and friendships, it would have been a nightmare.

You must have spoken to a few of my friends over at GLIER lol. Some of them are from Windsor, so they likely haven't seen the wonders beyond Windsor-Essex hehe.

From what you're describing, it takes effort to find things to do? To be perfectly honest, I expect that anywhere... I guess support is also super important.

Haha yup, GLIER. From their descriptions it sounds like a decent enough place, or the department at least.

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On January 23, 2016 at 5:36 PM, Jimtastic said:

From what you're describing, it takes effort to find things to do? To be perfectly honest, I expect that anywhere... I guess support is also super important.

Haha yup, GLIER. From their descriptions it sounds like a decent enough place, or the department at least.

Yes it takes effort to find things to do and certainly, you should keep an open mind no matter where you go in the hopes of cultivating meaningful experiences and whatnot, but oh boy, Windsor is like .. a black hole of bleh. I am glad of the experiences I had there, but there are times when I wish I had not been sucked in by promises of money and research freedom. Then again, it was only a 2 year program so I got out of there pretty quickly (I frankly can't believe how quickly it went by). 

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On January 13, 2016 at 1:58 AM, Jimtastic said:

Hey, thanks for your response! This is definitely an interesting perspective. Funny thing is, when you start listing the issues you have with Windsor, I can't help but think that Queen's (where I'm completing my undergrad right now) sort of fits those categories.... so yeah... maybe it's not as severe as Windsor? If you've been to Kingston/know other people who have, what would a comparison be like?

One of the things I wondered was how a very successful professor in Aquatic Ecology came to reside at UWindsor. I just assumed that it was the location which was beneficial for him.

Ugh, I guess Windsor is my super back-up in case nothing works but after reading that...

I think one's perspective of Windsor really depends on where he/she is coming from. I'm from Toronto, and so I found Windsor, extremely small (e.g, only one major mall - that is slowly improving) but at the same time, I absolutely love the lack of traffic. It's a city where you would want to have a car, and you can get around super easily. There are some nice gems like the riverside and the restaurants, but it's definitely got a small town feel to me. On the contrary, there's a girl in my program who comes from a small town in Ontario, and she thinks Windsor is amazing because it has all the big box stores she was not able to access in her hometown, so it's all about your reference point. 

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Bumping, as I am considering an offer from Windsor. Anything changed in the last two years?

Personally, I love the cost of things from what I see online. I rent a two bedroom apartment in the D.C. metro for $1800/month USD. I am seeing like whole houses for that or less. Wow! I should also mention that I am married and an old person at heart. So, needing a bumping social scene isn't all that important to me.

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On 2/8/2018 at 1:57 PM, Tyedyedturtle91 said:

Bumping, as I am considering an offer from Windsor. Anything changed in the last two years?

Personally, I love the cost of things from what I see online. I rent a two bedroom apartment in the D.C. metro for $1800/month USD. I am seeing like whole houses for that or less. Wow! I should also mention that I am married and an old person at heart. So, needing a bumping social scene isn't all that important to me.

I lived in Windsor for a period of time- although not as a student. I think it definitely depends on what you like to do in your free time. In the summer it is beautiful and lots of riverwalk space and nearby beaches in Leamington or other places to take day trips (and if you make friends with a local who have boats you can go to the nice bay areas out near Amherstburg). They have the typical nightlife scene, lots of bars and clubs. I came from a southern state-side city, so I loved the abundance of different cultures and food options. There's plenty of theatre, film, and gamer groups that I've seen that you can get involved in. 

There are definitely areas you'd want to stay away from (and some are about a mile away from the university), but the cost of living seems reasonable compared to D.C. The houses in Windsor are very old, however, and may be different architecturally from what you're used to. Some areas have been prone to flooding out the last couple years. I loved that it was right across from the States- being American it was nice to be able to see my home country and go to Detroit to see friends, experience Midtown and go to Pro games.

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