Insider Tips on Your New City

Albany, NY
“In the city of Albany there are very few driveways, therefore you will generally be subjected to street parking. Pull in your side view mirrors.” –Janise C. ’13
Asheville, NC
“Asheville is WONDERFUL! Located in the middle of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains, it is not only gorgeous, but the outdoor activities are endless! Food and art are great in the downtown area. You definitely need a car to live here, unless you live downtown (which can be costly).” –Megan O. ’11
Athens, OH
“Athens is a cute tiny college town bubble in rural southern Ohio. My favorite Athens spots are the hipster-haven Donkey Coffee and the cool, indie Athena Cinema.” Katherine V. ’15
Austin, TX
“I love living in Austin! It is the perfect place for someone who is health conscious, or striving to be more so, in any way. There are plenty of outdoor activities like running, cycling, kayaking, or rock-climbing. I like to run half marathons and it is not unusual to find out that at least one person you know in Austin has participated in a half marathon (let alone a triathlon or an Iron Man competition).” –Mary Abbe R. ’13
“The Austin food scene is also fantastic, with places like Tacodeli, Hopdoddy, Barley Swine, and Ramen Tatsu-ya. Not to mention the food trucks. If you have food allergies or a preferred type of diet, there are plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free restaurants/ delis/bakeries. I prefer to eat gluten-free and dairy-free, so I get all of my sweet treats from places like People’s Pharmacy, Wild Wood Bakehouse, and Lick.” –Mary Abbe R. ’13
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“The most interesting neighborhoods to live in, if you’re looking to be close to a lot of action, are Hyde Park, East Austin, and South Congress. Though, be aware that Hyde Park and South Congress can be quite expensive, and East Austin is a developing area. If you’re looking for cheaper apartments with more of a commute into the city, places like Jollyville and Walnut Creek are worth looking into.” –Mary Abbe R. ’13
“There is a University of Texas at Austin bus system that is free for everyone and the Capital Metro bus system is free for anyone affiliated with the University. Be aware that buses are less frequent the further away from the city center you live. It is almost necessary to have a car in Texas if you ever plan on leaving Austin, though there are Megabuses that go between Austin, Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.” –Mary Abbe R. ’13
Baltimore, MD
“Baltimore has fun vibes and more people discredit the area than it deserves. There’s a lot to do and Washington, D.C. is only 45 minutes away!” Michaela K. ’15
“I LOVE Baltimore. Best neighborhoods to live in: Federal Hill, Fells Point, Canton, and Mt. Vernon. Such a fun city, amazing restaurants and bars, and lots of stuff to do. It’s a young city with lots of young professionals and grad students.” –Lindsay W. ’10
“I live in Baltimore and the area has a lot of great things to offer. It is less expensive than D.C. or New York but close enough to both to visit for a day or two. There are a lot of eclectic neighborhoods and restaurants to check out. Baltimore has a gritty post-industrial feel and a lot of growth happening in arts and culture. Having a car makes living here easier; it can be difficult to get out of the city or across town without one. There is some public transit, in the form of a light rail, subway, and free bus–Charm City Circulator.” –Madeleine C. ’08
“Baltimore is incredible! Although the city can get a bad reputation, Baltimore is home to many yuppies (young urban professionals). Baltimore consists of a conglomeration of different neighborhoods and each has their own unique quirks and characteristics. With so much history, water, sports teams, and more, it’s never boring and there’s always something to do. MUST DOs: Aquarium, crabs at Nick’s Fish House, Miss Shirley’s Restaurant for breakfast, Little Italy, Fells Point, Public Market under 83, Orioles game, Ravens game, and any art museum!” –Kellie I. ’10
Bloomington, IN
“Bloomington combines the culture of a larger city with the feel of a small one. The ethnic restaurants are fantastic, and the music and arts scene are worth checking out.” –Erin O. ’11
Boise, ID
“The nearest city to Boise is over 300 miles away. Boise only has 200,000 people. Idaho is the best place in the country to road trip, and you are only 10 minutes in any direction from being in nature.” -Douglas B ’15
Boston
“The popular neighborhoods are: Cambridge, Somerville (Porter Square, Davis Square, Union Square), Jamaica Plain, Beacon Hill, Brookline, and Brighton. Anywhere that is close to the T is a good thing, but the Green Line is finicky and slow.” –Rachel A. ’07
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“Find an apartment that preferably isn’t 100 years old. Also, try to avoid the Green Line if you can afford it, but apartments are the cheapest on it. The T is crazy in the afternoon, so go into work early and leave early. Find a sports team to play on (Boston RFC for me). jm Curley is an excellent bar and food spot.” –Will H. ’14
“Boston nightlife: Lincoln Tavern, Boylston Street (strip of restaurants/bars), Fenway (strip of bars), and Faneuil.” –Joana B. ’10
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“If you aren’t from Boston, you have to walk The Freedom Trail. I’ve never been interested in history, but the trail is still one of my favorite things about the city. In terms of transportation, the T is pretty slow, but cheap and easy. Once you’re downtown, you can pretty much walk anywhere if you don’t mind walking a couple miles. Must-try restaurants: Anna’s Taqueria has the best burritos on the east coast. If you’re into Chinese food, Taiwan Cafe is the best of Chinatown.” –Matt B. ’14
“Don’t bring a car if you don’t need one. Get a monthly T pass so you’re able to get around the city easily and more cost-effectively.” –Joana B. ’10
“Popular Boston neighborhoods: Fenway/Kenmore- sports addicts unite; South Boston- young professional, affordable housing, great nightlife; South End/Back Bay- families, young professionals, dog lovers, expensive.” –Joana B. ’10
“Somerville and Cambridge are definitely the coolest areas to live in. These cities are broken into squares, often with access to transit lines. Living in or near squares can be very expensive, but areas within walking distance from the squares can be affordable and you get many benefits.” –Annie B. ’06
“Brookline is a nicer area with apartments with 3-5 bedrooms. Coolidge Corner or Washington Square, specifically. Back Bay, South End, and Beacon Hill are all more expensive and the apartments are smaller, but the areas are nicer than the aforementioned.” –Anonymous
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“Best neighborhoods to live in the city (if you can afford it): South End, Back Bay, Financial District, and Beacon Hill. Outside the city: Brookline (Coolidge Corner, Washington Square).” –Anonymous
“In order to be able to live here right out of college, most people will need roommates. It is expensive to live anywhere near the T. Brighton and Allston are very college-y but good for 21- to 23- year-olds.” –Anonymous
“I’ve since moved to another city, but I lived in Coolidge Corner in Brookline. There are a lot of great restaurants. Regal Beagle and Zaftigs are great for brunch but have really long line. There are a ton of sushi places. Hops N Scotch is a cool bar, and Barcelona Wine Bar is amazing but that’s more towards Washington Square. Coolidge Corner is right on the Green Line and it’s so easy to get into Boston.” –Anonymous
“Boston is a great place to live and work. It is full of young professionals and great companies and organizations, while being small enough to navigate. There are some great neighborhoods in Somerville and Cambridge that provide excellent access to the city but also wonderful hangout spots right around the corner. Somerville in particular is a wonderful city to live in, vibrant and rich in activities with bike lanes on main roads and a lot of wonderful ‘squares’ to explore.” –Ann G. ’07
“Moving to Boston after graduation was a perfect choice. It was such an easy transition from college into reality because there are so many colleges in the area and there is such a large population of twenty-somethings. The one thing about Boston I wish I had known prior was that almost 80% of apartments turn over on September 1. It is a mad rush to get the best, most affordable apartment.” –Anonymous
“Boston is a fabulous city to live in after college, for work, or for graduate school. There are tons of young people, lots of jobs, a great cultural scene, a fabulous fitness community, etc. It can be expensive, but areas like Allston or Somerville tend to be slightly more affordable. There are always new neighborhoods to explore and new restaurants popping up—get on the email lists for the local restaurant weeks so that you can try them all!” –Leah O. ’09
“I live in Central Square in Cambridge and really love it. Certain areas of the city make having a car very expensive and difficult (e.g. Brookline). Living near a T line that can get you to work is ideal. Cambridge and Somerville are great areas if you want to feel more independent and somewhat removed from touristy areas of the city.” –Megan H. ’09
“The Red Line is the best line to be on, but rent is expensive. The city is made up of smaller cities and boroughs and people tend not to travel too much in-between socially (like NYC). The MBTA hours were recently extended so the twenty-somethings of Boston are rejoicing, and it is hoping to retain people that way.” –Gemma S. ’09
Border Cafe in Harvard Square and Flour in Kendall Square are my must-try food recommendations for the Cambridge/Somerville area.” –Steven T. ’16, Science/Research
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“You don’t need a car in Boston – in fact, buying a parking spot will often cost you a lot. See if you can get discounted Charlie Cards for the “T” (train) through work. The Brighton/Allston area is great – cheaper and larger places, safe area, young community. Finding a place close to a T line or bus stop is a must.” Jill D. ’16, Health Care, Non-Medical
“I love the Cambridge area because all the universities in the area attract great talent. The tech community here is tightly knit and full of very smart people.” –Christina K. ’16, Engineering
“Boston is the best city on Earth! The T is the way to go; parking is insane. If you want to live further out and drive in, try to park at the ends of the T lines, like Alewife, Riverside, or Wellington, because they’re usually cheaper, about $7 for the day. For the T, see if your company can help you pay for it. My hospital has a program so I only have to pay half the fee before taxes. I live in the suburbs at home and take the commuter rail in, which is super expensive, so this saves me a ton of money.” Teresa R. ’16, Medicine
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Bristol, UK
“Bristol is the most amazing city in the UK. Everything is close by; it is an amazing college town with tons of cool pubs and clubs that fit any taste. Everyone is very friendly and the city is very diverse! If you are looking for a place to study in the UK this is the place to be!” Ioannis Z. ’14
Buffalo, NY
“In general, finding a ‘younger’ section of the town will be more social. If that’s something you’re looking for you should think about paying a bit more to live there. In Buffalo, that place is Elmwood.” –Nick B. ’14
“In the six years I have lived in Buffalo, the two most desirable neighborhoods to live/hang out in have consistently been Elmwood Village and Allentown. Elmwood Village is often ranked on national lists as being one of the best neighborhoods in the nation for shopping, restaurants, and a generally wonderful vibe. Allentown is largely the hipper bar district, with cool dive bars and galleries, and is considered to be the LGBTQ neighborhood of Buffalo. Recently, a neighborhood called North Buffalo/Parkside is gaining in popularity due to the rebirth of Hertel Ave. It has much cheaper and larger apartments and is right next to Delaware Park. Buffalo has excellent independent coffee all over the city (Public, Spot, Tipico), as well as amazing local food, especially ramen and pho. I haven’t gone to a chain restaurant in years and that’s an accident! It reminds me of a mini-Portland so much that I even call it Bufflandia” Seth A. ’08
“Buffalo is a great mid-sized city with a lot of local art, music and theatre; most of which can be found in the free weekly edition of ArtVoice, that is available at many locations throughout the city. Where you choose to live largely depends on what you’re looking for: Elmwood Village and Allentown are very trendy areas and they’re fairly close to the downtown medical campus, if your work takes you there. North Buffalo near Hertel Ave is also a fun area with a lot of amenities and is closer to the South Campus of UB. If you are looking to own a home, areas near University Heights and Cheektowaga have a lot of reasonable starter homes, especially if you want to fix up a place” Rachel S. ’09
Burlington, VT
“People around here are very down to earth and helpful. Vermonters believe in helping one another, in hard work, and doing what we personally think is right. We were once an independent republic and still have the attitude that goes with it. With that said, we have a lot of poverty, but we make up for it in a vast wealth of friendship, loyalty, and a beautiful state.” –Simone A. ’16, Social Services
Charlotte, NC
“Charlotte is a rapidly growing city known for its outstanding weather, lush greenery, huge metropolitan center, and the Panthers (of course)! Like many cities, Charlotte is extremely gentrified: the South side is a collection of middle-class to wealthy neighborhoods while the East, West, and North have pockets of immense poverty. It is also a hub for immigration and deep-rooted southern history.” Alesa Y. ’15
Chicago
“If you’re not on one of the major bus lines, try to get an apartment within 15 minutes walking of a train stop. You do not have to get an apartment in the Loop or River North unless you’re looking to burn cash. The bar with the best view of the city is Cindy’s.” Deborah P. ’09
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“Chicago is a great city to live in with a strong network of Rochester graduates. Chicago is a city of neighborhoods and has something for everyone. Are you into sports bars and a party atmosphere? Head north to Lakeview or Lincoln Park. Low key small bars and restaurants? Go to Bucktown or Wicker Park. Higher end restaurants and nightlife? Go to the West Loop or River North. One thing is for sure: Chicago is an excellent city for dining no matter where you go.” Bennett P. ’11
“Everybody seems to live in Lincoln Park, but the West side (Wicker Park, Logan Square, Bucktown, and parts of Humboldt Park) is pretty great, too! Living near the train is a huge plus, since buses have to deal with traffic. If you’re looking to make the move to any place, make sure you can find a solid grocery store close-by without having to take a bus. If you drive, there’s always free parking somewhere, depending on how far you’re willing to walk and how hard you’re willing to look. And most importantly, while everyone who visits Chicago seems to gravitate towards the Loop, the good restaurants are in the neighborhoods outside of the Loop. If you’re looking for some good food and cool places to explore, hop on a train out of the Loop.” Ashley C. ’09
“Chicago is a phenomenal city to live in after college. I’m an East Coaster at heart, but the weather is really not all that different, and surprisingly enough there are beautiful beaches here right on Lake Michigan. It’s a huge city, but has a variety of different neighborhoods, each with their own vibe and community, which makes navigating more manageable. I have lived in Uptown since I moved here, and work nearby in Rogers Park. Both are less-mainstream neighborhoods which I love. There are tons of restaurants, bars, and concert venues around me, and it’s easy to hop around different areas using public transportation. I have had some of the most delicious food, and have met some of the most inspiring people since I moved here.” –Hannah A. ’11
“Tons of good neighborhood options abound. Identify your priorities and then find a place. There are many factors: proximity to public transportation, proximity to the lake, areas with a lot of bars/restaurants/nightlife, types of neighborhoods, etc. Know what you want, and find something accordingly.” –Anonymous
“People fresh from college usually really enjoy the Lakeview area. It has a lot of college-age students due to its vicinity to DePaul, and plenty of restaurants, shops, and bars.” –Anonymous
“Chicago is a great city in which to live. However, it is expensive. In general, it is safer to live in the north and northwest part of the city. Lincoln Park, Bucktown, Wicker Park, and Lakeview are great neighborhoods in which to live. I think it is great to try to live close to the L, especially if you do not have or want to own a car. Public transportation is pretty good in the city. I prefer the L versus buses as it is not as subject to traffic as the bus system is. Chicago traffic can be very frustrating, so even though I have a car, I often like taking public transportation as it can be easier and cheaper.” –Katrina B. ’08
“I love Chicago! It’s a bit colder than Rochester, but it’s wonderful. I live in Hyde Park. It’s easy to bike or take city transportation everywhere.” –Tony I. ’13
Cleveland, OH
“From the eyes of a native, Cleveland has changed tremendously since I left to go to the UofR in 2010 as a freshman. LeBron James is back, we’re hosting the Republican National Convention in 2016, and the amount of people living downtown is at an all-time high. Downtown is the heart of the city but nearby neighborhoods like Lakewood, Ohio City, Tremont and University Heights are all on the rise. Once forgotten as part of the Rust Belt, Cleveland has recently seen an economic renaissance with the help from a strong entrepreneurial community and the Health-Tech Corridor which will soon feature the nation’s first 100 gigabit-per-second internet connection.” –Kevin D. ’14
“Good neighborhoods to live in: Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights, and University Heights.” –Guy M. ’10
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“Social: The best eateries are centered around W. 25th St., W. 6th St., Coventry & Mayfield, Cedar & Fairmount, and Cedar & Lee.” –Guy M. ’10
“Transit: Buses and trains decrease frequency after 7 and stop at around 10. Students can get a six-month unlimited RTA pass for $80. There are two airports within a one-hour drive: Cleveland Hopkins and Akron/Canton. The latter is further and significantly cheaper to fly into/out of.” –Guy M. ’10
Columbus, OH
“As a born-and-raised East Coaster, I was a little hesitant about living in the Midwest in Columbus, Ohio. However, Columbus is a rapidly growing city with many industry headquarters, the Ohio State University, and a fun, upbeat atmosphere. They call this city “The Biggest Small Town in America” and this tagline feels very true.” Ryan W. ’15
Dayton, OH
“Coffee shops: hit up Proto Build Bar, Ghostlight Coffee, Press, and Underdog, among others. Food: you’ve gotta go to Lucky’s and get one of their fantastic burgers! Also hit up the 2nd Street Public Market. Neighborhoods: Yellow Springs and Oregon District are probably the best Dayton has to offer.” -Ben W. ’15
Harrisburg, PA
“Harrisburg is a lot like Rochester with a lot of enjoyable things to do if you know where to go. I live downtown and recently bought a home in midtown, which is a growing popular area for young professionals. The restaurant scene is fairly self-explanatory (most are located on the same street), but I would highly recommend trying Bricco, Mangia Qui, or Carley’s Piano Bar if you’re ever in the area.” –Sarah H. ’10
Hartford, CT
“Look to live in West Hartford. Small but fun city in the heart of CT. Good food/bars are all in West Hartford center. No real public transportation so you probably need a car.” –Anonymous
Houston, TX
“Houston is massive, so having a car is a must! Public transit is extremely lacking, but Uber is readily available to get you to and from the best neighborhoods. Check out Moon Tower Inn in EaDo, Kirby Ice House in River Oaks, Axelrad in Midtown, and Petrol Station in The Heights” Eric D. ’13
“Montrose is considered the most liberal part of town, and has the best coffee shops. Midtown is where a lot of young professionals live, and has an excellent bar scene. Downtown’s nightlife has been improving in recent years, but there aren’t too many places to go other than a few blocks on Main Street. East Downtown (EaDo) is an up and comer; there are still a few sketchy areas, but some great spots as well, including 8th Wonder Brewery, my personal favorite in the Houston area. The Heights are kind of a combination of Midtown and Montrose, but a little less central. The Museum District has a ton of great museums for kids and adults alike, and a few decent places to eat out to make a whole day of it. The Med Center is, as the name suggests, the hub of all of the major hospitals in the city. Rice Village is located next to Rice University and has some good restaurants, bars, and a nice shopping scene, and caters a lot to college students and recent grads. Houston is first and foremost a driving city, and MANY people commute from the more popular suburbs. The public transit system is decent, but it is still lacking. I have heard that the bus routes are pretty good, and that the park and ride service from the suburbs is good if you need to commute into the city for work. However, the Light Rail is very limited. It is convenient if you live nearby, but not super useful for a lot of people.” Adam K. ’14
“Drivers are aggressive. The condition of the roads in some areas are terrible. Roads can be confusing, probably because there is no zoning in Houston. Popular neighborhoods include Montrose, Midtown, Uptown, and Bellaire. Must try restaurants: Local Foods,Uchi, Samurai Noodles, M&M Grill, Thai Gourmet, Torchy’s Tacos, Foreign Policy (food truck), Chocolate Bar (dessert place), Axelrad (bar), Amy’s Ice Cream, Amorino (gelato), Vahalla (bar at Rice with cheap beer and you don’t have to be a student!).” Thanh H. ’13
Los Angeles, CA
“You have to coordinate your schedule around traffic and depending on where you are going you should add an extra 15-30 minutes during peak times. You need a car to get to many places but the transportation is getting better. Koreatown is a good location to live since it is right near easily accessible transportation systems and the prices are not ridiculously expensive. Koreatown is also pretty central and close enough to downtown, Hollywood, and Beverly Hills.” -Amelia S. ’11
“Learn to drive, get a car. Don’t plan on traveling between 6-9 a.m. and 3-7 p.m. If you do, double time of travel at least.” –Jessica M. ’13
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“L.A is huge. You 100% need a car and to live somewhere with parking. L.A is not an easy city to get used to, as the community vibe of the East Coast/Mid-West can feel absent at times. However, L.A has as much to offer as any big city. There are amazing neighborhoods, restaurants, bars, and of course beaches and mountains. The best things to do are outside of L.A. There are really good hikes and beaches and if you like surfing and sports it’s great for that. The weather is also perfect. You can play sports year round and joining a pick-up-team is a great way to meet people. Public transportation is terrible and don’t expect to be able to use it to get to useful places. Visit L.A. before you come. It isn’t a user-friendly city; try and stay with people you know and can take you around vs. staying in hotels. If you family does not live on the West Coast, it is also extremely expensive to fly to other cities so factor that in to your budget. Overall, L.A. is a difficult city to get used to and navigate, but if you have a job, start building a community and get outside enough you will learn to love it.” –Emily R. ’14
“The west side is the best place to live: Culver City, Palms, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Westwood, and Brentwood. Downtown has cool areas, but I wouldn’t suggest living there immediately if you’re not familiar with the area, as some areas can be very sketchy. Parking is impossible and is really expensive. Also, don’t plan on using any major highway from 4 to 7 p.m., if you can avoid it. Traffic is the worst. Try to take advantage of happy hour deals; they have really late happy hours here!” Wallis N. ’15
“The best thing about living in LA: the weather! There’s also so much to do. Popular neighborhoods are Koreatown (Korean BBQ is something you have to try!), Hollywood (where you’ll find the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the famous Chinese Theatre), Los Feliz (trendy neighborhood; also, home to Griffith Observatory/Park), and more. Other great places to check out include The Getty Museum, The Grove, Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles, In-N-Out, and the movie studios. The one thing that everyone hates about LA: the TRAFFIC. Hop on a train if you can or order a Lyft” Octavia R. ’15
“LA is a huge city, and you can mainly find anything you want. There are great hiking trails, so if you like to explore nature, it is a very nice place to live. You really need a car to live here, however, if you live close to your workplace, you can take metro, bus, or Uber every day.” –Zongqi L. ’15
“Living in Ventura County, at the edge of Los Angeles, I get to experience the city life of Los Angeles and enjoy the comforts of living in a more suburban area. Santa Monica is a great area to explore for hiking, culture and nightlife. Downtown LA has my favorite rooftop bar, Perch, which has a great view of the city. Also, getting to drive on the Pacific Coast Highway often is a great reminder of the beauty of the California coastline.” Janelle D. ’15
“The closer you get to the beach, the more good food and drinks you’re going to find. Check out every hole-in-the-wall you can, as there are gems everywhere in this city. Townhouse in Venice is a great bar and right on the beach – grab a beer, a poke bowl on the boardwalk, and watch the skate boarders in the nearby skate park. If you get the chance, the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City is hands down the best use of a Saturday afternoon. Most locals don’t even know about it. Uber and Lyft are so handy and cheap, you can’t go wrong. But, if possible, live as close to work as you can, even if it’s pricey. The LA commute is never not bad, and a few hundred bucks extra a month might be worth it to spare you a 2 hour commute each way! In the movies, you never get to see how many people have dogs. Here’s the thing about a city where it never rains but is full of dogs: it reeks of dog pee.” Jay R. ’13
“Come to Los Angeles with a plan. If you land an opportunity with one of the large corporations out here, like SpaceX, Netflix, Disney, or Warner Bros., they will pay a salary that should allow you to survive. Do not “experiment” with living in L.A. right after college if you do not plan to work in one of the region’s major industries, because your lack of experience will be a huge disadvantage.” –Jonathan S. ’07
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Madison, WI
“Madison is an amazing little city with a ton of great local food, craft beer, and other awesome events and festivals. It’s pretty easy to get a good sense of what’s going on and what to do. Ask a local or Google it. –Brad O. ’10
“Madison has been a great city to live in. It reminds me of Rochester in many ways (size, climate, huge university, etc.) but blends in aspects of other cool cities like Portland, Austin, etc. It’s smallish but has a lot going for it. Living on the Isthmus really puts all of the fun in your backyard. It’s really easy to ride your bike, take a bus, get a cheap cab, and find free/affordable parking. The best areas to live are the First Settlement District, Willy Street, Monroe Ave, Vilas neighborhood, and Near East Side. The food, lakes, biking, and music have kept me here and loving it. And it’s true what they say, people in the Midwest are NICE!” –Anonymous
Miami, FL
“You have to eat at Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink in the Wynwood neighborhood. Try to plan so that while you’re there, you can go to the once-a-month Art Walks in Wynwood. Key Largo is a short drive from the greater Miami area, where you can fish, go boating, and explore at John Pennekamp State Park. Rent a kayak at Mile Marker 88, and then feast on fresh, local seafood as you drag the boat ashore. For unspoiled beaches, head two hours west to Naples or Fort Myers. If you’re looking for great bars and clubs, Brickell is the place to be for young people. As for transportation, it’s hard to get around without a car. If you live and work close to the Metrorail, it’s easy enough to get to and from work during typical working hours, but this is not the NYC subway.” –Sandhya R. ’09
Nashville, TN
“Neighborhoods to live in if you are renting: East Nashville, 12 South, Sylvan Park, Hillsboro, or the Gulch (if you are made of money). Transportation: no metro and shaky bus system. This is a driving town.” –Bobby S. ’08
“Nashville has been rated on nearly every ‘Top 10 Hottest Cities’ list over the past few years, and I certainly agree. It’s an especially good place for a young alumnus to begin a career, because rents are still generally affordable and the nightlife is extraordinary. Midtown is popular because it’s close to great bars, restaurants, parks, and downtown is only a 5 minute drive away. East Nashville is becoming more popular because of its eclectic residents and cheap housing (hipster section of town).” –Daniel F. ’08
New Orleans, LA
“New Orleans is an incredibly unique place. I often feel like I live in a different country when I am here. The culture is rich and the sense of community is warm and welcoming. It is a very exciting place to begin my career.” –Kyle C. ’13
“Come prepared to eat—so much great food here! This is a driving city, so have a car because public transportation is pretty bad. Every nice block is next to a less nice block, so be sure to drive by potential housing options at night to decide if you feel safe. The music is amazing! So are festivals: Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest.” –Alexander P. ’07
New York City, NY
“Heads up: Brooklyn is the new Manhattan and Queens is the new Brooklyn.” -Emma A. ’15
“Explore everything. When you’re new to the city, say yes to most invitations. Walk around aimlessly. Go into random different coffee shops, stores, bars, restaurants, etc.” –Justin G. ’10
“One of the great things about living in NYC is that entering a new neighborhood is like entering an entirely new world. I try to explore an area I haven’t yet been to every weekend. I’ll go get coffee in a cafe, or brunch in a popular local diner, or try out a new bar. Half the time I meet someone famous.” –Anonymous
“When you first move to the city or to a new neighborhood, take a weekend to get a lay of the land. This will make you feel more at home, and will give you a few places to take visitors when they inevitably ask for a ‘tour.’” –Lucas P. ’12
“Brooklyn is my love. Get an unlimited monthly subway pass unless you’re a lucky one who can walk to work. Walk everywhere! Brooklyn Bridge Park is stunning. The summer in the city is the best time of your life. Enjoy the free events, concerts, yoga at Bryant Park, etc. Several Rochester alumni live in Brooklyn Gold—join us there! East Village, LES, South Slope are some of the best areas to live for people our age.” –Emily H. ’12
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“New York is an amazing place to live postgrad! Each neighborhood has its own distinct feel and there’s so much to see. While my friends and I have our own spots in our neighborhood (Morningside Heights) that we like to frequent, we also like to branch out and explore new areas of the city every weekend. We love to do brunch on weekends and always try to find bars and restaurants with outdoor or rooftop seating in the summer. Public transportation makes getting around very easy and convenient. It is expensive to live here, but if you budget wisely, you can have fun while still paying your bills.” –Andrea M. ’12
“Live with lots of roommates to keep the rent down. Find out the building’s policies with respect to putting up fake walls. Recent college graduates tend to flock to Murray Hill and the Upper East Side—nothing wrong with that. When you’re 22, the bars there are fun and the people are your age so just go with it.” –Anonymous
“The best way to get to know New York City is to just walk around. Pick a place you’ve never been before and just take a stroll. And please, venture outside of Manhattan—the outer boroughs are way more awesome. If you like books, go to the Strand. It’s amazing. Be sure to find the rare books sections. People in New York aren’t as mean as people think, we’re just busy. If you need help, there is always someone who will help you, so just ask. If you need a public bathroom, try fast food restaurants and hotels. Let people off the subway before you get on and don’t take taxis too often, they’re expensive. Time Out New York is a great resource to find things to do.” –Melissa G. ’13
“For me, living within an easy commute to work is far more important than living near where I like to socialize. Getting to work is something that you have to do every day, over and over, and on a very specific schedule. There are also so many amazing neighborhoods and places to explore in New York that you likely won’t end up in the same exact spot too frequently.” –Chelsea D. ’10
“New York has everything as far as restaurants, bars, clubs, music venues, etc. I live in Astoria which is a wonderful and safe neighborhood and very close to midtown Manhattan. I personally think living in Manhattan is overpriced and not worth it. There are plenty of great places to live in – Queens, Brooklyn, and New Jersey – that are easy to get into the city from and have nice restaurants and things to do right in your neighborhood, and they’re much cheaper than Manhattan.” –David L. ’09
“If you’ve always dreamed of ‘living in NYC’ but simply can’t afford it, don’t turn your nose up at NJ! Hoboken and Jersey City are right across the river, so it’s essentially like living in a borough such as Brooklyn or Queens. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.” –Allison G. ’08
“I just moved to the Bronx from Rochester. My biggest regret is not finding an apartment with included parking for my car. Some advice, make sure you get an apartment close to a train or bus stop, and whenever you commute into Manhattan or another borough, always be prepared with anything you might need in your bag.” –Angie S. ’11
“I grew up in Manhattan and always knew I wanted to return after school. I am a little biased, but I love living in the city. Everything is accessible by public transportation and you never run out of things to do. Some of my favorite NYC spots are the Museum of the Moving Image, Bluestone Lane, and Washington Square Park.” Ellen S. ’16
“Working in NYC is amazing because of the diversity it offers. My favorite restaurant is Eataly because there are so many options and it’s such a fun atmosphere!” Samantha L. ’16, Media/Communications
Parkersburg, WV/ Marietta, OH
“Most young people in the area live in different apartment complexes in the area. Parkersburg and Marietta have a decent number of things to do with bars, restaurants, and shopping all close by.” –Jonathan M. ’13
Philadelphia, PA
“You’ll find that Philadelphia residents really love their city. There’s even a wildly popular hashtag to reflect it: #whyilovephilly.” –Arielle F. ’10
“Philly is a great food and drink city. There are always fantastic events going on like Restaurant Week and Center City Sips, which can be a great way to explore new parts of the city and try new restaurants. The neighborhoods around South Street are a fantastic place to live.” –Leah P. ’12
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“Popular Neighborhoods: Northern Liberties, Manayunk, Roxborough, East Falls. Must-try Restaurants: El Vez, Shake Shack, Alma de Cuba, Las Margaritas, Chima. Hang-out Spots: Mad River, Frankford Hall, Drinkers, The Plough & The Stars, Zee Bar.” –Michelle H. ‘09
“You can’t go wrong with living in Center City of Philadelphia. Philly is a very walkable city, you can get to almost everywhere on foot, and burn a bit more calories doing so. There are tons of restaurants, bars, theaters, museums, etc. – something for everyone to do.”
–Anonymous
“Philadelphia is a very walkable city and fun to explore – you could even walk by City Hall, Chinatown, Penn’s Landing, LOVE Park, and the Philadelphia Art Museum in one day. Reading Terminal Market has tons of delicious food and there are usually samples to try! Magic Gardens is a very unique visit – it’s a small outdoor environment completely covered with mosaic. It is inexpensive for students and South Street nearby has great little shops and tasty food. The Philadelphia Zoo is unique because it has elevated tunnels above the pedestrian walkways that animals such as big cats or apes can use to explore. In the summer, there are tons of beer gardens that are uniquely decorated and cozy. In the winter, Penn’s Landing has a really nice skating rink by the river. There are fire pits and you can even buy the fixings to make s’mores on them.” –Anonymous
“Philadelphia is a city built up of neighborhoods. Popular ones for twenty-somethings are Old City, Washington Square West, Graduate Hospital, Fishtown, Northern Liberties, and Rittenhouse. Fishtown seems really far away from the rest of the city (it’s not really,) but there’s a lot going on there in the creative scene.” –Arielle F. ’10
“Popular neighborhoods for young people to live in: Fishtown, Graduate Hospital, West Philly, East Passyunk. Don’t look at Manayunk, East Falls, or Mount Airy. If you ever want to do anything in Center City, you’ll have to drive, and the feel of all of those is quite removed. Good start for finding good restaurants, activities, etc. is www.uwishunu.com. Don’t be afraid of public transportation – it’s more convenient than it appears. Also, get a bike – the city is quite flat and bike infrastructure is slowly but surely improving.” –Eugene V. ’07
“Philadelphia is a phenomenal place to live. I grew up in the suburbs and, until 2014, had never lived in a big city before. Even though Philly is the 5th most populous city in the U.S., it doesn’t feel like it at all. Plus, it has one of the best food scenes in the country!” –Christopher Y. ’11
“Philadelphia is filled with communities of passionate people. You just need to find them! Once you start going to events, reading blogs, and seeing what’s out there, you’ll find that there is a community that you fit into, and it will open up your world in awesome ways.” –Arielle F. ’10
Alumni Events in your city
“Center City has so much going on—a booming restaurant scene, a ton of eclectic coffee shops, a growing co-working/startup/tech scene, and more. It’s an awesome city for twenty- and thirty-somethings.” –Arielle F. ’10
“The living conditions are far better in Center City (east of 30th street) than they are in West Philadelphia around UPenn’s campus. Apartments in Center City are slightly more money, but it’s worth it to not have to deal with the crummy houses that they rent out to students and young professionals around UPenn’s campus. Definitely look into Philly Sport and Social Club and Philly Sports Network. These are companies that run weekly ongoing sports leagues for everything from softball and basketball to dodgeball and kickball. It’s a great way to meet people and make friends. It’s also super fun. Who doesn’t like dodgeball?” –Benjamin P. ’12
“Philly is really becoming an amazing city for millennials! The city has become really into pop-up beer gardens and restaurants. Don’t be scared of SEPTA buses, because they make it so easy to get around! Popular neighborhoods for 20-somethings: Old City, Washington Square West, Midtown Village, Graduate Hospital, Bella Vista. Best brunch spots: Hawthorne’s, Cafe Lift, Kennett, Honey’s. Best coffee shops: Chapterhouse, Good Karma on Pine St., Menagerie, Cafe Ole. Best happy hour: Sampan, Mixto, Perch Pub (and a million others, Philly has awesome happy hours).” –Arielle F. ’10
“West Philadelphia has a great vibe due to the many universities, but the crime rate is staggering, so be careful when walking around after dark. The Manayunk neighborhood is a bit safer and is home to a lot of grad students. Manayunk has a lot of bars, not to mention these insane cliffs that rival those in San Francisco. Rittenhouse Square has a lot of nice cafes and shopping. City Tavern serves only colonial recipes, so that’s a unique place to eat.” –Dan G. ’14
“Philadelphia has a great restaurant scene. There are so many different cuisines to explore. The city is also very diverse and walkable! Philadelphia is a nice blend of a modern city with historic roots. Sometimes I forget that I live in the same place where the Declaration of Independence was signed!” Jessica R. ’16, Nursing
Pittsburgh, PA
“I was born and raised here. I enjoyed my time at UR for undergrad but absolutely love being back. The city is constantly growing and there are ALWAYS things to check out in the city. It is divided into little pockets with their own identities, each with its own amazing places to eat! As soon as I check off a new restaurant to try, three more are added to the list, I swear. There are a lot of graduate students and young professionals, so it is a fun place to live.” –Lauren R. ’10
Phoenix, AZ
“Arizona has some of the best hiking trails and outdoor activities. Swimming (yes, even though we are a desert!), rock climbing, ghost towns and historical re-enactments, and beautiful nature surround you everywhere.” –Stephanie S. ’16, Military
Princeton, NJ
“I currently live in Princeton, NJ in an apartment complex 10 minutes away from the university and 15 minutes away from downtown Princeton. The Princeton Junction station is about 5 minutes away from my complex and from there one can take trains to NYC or to any other city in NJ.” –Maritza G. ’14
Providence, RI
“Providence is such an artistic city with so much character! Alongside the cobblestone roads, downtown is filled with portraits on buildings, small boutiques and bookstores. There is also a river with fire pits that runs throughout downtown and from spring to fall, the city converges to watch the fire show, formally known as ‘Waterfire.’ It’s such a romantic and familial scene all at once! We are also remarkably close to Boston and for just $10 (one way); you can buy a train ticket for the commuter rail and spend the day in Boston. Rhode Island is the “Ocean State” and the beach is never too far. And if you need a weekend getaway, Cape Cod is a great location!” Anansa B. ’15,
“Once you make it to a big city, take advantage of all the networking opportunities you can — inside and outside of Rochester’s umbrella. Become friends with people who went to school in the city. You will find out about all the cool stuff more quickly.” -Armando R. ’12
“The east side near Wayland Square is extremely nice. There are many trendy restaurants and coffee shops, and it’s walking distance from Brown and RISD.” -Amy E. ’16, Science/Research
Rochester, NY
“Restaurants: Coco Garden, Thali and Shiki. Spots: Park Ave and the Public Market. Transportation: get a car. City Quirks: go to the different shows at Eastman.” Isabella T.V. ’14
“Rochester is more interesting than you think. The food is exceptional, the drinks are delicious, and there are a surprising amount of fun places to hang out. The South Wedge and Park Ave areas are absolutely worth checking out.” -Lauren W. ’15
“Rochester has tons of culture Nahoma P. ’15
“Rochester has a lot to offer! College is a bubble of sorts, so as an undergrad, I never really realized how much there is to do in the city and what different vibes all the various neighborhoods have. There are tons of amazing restaurants in Rochester, and hardcore coffee-lover culture is growing rapidly. One of my favorite places to hang out on a Saturday night is Joe Bean, a coffee bar that also serves beer and wine. The staff are all super knowledgeable and fun to talk to about beer, coffee, and more! Rochester also has lots of great parks and trails to hike on.” Emily H. ’12
“Living in the Cobbs Hill neighborhood has been a great experience. It is not a popular college neighborhood, so you can feel a little more put-together, but the benefits of Park Ave are a short walk away. Watching the Culver Road armory develop over the years has been fun, and the nearby parks make it seem like you’re barely living within city limits.” Vincent D. ’13
“There are a lot of great restaurants in the Park Ave area such as Bacco’s, Magnolia’s, Dorado, and Sinbad’s, to name a few. There are a lot of options for bars on Park Ave and Monroe Ave such as Dragonfly Tavern, O’Callaghan’s, and ACME, to name a few. Dogtown and Mark’s Texas Hots on Monroe Ave are perfect for late night food! The Village Gate on University has some really good restaurants including The Gate House, California Rollin’, Lento, and Good Luck. I highly recommend trying new restaurants because there are a lot of great ones in Rochester. There are also some great dance studios such as Tango Cafe and Groove Juice Swing to take salsa or swing lessons at. There is really a lot to do in Rochester!” -Katlyn M. ’10
“Rochester has so much more to offer than many of us know or explore during our undergrad years. There are so many amazing coffee shops, wonderful restaurants, and great cultural institutions. If you decide to stay in Rochester after you graduate: EXPLORE, EXPLORE, EXPLORE. This city may struggle with crime in certain areas, but there is an amazing quality of life to be found here!” -Elizabeth H. ’13
“I’m discovering new things in Rochester all the time! For being a small city, it still has a lot to offer.” -Sarah W. ’13
“Must-try ethnic restaurants: Yummy Garden Hot Pot (Chinese); Seoul House (Korean); Sodam (Korean); Abyssinia (Ethiopian); Natural Oasis (Ethiopian); The King and I (Thai); Esan (Thai); Thali of India (Indian); India House (Indian); Haveli (Indian). Other must-try restaurants: Dogtown; Han Noodles; Owl House; John’s Tex-Mex; Harry G’s; Tap and Mallet.” –Matias P. ’14
“I loved UR so much, I ended up staying! It’s been nearly ten years since graduating, and I still discover new places to visit in this city!” –Jason B. ’07
“If you want to walk to bars and be near recent graduates, live in the Park Ave neighborhood (I suggest between Culver and Goodman/Monroe and University).” –Kayleigh S. ’08
“The Park Avenue neighborhood in Rochester is one of the most sought after areas. I lived there for three years: one on East Ave right near Park, and the next two right on Park. It’s very safe during the day, and relatively safe at night (don’t go out walking alone, but with a group you are fine). This area has a strong sense of community, beautiful architecture, great shops, restaurants and bars, and it’s walking distance from the East and Alexander bar scene. The summer time is the best, especially with all the festivals. I loved walking down Park on a Saturday evening—every restaurant and bar has outdoor seating and, like a great party, it’s the place to see and be seen.” –Diana D. ’08
“Must try restaurants: Sinbad’s and Hogan’s Hideaway. Great bars: Magpie, Dragonfly, and Half Pint.” –Diana D. ’08
“Go to Taco John’s (a.k.a John’s Tex Mex) at South and Alexander. Venture outside the city to Pittsford, Fairport, Letchworth State Park, etc.” –Anonymous
“To live in Rochester after college is much different than to live here during undergraduate years. Don’t discount it.” –Elizabeth C. ’08
“There is more to Rochester than East and Alexander. Venture to the city and county parks, visit the Public Market, and never go to a chain restaurant ever again.” –Kayleigh S. ’08
San Antonio, TX
“San Antonio is an amazing city. It’s one of the biggest cities in the country, but it feels like a small town and it has the BEST Mexican food. The only downside is that you really need a car to get around.” –Travis B. ’12
San Francisco, CA
“In San Francisco, be aware that the Tenderloin is a neighborhood basically right in the heart of the city that is, shall we say, a bit rough around the edges. If you’re looking for apartments you may find cheap ones listed there, but you should check out the neighborhood at night to make sure it is really somewhere you’re comfortable living. This area is bounded by Geary, Van Ness, Market, McAllister, and Grant. Also, if you need to get to the BART or muni stations on Market for your commute (because you live in, say, Nob Hill or Russian Hill), consider whether you will end up walking through this area to get home and make sure you’re comfortable with that commute, especially after dark.” -Katie S. ’07
“SF is very expensive now, so be cautious when accepting a new job that the salary will actually get you a place you want to live in (e.g. shared 1 bedroom is $1500/mo.). Students live generally in the Sunset/Richmond districts, while techies live downtown or in the Mission. The upside though, is that it is a fun, young city with tons of people doing all sorts of things all year round. Being open to new experiences is a must, so don’t be surprised about the BDSM festival, the Hunky Jesus contest, Pride, Outside Lands, or really any other major festival in the city. The food here is amazing. We have everything from $6 burritos to $365 tasting menus at Michelin five-star restaurants, of every cuisine you can think of.” Melissa R. ’10
“San Francisco is the most magical city, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else in the world. It’s eclectic and full of free-spirited hippies who all frequent Burning Man, optimistic entrepreneurs looking to create the next Twitter, hipsters with crazy beards, and people who love climbing, camping, and adventure. It’s a huge place for self-discovery and feeling like the biggest kid, even if you’re a forty-something. The Mission, Haight, Duboce Triangle, and Hayes Valley are all really central, amazing places to live with lots of restaurants and bars. They’re expensive, though, and can be tough to make bank in if you’re not making an engineer’s paycheck. The East Bay is best if you’re living on a budget.” –Lauren B. ’10
“Buy a light-weight jacket – the temperature can vary dramatically when walking in the shade/sun and up/down the hills. Having a light-weight jacket is a necessity. Check out 7×7 – the insider’s guide to San Francisco. Another favorite website is sf.funcheap.com.” –Lauren S. ’10
“It’s REALLY expensive. Thankfully, if you live in SF you most likely work in tech. Working in tech means you make a lot of money and can afford the outrageous rent prices. Public transportation is decent, but not the best. Uber and Lyft are becoming the most relevant form of transportation. It is difficult to have a car because there is really only street parking. The good news is, SF is only about 7 square miles, so walking is possible. There are lots of little neighborhoods within the city. Stay away from downtown, it’s super touristy. If you’re looking to live in the city, Pac Heights, the Marina, and near the Panhandle are where it’s at. There are tons of bars and restaurants in the city. The Mexican food in the Mission is the best. The best bar hopping spots are on Polk Street and in North Beach.” –Rachel Y. ’14
Springfield, MA
“The Springfield area is a really cool place to be. I live in the pioneer valley in a town outside of Springfield – it allows me to live in a quiet and relaxing atmosphere, but divulge in a night out when I feel it necessary.” Morgan P. ’15
St. Louis, MO
“St. Louis is more fun than you might expect. It has a lot in common with Rochester in terms of being able to get around easily, but there are more ‘big city’ type things to do (sports, culture, etc.).” –Brian C. ’08
State College, PA
“I live in a very cute Victorian town outside of State College. It’s small, but has a lot of charm, and the people are friendly. State College is a college football-crazy town, and Friday afternoon commutes through it are hellacious during football season. Never go downtown on a Friday afternoon or Saturday during football season if you want to get out of your car within five hours.” Hannah V. ’15
Washington, DC
“DC is a great place to visit, but living here is not the greatest! If you can, find a place in Maryland or Virginia, and commute in. You’ll save money and can still take advantage of all the great things DC has to offer.” -Patricia C. ’15
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“The Metro is your lifeline, although it will continually be out of order. The Circulator Bus is good too. It can get you almost anywhere in the city for $1.” –Anonymous
“D.C. is a great city to be a young professional. There are a ton of young people here, and it’s a very transient city so a lot of people are always coming in and out. It also has a bit of a suburban feel, such that it’s a perfect little urban-suburban hybrid.” –Jason S. ’10
“Living in the District is expensive. The suburbs are much cheaper, but commute costs should be factored in. You can reasonably live without a car, though I enjoy the convenience, just expect to either street park or pay a fortune. The Metro buses are good for travel within the city, but get sparse in the suburbs. I personally love going out in the neighborhoods of Columbia Heights and Adams Morgan. Both have wonderful culture, restaurants, and night life without breaking the bank. I’ve lived in Cleveland Park and Takoma Park, which are a bit more low-key and better suited for my preferred living arrangement, but still close to the amenities of downtown D.C.” –Kaitlyn K. ’12
“Living near a Metro station can be incredibly expensive (unless you can find a house with several roommates). Try places that are within a mile or so of the Metro, or where you can take a quick bus ride and get onto the metro. This can save you a ton of money on apartments.” –Jonathan A. ’09
“I love Washington D.C. It’s a young, fun city, and almost no one is ‘from’ D.C. so it’s exciting to explore with a group of people. Many people work for the government or in politics, but as a corporate person it’s nice to have an outsider view of that world.” –Anonymous
“D.C. is a very young city. The popular and safe neighborhoods to live in are: Van Ness, Cleveland Park, Woodley Park, Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, 14th Street Corridor, Columbia Heights, Eastern Market, Arlington, Crystal City, and Georgetown.” –Lauren L. ’11
“If you visit, I highly suggest checking out Ted’s, either in Barracks Row or 14th Street. The president is a frequent visitor, and their milkshakes and pop-tarts are out of this world! Some of the best restaurants are in the 14th and U Street area.” –Anonymous
“A few must-try restaurants in D.C.: Agora (go for their bottomless brunch on the weekends,) Cava Mezze (a few locations in D.C.), Filomena (Italian in Georgetown), and Founding Farmers.” –Lauren L. ’11
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“My favorite restaurants are Filomena, Rasika, Jaleo’s, and Ay Jalisco. Young people’s favorite neighborhood is now U-street. Live within walking distance from a Metro station if you can.” –Victoria V. ’10
“Within D.C., some of the best neighborhoods are Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, and Logan Circle. Eastern Market and Georgetown are popular, as well. Outside of D.C., many young people live in Bethesda, M.D. or Arlington, V.A.—specifically Clarendon (it’s a Metro stop, but there are tons of restaurants and bars around it).” –Anonymous
“There are a lot of cool areas in the city if you take the bus—don’t be afraid to (oddly a lot of young people don’t utilize that).” –Anonymous
“Live close to the Metro or to the highway since traffic is bad. There are lots of awesome restaurants in D.C. though!” –Chad H. ’12
“For food: happy hour and brunch drive D.C.’s food system. Know good places for both. Pi offers the best pizza in D.C.” –Ross B. ’09
“Don’t listen to what anyone tells you about any of the neighborhoods. Go check them all out for yourself. Even the ones ‘across the river’ have good things to offer, and the most desirable ones might not even be the atmosphere you’re looking for.” –Anonymous
“D.C. has become a popular city. Do use the Metro, buses, and Uber to get around.” –Michael C. ’07
“Live near a Metro stop. Always. And live inside the Beltway. Do not drive into the city. It’s usually not much faster than the train, and parking is expensive. Work and live on the same Metro line, if possible; an easy commute makes life much better. Buy a SmarTrip card right away. Learn the bus system.” –Ross B. ’09
“D.C. is fantastic. I love this town, and there are a ton of Rochester people in the area. It is a company town, so be prepared for government talk on the regular. The Metro is usually efficient and clean. The neighborhoods are friendly and fun. There’s tons to do from bars to museums to athletics. I come to D.C. by way of central New Jersey but spent most of my weekends in New York City. The biggest thing I miss about New York are the modern arts—from standup comedy to theater to street performers. D.C. doesn’t quite have that figured out.” –Gregory M. ’08
“D.C. is by far my favorite city! You get the feel of living in a busy city, while also enjoying some great parks and smaller-feeling towns (like Georgetown). I would HIGHLY recommend Founding Farmers for any meal. The Georgetown Waterfront has a great view. D.C. has really great public transport. I didn’t bring my car here with me and have had no problem getting around. That being said, Uber and Lyft are super cheap here as well.” Kelsey S. ’16, Health Care, Non-Medical
“D.C. is full of things to do. On top of the obvious national landmarks, museums, and other attractions, it is an urban environment with a lot to do for young professionals. Among the many places to go, the U-Street NE area is full of younger people, a good night crowd, and the famous civil rights landmark restaurant Ben’s Chili Bowl!” Dominick S. ’16, Law
Wilmington, DE
“If you live in Wilmington, there is actually a lot of hidden arts and culture especially approaching the Pennsylvania border. Many people don’t realize that the downtown closes at 5 p.m., but Trolley Square is really the neighborhood that has ‘nightlife.’ Juliana’s Peruvian Restaurant is the best food outside of Philly and Rocco’s is the best pizza. Many residents don’t realize that the SEPTA trains extend into Delaware and there are two stations in Wilmington. It is cheaper to buy tickets in the station than on the train. If you choose to get a monthly or weekly SEPTA pass, it is also valid for all local DART buses throughout Wilmington.” –Emily W. ’10
Alumni Events in your city

Finding the Right Apartment For You

Albany, NY
“Ask yourself these few questions before you start apartment hunting: Do I want a roommate? Would I prefer to live alone? What is my budget? Which areas are safe? Which areas should I steer clear of? How close is it to my job/school/etc.? After you have asked yourself these questions, you will need to make a list of questions to ask your landlord. One important question I found helpful was to ask landlords why the previous renters moved out. Based on their response (or hesitance to answer the question) you will get a sense of the type of landlord you are dealing with.”
–Janise C. ’13
Asheville, NC
“I asked around for friends who had been to or knew someone in the area. I had some key priorities (being able to go running safely from my door!) that I didn’t want to budge on. Ended up finding a great spot.” –Megan O. ’11
Baltimore, MD
“A lot of apartment searching through Zillow and Craigslist.” Michaela K. ’15
Boise, ID
“Google” -Douglas B. ’15
Bristol, UK
“The main things I prioritized in my apartment hunting were location, distance from work, safety, and budget.” Ioannis Z. ’14,
Boston, MA
“Scouring Craigslist was nearly a full-time job. Boston is a college city, so the big move-in date is September 1. I looked at a May 1 move-in but wound up moving into my apartment on June 1, which is also somewhat of a popular move-in date due to when college students move out; all other times are difficult to find apartments.” –Rachel A. ’07
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“Moved into an apartment a friend was moving out of. It sucks but it’s cheap. I’d live closer to the city if I did it over.” –Will H. ’14
Craigslist shows apartments that don’t really exist. Craigslist is more for getting in contact with a realtor that can show you what’s actually available. For rentals, that’s probably your best bet. But if you don’t see anything you like, reach out to one of the ads just to secure the realtor. Most rentals are on a September 1 cycle. You’ll want to start searching for an apartment after June 1. Don’t wait too long because the good ones go quickly.” –Anonymous
“Know your city and when to look. In Boston, start looking a few months before you intend to move and be ready to sign for a place you love almost on the spot. Remember that a 15 minute walk to public transportation is actually pretty good! Look for windows that actually work, doors that actually lock, and ask about the cost of heating and cooling. I always approach an apartment with an open mind. The current tenant might be incredibly messy and/or dirty, but all of that is easy to fix once you move in!” –Ann G. ’07
“Find a broker you trust, and live with a friend. Live on the T, even if it’s cheaper not to.” –Dan S. ’09
Alumni Events in your city
“If it’s an option and you think you’ll be able to tolerate it, live at home. You’ll save a ton of money which will be worth it in the long run.” –Matt B. ’14
“Visit a lot and be ready to sign on the line as soon as you find one you like! Apartments get scooped up very quickly, particularly for September 1, June 1, and January 1 lease start dates.” –Anonymous
“Many landlords go through a broker. It’s a very expensive and discouraging process. Start as early as possible otherwise you may settle for less!” –Megan H. ’09
“Rent is very expensive and you can’t find a decent apartment without a real estate broker. Be prepared to put down four times one month’s rent up front (first month’s rent, last month’s, security deposit, broker fee). Most of the Boston apartments are on a September 1 cycle so that is when the most are available and also when demand is incredibly high—make sure to find a place fast. When it does come time to move in, make sure you get a permit from the city to block off a spot in front of your place for the moving truck.” –Dan B. ’07
“First I lived with friends, and then I used Craigslist for subsequent apartments. Living in the Boston area is very expensive and competitive, so the apartment hunting process is not fun. I suggest starting early, and keep in mind that if you are looking to rent a room in an apartment with other people, you will likely need to come to the city in person to interview at potential apartments. When I’ve filled rooms in apartments, we only consider people who can come in person. The market is definitely on the side of the people looking for a roommate, not people looking for a house.”–Kate W. ’07
“Having a car is helpful, but parking is a nightmare in terms of hassle. Street parking within Boston, Brookline, and Brighton is very hard to come by, but Jamaica Plain and Somerville have more accessible street parking (fewer restrictions). I pay for the parking spot behind my building, which saves me the hassle but is an expense I wish I didn’t have.” –Rachel A. ’07
“Definitely do your due diligence and look at lots of places. Don’t hesitate to ask current tenants probing questions about their relationship with their landlords. There are lots of absent landlords around the city who don’t maintain their properties. Also, you will likely have to pay a realtor a fee for your place, but try to find an apartment with a half or quarter fee rather than a full month’s rent. Also, most apartments in Boston turn over on September 1, and it is a horrible day to try to move in the city (traffic, jacked up pricing from moving companies, etc.), so if you can get yourself onto a different lease cycle, you’ll be great. Also, consider your commute and parking situation when you’re looking at apartments—these can be huge hassles if you don’t think about them up front.” –Leah O. ’09
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“If you’re looking around the Brighton area, check out Edge Realty Advisors. They’re young, understand your budget, and won’t show you anything that you wouldn’t actually live in.” Jill D. ’16, Health Care, Non-Medical
“I found a place that’s very close to work, this helps with daily commute.” –Christina K. ’14, Engineering
Buffalo, NY
“Look at as many apartments as you can and try to find these items: heat included in your rent, insulation in the house/building, and new windows. It sounds like common sense but so many apartments here do not have those and it is terrible without them – you will freeze in the winter! Do not let a landlord tell you plastic wrapping the windows works. There are amazing apartments here, it’s all about starting the search early and not giving up!” Seth A. ’08
“The two ways I’ve found apartments the best in Buffalo were via Craigslist and moving in with folks from my graduate program who already lived in the Buffalo. I met them through the university’s list serve.” Rachel S. ’09
Chicago, IL
“Craigslist. Proximity to a grocery store is key – especially if you don’t have a car. BTW, you don’t need a car.” Deborah P. ’09
“I grew up in the Chicago area and heard about my place through my high school network. Affordable accommodations are pretty common though.” Bennett P. ’11
“Truth be told, I used Craigslist to find the apartment I live in now. I picked a neighborhood and combed ads daily. Another tip is to go to the neighborhood you want to live in and search around, do drive-bys, or walk to find ‘For Rent’ signs. Just be careful – a cool neighborhood can become really shady if you walk past a certain street. You can get really lucky on a place, or really unlucky. I used to live in a building that had tons of giant centipedes. Suffice it to say, I moved out of there as soon as I got the chance!”Ashley C. ’09
“I used the Chicago Apartment Finders to find an apartment. There are various agencies that will help renters find an apartment for free (they receive commission from the apartment owners). Other people have had good success using Craigslist.” –Katrina B. ’08
“I recommend using local connections, online search databases, and Craigslist.” –Anonymous
“I ended up in my first Uptown pretty unintentionally, as I visited the city just one weekend to find a place. I used Chicago Apartment Finders which helped me narrow down what I was looking for and took me around different neighborhoods to see several places in one appointment. I have remained in the same neighborhood, and am very glad to be right next to the red line, away from the craziness and expensiveness of the downtown/Loop area, and surrounded by all the establishments I need to live and have fun!” –Hannah A. ’11
“I used student resources since UChicago was so close and found a great apartment for a great price!” –Toni I. ’13
Cleveland, OH
“There are sites like Zillow you can use to look at rent prices for different areas including a Google Maps-type overlay. However, I have found each of my last five apartments on Craigslist.” –Guy M. ’10
“If you wanted to get a place downtown you should have started yesterday. Downtown apartments are at 95% capacity. My apartment was the right location, price and size. Our three bedroom apartment is $1,685 a month ($560/each) so it’s definitely affordable.” –Kevin D. ’14
Columbus, OH
“By navigating apartment websites and reading about the city I was able to learn about what part of the unfamiliar city I should live in, and at what price I should expect. Then by doing research on apartment websites and Craigslist I was able to find my ideal apartment.” Ryan W. ’15
Harrisburg, PA
“There were only a few apartment buildings to choose from, so I asked my future co-workers where they lived, and just signed a lease with that building. It worked out great.” –Sarah H. ’10
Hartford, CT
Craigslist or Trulia.” –Anonymous
Houston, TX
“Houston vacancy is at an all-time high. Be ready to negotiate – apartment complexes are desperate and often will give you several months free. Live inside the 610 Loop, otherwise you are too far away from the nightlife and restaurant scene. Houston blogs like SwampLot will help provide a lot of information about real estate, neighborhood changes, and available apartments!” Eric D. ’13
“Houston is very close to sea level, so when renting from an old building, make sure it does not have any flooding problems. A lot of the older buildings down here have issues with flooding, and it rains fairly often.” Adam K. ’14
Los Angeles, CA
“I found an apartment via a combination of online searches on major sites like apartments.com and also by walking around in the neighborhood and scouting.” -Amelia S. ’15
“I moved in with roommates who already lived here, but I would suggest Craigslist and other websites. Living alone will be expensive, $1,300-$1,800 for a studio/one-bedroom in a nice area. But there are a lot of areas further out that are affordable. Two to three roommates and you can live for $800-$1,200 a month somewhere nice. It’s not like NYC where you need a real estate agent, you will be able to find something on your own. Go to the neighborhoods and see how close they are to highways. Preferably know where you would think about working before you find a place because a long commute can be completely demotivating. Going 5 miles can take 30 minutes and going 10 miles can take up to an hour, and that’s average. Santa Monica and the west side are rather expensive. West Hollywood/Hollywood are a little less expensive but not good for commuting. The Valley and North Hollywood are much more affordable but only if you work close by and you are kind of stuck up there. Silver Lake/Echo Park are more hipster vibe and you can bike around and eat really good food but it’s hard to get to the west side. Downtown is different from most downtowns in a city, but can be nice and maybe affordable. The further south along the beach you go the more affordable it gets. Culver City is up and coming and really nice (I want to move there!). And then there are still a bunch more neighborhoods that could be great.” –Emily R. ’14
“I am fortunate—as a graduate student at UC Irvine, I am eligible for subsidized housing. In addition to being extremely affordable in a part of the country where the cost of living is high, it also took the guess work out of apartment hunting when I moved across the country.” –Caitlin C. ’11
“I find my apartment through UCLA’s ULoop.” -Zongqi L. ’15
Rochester Alumni Exchange
“The best way to find apartments is by walking around the neighborhood you’re interested in because a lot of the best places aren’t posted online and they go fast. You need to be ready to make an offer within a day or two of viewing a place.” Wallis N. ’15
“Zillow is your friend! Go on every day and only sort by postings from the last 24 hours – any posting on there longer than a week is either already gone, or no one wants it for a reason.” Jay R. ’13
“Craigslist, Westside Rentals, and LA housing groups on Facebook are the best ways to find apartments. Koreatown is a good place to start. It’s fairly cheap, decent neighborhood, and pretty central (it’s easy to get to from other LA neighborhoods). It’s much more affordable to live with roommates as opposed to living by yourself!” Octavia R. ’15
Madison, WI
“Moving to Madison, I picked a few ostensibly random people who would be starting at Epic (my employer) the same month I was, and we picked a sublet to give us time to find a suitable apartment in person. I’m really low-maintenance/stress when it comes to living with people, so it’s easy for me to pick random people to live with, but the obvious problem with that is you have no idea if you’ll be a good fit until you’re already living with them. The only real piece of advice I can give is to make sure you always keep some sort of distance, and have your own private space. It does wonders to maintain relationships and make living with someone extremely amiable, even if you don’t like them as a person.” –Brad O. ’10
Craigslist was pretty helpful, but it can get bogged down by the run-down and over-priced student/university housing. The best way to find a good place is to drive/walk around areas where you want to live and write down the names of streets or apartment buildings you come by. Then search online for those places. If nothing comes up, see if property management companies have similar apartments nearby or in other cool areas you didn’t consider. There’s PLENTY of housing in Madison. You just need to decide on your price range, location, and/or what types of amenities you want. Beware of the fact that many downtown rentals are on an August 1 or 15 cycle, which can limit some options for full year leases outside that time.” –Anonymous
“I found it was very important to look at the apartments myself instead of relying on the pictures in advertisements. They tend to be very misleading.” Morgan K. ’16, Science/Research
Miami, FL
“Check out the University of Miami’s off-campus housing website for a great list of apartment complexes and private listings. In a residential neighborhood, drive around and stop in at apartment complexes to ask about availability. You might also notice handwritten “For Rent” signs posted in these areas – these can be some of the best deals around so don’t be afraid to call. Many buildings have waiting lists, so start calling around 3 months in advance of your planned move-in date.” –Sandhya R. ’09
Nashville, TN
“You have to visit and find one close to where you want to be. There is a housing building boom happening now.” –Joseph G. ’12
“I rent a house and live there with a housemate. Found it using an app called Padmapper that brings together all types of online listings (apartments.com, rent.com, Craigslist, etc.). Rentals in Nashville go FAST. I called as soon as my house was listed, went to go see it that day (I was lucky enough to have a work project in Nashville two months before I moved there), and put the deposit down all within a few hours.” –Bobby S. ’08
New Haven, CT
Craigslist, Zillow, and Trulia: Know them, love them.” –Anonymous
“Meliora
New Orleans, LA
“I found roommates. It’s important for you all to be on the same page before looking, and then only consider places that meet your expectations. This way everyone can be happy.” –Alexander P. ’07
New York, NY
“On my grad school’s student Facebook page, I looked for other people who also were waitlisted for housing. I found a UR alum two years older than me that had known my older sister on the page, so I messaged her and we ended up living together.” Brianna I. ’15
“I installed the Padmapper and Trulia apps on my phone, and stalked them until I found an apartment in my price range with a decent commute. Realtors run in semi-monthly cycles, so if you see an ad for an apartment on May 16, the lease will be signed by June 1, and on June 2, the push for June 15 apartments will start.” -Emma A. ’15
“In NYC, apartments rented through management companies are typically easy to find online without a broker. Don’t let brokers show you these because they make you sign an agreement before they taking you around that says you have to pay them if you rent whatever they showed you. Once you find an apartment, you have to pay money up front, which could be a month’s worth of rent and a security deposit. If your salary isn’t a certain amount (around 40x monthly rent), you must have a guarantor that makes even more than that. There are companies that can act, but it’s expensive. After you spend some time in NYC, you will have hopefully made new friends and connections that will help you find better apartments in cooler areas for possibly less money.” -Armando R. ’12
Just Five Ad
“My friend moved in and was looking for an extra roommate. If you’re looking in a place like New York, post messages on Facebook and other social networking sites that you’re looking for a place and a friend of a friend may very well know someone. Also Craigslist is not a bad way to find apartment listings.” –David L. ’09
“Look online and arrange visits. Don’t be afraid to pay a broker’s fee because at least they know what they’re doing. You can find a good apartment in less than two weeks.” –Anonymous
“Apartment hunting in NYC is a hit or miss (more often miss) venture. You just have to see apartment after apartment until you find one you love. Some free advice: find a couple roommates and make sure you live within your means (that includes saving some money).” –Matthew F. ’08
“I went to trulia.com and found a few I was interested in based on the areas and amenities of the building. Then I booked out a weekend with showings back to back, and by the end of the week- end I was ready to make my deposit. Make sure you have all your documents ready before you go apartment hunting because there’s a lot of competition in NYC!” –Angie S. ’11
“Live with your parents until January. You’ll save $300-$500 per month if you sign a lease mid-winter rather than the high season (April to September).” –Anonymous
“Really research neighborhoods and figure out which will be the best fit. Do not use a broker! Their fees are crazy. Your best bet is to find someone cool on Craigslist and move in. If you must find your own apartment, try to get into a building with a great landlord or a new luxury building that is trying to be filled (cheaper rent!)” –Emily H. ’12
“Identify potential neighborhoods by looking at transportation maps to find areas that are accessible from where you work and other important locations. If you can, try to talk to somebody who grew up in the area or at least has been living there for a while. There are so many different neighborhoods and things change quickly, so it’s hard to get a feel for different areas just by information online. If at all possible, go walk around places you think you may want to live and check out the vibe, plus look for things like grocery stores and laundromats that make everyday life a lot easier.” –Chelsea D. ’10
“I was able to get into an apartment through Columbia University Apartment Housing, so that worked out really well for me. If you have the opportunity to live in university housing even as a graduate student, you should take it. The apartments are cheaper and usually much nicer than apartments you’d pay the same price for that weren’t university-affiliated.” –Andrea M. ’12
“No matter how much prep work you do, though, apartment hunting in NYC is always a bit of a nightmare. Things move incredibly quickly, so it’s rarely possible to start viewing apartments before about two weeks before you’re willing to move. Make sure you know all of the paperwork you’ll need and have it ready to go. Be aware of income requirements (usually 40x the monthly rent), so opting for roommates, or having a guarantor if that’s an option, may be necessary. All apartments have broker fees, but sometimes they’ll be covered by the renter rather than the lease. It’s definitely possible to get a no-fee apartment if you’re willing to do a little more legwork, but also do the math because sometimes a realtor can get you a better price on a comparable apartment, so the fee might be balanced out by reduced rent over time. Some brokers are also willing to negotiate for a month’s rent rather than the standard percentage fee.” –Chelsea D. ’10
“Lots of young professionals can find affordable housing on the Upper East Side of Manhattan or in Hell’s Kitchen. Most people find their apartments or roommates through Craigslist, alumni networking, or friends. Try to avoid brokers by searching for no-fee apartments!” –Elizabeth S. ’11
Philadelphia, PA
Craigslist has always worked for me! You have to be willing to look at a few duds first, but stick with it and you’ll find great places. Just make sure to jump on new posts, and make decisions quickly, since awesome apartments will go in a flash.” –Arielle F. ’10
Padmapper.com! Hands down easiest way to find an apartment.” –Arielle F. ’10
“Shop, shop, shop. We found prices varied widely and saw a ton of places that were pricier and less nice than our final choice. Duplexes are big in Philly, and we’ve had much better luck than other friends who got apartments in larger buildings in West Philly, many plagues by roaches, mice, bedbugs or smoke. We live above our landlady in the “maid’s quarters” of an old duplex and have never had to worry about these things.” –Ryan W. ’08
“First, start looking really early. Ideally you should be able to pick out a couple of buildings and go to Philly to look at them and be prepared to sign a lease on that day. Apartments go very fast, especially those in good locations. Furthermore, a lot of the high-rise apartment buildings are really old and thus may have a lot of unadvertised things wrong with them, so it helps to go out there and look at things like water pressure, presence of pests, etc.” –Benjamin P. ’12
“Start with Craigslist and then set up appointments to meet and see the actual space. Try to do research on the location you want to be in first (i.e. the ideal neighborhood). I had another apartment in Wilmington before my current one and I didn’t realize that it was on the outskirts of all the shops, eateries, and bars until after I had moved in. Now I am in the center of everything, close to the highway, on the bus line, and across from a park!” –Emily W. ’10
Pittsburgh, PA
“If you attend Pitt or I’m sure CMU, there is a university version of Craigslist. You can search by ‘need a roommate’ or ‘need an apartment’ (or something to that effect). It was great for finding a living situation with a roommate from a different graduate program.” –Lauren R. ’10
Providence, RI
“I used a property management realtor. I also knew what my needs were and I made sure to find an apartment where my needs were accessible. So, I live on the bus line and near grocery stores and other necessities.” Anansa B. ’15,
Rochester, NY
“Friends wwere living in it.” Isabella T.V. ’14
“Craigslist — but be careful.” Kendra H. ’14, Non Profit
“Just looking around and Google-searching, mostly.” Nahoma P. ’15
“I was very lucky and found a fantastic apartment through a friend! The location is great; the apartment is affordable, and quite spacious.” Emily H. ’12
“Craigslist, Rent Rochester, and Zillow. Most good rentals are up for less than 36 hours. I’ve lived in the same apartment for two years, and couldn’t be happier!” Vincent D. ’13
“I had heard about Rustic Village for years – it seemed like every adult I talked to had either lived there or knew someone who had lived there as they were just starting out. I did a tour and found that it was clean, quiet, and well-run, and offered a lot of amenities at a decent price.” -Julia J. ’11
“Craigslist and word of mouth. Do a lot of research, including the Better Business Bureau, to make sure you get a landlord with a good reputation.” Emma R. ’12
“I heard about the apartment I currently live in through friends. The first apartment I lived in post-college I found by searching online for apartments in the Park Ave area. Landlords let you see the apartment before you rent it, so I recommend just going to check them out and see if you like it in person.” -Katlyn M. ’10
“Lots of searching! Ultimately, Craigslist. Look at the wonderful houses as well as larger buildings! Use your connections and look around for friends moving out of great places.” -Elizabeth H. ’13
“Finding a place to live was simple, since most of my family lives in Rochester. There’s nothing wrong with living with family members after you graduate until you get your feet on the ground; in fact, I was able to save a lot of money in just a few years and am now in the financial position to purchase my own home!” -Sarah W. ’13
“I highly recommend the following sites: hud.gov and padmapper.com.” –Matias P. ’14
Craigslist. You can find great deals on places in the best neighborhoods there.” –Anonymous
“I lived in Goler House during graduate school, but when it was time to find a new place, we drove around and found a complex in a location that we liked, and called them.” –Anonymous
“That’s easy. I ended up buying a house instead. It’s so affordable, and a great way to own property in your 20s!” –Jason B. ’07
“I just walked up and down the area I wanted to live in (Park Ave) and wrote down telephone numbers from places as I walked past them. I eventually landed on the Parklawn Apartments, and ended up living there for two years. It is such a quaint apartment building, at a wonderful location with off street parking (important for this area). A little pricey unless you have a roommate, but very safe and a great landlord. And extremely spacious!” –Diana D. ’08
San Antonio, TX
“There are apartments everywhere, and San Antonio is a really cheap city. You can get a really nice, big apartment for pretty cheap. Just find something near where you work.” –Travis B. ’12
San Francisco, CA
“Unless you are going to share an apartment with a significant other, you will almost certainly need roommates to afford rent. Make sure you get along with the people in addition to liking the apartment. Keep in mind that any building built before 1979 is subject to rent control which means your rent will go up only a small amount per year, but if your building was built after 1979 (like many new buildings in the popular SOMA and Mission neighborhoods), your rent may increase substantially year-to-year, which may force you to move each year – something to keep in mind. You can find more info on rent control here: https://www.sftu.org/rentcontrol/ .” -Katie S. ’07
Alumni Benefits
“Craigslist and other online aggregate sites are really the only thing to use to find a place. I do recommend looking at any corporate rentals as well. The term just means someone who had to move away temporarily because of work, and they can be great if you are new to a city and have yet to find a place (or buy furniture).” Melissa R. ’10
“Craigslist is the way to go.” Jeffery G. ’10
“Rent is really high here, and apartment hunting is pretty miserable. Find a super-cheap short-term (three month) lease while you’re hunting and if you find a tolerable place, jump on it!” –Adrienne W. ’11
“The best situation is to move into a place with other people. Look for people who want another roommate. It’s way too hard to find an inexpensive one bedroom. Start asking around to see if anyone is looking for a new roommate. It’s all about networking!” –Rachel Y. ’14
“Apartment hunting in San Francisco can be a grueling task. However, Craigslist is an excellent resource. When going to an apartment showing, be prepared to fill out the application and bring your checkbook.” –Lauren S. ’10
“San Francisco is one of (if not THE) most difficult cities to find an apartment in. It’s also very difficult to try and find a lease while you’re not already living in the city. You ultimately can’t be very picky because housing is extremely limited and very expensive. In the end, I picked out a large swatch of the city to look at, and I refreshed Craigslist constantly looking at new listings until I found a studio I liked. You have to pounce at whatever looks good, then show up the next day with a checkbook in hand. You’ll get lucky eventually, and living here is absolutely worth it … but it’s tough.” –Lauren B. ’10
State College, PA
“I rent a house. I found it on Craigslist, and while it’s certainly got its share of problems, the landlord is easy going and the location is nice.” Hannah V. ’15
Washington, D.C.
“I picked a neighborhood that I was interested in living in, checked online, and also just walked the neighborhood looking for vacancy opportunities.” –Jonathan A. ’09
“Use the internet to filter through the thousands of offers, but make sure you visit more than one apartment before settling!” –Alberto S. ’14
Craigslist. But be smart about it and always take a friend with you.” –Kellie I. ’10
“I grew up in urban America–in particular NYC. Older apartments weren’t something new to me, and I chose my place through an Apartment Hunter.” –Michael C. ’07
“I decided on my ideal location and budget. I identified a building and looked for a roommate on Craigslist, and then interviewed the people who responded. Check for low income apartments in the nicer neighborhoods.” –Victoria V. ’10
“A piece of advice I want to give all people moving to any new city: get a short-term sublet or rental when you first move if possible. This allows you to learn a bit more on the ground and feel out what parts of the city you like best without having committed to an apartment for a whole year. If you end up wanting to stay in your current apartment, most landlords are happy to extend the lease and negotiate rates if you agree to a longer term. Trulia and Craigslist are the best places to look for apartments in D.C., but with Craigslist make sure you keep an eye out for scams. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” –Kaitlyn K. ’12
“In D.C., almost everyone uses Craigslist to find an apartment. There’s tons of postings, but beware—it’s very competitive! Once a good place is up on Craigslist, it doesn’t last long. Shared houses are also very popular in D.C. It cuts down on your rent costs, but make sure you like the people who could be your potential roommates.” –Lauren L. ’11
“Trial and error! I eventually got a recommendation from a friend about my current landlord and then contacted this landlord and eventually rented one of her spaces. If you have the ability to move ahead of time (to a new job or to a new school) and sublet until you get the feel of a place, you will give yourself the opportunity to figure out where you want to live and the ability to see lots of spaces before signing a lease.” –Madeleine C. ’08
“Don’t freak out when you have trouble finding an apartment. I have lived in at least six places in D.C. and every time, it took until two weeks before my move-in (or move-out) date to secure something.” –Anonymous
“A LOT of research and a year in the totally wrong neighborhood. I live in North Arlington now—it’s cheaper and I absolutely love it. I did a lot of research and a lot of driving around the neighborhoods I knew I wanted to live in. A lot of apartments aren’t easy to find on the Internet unless you’re already looking. Also, if you’re looking to save money, look for things with a closed off den, sunroom, or dining room that you can turn into an extra bedroom.” –Anonymous
“When I first moved to D.C., I was unable to see anything and could only tell via pictures online—not what I would suggest. I first found an apartment with good reviews online which worked out alright, but I now live in a row house and love it! Many older D.C. apartments do not have websites so I think it’s worth it to walk around and call numbers in locations that you like. I also used Craigslist to find roommates and it has worked out great! Just be sure to talk on the phone or Skype before signing anything. It’s pretty easy to tell who you might get along with. I also think that three is the best number if you’re all new to the city. There’s always someone to explore with in case someone else wants to stay in.” –Anonymous
“It’s really hard to find an apartment as a student or a young professional in D.C. I live in Eastern Market, and the neighborhood has its pick of Capitol Hill employees so landlords choose established people first. I had the best luck with private landlords if I was the very first person to respond to an ad or submit an application. Applying to rental companies leads to more success unless you’re in a neighborhood near one of the universities or far from the city center.” –Anonymous
“I found my apartment on Zillow by searching for a “condo” rather than an apartment, even though it really is an apartment. I wanted to live alone in a studio, and I was lucky to find a newly renovated studio with beautiful hardwood floors and granite countertops in a great neighborhood in DC!” Kelsey S. ’16, Health Care, Non-Medical
“The rental market in D.C. moves fast. Lining something up three months ahead of time like you may have done in Rochester simply won’t happen. Moving to the area in two weeks without having nailed down a place to live yet shouldn’t worry you as it would elsewhere.” Dominick S. ’16, Law