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Old 01-06-2009, 05:09 PM
Location: Madison, WI
11 posts, read 37,805 times
Reputation: 12


I'm considering studying law at Quinnipiac, but I'm trying to get a sense of what life is like off-campus. My wife and I would be moving from the Midwest, and have never been to New England.

How hard is it to find pet-friendly (2 cats) apartments in the Hamden area? We'd rather not live on-campus or even right next to it. What is the average cost for roughly 850 sqft (1 or 2 bedroom)?

Are there any areas that should be avoided or is it mostly a relatively safe place to live?

What is the job market like in the area? My wife is a college educated woman who is currently working in an office/clerical setting at a pharmacy. Has the economy hit the Hamden area hard? Is it a typical college town where "the taxi-drivers have PhDs"?

What is the public transportation like? Is there any? We have a car, so getting around shouldn't be a problem, but it'd be nice not to have to rely on it to get anywhere. I hear there are excellent rail lines linking most of the major hubs in New England, how far is Hamden from the nearest train station?

What sort of cultural attractions (theatres, museums, historical societies, etc.) are in the area?

Finally, what sort of reputation does Quinniapiac have in the area? Is it thought of as a good school by the people who live there? or is it the kind of place where most families would rather send their kids out of state than there?

I appreciate any info you can give me

Thank you.
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Old 01-06-2009, 10:01 PM
Location: Hartford area
13 posts, read 49,284 times
Reputation: 27
Hi Deja,

I'm a Quinnipiac alumnus (undergrad not law), but the first thing I think we would all agree on is that campus is AMAZING and beautiful! It's very "New England," especially in the fall! Also, they are very meticulous about keeping it clean and fancy!

As far as the Law School, well, I only went inside probably about three, maybe four times tops during my time at school. (The first time when I toured the campus, next when I was an admissions tour guide, and another time when my friend needed a book from the Law School Library, so we went poking around in there...and I felt like we were in a museum, lol!)

But I digress. To answer some more of your questions... as far as I know, Quinnipiac has a wonderful reputation within the community. There are many service organizations on the campus that get involved in the community. (I was involved with two of them!) However, the campus itself has changed A LOT since I graduated. I no longer live in the area, so I'm not sure how the residents of Hamden feel about the school. The school's PR is very adament about maintaining image, so I would imagine they do a good job staying well-liked in the community. From my experience during my years there, and as an alumnus, I feel like the school is well-respected. Four of my very good college friends were all from the area: Hamden, North Haven, and Guilford, so yes, local parents do send their kids! And while there were many local students, it was not a suitcase campus either. Students came from mostly CT, NY, NJ, MA, and RI, but not limited to that. I also knew some from PA, ME, and even some here and there from the west coast, south, or midwest. Majority were from the northeast, though.

The campus is pretty isolated from the main road (Whitney Ave.), so it's not really walkable to anywhere from there. Hamden is suburban, about ten minutes outside of downtown New Haven. I believe that Quinnipiac offers shuttles to different places for undergrads, but I'm not sure if they do for law students. (The shuttles started after I graduated, so I'm not too familiar with how those work).

Hamden is nice, though! It's very diverse. It has nicer, quieter, "Suburbia USA" neigbhorhoods, yet it also has some more urban-esque areas. Dixwell Avenue has almost everything you could possible need: Walmart, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Stop & Shop, Old Navy, TJ Maxx, CVS, TGIFriday's, Applebee's, Chili's, McDonald's, Taco Bell, etc.

If you wanted a town a little more upscale, you might prefer Cheshire--it's beautiful, but it will also come with a price. Quinnipiac's campus is just past the Cheshire town line, so your commute would be close. But you might have a better time getting a reasonable rental in Hamden. The school no longer guarantees housing for all four years (they did when I was there), so there is definitely enough affordable housing to allow students to live off campus.

As far as your wife's job goes, there should be good opportunities in the area for her. I'm not sure how Hamden has been hit by the economy, but there's a lot going on in the Metro New Haven area and there are several different towns within a twenty minute commute where she could look.

Oh, and theatres in New Haven?? Yes there are!! I took a drama class in college and we took field trips to see shows at The Long Wharf Theatre!! There's also the Schubert! And plenty more to do in New Haven. LOTS of nightlife!! (And snooping around Yale, which I definitely didn't do when I had the chance, lol).

Good luck with law school... whether it's at Quinnipiac or not! And if you do end up there, tell my old campus I said hi! Best four years of my life!

Oh, and my cat says, "MEOW" to your kitties!
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:24 AM
Location: Connecticut
32,915 posts, read 52,177,291 times
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I agree with pretty much everything that Purple Cat says. Quinnipiac does maintain a good relationship with the town, though there are occasions when students get out of hand and the locals complain. that is true in just about every college town though. You could probably find a 2 bedroom apartment for around $1,000 in the area. There is bus service to the campus but you should check CT Transit for the schedule. Also your wife should not have too much trouble finding work. The area economy is pretty diverse. New Haven does have a lot of cultural activites with many associated with Yale University. Also note that New York City is about an hour 40 minute train ride from New Haven with regular commuter service. And Boston is a couple of hours the other way on Amtrak so you have a lot of great options for cultural activities. Good luck, Jay
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:15 PM
4 posts, read 31,253 times
Reputation: 11
I went to QU... when I lived off campus, we had a two bedroom apartment with two cats in Hamden Ridge... I think it was about $1120 a month for us. Lots of shopping around, fantastically close to the good stuff in New Haven. I liked being able to hop the train into the city whenever I wanted from the State St station.
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Old 01-30-2009, 01:43 PM
Location: Madison, WI
11 posts, read 37,805 times
Reputation: 12
Thanks for the replies and all the great information. This info has placed the Hamden area squarely on my short list of places to visit and look into more closely.
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