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Old 12-03-2006, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Germany
3 posts, read 14,002 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi @all

I’m a student from Germany and I’m new here.

I’m going to spend a semester at SJSU in the near future and I would really like to live together with some other students, but not in the campus dormitory. I would prefer to share a room / house with some boys and / or girls.
And now my questions: What do you think, which quarters are good for students? In which quarters is it safe to rent a house or room and what do you think what are the so called “no-go-areas” in San Jose?

I already informed me a little bit on the internet but I would really appreciate to hear someone’s opinion who comes from San Jose or who lives at least in the Bay Area.

Thank you very much for your replies!

Kind regards from Germany,
JB
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Old 12-04-2006, 03:16 AM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
29,042 posts, read 46,882,292 times
Reputation: 20539
Default San Jose

Hey there - Admittedly, I don't know that much about San Jose neighborhoods... but I am a long-time (20+ years) Bay Area resident, and recently got my master's from SJSU, so I know a bit. The area right around campus isn't bad, but a little shabby & run-down. There are probably a good number of rentals, though, and you'd be more likely to find fellow student roomies... plus it would be most convenient, since you could walk or bike to class! Nicer parts of San Jose are mostly around the western side of town, near highway 280 & Campbell/Cupertino. The neighborhoods off Stevens Creek Blvd. are pretty nice too, with lots of new-ish apartment complexes; and the new "Santana Row" shopping street is beautiful, but it would likely cost a fortune to live there. As for bad parts of town, you'd probably want to avoid being right near highway 101, especially in the southeast (between the 680 & 880 interchanges)... I don't think it's dangerous, since San Jose in general is fairly safe, but that area is considered the "barrio".

My other suggestion would be to look at nearby suburbs, on the South Peninsula... Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Campbell, Mountain View, Cupertino, maybe even Palo Alto. These are all nice & relatively safe towns, with rentals that aren't too expensive. Plus Santa Clara and Palo Alto have their own universities (SCU & Stanford), so it wouldn't be hard to find students to live with. You should look on craigslist, or the local newspapers (San Jose Mercury News, San Mateo Times, Palo Alto Weekly) to see what's available - these will also have ads for shared rentals/rooms.

In all of these places, the price ranges will be approx. $850-1000 for a studio apt., $1000-1300+ for a 1-bedroom, and a shared 2+ bedroom around $500-700 per person. Only thing is that you'd need reliable transportation (i.e. a car!), since getting from the suburbs to San Jose can be hard... Caltrain would be the only decent option, and that's pretty limited in it's locations. Though I guess the bus would be okay from Campbell & Cupertino? Anyway, good luck & let me know if you have more questions.
Oh, and "Go Spartans!"
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Old 12-05-2006, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Germany
3 posts, read 14,002 times
Reputation: 10
Hey Gizmo,

Thank you so much for this very good and helpful information!

I think I will focus on renting sth around the campus. Living in a suburb is a good idea in principal, but I actually don't want to buy me a car there. Especially because I'm going to stay in SJ only for one semester (5-6 months). If I would stay longer for a year or more I would seriously think of moving to Palo Alto or Santa Clara.
By the way: How is transportation within San Jose City? I mean for U.S. rates . I know that it's not comparable with public transportation in Germany for example, but is it possible to move within the city by public bus etc.?

Waiting for your reply….

Kind regards,
JB

P.S: In which subject did you make your master degree? (just for interest)

Last edited by B1RD1E; 12-05-2006 at 11:46 AM..
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Old 12-08-2006, 04:48 PM
 
58 posts, read 253,503 times
Reputation: 48
There is a large trolly type, light rail train that will get you away from campus and out to shopping malls or parks. Buses are available to if you need to go where the light rail won't.
Here's the fees, map, etc;
http://www.vta.org/schedules/fares.html

Last edited by EZrhythm; 12-08-2006 at 05:23 PM..
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Old 12-09-2006, 05:04 AM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
29,042 posts, read 46,882,292 times
Reputation: 20539
Quote:
Originally Posted by B1RD1E View Post
Hey Gizmo,

Thank you so much for this very good and helpful information!
You're very welcome... let me know if you have more questions!

Quote:
I think I will focus on renting sth around the campus. Living in a suburb is a good idea in principal, but I actually don't want to buy me a car there. Especially because I'm going to stay in SJ only for one semester (5-6 months). If I would stay longer for a year or more I would seriously think of moving to Palo Alto or Santa Clara.
That's probably a good idea, especially for your social life... if you're only here for one semester, that's the best way to make short-term college friends! And it's really not a bad area, especially compared to some big cities. Plus, if you're not going to buy a car, living near campus will definitely make things easier.

Quote:
By the way: How is transportation within San Jose City? I mean for U.S. rates . I know that it's not comparable with public transportation in Germany for example, but is it possible to move within the city by public bus etc.?
Honestly, our bus system around here kind of sucks... I'm not so sure about San Jose's, so maybe it's better than the Peninsula, but it's nothing like New York's subways! They run under the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (the VTA), and fares are pretty reasonable: $1.75 for a regular ride, $3.50 for "express", and $5.25 for a day-pass. When I used to ride the bus in San Mateo or San Fran, I remember that homeless people would buy passes & sleep in the back... cheaper than a hotel room, I guess! On the Peninsula you have SamTrans, and in the city it's Muni bus system... there's also CalTrain, which goes to San Jose & most cities in the Bay Area, and BART which services SF & the East Bay. It's alright, but we could definitely use some better public transportation to ease up our traffic! They were planning to extend BART through the Peninsula & South Bay, but that was scrapped after 9/11 (which hurt the area financially).

Quote:
P.S: In which subject did you make your master degree? (just for interest)
I got my degree in Library & Information Science... so I'm now officially a librarian, even though I don't have a job yet.
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Old 12-17-2006, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Germany
3 posts, read 14,002 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you EZrhythm, thank you gizmo980

Very good information! I will check out some announcements on craigslist and come back later if have further questions.


kind regards,
JB
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Old 12-26-2006, 09:47 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
24 posts, read 126,821 times
Reputation: 17
I went to San Jose State =)

SJSU students get a commuters pass (included within the cost of tuition) that lets you ride the VTA bus and light rail for free - although I did not make use of that. There are many buses and light rail lines that connect San Jose State with the rest of San Jose, such the light rail that goes to areas off the 87 highway like the Willow Glen or Capitol Expressway, or Blossom Hill area further south.

I have not been on the city bus since high school. Depends on where you are going, I guess. Bus service is somewhat limited if you live in the more residential areas.

There have been positive changes to Downtown San Jose. They built new condos around 1st, 2nd and 3rd Streets that look very nice. I would say the areas by S. 8th, 9th, and 10th Streets by SJSU are a bit shady. There area halfway houses and sometimes homeless people wandering around. The Japantown area (N. 5th Street near Jackson, Empire) is a little quieter but not as shady. Definitely stay around downtown if you are a student though, it makes it much more convenient.
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