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Old 05-07-2011, 08:35 AM
 
3 posts, read 8,476 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi everybody

My name is Elio and I'm a 25 years old Italian student. I graduated in FOreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Florence, Italy. I've always lived in Florence http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence .I've been to most parts of Europe and spent two entire summers in UK and Spain (those were the longst abroad experience I've had). I studied English, Spanish and French. During my University career I've been working at Pepperdine University (Malibu,CA but has some abroad programs like the one in Florence I work for) as a tour guide, dishwasher, and most recently as an Italian language tutor. My objective is to become an Italian teacher. That's why, thanks to Pepperdine FLorence Director, I've got in touch with FSU Modern Languages Dept. So I decided to apply at FSU, for the Italian Studies graduate program and I managed to get a Teaching Assistanship, starting from August 29th 2011 that will provide me with a tuition waiver covering fees, plus I'll get $11,100.
Then I guess this makes me a future Tallahassee citizen

Why am I doing this?

Because I've always studied the English language, and I like to study and improve it as my second language. I like the American culture (due to my job at Pepperdine I got to know American people). I wanna live outside Italy for a while, and MOST OF ALL, I wanna pursue the Italian teacher career.

So be it!

In the last few days I've been analyze this process of moving to Tallahassee, that's why I came up with a few questions...

Campus or not Campus?
Does anyone have some information about living on FSU campus vs living off campus? This is the first thing I gotta make clear. I don't know pros and cons, the only clue I have is that maybe I should try to stay on campus for at the beginning as it's gonna be easier for me to arrange the whole thing from outside US. I thinks it may be better to have a ready accomodation on campus since I won't be able to house hunt from here. Anyway, I need some information about FSU campus etc.

Apartment hunting.
Let's put I decide not to live on campus, then I should look for an apartment in town. I've been giving a look to some internet sites such as theapartmentseekers.com and craigslist.org and I realized something. It is only possible to rent the whole apartment but not a single room in an already inhabited one. So, the only possibility is to rent a nr.1 bedroom apt, or to find enough roommates to fit one. Anyway, I won't be able to tour the apartment in advance, being there to make arrangements, and I'll have to handle the whole renting process through email/phone. Do you have any suggestions in matter of apt hunting? Is it hipotetically possible to rent a house from outside US, and if yes, which would be the risks and what I should be aware of?

House, Yes but where?
I read some topics about the areas where to look for apartments and I understood that the northeast/north part of Tallahasse would be a good choice (still don't figure so well what to expect from a non-desirable area like south Tallahassee, and how it would be an undesirable place to live). Northeast means everywhere that's north of TENNESSEE ST and east of MONROE ST (but avoid frenchtown?).
This sound fine, but not being there, I lack some ground data and this mean that I cannot picture how these to-be-avoided areas would be like and whether they would be off limits for my livability standards too. I mean, even if they doesn't look appealing to a family who wants to raise children would it be fine anyway for a 25 yrs old student to live there (around FSU campus)?
If I end up in a house farther than 2 miles (median distance that can be walk or bike) from FSU campus will I be able to use public transportation to get to and from campus or will it be a very uneasy situation without a car at first?


We have Mafia, what do you have?
I've been reading the last pages of this forum, and I've been quite amused by the numerous randomly originated fights that sometimes pop up, regarding Tallahassee and its livability. The point I'm making has to do with the crime issue. It's kind of weird to me as an Italian, reading posts that ask about the crime level of a city. We don't have such things as gangs, guns or the "ghetto" phenomenon (if I can call it this way). I mean, it seems a lil bit different the whole conception of urban crime. Anyway, I don't wanna reopen the debate about Tallahassee crime situation, I just wanna know: Is it possible to live in this city feeling safe without carrying a gun ? Can I go around downtown at night for bars to meet new people or whatever, without ending up kidnapped or smth? Cause from some post I've read this is something that I could expect.

Fitting in.
I've seen here and there these words redneck, liberal/conservative, racism, black/white, good old boy, southern way. I think I know a little about all these mentalitie/stereotypes/prospectives but I've never be in the US. This means that I've never seen them actually. I can picture them to myself, as we in Italy have other similar stereotypes and social mechanisms that affect our social interactions too, but I cannot predict with certainty how it will be living among those you have there. I'm an open-minded person who just want to meet new people,learn more about the American culture and have fun. Do you think I'll be able to fit in? What can you tell me about multiculturalism in Tallahassee? Are there many students from different country and do they coexist peacefully?


Not only study.
I'll spend most of my time to pursue my degree and to take care of the teaching. But what about spare time? I like going to the beach, swim and whatever. I've seen Tallahassee is one hour and a half drive from the sea. How are the beaches there? Is there any problem due to the Deep Horizon Oil Spill?
Do you think I'll get bored anytime soon or I will find activities to keep me busy with in Tally?



I think it's enough for now. I wanna thank the ones who are gonna spend time reading my post and ones who are gonna even reply. I may have written too much but it's important to me to explain well my situation in order to let you understand what's my perspective. It's a big change for me, I'm leaving behind a lot here (even an amazing girl) I don't wanna end up in a god forsaken hole. I'm sure Tallahassee is a great place and even if I might not like it I'll be busy with school and teaching, but if could have both it'd be the best

Thanks !!!


PS: feel free to correct if there are any grammar mistakes!
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Old 05-07-2011, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Native Floridian, USA
5,112 posts, read 6,816,195 times
Reputation: 6802
Wonderful post ! I can't help you because I am not in the area but, I enjoyed reading it very much and it was certainly well written. good luck.
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Old 05-07-2011, 08:49 PM
JAS
 
Location: Metro Atlanta
582 posts, read 1,897,131 times
Reputation: 550
First of all, I enjoy Tallahassee (I will abbreviate it as "TLH") ... but TLH and everywhere else in Florida are much different than Malibu. Malibu is one of the most beautiful places to visit or live, and TLH is definitely not as nice as Malibu. Malibu is directly on the Pacific Ocean, not very humid, surrounded by mountains, and is a very wealthy community; Pepperdine also has a relatively wealthy student body. Hardly anywhere else in America is like that.

I no longer live in TLH, and I will allow others to comment on your specific housing questions. I will reply to a few of your other questions, however.

University -- FSU is a large university with many international students and professors. You will not have a problem fitting in. It sounds like you are a motivated person who will do well finding friends and associates.

Multiculturalism -- I will put it bluntly ... the major racial issue in America has been, and still is, the "black-white" issue. You don't need to worry about being discriminated against or part of any major issues or conflicts because you are Italian. TLH has a much greater black population than Malibu and most parts of California, which will actually give you another perspective of America.

I don't want to confuse you -- most of the time, blacks and whites get along very well. 99% of the time blacks and whites work together, go to school together, etc. without even thinking about it. There are some rough parts of town ("Frenchtown" as you mentioned) that are mostly black, but there are also some undesirable parts outside of town that are mostly white. You'll figure it out.

I'm only mentioning this because "multiculturalism" in California and "multiculturalism" in the southern U.S. (which has the highest black population) can mean two different things. I'm not really sure what point I am trying to make, I'm just passing along my thoughts.

Crime -- if you feel the need to carry a gun with you, you're hanging out in the wrong places. Although thefts and robberies in TLH can be random crimes that could happen almost anywhere, violent crimes generally aren't random. Violent crime generally occurs because A) you initiated it, B) you're involved with some type of illegal business, C) you're hanging out with people involved in illegal activities, or D) you know the person (dispute between family or friends). Stay out of the high-crime areas of town, and you will be fine.

I lived in TLH the first 23 years of my life and was never a victim of violent crime (and that included my years at FSU). I once had a gym bag with a t-shirt, shorts, and shoes stolen from my car at FSU, but I could have prevented it -- I left the bag on the front seat with my window rolled down during the summer. You should guard your possessions (lock doors, don't leave laptop unattended), but no need to worry about violent crime unless you're in certain neighborhoods.

Gulf of Mexico (the beach) -- I have been to nearby beaches a couple of times since the oil spill and have not seen any problems. My most recent visit to the beach was two months ago. The best "beach" area for me is St. George Island, which is about a 1.5-hour drive from TLH. Very little nightlife there -- if you're looking for more nightlife, head farther to the west over to Panama City or Destin.

The Gulf is actually only about a 30-minute drive south of TLH, but it is not a "beach" area. There is a large nature/wildlife preserve near St. Marks; FSU also has a marine lab about 45 minutes from campus on the way to St. George Island.

Again, you sound highly motivated and you will do well. Almost anywhere will seem like a step down from Malibu, but it will be to your benefit to see different parts of America. One benefit of FSU over Pepperdine is the size of the university -- there is always something happening on campus, although it will be much slower during the summer.

Best of luck!

Last edited by JAS; 05-07-2011 at 09:05 PM..
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Old 05-08-2011, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Lake Talquin
108 posts, read 335,386 times
Reputation: 60
My advice would be your own. Stay on campus for the first sememster then look for housing at your leisure for the second.

I hope you love it here too.
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:44 AM
 
3 posts, read 8,476 times
Reputation: 10
thx everybody

I think I'm going with campus arrangement!

I hope I'll like it there too hopefully...and that I won't miss too much home
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:05 AM
 
7,887 posts, read 9,509,516 times
Reputation: 3226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eliogold86 View Post
Hi everybody

My name is Elio and I'm a 25 years old Italian student. I graduated in FOreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Florence, Italy. I've always lived in Florence Florence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia .I've been to most parts of Europe and spent two entire summers in UK and Spain (those were the longst abroad experience I've had). I studied English, Spanish and French. During my University career I've been working at Pepperdine University (Malibu,CA but has some abroad programs like the one in Florence I work for) as a tour guide, dishwasher, and most recently as an Italian language tutor. My objective is to become an Italian teacher. That's why, thanks to Pepperdine FLorence Director, I've got in touch with FSU Modern Languages Dept. So I decided to apply at FSU, for the Italian Studies graduate program and I managed to get a Teaching Assistanship, starting from August 29th 2011 that will provide me with a tuition waiver covering fees, plus I'll get $11,100.
Then I guess this makes me a future Tallahassee citizen
You are definitetly going to miss Florence. I've only been there once, and I still miss it!

Quote:
Why am I doing this?

Because I've always studied the English language, and I like to study and improve it as my second language. I like the American culture (due to my job at Pepperdine I got to know American people). I wanna live outside Italy for a while, and MOST OF ALL, I wanna pursue the Italian teacher career.

So be it!

In the last few days I've been analyze this process of moving to Tallahassee, that's why I came up with a few questions...

Campus or not Campus?
Does anyone have some information about living on FSU campus vs living off campus? This is the first thing I gotta make clear. I don't know pros and cons, the only clue I have is that maybe I should try to stay on campus for at the beginning as it's gonna be easier for me to arrange the whole thing from outside US. I thinks it may be better to have a ready accomodation on campus since I won't be able to house hunt from here. Anyway, I need some information about FSU campus etc.
Campus itself is not in the best part of town, or it borders some not-so-nice areas. Nothing serious, but just not the nicest. I lived on campus myself for two years in undergrad and had a GREAT time and never had any crime problems. You'll be in graduate housing (McCollum Hall?) so you won't have to put up with the crazy partying, and it is nice and convenient.

The down side is, it keeps you on or near campus - and campus is not necessarily a good reflection on the community as a whole. Living off campus would expose you to more local flavor and people, I think.

Quote:
Apartment hunting.
Let's put I decide not to live on campus, then I should look for an apartment in town. I've been giving a look to some internet sites such as theapartmentseekers.com and craigslist.org and I realized something. It is only possible to rent the whole apartment but not a single room in an already inhabited one. So, the only possibility is to rent a nr.1 bedroom apt, or to find enough roommates to fit one. Anyway, I won't be able to tour the apartment in advance, being there to make arrangements, and I'll have to handle the whole renting process through email/phone. Do you have any suggestions in matter of apt hunting? Is it hipotetically possible to rent a house from outside US, and if yes, which would be the risks and what I should be aware of?
Yes, you can rent a house - it's up to the landlord of course. There are lots of affordable options around campus, but again, you might be able to find something better if you are willing to commute a little distance - especially oif you look east and north of campus.

Quote:
House, Yes but where?
I read some topics about the areas where to look for apartments and I understood that the northeast/north part of Tallahasse would be a good choice (still don't figure so well what to expect from a non-desirable area like south Tallahassee, and how it would be an undesirable place to live).
Trust us. You don't want to live there.

Quote:
Northeast means everywhere that's north of TENNESSEE ST and east of MONROE ST (but avoid frenchtown?).
This sound fine, but not being there, I lack some ground data and this mean that I cannot picture how these to-be-avoided areas would be like and whether they would be off limits for my livability standards too. I mean, even if they doesn't look appealing to a family who wants to raise children would it be fine anyway for a 25 yrs old student to live there (around FSU campus)?


You might be OK, the point is you don't HAVE to live there, so why do it? You can find affordable places to live in the nicer parts of town. The price differences aren't all that significant.

Quote:
If I end up in a house farther than 2 miles (median distance that can be walk or bike) from FSU campus will I be able to use public transportation to get to and from campus or will it be a very uneasy situation without a car at first?
Campus has an excellent bus system. The city at large also has a decent bus system, but hey, that's no way for an American to commute! Buying a cheap car is one of those things every new immigrant just has to do.

Quote:
We have Mafia, what do you have?
I've been reading the last pages of this forum, and I've been quite amused by the numerous randomly originated fights that sometimes pop up, regarding Tallahassee and its livability. The point I'm making has to do with the crime issue. It's kind of weird to me as an Italian, reading posts that ask about the crime level of a city. We don't have such things as gangs, guns or the "ghetto" phenomenon (if I can call it this way). I mean, it seems a lil bit different the whole conception of urban crime. Anyway, I don't wanna reopen the debate about Tallahassee crime situation, I just wanna know: Is it possible to live in this city feeling safe without carrying a gun ?



Don't believe the hype. I've lived here for nearly 25 years - including living in some of the worst areas around campus for much of that time - and have never had a problem, ever. A student will get mugged on Tennessee street every once in a while, someone will rob a bank occcassionally, but the violent "scary" crime that Tallahassee does experience is more or less stays in that part of town. Most of the rest of the town is very quiet and safe.

Quote:
Can I go around downtown at night for bars to meet new people or whatever, without ending up kidnapped or smth? Cause from some post I've read this is something that I could expect.
Downtown is fine. Don't believe the stuff some people post here, they're just trolling. I probably wouldn't walk around Frenchtown late at night or the area south of downtown, but downtown itself is great. Plus there are cops all over the place, because it's the capitol.

Quote:
Fitting in.
I've seen here and there these words redneck, liberal/conservative, racism, black/white, good old boy, southern way. I think I know a little about all these mentalitie/stereotypes/prospectives but I've never be in the US. This means that I've never seen them actually. I can picture them to myself, as we in Italy have other similar stereotypes and social mechanisms that affect our social interactions too, but I cannot predict with certainty how it will be living among those you have there. I'm an open-minded person who just want to meet new people,learn more about the American culture and have fun. Do you think I'll be able to fit in? What can you tell me about multiculturalism in Tallahassee? Are there many students from different country and do they coexist peacefully?
Just be yourself and you'll be fine. You really don't have much to worry about as an Italian, people will be friendly to you in general. Tallahassee is a more or less tolerant place. There are "rednecks" out in the country but the population of Tallahassee is very well educated and tends to be socially open-minded. Southerners can be insular but they are also very friendly and polite unless someone gives them a reason no to be...

If this makes any sense to you - Tallahassee is a "blue dot" in an otherwise very red area of the country.

Quote:
Not only study.
I'll spend most of my time to pursue my degree and to take care of the teaching. But what about spare time? I like going to the beach, swim and whatever. I've seen Tallahassee is one hour and a half drive from the sea. How are the beaches there? Is there any problem due to the Deep Horizon Oil Spill?


No real problems here with the oil spill, it didn't get very far east into Florida. The NICE beaches are 1-1.5 hours from Tallahassee, to the southwest. They are among the most beautiful beaches in the country though! Be sure to check them out.

You also will want to do some canoeing and check out the springs in north central Florida - they are a well-kept secret and truly one of the natural wonders of the world.

Quote:
Do you think I'll get bored anytime soon or I will find activities to keep me busy with in Tally?
Summer is boring, especially if you are used to living in Florence, but the natives like it because things quiet down and are not so crowded. Fall is lovely and very exciting during football season. Unlike Florence, it doesn't rain for the whole month of October.


BTW, your English is very good.
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Native Floridian, USA
5,112 posts, read 6,816,195 times
Reputation: 6802
Shoot, you folks were so helpful and nice..I may move to Tallahassee.....LOL. Again, very good thread and everything was so right. I love the springs area and St George Island beaches are the best, to me. I am older so don't require much night life. Great place to be.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:05 AM
 
3 posts, read 8,476 times
Reputation: 10
Wanna thank Jas and strel for the thorough posts.

If you ever wanna know smth about Florence or Italy just ask !
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:07 AM
 
7,887 posts, read 9,509,516 times
Reputation: 3226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eliogold86 View Post
Wanna thank Jas and strel for the thorough posts.

If you ever wanna know smth about Florence or Italy just ask !
My boss is headed to Tuscany/Umbria next week - he's an experienced traveler and is going to stay in a villa in the country.

He would love to know where the best non-touristy places to eat around the area are!


I wish I could remember the name of that place in the Etruscan tomb in Siena, that was awesome.
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:53 AM
 
Location: Oahu
53 posts, read 106,334 times
Reputation: 21
Default South Tallahassee

Thinking about moving to Tallahassee as well. When you say south side (not good) could you tell me more specifically what street boundaries you are talking about. Ex: Like...south of ___St. West of ____. etc. The reason being is we are interested in some property (Woodland Drives neighborhood) and not sure if this would be a safe area?? Thanks!
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