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Western North Carolina The Mountain Region including Asheville
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Old 06-23-2013, 03:41 AM
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I'm potentially looking at making a move to Asheville from Charlotte next year so I can get my CNA certificate from AB Tech and hopefully settle down there for awhile, and I just have some questions.

What's the biking around the UNCA/AB Tech campuses like? I've read mixed reviews about Asheville being bike friendly, but sometimes it can be better near college campuses. Is the bus system reliable? Could I conceivably get around that area to class, get groceries etc, without a car?

And as far as apartments go, is under $500 with utilities and internet included unreasonable for that area? My rent in my student apartment at UNCC was $370 with all utilities, including internet and cable, but I'd like to hear about Asheville from some people who might know the area better than I do. Also, if anyone has any experience with the AB tech CNA program, I'd love to hear about it!
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:02 AM
Location: Asheville
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Costs can be a little higher, since this is considered a resort area. That said, UNC-Asheville has PLENTY of places to rent nearby campus. AB Tech's access to houses is farther away, but it does exist some blocks thru traffic. Also, I drove all over town on a bicycle for about a year before I broke down and got a car back in my early 30s. It's just hilly aroud here... altho UNC-Asheville works good for biking, as do all the neighborhoods, and yes, you can get groceries via bicycle, just stick a rack on the back wheel.

I don't know too much about the CNA program, but I did go through most of AB-Tech's and it was not held on campus; rather on a busy road in W Asheville. But the classes were pretty good, we got to go to several nursing homes, so you can REALLY get an idea if you can handle all that goes with helping people which many are really out of it. The thing that's supposed to be good with the CNA thing is (I didn't finish, found out at the facilities my bad back wouldn't let my legs work all day), but they get first choice of jobs at the hospitals and all the doc offices (we have really good health care here) and specialty places.

Oh, and buses are great. They run them despite low passenger use, they have mostly very nice covered stops. What you might do is surf the net for places to rent like at Leslie and Associates, check out percentage of CNA grads who get hired off the AB-Tech website, consider living downtowns somewhere, but you'll need 50 million gears and lots of courage (not all streets are marked well for share-the-road areas) but gosh it's just so fun down there. I used to ride my bike to downtown to work, and I spent LOTS of time downtown, used my bike and flew down a hill to get into Montford where I lived. Check Mountain Xpress for roommate needed situations, instant friends, assistance, rides, utilities, etc., for a lot less than living alone.

I think if I had to choose a nursing program, i'd go with UNC-Asheville, I'd live in an ol two-story a few blocks away with some roommates, there's a couple great fresh food markets nearby enough, busline is real close to UNCA, and it's just a really nice campus and they have a nice arboretum, tons of green space. On the other hand, AB-Tech is less expensive, any bus can let you live anywhere, basically it empties out on three streets, one is awful which is down by the river, one is where the high school is and not too awful terrible, and my fav is off Biltmore Avenue becuz you can get up into the North Charlotte Street area to do some older house roommate sharing in a stunning old-style historical area.

Hope things go well for you. Anything you choose will work out. Just remember it's VERY hilly in spots, share-the-road places just haven't been lined out very well at all yet, and EVERYTHING will cost more here, gas, food, bus passes, books, rentals, you name it, it's going to be more. But gosh, it is SO worth it to live up here. The beaches of NC and SC are the only other consideration, in my opinion.
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