Gaelle Sabben, 2nd-year Global Health student
Actually, I’d leave both! The move to Atlanta, whether it’s from elsewhere in the country or elsewhere in the world can be stressful as moves often are. Hopefully this will help a bit!
If you haven’t locked down a place yet, breathe. You don’t have to take 15 trips down to Atlanta before you pick a place and move. As you might have seen on the Facebook page and in the pre-arrival documents or heard about in current students’ emails, there is plenty of housing around Atlanta and there are a million ways to find a home. I found mine from half a world away, never visited and was fine. Craigslist is great, as is the Emory housing listserv. I would add Walkscore to this list of resources- you can input your commute, requirements (grocery store, caffeine…) and get a radius of where you should be looking for housing. Current students are also always happy to share their thoughts! Rent varies widely depending on whether you want a roommate (or 5) and how new a place you want to live in. You can buy furniture from Craigslist for cheap or swing by Ikea for some cheap Swedish items to beautify your home if you don’t want a furnished place.
I don’t have a car and I maintain that, while annoying at times, Atlanta can be managed sans personal vehicle. You’ll get really good at knowing the shuttle schedules and layout and be the coolest kid on the block when you can navigate anywhere in the city on MARTA (maybe not, but it’s a useful survival skill). Parking at Emory is fairly pricey so car owners often don’t actually drive to school and rely on public transportation, shuttles, bikes or feet anyway.
Atlanta’s not a great walking city (this IS where the sidewalk ends) but you can make friends with cars or borrow a Zipcar if you already have a license.
There are already posts about where you can go out to eat, so this is about groceries. If you have a car (or a car-friend), DeKalb Farmer’s Market is The Best Place in Atlanta! It’s basically a giant warehouse full of food from many parts of the world, for cheap. Before you buy your spices and other kitchen staples, swing by there and stock up. They also usually have much cheaper and more varied produce than the grocery stores. If you’re missing those weird greens you ate in Peace Corps, they probably have them here. If not, Buford Market should do (DeKalb is more Latin American/ African and Buford is more for Asian foods). They may actually have cannoli at DeKalb Market too- their pastries are awesome.
It gets cold here (see earlier post from Adam Lipus). It’s also hot and humid in the summer. The Rollins buildings are pretty chilly all year. Students tend to dress a
little more professionally and conservatively than undergraduates. You will want a suit for interviews.
Finally, stop worrying about a place, a car, food and clothes! Enjoy reading for fun, traveling, happy hours or whatever it is you do during your “free time” right now. Whether it’s because of your classes, homework, jobs, internships or friends, free time will be in much shorter supply after the end of August, so take it in now! I’d tell you that you shouldn’t worry about things once you get here either, but I know you won’t believe me 🙂