Important Information for Moving to ATL

By: Marisa Wong – Environmental Health

Moving is scary. Moving to a new place, with a new goal, to become a new version of yourself is even scarier! I hope to provide you with some advice whether you’re moving from a nearby town, from a different state, or even from a different country.


Your living situation will be unique to you, your circumstances, and your preferences. Enjoy personal space? Consider a single bedroom or studio apartment if that’s in your budget. Want to make friends? Consider joining the RSPH Class of 2024 Facebook page to find mutuals who share similar interests.

There are plenty of housing options surrounding the nearby Emory neighborhoods. 

Lots of Master of Public Health (MPH) students consider Campus Crossing at Briarcliff as their new residence because it’s conveniently furnished and because of the individual lease option, where the leasing office helps you find a roommate in a multi-bedroom apartment! 

Other MPH students choose to live near Decatur, about a 15-minute drive from campus. Decatur is a quaint little town right next to Emory that houses a popular downtown strip of local businesses, ranging from bookstores to bars to eateries and markets. Decatur also hosts a wide range of events throughout the year, from food festivals to live music. If you like checking out new businesses and attending events, this might be the location for you! With the popularity of Decatur rising, there are a bunch of new apartments being built right now. Also, Your Dekalb Farmer’s Market (my favorite grocery store) isn’t too far from Downtown Decatur either. 

On the other side of campus is the North Druid Hills neighborhood, and while it’s a bit quieter compared to Decatur, you’ve got easy access to the I-85 freeway and the beginning of Buford Highway, the home to a vast majority of cultural cuisines that can cure any homesickness. 

Last, but definitely not least, many students consider the Virginia Highlands neighborhood as their next home because of its proximity to Atlanta’s Midtown with easy access to nightlife, Piedmont Park (Atlanta’s version of Central Park), and Little Five Points (a trendy, divey neighborhood). 

A great tool to get a better understanding of apartment complexes is Google Reviews! Although, they may be a little biased, you’ll be sure to be informed about the best and worst parts of each place.

Whichever neighborhood you end up choosing, you’ll be sure to experience Atlanta’s outdoors and culture in (basically) your own backyard! 

My last little housing tip for you is to ask the leasing management or landlord if they offer any special rates or discounts for Emory students. My apartment gave me a good chunk of change off my application fees once I proved my Emory affiliation (yay)! 😊


Although it is recommended to have a car when you live in Atlanta, Emory offers a bunch of different options to students who won’t have cars during their graduate career.

The first is Emory Shuttles. Emory’s Transportation Department issues shuttles to nearby neighborhoods to assist local students in commuting to school. Some routes come as often as every 10-15 minutes, making it super convenient to get to campus any time of day! I’ve utilized these shuttles as my main transportation to and from campus and decided on my place of residence within walking distance of a shuttle stop. In addition to not having to pay for parking, I haven’t had to deal with traffic on my way to and from school either – plus it’s a green alternative to commuting!

The second is a Transit Subsidy. Again, thank goodness for Emory’s Transportation Department for offering this program! Breeze cards are available for students who use public transportation and allow students to receive discounted or free rides just for being an Emory student!

Furnishing your new Home

If you’re moving from across the country or overseas, I highly recommend either choosing a furnished apartment or purchasing second-hand furniture to fill your home with – especially if you’re considering moving elsewhere after graduation. This will save you all the hassle of hiring a moving company, the logistics, and the cash needed to move your items from far-away places. 

Buying lightly used items is much easier than you think! In addition to the common platforms of Craigslist, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace, Emory has its own Facebook Group where incoming and graduated students interact to buy and sell lightly used furniture. You’ll just have to make sure you can meet the person selling their items on campus for pickup! Sometimes, students are giving away their items for free as they’re about to move out. Look out for these announcements on other social media platforms as well.

If you’re moving from another nearby town or even the next state over, you shouldn’t have any problems moving your larger items into your new home from your last place of residence. Keep in mind that summer is considered “moving season” by the moving companies, so make sure to book your move early! I’d recommend either using U-Haul or a local company with great reviews.

What Next?

You’ve already made the biggest decision, on attending Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH)! Don’t worry, this by far beats all the other decisions you will make leading up to the beginning of your graduate school experience. 

Get researching on nearby neighborhoods that fit your living style. Reach out to other classmates to figure out your living situation. Decide on what you’ll bring and what you’ll leave.

If you have any other questions or want to hear more about our Ambassadors’ moving experiences, email the RSPH Ambassador email ( Otherwise, we look forward to seeing you in the fall!

%d bloggers like this: