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Thread: Just moved and overwhelmed! Help

  1. #1
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    Default Just moved and overwhelmed! Help

    Hi all!
    I've just moved to Miami a few days back from England to be a grad student at UM. I posted a while back about where to live and I'm finally here!!

    I am renting for one month in Coral Gables as everything was booked out when I started looking for a place..left it too late! Now I am struggling to get anywhere..Took me nearly an hour and a half without a car to get to UM for orientations etc..A long walk, a trolley and the metrorail! I know Miami has terrible transport links and I need to start driving but I am quite nervous about it, as I haven't driven in the US before..Should I just rent a car and go for it?? Any advice?

    Also when I planned on moving to Miami..I had envisioned a carefree life lying on the beach and attending classes and keeping up to date with assignments being my only stress..Being in Coral Gables seems too much like real life something I wanted to escape for a little while..I don't plan on staying in Coral Gables for more than a month but the other option of Brickell I went to visit today, I didn't like so much..Everyone I speak to is telling me that Southbeach would not be practical but then I've spoken to other students who are driving from Brickell and saying it takes them more than half an hour at times...Am I going to regret moving to Southbeach? Why is everyone putting me off? I have classes 4 days a week.. I know Brickell will be an easy commute but I don't want my time here to be just about an easy commute to classes. I want to live somewhere I think I'll be happy too..

    And as I don't have a US phone yet-I can't discuss this with anyone as I can't call any of the new people I am meeting! I went to AT and T to find out about phone contracts and it seemed v expensive- 199 dollars for iphone5 with 24 month contract and line rental 90 dollars a month. Or is that normal pricing for US? Didn't get a chance to go to any other shops so not sure what the other line rentals are.

    Any wise words from anyone to help me make some decisions? Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Moderator Jess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just moved and overwhelmed! Help!!

    You just moved here from England? I am going to answer some questions but my goodness, you need some help from me! I'm from London! Your post was me, 5 years ago!

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    Default Re: Just moved and overwhelmed! Help!!

    Ok, so the phone... When I first moved, I used the go phone from AT&T and that was fine. I bought text bundles for unlimited txs, and these days you can buy an international plan for maybe $15 to call anywhere in the world. I now have T mobile, and have a monthly contract for $40 and pay $15 more to call and tx England whenever I want. It's not a 2 yr contract, and it works for me.

    Those contract prices btw are correct. Ridiculous. You have to also pay here to RECEIVE calls and txs! Phones are expensive here, I think cos the country is possibly so big, but who knows.

    if you live on SoBe, you'd commute easily by getting on a bus to Government Center and then the train to University. It could take less than an hour if there is no traffic. What times are your classes? And hell YEAH you gotta live on the beach! Coming from England it's a must. My boyfriend talks about moving away from the beach sometimes and I always say no way, I didn't move from London to live in a suburb. I need water.

    You could get in a car and try driving but... Remember this. First of all you can only drive on an international license for one year. After that, you need a Florida license. Which honestly, you will want anyway to prove your residency after a year. Cheaper tuition that way too. Also, people cannot drive here. And do you even know how to drive here? Cos it isn't England. If you know what to do at a 4 way stop, and understand when to turn right, then consider it. If you don't, it's too early for you to think about driving!
    Leo likes this.

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    Leo and daisychick like this.

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    Default Re: Just moved and overwhelmed! Help!!

    Thanks Jess!! It is great to have advice from a fellow Englander lol!! I am so glad that someone is promoting the beach!

    About the phone plan..I did not realise you had to pay to receive text messages and calls..That is crazy and would be on top of the monthly 90 dollars that I am paying to make calls I guess! I think I will just get a pay and go and hold off for the iphone 5 till I understand this phone business better! Plus, as I don't have a social security number yet, so the assistant in the shop was saying that I would most likely have to pay a security deposit of a couple of hundred dollars too.. So it was all stacking up!

    My classes are Mon and Wed 2:30-3:45pm plus Thu and Fri 6:25-9:05pm. Do you think it would be doable to take public transport from SoBe till I get the driving thing figured out? I was thinking of maybe taking a few lessons with a driving school so I feel more comfortable.

    So if I want to make a trip from Coral Gables where I am now to SoBe-how would I do that exactly? I didn't realise I could take a train. I checked on google maps and it said to use buses..

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    Default Re: Just moved and overwhelmed! Help!!

    I was actually reading some of the same articles after posting my message, so am so pleased to get your input!!
    You seem to have made a successful transition-that's great!

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    Default Re: Just moved and overwhelmed! Help!!

    I mean, the commute would be a pain after a while. But it's doable. How long are you livin in Miami? Cos if it is not for long, you aren't going to want a car anyway. Thursday and Friday hours are rush hour so it will take longer. But I would definitely live in SoBe.

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    Default Re: Just moved and overwhelmed! Help!!

    Quote Originally Posted by giddysun View Post
    I was actually reading some of the same articles after posting my message, so am so pleased to get your input!!
    You seem to have made a successful transition-that's great!
    the article about international phone calls should really help you.

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    Default Re: Just moved and overwhelmed! Help!!

    My course is about 18 months so I would probably need a car..I just don't want to get into the hassles of finding one just yet as I have too many other things to sort out- including finding a place to live for next month!

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    Default Re: Just moved and overwhelmed! Help!!

    It will be easy to lease a car. And the buses won't be forever. I'd forget the phone though and stick with Skype and a pay as you go contract.

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    Default Re: Just moved and overwhelmed! Help!!

    Thanks for your help!
    I was getting a bit down about this whole move as it was suddenly turning into something quite different to what I had envisioned..I'm free tomorrow so I'll try to do the commute to SoBe to see how long it takes me. Do you know the bus no. from the government centre to SoBe by any chance?

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    Default Re: Just moved and overwhelmed! Help!!

    Jump on the 120, C or S bus. The bus stops are at the bottom of the stairs on street level, just across the street.

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    Default Re: Just moved and overwhelmed! Help!!

    Cheers! I'm sure I'll be back with more questions soon..

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    Default Re: Just moved and overwhelmed! Help!!

    No problem. Others will be able to help too, we all moved here from somewhere.

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    Default Re: Just moved and overwhelmed! Help!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jess View Post
    ... After that, you need a Florida license. Which honestly, you will want anyway to prove your residency after a year. Cheaper tuition that way too...
    Hmm... It's not sufficient nor necessary to have a Florida license to establish residency for tuition purposes. Still, not particularly important either way as the OP is going to a private school.

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    Default Re: Just moved and overwhelmed! Help!!

    Jess has never commuted from the Beach to UM. I have done it now for a total of about three years off and on (I went to UM as an undergrad and teach there now).

    That commute is BRUTAL. I mean BRUTAL. And I am not lying when I say getting to and from School almost ruined the experience of living in South Beach. It's fun if you don't have to drive to Coral Gables every day (Jess' hour-long estimate on public transportation is laughable. I had to do that probably a dozen times last year and it never took less than 90 minutes each way). But if you're going to UM four days a week, its going to be a miserable time. Plus, if you forget something at home, or have a long break during the day, you can't just pop back home for a nap. You're stuck on campus all day.

    Brickell to UM is probably the best commute in the city. Because it's one of the few routes that allows you to take the Metrorail. I live in Brickell and while it's not my favorite area, I am 100 times more relaxed never having to drive on US-1. A lot of people who live in brickell and work/study at UM don't use the train, and I have no idea why. It saves a ton in money and stress. It's about 45 minutes door to door, including walking to and from the Metro stops, which is MAYBE 15 minutes more than driving. And soooo much better. If you're thinking about Brickell, I say do it. It will make your life exponentially easier.

    Jess will attest, once you live here you rarely go to the Beach anyway. But you're in for a serious wake up call. Living in Miami is incredibly stressful. It's like one of the 10 biggest cities in America, and perpetually crowded hectic and fast. This is not a tropical paradise resort town. If you wanted that you should have gone to school in Key West or Hawaii. This is a big, mean, nasty city where the weather happens to be really nice. Relaxing is not something a lot of people have time to do here, it's a really tough place to live. You're going to have to accept that. Yes, studying by the pool or the beach is nice, and it's something you can do here you can't do other places. but Coral Gables is downright laid back compared to most of this city. So prepare yourself for that.

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    Default Re: Just moved and overwhelmed! Help!!

    Matt, you may recall I don't own a car and have lived here for 4 years. And go to Dadeland all the time. Which PASSES the station for UM. It can take an hour for me to get to Dadeland if there is no traffic for the bus to Government Center. So my estimate is correct without traffic. You obviously commuted in rush hour.

    However you're right about the beach. I never go anymore. I am sooo pale. But in my first year I did go a lot, so as this member is only here for 18 months, he/ she will probably go all the time.

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    Default Re: Just moved and overwhelmed! Help!!

    Thanks for your experiences of the commute! Were you living in SoBe throughout your undergrad?

    I had estimated the commute from SoBe to UM would be at least an hour and a half, as it took me that long to get to UM from Coral Gables where I am now minus a car!
    In my mind I had pictured living in SoBe and now the way things are unfolding is all so different from how I had pictured it. Funny you should have mentioned Hawaii..I was thinking earlier today that I should have just moved somewhere else sunny and tropical and got a teaching job as that is what I was doing before coming here..

    Brickell seemed quite pretentious and didn't have the laid back vibe I was looking for when I moved here..It didn't appeal to me..I think I will try to get a seven month lease on an apartment in SoBe and test it out..Not sure what else to do! I can only work with the options i've got

    Plus today, I got a t mobile pay as you go plan for the month and have no signal in my apartment! I can send text messages if my phone is strategically placed next to the window! That nearly pushed me over the edge as when I went outside to make a call I was attacked by mosquitoes.. And this apartment's selling point is that it is a garden apartment and shows people sitting around a patio table socialising!! No chance of that!

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    Default Re: Just moved and overwhelmed! Help!!

    Thanks for your positivity Jess!! I felt much clearer about what I needed to do after your advice yesterday and want to try to stay optimistic about this new chapter!

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    Default Re: Just moved and overwhelmed! Help!!

    I'm female Jess.Forgot to say!

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