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  1. #1
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    Default International Student from UK coming to Miami

    Hopefully I'm gonna be coming to live and study in Miami at the end of 2009. I live on the south coast of England (Portsmouth) and Uni fee's to international students in America are outrageous, but I'm willing to save up and downgrade to a community college. A Student visa seems like the only opportunity to get to America for a couple of years, I need to get away from England as it is the most boring and dull place in the world, and Miami seems the place for me.

    I will be attending Miami Dade college to do the 2 year associate in Accounting and then hopefully seek a scholarship for a University in south florida to transfer to after those 2 years.

    My first mission is accommodation. My maximum budget per month is $700 and would like either a studio or a one bedroom apartment in a main part of town. All i'm after is some advice, firstly on what parts of town I need to avoid, secondly where the cheapest parts of town are and thirdly the best area to live as a student. I'm only 18 so I wont be able to drive, and as a student, I will have a tight budget and a tight schedule so dont want to be trekking to college in the mornings, ages away from my apartment.

    Not much to ask for, haha! Thanks guys. :D

  2. #2
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Hi Ukluke, welcome to the forums! I've spent some time in your part of England, in Beaulieu and Brighton. I also visited the Isle of Wight and toured Queen Victoria's summer home. The New Forest was really beautiful down there, and the thatched cottages and whatnot were really fascinating (and not boring) for someone like me who hadn't seen it before. Travel is a great thing! I'm sure your own perspectives will broaden by spending some time down here in Miami.

    Before we can recommend which part of town would be most convenient for you, could you let us know which campus you'll be studying at? There is the Wolfson campus, The North campus, the West campus, The Medical campus (not you, if you're an accounting major!) and the Kendall campus. I think there's also one in Hialeah?

    The most dangerous parts of town are downtown (especially after dark), Liberty City, Overtown, Little Haiti (after dark), Alapattah, and anything close to Biscayne tends to be a little dodgy, aside from select pockets. There is a Metrorail system, so if your classes are at the downtown or north campuses, you may want to commute from a nice area like Coconut Grove (nice except for the west side of it) which is only about 15 minutes away on transit or maybe Coral Gables, also very near. Coconut Grove is close to UM, so there are lots of students who hang out there. $700 will probably get you a rather basic studio...maybe more in today's economy. Don't hesitate to bargain with them! For that matter, downtown is easily accessible on public transit from South Beach, which is the most pedestrian-friendly area of town. It's an easy 15 minute bus ride, and it offers the most rental housing and nightlife. Hope that helps a little!

  3. #3
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    Thanks, yeah that helped. I am not entirely sure what campus to choose because I want to be as close to downtown as possible, but I think it will be a bit out of my budget. I would love to get a place ideally in Coral Gables, it sounds like a nice place, quite lively, and with alot of students around. Are the beaches and downtown Miami easily accessible from here?

    The new forest is a nice area, but only to go camping and to retire to. Brighton is amazing, good nightlife and just a general good vibe when youre out. I have quite a few friends on the isle of wight, they all travel across and go to my college. But generally, England is the most dullest place and is heading on a downward spiral, I cant stand to live here any longer. Its ridiculously pricey compared to most other developed countries and the weather is utter crap!

    Also, what is Kendall like? I hear different stories about this neighbourhood. Some say its drug ridden, but others say its the best place in Miami to bring up a family so i'm not entirely sure on that one!

    Cheers

  4. #4
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Hi again, Kendall's a nice enough area, just very suburban and sprawly. You would really need a car to get around comfortably there. It's also a long, slow commute in rush hour traffic. I know you're not driving, but it would still affect you riding the bus. The downtown campus is probably the most convenient as far as public transportation goes. The three neighborhoods you'd probably be looking at would be Coral Gables (think Miracle Mile area if you want to get by without a car), Coconut Grove and South Beach. If you want to feel like you're in the middle of the action, you'll like South Beach best. If you like a quieter, Mediterranean village vibe, Coral Gables is nice, and Coconut Grove has a nice mall and some clubs and restaurants....kind of pricey, but more greenery and not as congested as South Beach.

    I guess if you grow up in a place, it gets boring for you no matter where it is. I know Edward Montagu who has the motor car museum in Beaulieu, and I got a great tour of the place! But a large portion of the time I was up in Southport, Merseyside, which got really boring fast! Blackpool is a dismal comparison to Brighton, and Liverpool was a little dodgy...to me, at least. I think you'll like it here, though. It's everything England is not!

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    I'm a well travelled guy and I have to say pompey (English nickname for Portsmouth) is a fairly ropey place at the best of times.

    I was in the Royal Navy for quite a few years and was based out of pompey for about 4 years. Joes/route66/pyramids were where I spent many drunken nights.

    Doug, Liverpool was surprisingly voted the culture capital of Europe not so long ago! I think there must have been some bribery there! I hate Blackpool, it's probably the most embarrassingly bad place in the UK. Merseyside is just a working area without too many attractions.

    When you say Miami is everything England is not, do you mean sunny! :)

    In terms of England, well I used to think it was a load of old toss too until I travelled a lot and then realized, like anywhere in the world, it has good and bad points.

    I really can understand however, how anyone from pompey would like to leave in a live in a funky, interesting and different place like Miami!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    ha, ha! I love that acerbic British wit!

    Yes, Miami is everything that England is not. First, the weather is sunny; people are much more direct. I found that a lot of people I knew in England were very friendly and polite on the surface, but absolutely scathing when the doors were closed! Here, they'll be scathing to your face! Not that that's much consolation. Also, whereas cod and chips and a can of Lilt were the rule of the day out England way, Miami is much more exotic and has a wonderful assortment of cuisines from places like Argentina, Brazil and Spain...all within blocks! And although I did happen upon a public shagging underneath Brighton Pier one evening, sex in the old country seemed like a secret, forbidden pleasure, whereas here, they're practically selling it on the sidewalk. On second thought, they are selling it on the sidewalk. Lastly, in England, the buildings are hundreds of years old and you have a culture that has lasted century upon century...that's appealing to us yanks. But Britons are probably a little tired of all those musty old buildings and would like to see some of our 20th century creations and our American dysfunction. I think it's great to travel to any place that is everything your place is not, whatever your place happens to be...

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    Hey, I know you might not want to, but have you considered sharing a 2 br apartment? You would get your own room, but for you having a room mate would give you somebody to chill with in a new city-also you can get a much nicer place. A 1br for $700 will probably be not that nice, but splitting a $1400 2br could be a sweet place with a remodeled kitchen, balcony, pool, etc. Community colleges don't give much of a college experience but you can get out there and enjoy Miami, which is way better than any frat party can offer :=)

  8. #8
    Full Member MiamiRentsAlot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bond Girl
    Hey, I know you might not want to, but have you considered sharing a 2 br apartment? You would get your own room, but for you having a room mate would give you somebody to chill with in a new city-also you can get a much nicer place. A 1br for $700 will probably be not that nice, but splitting a $1400 2br could be a sweet place with a remodeled kitchen, balcony, pool, etc. Community colleges don't give much of a college experience but you can get out there and enjoy Miami, which is way better than any frat party can offer :=)
    That's what I was going to suggest. Ya beat me to it. $700 will probably get you a nasty, run down efficiency. I would definately go for the roomy option. You'll find something much nicer.

  9. #9
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    Yeah, Pompey is pretty rank. But I think I would still rather live here than places like Manchester, Birmingham or Liverpool. My ideal place would be a big city in Cornwall, but that isnt possible for obvious reasons.

    I would consider sharing an apartment with someone to get a better place for cheaper, but I am going alone so I wont know anyone in Miami. How would I meet people to share an apartment with them prior to going to college. I think I would rather share a bigger house with 4 or 5 other people but again, how would I go about finding people to share with?

    Does anyone have any opinions on Miami-Dade College or know anything about it? Pros and Cons would be good as i've never heard anything about it before apart from the website. I'm a bit weary about spending thousands of pounds to come and study at a community college (only to get an associates degree without the guarantee of being able to transfer to a university) when I could stay in England and go to Uni in central London. However, I cant bare the thought of having to live in this country for much longer, HAHA!

    Cheers guys

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ukluke
    Yeah, Pompey is pretty rank. But I think I would still rather live here than places like Manchester, Birmingham or Liverpool. My ideal place would be a big city in Cornwall, but that isnt possible for obvious reasons.

    I would consider sharing an apartment with someone to get a better place for cheaper, but I am going alone so I wont know anyone in Miami. How would I meet people to share an apartment with them prior to going to college. I think I would rather share a bigger house with 4 or 5 other people but again, how would I go about finding people to share with?

    Does anyone have any opinions on Miami-Dade College or know anything about it? Pros and Cons would be good as i've never heard anything about it before apart from the website. I'm a bit weary about spending thousands of pounds to come and study at a community college (only to get an associates degree without the guarantee of being able to transfer to a university) when I could stay in England and go to Uni in central London. However, I cant bare the thought of having to live in this country for much longer, HAHA!

    Cheers guys
    Luke, spread your wings mate, travel and experience a bit of the world and you will quickly realize your view of the England is one that will change, I'd bet my money on that.

    I felt exactly like you do when I was your age and so do many who come to live in the UK from other countries.

    London is a great place to live if you know where the best bits are and you also find the area of London that suits you, in typical English style, it's completely different in different areas.

    I think travel broadens our view of the world and allows us a perspective we couldn't of gained without experiencing different cultures and different places.

    Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool are all great again if you know where to go, remember they are massive places and a short trip won't give you an understanding of them areas until you spend a decent amount of time in them.

    I used to rejoice at pompey and joes, a place where your feet stick to the floor (lots of drunken spillages) and you can take a different monster home if you so wish. Personally I was more a 'grab a granny' type of guy at Pyramids (joke).

    Anyway, I went a bit off topic there but I would recommend you just store a bag of courage and go and live in Miami, I would if I were your age again. At your age I went and lived in Italy which was great.

    You will get home sick, you will want to come home sometimes but you will be a better person for your experiences.

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