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Question about life in the USA ,need your help please.

  1. Jul 1, 2013 #1
    hi all
    I am going to arrive to the US in September,I will be an international student holding F1 visa.
    I will major in Electrical engineering at Cleveland State university.
    my dad will pay my tuition which is around 13 k a year.
    and my uncle will let me live with him ,so I don't have to pay a rent or something.
    I will have to buy a car in order to get to CSU because it is about 3 miles away from my uncle's house,I am not required to pay any bills for the house (elec...etc).
    I want a cheap car ,so what is the minimum price you think I should consider? the car will be just for going to college.
    I am allowed to work for 20 hours a week ,I guess that will let me save around 150$ ,will this cover my personal expenses?? like gaz & food for a week?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 1, 2013 #2
    Im not sure about the market in Cleveland, but where Im at in Arizona, anything that is running and driving is worth atleast $1000. There are deals out there though, maybe start browsing on Craigslist now to get a feel for what you will be looking at come September.
     
  4. Jul 1, 2013 #3

    Integral

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    3 mi is good bike range. But I am not sure how bike friendly Cleveland is. Save lots of $$$.
     
  5. Jul 1, 2013 #4
    the problem is the snow when the winter comes.
    my home country is not cold country and we have warm climate all the year so I don't know if driving a bike on snow is a good idea.

    what do you think?
     
  6. Jul 1, 2013 #5
    I guess you know, or should know, that Cleveland in on Lake Erie and that affects the climate. Make sure you have any car you buy inspected for rust. It's probably worth it. Next best, buy a car from someone who only drove it in desert Arizona (not the mountains) and just brought it to Cleveland this summer. As for the winter, get some cross country skis. It's called lake effect snow.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  7. Jul 1, 2013 #6

    Monique

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    I biked in Detroit and the greater Detroit area (any city must be better than that), the only problem was winter when the pavements would have knee-high snow. I used to walk most of the time, which was 1.5 mile, I can imagine walking 3 miles in winter is a bit too much (it can get really cold). Definitely when the weather is good one can try and find a safe cycling route.

    *edit* I think the furthest I'd cycled was 9 miles (to the somerset mall :!!)) and I only went on roads with a side-walk, it's too dangerous to join traffic.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  8. Jul 1, 2013 #7
    @Monique:
    so you think I should buy a bike instead of a car?
    is there special routes for bikes in the US?
     
  9. Jul 1, 2013 #8

    Vanadium 50

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    "The US" is a big place. It's the size of Europe.

    Your uncle will be able to give much better advice about the local area.
     
  10. Jul 1, 2013 #9

    I think so ,thanks for the advice.
     
  11. Jul 2, 2013 #10

    Bacle2

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    You may also consider buses ; there may be buses between the school and your place, or at least near your place. Or a shuttle; some schools have buses that loop near the school.
     
  12. Jul 2, 2013 #11

    jtbell

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    I was thinking about buses myself. Depending on where your uncle lives, it may work OK to use buses to get to CSU, at least while you're looking for a car. There are also a few light-rail routes, but they don't go very close to the CSU campus, so you'll have to use a bus for at least part of the trip. You can find a bus/rail system map here:

    http://www.riderta.com/maps

    (CSU is on the downtown map) and schedules on another page of that site.

    Yes, they have a strong "lake effect" during winter storms. Winds coming in from Lake Erie tend to drop a lot of snow when they reach the colder, dryer land.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013
  13. Jul 2, 2013 #12

    Monique

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    No, you should buy a car to get through winter weather. Cleveland is not too far from Detroit, winters are very cold and as mentioned there can be a lot of snow. For some time I had a friend who drove me to/from work, which was convenient as well. The US heavily depends on driving cars and the infrastructure is not as good (Detroit was very bad) as what I am used to, both for cycling and public transport.

    However, if you like you can save gas by using the bicycle. I've never seen special bicycle routes, I think it's legal to use the sidewalk (at least I always did without any problems). It's something you can figure out when you're there.
     
  14. Jul 2, 2013 #13

    drizzle

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    Since the winter is over and won't be back until 6 months at least, I think it's better to buy a bicycle. Try to get to know places, routes, etc. Meanwhile look for a good car deal, no need to rush.
    There are places in the US that are perfect for biking, the city I live in has the best bike routes I've ever seen, unfortunately I can't bike.

    Good luck on your studies, Yaser. :)
     
  15. Jul 2, 2013 #14

    BobG

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    Public transportation in the US generally isn't as good as in Europe, but Cleveland's is pretty good by US standards - especially since CSU is close to downtown.

    On the other hand, bicycling downtown in most US cities could be quite scary. A lot of cities have made efforts to make their city more bicycle friendly, but I don't how good Cleveland is in that regard. It's been a long, long time since I've spent much time there.

    On the other hand, if there's enough cyclists to protest the cycling conditions, then the cycling conditions must be better than average. In fact, Cleveland recently just fell out of the top 50 for best cities to bicycle in - which probably means other cities are doing a better job making their city bicycle friendly; not that Cleveland is getting worse for cyclists.

    If you buy a car, you can get cheap cars that have rust damage, but a good running engine; or you can pay a lot for a car with no rust damage -- yet. It's important to find a car that you can depend on to run in cold winter weather.

    And I think Cleveland is one of the cities that has vehicle emissions testing. If you're buying a car, especially from a private party, make sure you get the vehicle tested before you buy it. It has to pass emissions testing before you can get it registered with plates, etc. If you wait as long as possible before registering it and it doesn't pass, then you have a car you can't drive and will have no chance to get your money back because you waited too long. Your better car dealers will have it tested when you buy it. The cheaper lots will just hope you don't test it until they can claim they're no longer responsible for the condition of it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013
  16. Jul 2, 2013 #15

    phyzguy

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    Go into Google maps (http://maps.google.com) and plot out the route from your Uncle's house to the University. You can see what the bicycling routes look like and even use Street View to look at the neighborhoods. It will also allow you to see what public transport is available.

    I agree with the earlier comments - buy a bike and ride it until the snow comes. By then you will know the area better and know more about what kind of car to buy and how much to pay. I used to ride my bike 5 miles to school all winter long in Madison, Wisconsin, which is a lot colder than Cleveland (but probably doesn't get as much snow), so it can be done.
     
  17. Jul 2, 2013 #16

    drizzle

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    .... Or maybe rent a bicycle for now. :biggrin:
     
  18. Jul 2, 2013 #17
    I like this suggestion :D
     
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