Commonwealth Scholar - The iSchool at Pitt

Check out the life of a graduate Pitt iSchool Commonwealth Scholar!

Tag: Pittsburgh (Page 1 of 3)

FAQs Series: Where Can I Live? When Should I Start Looking?

Pittsburgh is separated into several neighborhoods. The University of Pittsburgh is located in Oakland. The School of Information Sciences is located in what is considered North Oakland.

A lot of our graduate students live in the following neighborhoods:

  • North Oakland
  • Regent Square
  • Shadyside
  • Squirrel Hill North

Students also live in these areas:

  • Downtown
  • Highland Park
  • Lawrenceville
  • Point Breeze
  • Remaining Oakland areas
  • Squirrel Hill South
  • South Side Flats

Where you decide to live is really dependent on affordability, housing type preference, and location. Many of our LIS students live in Squirrel Hill where there are lots of quaint shops and diverse restaurants and shops. International/IS/Tele students mostly live in North Oakland where it is very affordable and close to the school.

I live in Shadyside where it can tend to get pricey, especially if you do not have a roommate. But the housing is nice and the location is even better with grocery stores, restaurants, and recreation (parks and gym) within walking distance.

Shayla lives in North Oakland. She loves the area because it’s super affordable and a 5 min walk to the iSchool. There’s also very cool and very delicious restaurants nearby. North Oakland also has international markets including Bombay Food Market and Seoul Mart.

When should my lease end?

If you are planning to leave immediately after your program is over…

As an MSIS/MST student, you would want your lease to end in either Dec/Jan or April/May, depending on how many semesters you will be staying and how quickly you can move out. Winter and Spring graduation ceremonies are at the end of December and May.

As an MLIS student, your semester most likely ends in the beginning of August, so you would want to have a lease that ends by August.

Some leasing agencies or landlords are not flexible with their leases or they will increase rates if your yearly lease is shortened. Ask the owners if they have flexible leases or monthly leases to accommodate your needs.

When should I start looking for housing?

You should start researching as soon as possible! I would read information on each of the neighborhoods and start looking at potential housing in the area. If you are able to make an in-person visit, I definitely would make the trip! You can either look around each neighborhood to get a feel, or have leasing agencies take you around to their properties. Most agencies have multiple locations in multiple neighborhoods, so you can really see the difference in your options. A lot of the better properties are filled up by June-July, but other locations do not start accepting new tenants until May or June.

Resources to Learn More About the Neighborhoods
and Available Housing

  • Craigslist – Lists of available housing. Management companies also use Craiglist for advertisement if you do not want to work with a tenant.
  • Off-Campus Living – University of Pittsburgh website. Provides rental information and extremely valuable tips on looking for housing in the area.
  • Padmapper – Will show you the locations of different housing listings. Compiled from several housing resources.

Feel free to ask us more information about housing or our experiences if you need it!


Though I realize I just wrote about PennsylvAsia, I have to add one more thing. This past weekend I was speaking with a friend of mine, a film critic in New York, NY, and she spoke very highly of a new film, Snowpiercer. I had not heard anything specific about this film, but realized I had seen a poster for the film in an article on PennsylvAsia!

The article notes that Snowpiercer is playing at AMC Loews Waterfront. Here are the showtimes, now make some time to see this awesome action/sci-fi flim!

FREE Asian Language Classes at Carnegie Library & PennsylvAsia Blog

Though I am not usually a fan of the Pitt News, I was pleasantly surprised to find the article, “Pennsylvania and Asia come together in Pittsburgh,” on the front page of today’s paper. The reporter discusses a new Korean restaurant in South Oakland, other Asian events in the area and the 2014 East Coast Asian American Student Union Annual Conference at George Washington University in Washington, DC.

However, two of the best nuggets of wisdom in the article were the mention of free weekly Asian language classes hosted by the Carnegie Library in Oakland and reference to the blog, PennsylvAsia, written by Brian Deutsch, an employee at the Linguistics Department at the University of Pittsburgh.

The CLP Language Events are FREE! There are classes held throughout the week and at varying times to accommodate patrons. Though you must register to ensure you have a spot, you do not have to pay a dime! Huzzah for libraries!!

In the blog PennsylvAsia, Deutsch writes about events that relate to Asian culture, occurring across the state of Pennsylvania. The entries relate to film screenings, exhibitions, and every type of food location you could imagine. Whether you have a connection to Asian culture or not, this blog is definitely worth checking out!

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