Monday, April 15, 2013

Penn: Living On-Campus (Pros and Cons Part 2)

As promised, here's the continuation to my previous post about living on-campus:
See Part 1 here

CONS
1. Price:
Living on-campus is definitely on the higher end. I share a mini-kichen and a bathroom for whopping 880 dollars a month. For the same sized room elsewhere, I've heard of students who spend less than 500! Rumor has it rent will be going up next year at Sansom Place (by almost 75 dollars I believe). Do I think it's worth it? No (based solely on the price). Especially on top of a Penn Tuition!

2. Size 
Don't be fooled by the pictures you see on the Sansom Place Website. The rooms are small. I guess that's to be expected being that it is a college dorm. However, if you're willing to spend close to 1500 (yeah, no) you can live in a full one bedroom apartment with a pretty spacious living room area, kitchen, and a personal bathroom. Alexis, my next door neighbor lives in one! Room size definitely becomes an issue when you have family and/or friends visiting.

3. Outdatedness
The building amenities are pretty neat, however they are pretty outdated, dirty-ish, and sometimes smelly. As a resident, you can reserve study and party rooms, some of which can fit over 20 people! However, be warned -  Sansom Place is definitely NOT rodent or insect free. Personally, I didn't have a problem with this, but I have heard of several horror stories. And finally... need a repair? It might take awhile.

As promised, here are some pictures of my apartment, as well as some of the amenities at Sansom Place.

The entrance to my shared, two-bedroom apartment at SPW
Apartment included a standard refrigerator, counter-top, and a table
(microwave not included)
& Mini- Kitchenette
... a decent sized room
View of the Penn Book Store 
View of Sansom Place East
Building is equipped with three elevators.
But it's definitely a pain when one is out of order! 
A glimpse of one of Sansom's Study Rooms

Laundry room is equipped with several dryers 
& high efficiency washers!
Outdoor patio area, to enjoy the (sometimes) great weather

Well, there you go! I want to reiterate that these are my personal views and that I have no intention of besmirching Sansom Place. I write hoping to help you all make an informed decision regarding your living situation next year. I hope this was helpful. Feel free to contact me if you want more information.

Mark

Monday, April 1, 2013

Penn: Living On-Campus (Pros and Cons Part 1)

Hey Everyone,

This time last year, I was frantically looking for a place to live in Philly and I'm sure most of you are as well, considering that most acceptances were sent out already. I figured that blogging about my personal take on living on campus can assist you with some of your upcoming living decisions. So for this post I'm making a Pros and Cons list in regard to living on-campus, specifically Sansom Place West. Hope it helps!

Pros:
1. Safety.  Sansom Place West is located within Penn's campus which is patrolled 24/7 by Penn Police. Sansom Place West is also equipped with friendly security personnel. In order to enter the building you'll need to present your Penn Card along with a security code which can be a pain at times especially when you are in a rush or have family or friends visiting because they are only able to enter the building with you present.

2. Location. It's conveniently located near GSE... about a 3 minute walk which can prove to be very beneficial especially during inclement weather or when you just "happen" to be running late to class ;). There are also many eateries and small shops that are close by. Oh, and the trolley stations, it's right next to the building and can take you directly to City Hall, which can connect you to the subway lines.

3. Community. This is tricky one. Although Sansom Place West encourages its' residents to partake in "community building" events and activities, truth be told, you're not going to get much participation from super busy, stressed-out graduate students. So, it takes a little effort on the individual's part to engage with other residents. I was fortunate enough to meet some great people during my stay at Sansom... friendships I know will last for a very long time. We have dinners, we go out together, it's been an awesome experience! Also, especially for you Sports fanatics, Sansom Place partakes in intramural soccer, volleyball, basketball, etc. tournaments. We just started the volleyball season and it's been a great outlet especially with all the stress!

So those are my pros. I'm gonna have to cut this entry a little short for tonight because I have a ton of work to complete for tomorrow. Stay tuned for Part 2, which will include a cons list and the pictures I promised!

But for now, a reminder for all Accepted Master's Students, if you can make it, we have a great fun-filled preview day set up for you all this Friday!!! Looking forward to meeting all the accepted students. Register with admissions!

Mark