Living in Blacksburg Vrginia USA (Helping Guide for new people)

Hi,

I am among one of the student among 26,000 other students of Virginia tech university, Blacksburg, VA. I just wanted to share some experiences that will surely help a beginner in settling his life in Blacksburg. consider it as a Guidebook for New International Students at Virginia Tech university or town of Blacksburg.

First of all after our admission to the university is done and we know the date when we can come to Blacksburg then first thing we need to manage is and apartment, a town home, a duplex or a condo. We need to first set the expectation that how much bed room we require to live in Blacksburg and then should start searching for the apartment according to the date of arrival.

Housing – Where to Live

If we have someone here in Blacksburg to help us out who can see an apartment and book it for us prior our arrival then it will be perfect however if this is not the choice then we can search apartment by ourselves

On Campus Housing: http://www.studentprograms.vt.edu
Off Campus Housing: http://www.apt-guide.com/ (All Housing included)

People use mostly below mentioned Rent office for taking a place on rent.
1. http://www.townside.com/
2. http://www.pricemanagement.com/
3. http://www.www.cmgleasing.com/
4. http://www.rainespropertymanagement.com/
5. http://www.renttnt.com/
6. http://www.roanokestreetapartments.com/

These offices helps us to find an apartment that suits our requirement. All housing mentioned on website provides information on how far they are from campus or the Bus route.

Caution: Read the lease carefully before signing. It is a legal agreement and provides you all information e.g. when rent is due, what utilities are included in rent etc.
If you have any questions or concerns about your lease, you can contact the Student Legal Services Office, Squires Student Center
(231-4720; http://www.legal.sga.vt.edu/)

Electricity:

Just to give you rough idea (April – 2008) Now a days if heating is included in rent then you can save upto $40 in summers (Apr – Sep) and around $100 in Winter (Oct – Mar) if the heating is on electricity. However if it is gas heating then total bill will be around $40 per month on average. So if you are paying for electricity do keep this thing in mind.

Water, sewerage & Trash:

They almost costs us $40 – $50 for a month so if someone is offering this service in rent then its a plus.

Dish Washer & Washer, Dryer

Dish washer and Washer/dryer are the additional facilities however if you want to have a place without that facilities then you will find a cheaper apartment. If you are planning to live alone or only with your partner then dishes can be washed easily as they will not be in numbers and washer/dryer or laundry services are easily available in all over Blacksburg. Washing clothes one or twice a month by visiting a laundry is not hard at all.

After your decision of an Apartment is done or you like some of the apartments then you can call on the numbers mentioned on website to confirm how you can have one of these apartments. There is one disadvantage that you need to take the apartment without having a look into it.

Air Transport: The Roanoke Regional Airport:

The nearest airport near Blacksburg is Roanoke Regional airport that is international airport & about
33.0 mi away from Blacksburg. If you do not know anyone in USA then you need to take flight to this airport so that you can easily reach Blacksburg. The distance between Roanoke airport and Virginia tech campus is around 40 Miles and you will reached here between 45min-1 hour.

Website: http://www.roanokeairport.com/ you can find all information related to Roanoke airport in below mentioned website including taxi’s or ground transportations (http://www.smartwaybus.com). Ground Transportation will be cheap.

Public Transportation Bus Service: Blacksburg Transit

http://www.btransit.org/ Bus service is excellent and extremely organized. people either use BT (Blacksburg Transit) or their own can to travel. All details are available on website.
For Virginia tech students Bus service is free (Show your “Hokie Passport”) For common people they charge 2 quarters (50 Cents) for one way Trip.

Smart Way Bus

provides transportation between Blacksburg and Roanoke (stops at airport)

Where to Get the Internet

Initially you can use internet facility on campus, if you do not have a computer or a laptop then grab one. If you want to have a second hand computer then you can visit a website

http://blacksburg.craigslist.org/

Mostly people user internet services of verizon & comcast here in Blacksburg. there websites are
http://www22.verizon.com/ & http://www.comcast.com/

Where to get the Telephone service:

For local phone service you can use Verizon (http://www.verizon.com)
People here is Blacksburg prefer the VOIP phone because in case of aparment shift these numbers can easily be moved. Through them you can make international calls or local calls different packages are available. Please visit their websites.
Lingo (www.lingo.com/)
Vonage (www.vonage.com)

Making Cheap International calls:

I am using a cheapest service to make international calls that is http://www.nonoh.net If you have a telephone service (I am using Lingo) at home you can call from nonoh and enjoy the low rates. Make an account by paying 10Euros.

Cell Phone/Mobile Phone Services

:
Recommended service with low rates and cheap price is Tracfone that is available in many stores near you. Other famous services includes.

1. T-mobile (http://www.t-mobile.com)
2. SprintPCS (http://www.sprintpcs.com)
3. Verizon Wireless (http://www.verizon.com)

Cable Television

Cable Television service is provided by Adelphia Communications (540-552-3341). If you do not want to us cable then you may probably receive 3 to 5 channels only (including UHF channels).

Where to Get the Food & eatable

There are various spots and Malls from where you can have your food or necessary home items.
Kroger (You can locate nearest store from http://www.kroger.com/)
Food Lion (You can locate nearest store from http://www.foodlion.com/

International Food (Chinese, Indian, Pakistani Etc.

Oasis World Market: http://oasisworldmarket.com/
Global Foods: http://www.theglobalfoods.com/

Where to get the furniture (Used and new), or any other household Goods

If you want to have some second hand furniture you can visit below mentioned website
http://blacksburg.craigslist.org/

or you can visit Thrift store at (1000 N Main St, Blacksburg – (540) 552-2633) Website www.vtymca.org

For new furniture & house hold utilities you can visit the Mall known as University City Blvd or departmental stores like Walmart store at Christensburg. If you do not want to visit the store then you can order online at www.walmart.com or any other store like TARGET, SEARS, HOME DEPOT, JCPENNEY, KMART etc.

Buying a Car or Any Vehicle (New or Used)

Second hand vehicle adds are posted be Blacksburg residents on http://blacksburg.craigslist.org/
Check the real worth of the car you are about to take on http://www.kbb.com before paying money.
Get a professional mechanic to check the car condition before purchasing.
Try to Bargain the price as it is common here while purchasing car.

Getting a driving license or state ID

All information related to acquiring driving license can be gathered from the website http://www.dmv.state.va.us/

Car Insurance

A minimum amount of insurance is required by DMV (see DMV web page). I am using Geico car insurance as it’s the most cheapest & reliable. http://www.geico.com

Hospitals / Health cares in Blacksburg

Sudent Health Services

The Schiffert Health Center in McComas Hall offers medical care, clinical and pharmacy services and health education (231-6444; http://www.healthcenter.vt.edu ).

Hospitals:

1. Montgomery Regional Hospital (http://www.mrhospital.com)
2. Carilion New River Valley Medical Center, Radford (http://www.carilion.com/).
3. Carilion Family Medicine (http://www.bev.net under “Village Mall, Health Professionals” )

Medical Insurance

GM Southwest with University, You will get subsidy if you are TA/RA.
PSI, http://www.psiservice.com
ICS, http://icsweb.org/

Schools in Blacksburg

Find all listings of Blacksburg school in website http://www.mcps.org/school_listing.htm

Important notes:

– Live is much more cheaper here than the other populated cities like new-york or san-jose.
– Its a quite town with less number of people and low traffic make it a very calm and peaceful place.
– Currency: Coins: penny (1 cent); nickel (5 cents); dime (10 cents); quarter (25 cents); golden dollar (100 cents).
– Weather is pleasant all over the year however some snow falling may observed in Dec or January (Max low -20c or 10F) and in summers (Max High 35c or 95F)
– Always use http://maps.google.com/ for any map in USA