I just answered a question regarding philly vs chicago so my explanation is fresh in my mind. Temple's location is analagous to Isreal's. It is a 10 block x 8 block campus (approx) that is lit up like a football stadium at night and filled with armed guards (campus cops). It also sits in a pretty dangerous neighborhood that surrounds it in every immediate direction. I would take the subway up from a downtown location if I were to go to Temple. North Philly is the murder capital of the US at the moment. Downtown Philly is a 10 minute ride on the subway. Youll catch the subway on Broad St. (the equivalent of 14th St.) which is smack dab in the middle of downtown. Affordable housing ($700 - $1000/month) can be found just 4 to 6 or so blocks away headed west (South of Rittenhouse square). This is called the graduate hospital section. You can stay in center city in the gayborhood (where I lived to save money) around 12th and 13th streets and the intersections of spruce, lombard, and pine. Rent in this location will be about 1000/month for a large studio. Philly is one of the best cities to live in if you take advantage of it correctly. In my previous post on Chicago vs West Philly, in particular UPENN area, I made the point that Chicago is sort of an easy city to be happy in. Anything from central Chicago upward past Wrigleyville is safe, residential, and beautiful. You have to be a little bit more street smart in Philly but its worth the effort. Do your research and if you have any questions, Ill be around.