Traveling to Blacksburg
Blacksburg is located in southwest Virginia. Roanoke is the largest neighboring city, around 38 miles from Blacksburg. This webpage provides directions, maps, and travel details for those arriving by car, plane, train, or bus.
International students, please note that the Roanoke Regional Airport is the only airport from which Virginia Tech may provide a pick-up service. Contact the Cranwell International Center for more information.
Blacksburg is consistently ranked among the country’s best places to live and has a nationwide reputation as a well-managed, stable, and forward-looking community. Learn more about your new home.
Best of Blacksburg
The student newspaper, Collegiate Times, annually surveys students and community members to find the “Best of Blacksburg”—a listing of the most popular restaurants, bars, grocery stores, hair salons, etc. The 2010 edition may offer you some ideas about places to shop, eat, and relax as you get to know your new community.
Exploring the Area
The New River Valley has a great deal to offer newcomers, with a variety of recreational activities, social organizations, and community offerings. Here are a few tools to help you explore the area:
- The Montgomery County website provides information about county services and programs.
- The Roanoke Times is the largest local newspaper; it publishes a special section, the New River Current, with specific news, information, and classifieds for the New River Valley.
- The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce provides a list of places to explore in the Blacksburg area.
- The Relocation Professionals Inc. provides a nice overview of Blacksburg's offerings and attractions at their Welcome to Blacksburg, Virginia website.
Hokie Wellness focuses on the physical, emotional, social, and financial well-being of employees and graduate students. Hokie Wellness provides information on relocating and offers a newcomers network. Montgomery County is filled with libraries, recreation centers, theaters, and parks to explore close to home. Check out the Hokie Wellness website for details and contact information for these venues.
Virginia Tech offers on-campus housing for graduate and professional students. The facilities are suited to provide privacy, convenience, and an atmosphere conducive to learning. On-campus housing is offered only to single students (those without spouses/partners and other family). Visit Housing and Residence Life to learn more about this option.
The Virginia Tech Off-Campus Housing Office (VTOCH) maintains a website with information about housing, rentals, subleasing, roommates, transportation, utilities, etc. The site includes a searchable database that allows you to specify the criteria that you are looking for in an apartment or roommate. Online forums provide students an opportunity to discuss topics related to many off-campus living issues.
The following resources offer listings and information about local apartment communities:
There are a variety of furnishing options in the area for students with different types of budgets. For new furniture, check local online and print resources. Affordable used furniture can be found at the following places or websites:
- YMCA Thrift Shop
- Second Time Around Store
- Postings in the Squires and Johnston Student Centers.
- Craig’s List
- CORT - Furniture available at student rates.
- Electronic for-sale bulletin boards through My VT (“vatech.forsale” and “bburg.forsale”) [Note: you must have a personal identifier (PID) to access these boards)
Establishing Local Services
If you rent an apartment or house off campus, your landlord or leasing office should provide you with a list of local utility companies that service your rental. In addition, the Virginia Tech Off-Campus Housing Office maintains an Off Campus Housing Resource Guide.
The U.S. Postal Service offers an easy tool to change your address online.
Two post-office branches are available within ½ mile of campus:
- Downtown Post Office: 118 N. Main Street, Blacksburg, VA 24060
- Blacksburg Main Post Office: 909 University Blvd., Blacksburg, VA 24060
Driver's License and Car Registration*
If you wish to obtain a Virginia driver's license and car registration, visit:
* Note: Possessing a Virginia driver's license does not guarantee eligibility for in-state tuition. Contact the Graduate School (540/231-8636) for more information.
Parking and Transportation
Parking permits are required for parking at Virginia Tech. Permits are sold at the Parking Services Office, located at 605 Research Center Drive. Note: Bring your Hokie Passport and vehicle registration. You may also purchase a parking pass online, using EZ Permit. For information about rates, graduate-student and graduate teaching assistant parking permits, and parking regulations, visit Parking Services.
- Blacksburg Transit (BT) provides free transportation to anyone with a Hokie Passport. BT circulates throughout Blacksburg, the Virginia Tech Campus, and to Christians burg. Schedules and maps can be found at the Blacksburg Transit website.
- The Smart Way Bus links the Roanoke Valley to the New River Valley. For rates and schedules, visit the Smart Way Bus website.
- The Mega Bus provides service from Christiansburg in the New River Valley to Washington, D.C. and Knoxville, Tennessee. For rates and schedules, visit the Mega Bus website.
- Hooptie Ride is a taxi service that provides safe, sober rides to members of the local community.
- Alternative Transportation promotes students, staff, and faculty to use alternative modes of transportation. Car share and ride share programs are available.
- The GLC Bikes are available for free to graduate students and friends (one friend per student). They provide an environmentally friendly, healthy option for quick errands or a few hours of fun.
Spouses/Partners and/or Children
Employment for Spouses/Partners*
The following websites and offices offer information about employment opportunities in Blacksburg and the surrounding area:
- Career Services: The Virginia Tech Career Services' resource center, which includes job-searching tools, is available to spouses and partners of students. Spouses/partners may also use the Center's computer lab to work on their resumes and process online employment applications.
- Virginia Tech Human Resources: Employment opportunities at Virginia Tech are listed through Human Resources.
- Roanoke Times: Local employment opportunities, including the New River Valley and the Roanoke Valley, are advertised through this local newspaper.
*Note: International students, spouses in F-2 status cannot work under any circumstances. Spouses in J-2 status may work with USCIS permission. Contact International Graduate Student Services at 540/231-8486 or email@example.com for more information.
Virginia Tech's Hokie Wellness office provides lists of family childcare providers, child care centers, and temporary child care providers as well as tools to help you make the best child care decisions for your family's needs.
For graduate students and employees with pets, the Hokie Wellness website offers a list of vets, pet health services, pet day care, boarding, and training services in the New River Valley area.
Schools in Montgomery County
The Hokie Wellness office also maintains a comprehensive listing of schools throughout Montgomery County and the New River Valley.
Social Network for Spouses/Partners
Graduate student spouses face unique challenges - isolation, financial stresses, difficulty finding work and/or childcare, and adjusting to life in Blacksburg. Graduate students and spouses are encouraged to form or join a social group for camaraderie and support. The Graduate School Student Services office can help with the establishment of new interest groups if there is interest among graduate students. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.