Mesa is only smaller than Phoenix and Tucson in the State of Arizona. Like many of the cities in Arizona, it's population experiences a ballooning effect during the winter months, as thousands of people from the northern United States and Canada flock to warmer climes. The estimated population of the city is at 430,000. Mesa has more than one large campus in the city. The largest is Mesa Community College, which has more than 24,000 students typically. There is also a satellite campus for Arizona State University (the Polytechnica) that reports having more than 6000 students. Mesa has also made it a priority to increase educational options in the city, and as such it has become home to satellite campuses for a number of other schools.
Mesa is an extremely sprawling city. Location is going to be very important during your apartment hunt, so you want to start looking about three months before you need to move in. This will ensure you get your pick of neighborhoods.
In Mesa, it is rare to find an apartment where you're going to be the only applicant. You want to be ready to pull the trigger in a hurry if you get offered an apartment. Otherwise, you may find that the landlord moves on to the next applicant in line before you get a chance to finish thinking about it.
To get around Mesa itself, a car or a bicycle provides you with the flexibility that you're going to need. Navigating the city is easy, and newcomers should have it under their belts in no time. To visit the largest city in the State, the Valley Metro Light Rail can take you from Mesa right into downtown Phoenix.
To truly experience the beauty of Mesa, you need to spend some time on the trails, in the mountains and on the rivers that surround the city. Entertainment can be savage, like a toughness-testing trek through one of the many local mountain parks, or refined, like a visit to the Mesa Arts Centre. For a truly one of a kind experience, check out Organ Stop Pizza, where Italian food and a Wurlitzer organ combine for a night you won't forget.