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Guest dan

Ames, IA

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Guest dan

I received a nice offer from Iowa State that I am considering. My girlfriend will be moving with me and I am concerned that she'll have a hard time finding jobs (biotech) or classes in the area. Is it will be too rural an area? Any info on what day to day life is like or how the city compares to other areas would be appreciated.

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I don't know much about the industry, but I know ISU is proud of its connections with biotechnology. They have an office of biotechnology (http://www.biotech.iastate.edu/) and a directory of nearby firms working in life sciences (http://www.industry.iastate.edu/lifesci ... ctory.html). Hopefully that is helpful.

The city is fairly small, and entirely dominated by undergraduates. I like to compare the city to a factory which tries to efficiently get alcohol into students. However, I'm on the west side of town, and the east side is a little better, with an old town area with nice shopping and resteraunts, parks and trails, and fast access to the interstate where its 30 minutes to Des Moines and 3 or 4 hours to Minneapolis, Chicago, and Kansas City. The campus is very pretty, and they have good lectures open to the public. There is a hipster movie theater, a dollar theater and a regular cinema. There are two art galleries (I think), a large music venue, an indie music venue, and some bars that have concerts.

Tell me what department you are going into and I can give you a little more information, and feel free to ask more questions.

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ames, ia sucks

the economy in the area is not strong so I would say finding a job will be harder than most places. she might have to commute to des moines, i don't know.

I am an RA masters student here. I came here for research interests and it paid off for me because connections from my current advisor got me accepted to Berkeley for the PhD.

so there are reasons to come out here but really, you won't enjoy the life here... most iowans I know want to leave asap.

I am not trying to convince you to not come here because I don't regret making the decision to come here even when I had more $ from a better school because I enjoy the research I am doing here and that has opened up many options for me. but all you will probably do here is be a student & work.

oh, and the weather sucks. This winter, one night we had -18 F with wind chills reaching -30. The summer is warm but also very humid. Yesterday, 80mph winds, chance of tornado, and the tree outside my window thankfully fell the opposite way and hit the building next to my apt.

about bars & such, if that is for you, I can't believe there isn't more of a night life since most small college towns have a large party night, especially when the options are limited. I thought this would be more of a party campus before coming here but it isn't, even the Greek system is dry!!!!! All that I end up doing in ames is going to the cheap movie theater once in a while.

if interested, I am from Seattle.

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Does anybody know about AMES...I just got a mail from my professor that I have been accepted for Masters in mechanical engineering with full tuition and ra. If any body has any idea about the program it would be also benificial.

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I recently was accepted to the physics PhD program at Iowa State University and was curious to know more about Ames, IA. I hear its a small town that mainly exists because of the school but I wanted more specifics about the feel of the town and if there are fun things to do. I went to school in Boston and now live in Los Alamos, NM so I've had quite the range from big college city to very small, boring town. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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I also applied to the physic program of Iowa state and still waiting for the decision. They informed me that they already evaluate my application but they have not made any decision yet.

If you are currently study in physics department please give me some idea about the department.

Thanks.

I hope i will receive the decision soon...

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I also applied to the physic program of Iowa state and still waiting for the decision. They informed me that they already evaluate my application but they have not made any decision yet.

If you are currently study in physics department please give me some idea about the department.

Thanks.

I hope i will receive the decision soon...

I have been admitted for MS in Industrial Engineering for fall 2011, hope to see you in Ames

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Hello all.

I am an International undergrad student and have received an acceptance for PhD in ECE department with $1500/month scholarship. I also have a conditional offer from Cambridge University in Physics.

Research topics at both places are equally interesting and it is tough to differentiate only on that issue.

The main positives of ISU are

1) the electrical department and hence the connection with the industry

2) the US effect

3) it seems that I can get my PhD in 3-4 years, which is quite less than most of the other US universities

while the main negatives of ISU are

1) its name, in QS top University rankings Cambridge is ranked 1st while ISU is ranked 295th.

2) Ames seems to be very small and quite dull town, where as cambridge with so many students and its tradition is a very lively town (my assumption)

Any suggestions/comments regarding Ames City and ISU and ECE department would be very helpful.

I would also like to have details on expenditure in Ames.

thanks

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I have lived in Ames for the last eleven years. I moved here in my 20's and I have found it to be a very nice place to live. It is a small town and has remained small with a limited selection of nationwide chains. Anything Ames does not have, you can find in Des Moines area which is a short drive away. Cost of living is not bad compared to most of the country and drops considerably by just going a few miles out of the city. The water is good. The crime is virtually non-existent. The city has many parks with heavily wooded walking and biking trails. City bus service is available most places. The city is bicycle friendly. Politically, it has an overall left-leaning population, but most anyone will feel comfortable. If you don't mind a city that has what you need but very little that you don't, it's not a bad place. The countryside is relatively flat agricultural land. There are a few state parks a short drive from Ames for other recreation opportunities. There's even a ski slope at Boone in the Des Moines River valley.

The job market is fairly competitive with some industry, agricultural, and biotech type jobs. The USDA has a large presence in Ames. There is the usual mix of occupations you might find in any city, but none are on a large scale. Food service and retail is where the job openings usually are. Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart and a fairly large number of restaurants and bars.

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Does anyone have advice about living in Ames and/or finding an apartment or housing? Anything will help! Thanks!

 

 

So Ames is a nice small town but not a very happening place. We have lots of bars and movie theatres but not much more than that in the way of entertainment. The mall is pretty bad though we did just get a few more stores and the Iowa State Center has concerts and plays. Main Street area is nice but kind of pricy. Des Moines is only about 30 minutes away though so you do have access to more stuff within a reasonable drive.

 

Winters are damn cold with some -30 degree days with the nasty wind here. Summers are really hot and humid (though if you are from the south you probably wouldn't think this). Snow hasn't been too bad the last few years.

 

Major rental companies are Hunziker, Total, Jensen, Horizon, and First. West Ames is a lot of undergrads, by the mall is a lot of international students and north Ames (Sommerset area) is a lot of grad/married students. The university has apartments for grad students but I have not lived there and don't know what they are like.

 

CyRide is the bus system and it is pretty good. The campus itself is absolutely beautiful and very pedestrian oriented.

 

If you are planning on moving to Ames look for apartments ASAP. They go fast and most places have be showing apartments for a month already at this point.

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Thanks so much! I was planning to go out at the end of April, but I may make the trip sooner than that now. I am from Michigan so as much as I hate cold weather, I probably won't be too shocked by it.

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The posts above are insightful.

 

I'm in the process of applying for ISU's Transportation Engineering program. What is the Transportation Engg program like? And in general, how good (or otherwise) is the Civil Engg Department? Any kind of input will be welcomed, such as job prospects for transportation engineers etc.

 

Thanks in advance.

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I grew up in Ames. It SUCKS for young people. Nice quiet if you want to settle down and have a family. But if you're young and want lots to do, stay the hell away!!

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I don't think Ames is quite as bad as everyone says - it's just not right for everyone. It's a quiet town that's a little on the rural side, but if that doesn't bother you, it's a nice place to be. And if Ames isn't enough, you're only 45 minutes north of Des Moines, which is a really nice city with lots of art/music festivals, awesome restaurants, and pretty good shopping.

 

But if you want a high-octane lots-to-do-every-night lifestyle, you won't find it in Ames; it's just not a happening place. 

Edited by girlscoutcookies

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Hoping I can breathe some life back into this thread..

 

Does anyone know which are the best coffee shops in town and which is the best yoga studio (preferably hot yoga). 

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Stomping Grounds is pretty good and only 3 blocks from campus - http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/62/671437/restaurant/Des-Moines/Stomping-Grounds-Ames

Hoping I can breathe some life back into this thread..

 

Does anyone know which are the best coffee shops in town and which is the best yoga studio (preferably hot yoga). 

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Hello, hope there are still some of you on here to help answer some questions. I've googled the city itself extensively, and there is one thing that I am curious about. It appears that the ISU region is pretty cheap, and based off the stipend, there should be no financial problems finding a place to live there without rooming (although it appears room is limited based on some of these posts). It also appears the city itself is pretty quite and devoid of really any "night-life" activities outside of just drinking. Terrain wise also limits stuff like hiking or skiing (no mountains) or any beach activities (no beaches of course), so outdoor activities are limited. The one thing I was looking for at least in a positive light, is the fact that it is a college city. A city populated almost entirely by college students, must have a lot of great parties and whatnot right? Or at least that is my impression. I have an idea of how the city of Ames itself is, but how is the college life? I've never lived in a college city before, so everything I know is simply from my imaginations of what it must be like. Do the students change the "quiet atmosphere" of the rural life/city and reinvigorate the city by their (what I guess I would call youthful) energy, or do they succumb to the quiet rural life, and study and drink, and then go to bed. 

I don't need a live city, but I do need a live populous. And my impression was, a bunch of 18-23 year old students with a city for themselves, wel... it must be a live populous right? 

Edited by samman1994

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