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Guest SHELLY

Bloomington, IN

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Guest SHELLY

I love Bloomington! I was there for a summer, so I'm sure it's a lot different during the fall and winter (once 30,000 students arrive). The campus is beautiful! You can walk from the campus to the downtown area (kirkwood) where there are icecream shops, bars, clubs, etc. Too bad i've already been rejected from IU. :(

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Guest

Really? I just visited. Granted it was only for two days, but I'm curious, its not too dull? I have a good offer there and my only hesistation is that it's , well, in the middle of nowhere(I'm in Boston at the moment)

Sorry to hear of your rejection...

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Guest magemaud

You sound just like my daughter. She also visited recently for two days and thought the campus was beautiful but maybe a bit isolated. She's in Washington, DC, right now and her grad school choices will probably come down to staying there or going to IU although neither of her first choice schools have made any kind of financial offer yet. Maybe someone who actually lives there could give us an idea of what it's like.

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I definitely didn't think it was dull. My situation is a little different. I was there for an undergraduate research program. There were 11 of us in the program and since Bloomington is a little empty in the summer, we stuck together. We had a blast! Walking to the bars a few times a week, going to excellent restaurants, etc. plus being in the "middle of nowhere" means hiking, swimming at the lake, etc are a short drive away.

disclaimer: i'm from a small city (around 130,000) so my perspective of "dull" may be a little different than yours. boston has a few more folks.

good luck in making the right decision...

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My perception of Bloomington when I visited IU a month or so ago was that it kind of had a little of everything. It has a strong vibrant downtown, but it also has a large city element to it with resturants, stores, shopping centers, ect.

Although, when I was driving in, I got a little scared. I was in the middle of no where driving through corn fields and all of the sudden an old water tower comes into view on the side of the road with the 10 commandments painted on it. I was waiting for Issac and the other children of the corn to come popping out.

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(in my opinion) Bloomington is really weird in that it tends to be very liberal, while it is surrounded by the bible belt. it was a great escape for me... :)

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Guest magemaud

You sound just like my daughter. She also visited recently for two days and thought the campus was beautiful but maybe a bit isolated. She's in Washington, DC, right now and her grad school choices will probably come down to staying there or going to IU although neither of her first choice schools have made any kind of financial offer yet. Maybe someone who actually lives there could give us an idea of what it's like.

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Guest dave
My perception of Bloomington when I visited IU a month or so ago was that it kind of had a little of everything. It has a strong vibrant downtown, but it also has a large city element to it with resturants, stores, shopping centers, ect.

Although, when I was driving in, I got a little scared. I was in the middle of no where driving through corn fields and all of the sudden an old water tower comes into view on the side of the road with the 10 commandments painted on it. I was waiting for Issac and the other children of the corn to come popping out.

hahaha likewise. I took the bloomington shuttle from the airport and I just stared out the window in horror(Although I did see a Pizza Hut, that was actually a 4x4 foot hut, intriguing :) )

i got a fellowship and the department seems really incredible, so I'm probably gonna go for it. I get the feeling it will be ok, despite the fact that I have Boston(which isn't all that amazing, just plenty to do) to compare it to.

Can anyone compare it to Boulder, CO - i did some research out there a year or two ago and it was the same kind of small college town, but it had this incredibly yuppie vibe to it. I didn't get that from bloomington, but I was there for two quick days..

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Guest indygirl

I've been in Bloomington for three years, and I will miss it somewhat when I go. I agree with what previous posters have said; there is definitely a vibrant downtown and a lot going on on campus. I've often felt it has the best elements of city life (culture, amazing restaurants, diverse population) without the crime, crowds or expense. That said, it can get a little dull if you're used to a big city or if you stay here too long. (I've now been to all the restaurants, seen the museums, taken in all the cultural experiences, etc.) It should be noted that Chicago and St. Louis are each only 4-5 hours away and make great weekend trips.

Also, if you are moving here I would highly recommend renting a house (or even buying) over an apartment. They often cost about the same in Bloomington and I've found it's really wonderful to have so much space for such a cheap price.

Another thing that's nice about Bloomington are all the outdoor activities. The scenery here is beautiful. It's not flat and drab like the rest of Indiana; there are hills and lakes that are excellent for hiking, rowing or just hanging out.

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Guest bric

I'm simultaneously fascinated and terrified at the prospect of living in a small town in the Midwest.

I'm not sure of my funding yet, but what would you say a decent stipend would be to live on there?

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I'm simultaneously fascinated and terrified at the prospect of living in a small town in the Midwest.

I'm not sure of my funding yet, but what would you say a decent stipend would be to live on there?

I live in a small town in Indiana on a stipend of about $8000. Granted, I don't have a car. But I've been able to save enough money month to month that I was able to buy a laptop and have a very small savings account. I tend toward rather expensive groceries, too, since I'm vegan. If you're frugal, it's pretty easy to live cheap in Indiana.

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Hi everyone,

Congratulations on your offers! I'm also considering an offer from IU. The department in question is great but like many here I am worried about living in a small town -- I'm from Boston and once lived in Davis, CA, where I was totally weirded out by the smallness of the place (although it is a very nice town and many people love it). I'm visiting next week and will post whatever I find out in case anyone here isn't visiting before deciding.

I know Bloomington is supposed to be great for jazz and classical music -- do any rock fans here know about venues, concerts, etc.? Everyone keeps mentioning the beautiful natural areas nearby -- which sounds lovely, but I'm not the outdoors type at all. Are there any other naturephobes here who have experience/impressions of Bloomington?

Also, I have a car but am generally used to living on a very tight budget. Is 13K a year enough to live reasonably well in Bloomington, without financial help from parents?

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Guest evelyn

I definitely think $13,000 is enough to get by. Of course that depends on what kind of debt/car insurance you have. you should be able to find an apartment for about $500 a month (a roommate would save you big time), spend about $100 a month on groceries (also depends on you personally, i guess), that leaves $400 for entertainment, phone, utilities, debt etc. going out isn't even that expensive. i was shocked to find screw drivers for $2.50! (not everywhere of course but you get my point).

like the above poster said, $8000 a year would probably be sufficient, so you should be good w/ 13k.

the size of the school seems to draw some good entertainers and there are often good live local performers at the bars downtown (such as at the blue bird, kilroy's sports, festers, etc.). it also draws in some famous rockers from time to time.

IU has a famous school of music so definitely a yes for that type of music as well.

here are a couple of websites i bookmarked from my time in bloomington:

http://www.cs.indiana.edu/docproject/bloomington.html

http://www.visitbloomington.com/

good luck!

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Hey everyone,

I just went to Bloomington yesterday for some research (it's only about two hours away from where I am now.) I just wanted to say that I'd forgotten how nice their campus really is. It really is in a beautiful part of Indiana--coming from someone who grew up in northern Indiana, presently lives in central Indiana, and has frequently traveled through southern Indiana, Bloomington really stands apart from the rest. There are HILLS there, and trees--and on the highway(s) into town, you'll even see rock "cliffs" and little streams and things. Now, I know this is really unimpressive landscape next to the scenery in other states, but I just want to emphasize that it really isn't like the rest of the state, which is totally flat with lots of cornfields. I had a moment, during lunch looking out a window, where I actually felt as if I were somewhere BESIDES Indiana--Pennsylvania, perhaps. I didn't apply to their PhD program even though it's ranked very highly in my field simply because I've been so eager to get out of Indiana--but strangely, I might've actually felt ok about going there since it has a different "feel."

Campus has lots of little stone walls, a little "lake" with a grassy area, a stream that runs through next to the Memorial Union building, an old cemetery, and lots of trees. It feels a little historic. I give it a big thumbs up as far as aesthetics go and as far as midwestern schools go. If you're used to the Rocky Mountains or something, you'll be unimpressed I'm sure... but for someone used to cornfields and drab nothingness, it's really quite nice. This was only the third time I've been to their campus, and the first time I'd visited in the dark and the second time I'd only gone to the libraries, so I can't really speak much for the surrounding areas or the "town" of Bloomington itself. But yeah, I just thought I'd share because I was so pleasantly surprised and had a really nice time visiting and doing research.

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Hi everyone!

I don't know if anyone here is still making decisions, but I just got back from Bloomington and wanted to put in my $0.02.

The town is small and the campus is huge and beautiful (it's amazing -- the buildings are gorgeous and there are wooded areas and there is even an art museum!). I was really worried about the smallness of the town, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The tiny downtown area houses a huge (huge relative to the total number of restaurants) number of good ethnic restaurants. And the CD store on Kirkwood has a ridiculously good selection of semi-obscure stuff. I'd say that if you're worried about not having access to certain city amenities (good food, things to do) Bloomington can still work for you. If you need to have a wide variety of options on hand, it may not work for you.

For what it's worth, I'm a diehard city person and I kind of fell in love with IU and Bloomington.

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Guest bric

I'm going to visit next week. I am a little apprehensive because I lived in Manhattan for 10 years after undergrad. I never thought I would live in the seventh largest town in Indiana! I love nature and hiking and camping though, so that part seems good.

Does anyone know where is the best place to hike near Bloomington? I'd like to check it out after my campus visit.

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Guest indygirl

Griffey Lake is my favorite. I go there with my dog all the time. In the summer they've got canoes and rowboats to rent and cool wildlife (eagles, hawks, turtles, etc). Very nice hiking trails too.

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Guest bric

Thanks indygirl. I'll check it out. How is the Hoosier Forest? My boyfriend and I may go camping this weekend if it's not raining terribly.

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Guest magemaud

Does anyone know about IU's on campus housing for grad students? The website mentions that it's not the most luxurious accomodations but you can't beat the convenience. Also, is it difficult to come by?

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from what I've been reading it maybe because you can find cheaper housing. I mean renting a house or an apt maybe cheaper and more convenient than actual dorm living. I dont know, thats the impression that I got. Anywho...does anyone have any suggestions as to where to look for roomates? Don't know where or how to start the relocation process? any hints or sage pieces of advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Guest magemaud

Thanks for the info. I looked at IU's website and it appears that the on campus graduate housing is more expensive than getting an apartment. As it turns out, my daughter would prefer to live off campus and there appear to be tons of apartments nearby at incredibly low prices (compared to the Northeast.) There are even efficiency apartments which would be great for someone living alone who doesn't need a big place, IMO. She doesn't have a stick of furniture, and since she will only be on campus for a year and a half, we don't want to buy and move a lot of stuff. I figure that on a campus that size, there will always be people who are looking to get rid of furniture. Anyway, to answer your roommate question, I found this website when I was looking for apartment info: http://www.iucribs.com/index.asp (love the name!)

Two other websites I have used before (in other areas) to get information about apartments are: http://www.apartmentreviews.net/ratings ... ington.htm

and http://www.apartmentratings.com/rate/IN ... ngton.html

I also see that what I believe to be the nearest Craig's List-Indianapolis-has some postings for Bloomington. (http://indianapolis.craigslist.org/)

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Guest bric

Does anyone have an idea about the pros/cons of different neighborhoods? I'd like to be close enough to campus to ride my bike. How is it around Bryan Park?

Getting excited to move again!

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Bumping this thread.

I just got accepted to I.U. and I wanted to get some more information on the area. I have lived in larger (but not big) cities most of my life (Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Columbus, OH, and at the moment Tampa (which I despise)), so I am not sure what to expect in a smaller, quintessential college town. Any opinions would be helpful but mostly:

How little can I get away with NOT driving (biking, walking, public transportation)?

When I do need to drive, how is traffic?

What neighborhoods/areas are best (close, relatively cheap)?

What can I expect to pay for a decent house or apartment? I'd like a 2 bedroom ( I am married and like the extra room as a study).

I don't know what my funding package is yet, but how much do I need to live on? I don't go out much and really don't spend a lot of money, but for my MA I got $9000 and rent in Tampa is about $800 for anything a little nicer than a dump. My apartment was in a horrible neighborhood (crack dealers, dead person in parking lot, cars stolen...and this was, literally, right next to the university) and rent and utilities took all of my stipend. I ended up having to take out loans anyway just to eat, buy gas, books, etc. :cry:

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Bloomington, from what I've gathered is a great community, and a great college town. The school is good, and the campus is very pretty. The down side? Its in Indiana. I hate Indiana. My mother has lived there for years, and when I visit her (in Indianapolis) I always go down to Bloomington and up to Chicago.

Oh, I was born, live, and attend school in Southern California. That was in case you were wondering. ;-)

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Bumping this thread.

I just got accepted to I.U. and I wanted to get some more information on the area. I have lived in larger (but not big) cities most of my life (Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Columbus, OH, and at the moment Tampa (which I despise)), so I am not sure what to expect in a smaller, quintessential college town. Any opinions would be helpful but mostly:

How little can I get away with NOT driving (biking, walking, public transportation)?

When I do need to drive, how is traffic?

What neighborhoods/areas are best (close, relatively cheap)?

What can I expect to pay for a decent house or apartment? I'd like a 2 bedroom ( I am married and like the extra room as a study).

I don't know what my funding package is yet, but how much do I need to live on? I don't go out much and really don't spend a lot of money, but for my MA I got $9000 and rent in Tampa is about $800 for anything a little nicer than a dump. My apartment was in a horrible neighborhood (crack dealers, dead person in parking lot, cars stolen...and this was, literally, right next to the university) and rent and utilities took all of my stipend. I ended up having to take out loans anyway just to eat, buy gas, books, etc. :cry:

I'll answer your questions as best as I can. Living in a college town is amazing. I did my undergraduate work in Santa Cruz, and wish I could have stayed there forever. Now granted, Santa Cruz is not Bloomington, but I've spent a bit of time in Bloomington. My mother lives in Indiana, and my brother and myself have a number of friends who did their undergraduate work at I.U.

The community around the school is pretty small, and imo, absolutely beautiful. You will absolutely be able to get around everywhere on your feet or on a bike (I'm not sure about the public transport). You WILL however want to have a car. I say this, because as someone who is adjusted to city life, I'm the kind of person who needs to travel to a city from time to time. Indianapolis would be closest to you, but Chicago is probably a 4 1/2 hour drive.

I'll be honest. MOST of Indiana I despise. Not all though. Its certainly got its charms. You'll also be damn close to a lot of NICE places too. The best state parks and historic towns in Indiana are in the southern part of the state.

As for rent, I'm not really sure what you should expect. What I do know, is its far cheaper than either Santa Cruz or Irvine (where I live now). :) I'm guessing $600 a month for a two bedroom. Someone with more intimate knowledge of Bloomington or I.U. should probably chime in here before you go running off accepting any offers. :-)

Hope this helped.

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