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Guest SHELLY

Bloomington, IN

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What type of 24-hour place are looking for? Many of the grocery stores are open 24 hours, as well as the Wells Library (IU's main library). Bars stay open until 3am. My favorite 24-hour place is the Cresent [sic] Donut on the west side of town. Delicious cheap donuts any time of the day or night!

I recommend checking out the art museum on campus and the awesome public library. Also make sure you squeeze in a meal or two at one of the many ethnic restaurants on 4th St. (Siam House is my favorite.)

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Didn't realize there would be a choice of 24 hour places. Yeah, basically just wanted to know that I can get a coffee and some cigarettes (and even just see other humans) when I'm up in the middle of the night. Amazing that bars close later in bloomington than they do in Philadelphia, too. Thanks for the reply.

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Hi, I've recently been wait listed at Indiana (and hoping to get in!). I'm also in the running at a couple of other competitive programs, so wish me luck!

Well, back to the topic at hand. If I am lucky enough to get into Indiana, I will be moving with my wife and 7 year-old son. My family is interracial (African American and White). We will be moving from a moderate-sized Southern city with an African American population around 50%. I realize that no matter what, we will probably experience a bit of culture shock, but I am really concerned with racial attitudes in the Bloomington area (not just the area immediately around the campus, but Bloomington as a whole). Are multiracial families looked upon warmly -- or at least neutrally (again, a way from the University area; I am more worried about attitudes of the non-students that my family will have to deal with, within the community)?

And a second, only minimally related question: How are the public schools in Bloomington, especially elementary schools, preferably elementary schools with a bit of diversity? What about low-cost private school options?

THANKS!

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Are multiracial families looked upon warmly -- or at least neutrally (again, a way from the University area; I am more worried about attitudes of the non-students that my family will have to deal with, within the community)?

I can't help you out in the schools department, but as for racial acceptance and diversity, Bloomington is rather unique for this area. The city, and especially the campus, are much more diverse, accepting, and liberal than the rest of the state. I have to admit I was very concerned about coming here (from California) for my undergrad, and I was pleasantly surprised. I am biracial and haven't had any problems, nor has my family when they visit (i.e. no staring at the black man, white woman, and 3 mixed kids as they shop in the mall, lol.) Bloomington is like any other town in some ways in that oftentimes people tend to hang out with people relatively the same as them, so you'll see groups of black people, white people, asian people, etc all kind of sticking together. On the other hand, you'll also find groups of people who hang out regardless of race or ethnicity. So in that way it is typical of other cities. But compared to some other places in Indiana (the typical all white, Christian, Republican Southerners) Bloomington is unique. Does that make sense?

My one warning would have to be, oddly enough, about Walmart. It is on the far part of town and is usually frequented by people from some of the neighboring small towns, so you have the awkward, staring, slow-drawling, barefoot, and dare I say "hick" types running around there. It is really odd, even for the racial majority, to go there, as I've more than one person tell me they're a bit "creeped out" to go there sometimes. But that is just one place out of many available to go to in a thriving college town.

I've applied for my master's and have my fingers crossed that I'll get to stay here for another two years! I think that if you were to come here, though there are inevitably less minorities than from your city of 50%, you will really enjoy this "breath of fresh air" town in what can sometimes feel like a really stifling area of the country. As they like to say here, Indiana is a Southern state at heart... just set in the North.

P.S. I hope I don't upset anybody with what I've written, this is just what I have observed. I love this city, and am totally accepting of all its people, even the overall-wearing country folk in Walmart :-D

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Can I expect to be able to find work in Bloomington, other than work study? I really can't do this without a part time job.

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Hi, I've recently been wait listed at Indiana (and hoping to get in!). I'm also in the running at a couple of other competitive programs, so wish me luck!

Well, back to the topic at hand. If I am lucky enough to get into Indiana, I will be moving with my wife and 7 year-old son. My family is interracial (African American and White). We will be moving from a moderate-sized Southern city with an African American population around 50%. I realize that no matter what, we will probably experience a bit of culture shock, but I am really concerned with racial attitudes in the Bloomington area (not just the area immediately around the campus, but Bloomington as a whole). Are multiracial families looked upon warmly -- or at least neutrally (again, a way from the University area; I am more worried about attitudes of the non-students that my family will have to deal with, within the community)?

And a second, only minimally related question: How are the public schools in Bloomington, especially elementary schools, preferably elementary schools with a bit of diversity? What about low-cost private school options?

THANKS!

To answer your second question, I know that most of the professors here at IU send their kids to both of the two public school systems. In terms of private schools, there actually aren't too many. There are a few Christian academies, and then there's Harmony School (k-12), a sort of "liberal alternative" (meaning they don't give out grades), but that's about it. Diversity-wise, I checked online at Indiana's Department of Education website (if you Google "indiana school statistics" you'll find it right away), and it looks like most elementary schools here in town are about 80% white, and the other 20% is a solid mix of everything else. Hope that helps!

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One more quick question: how early do you have to find an apartment to get something decent for the next academic year? Thanks.

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One more quick question: how early do you have to find an apartment to get something decent for the next academic year? Thanks.

I would get on that as soon as possible. As it's a college town, most places rent from August--August, and students start signing leases in late January/early February, though it might be a bit different for grad students.

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I would get on that as soon as possible. As it's a college town, most places rent from August--August, and students start signing leases in late January/early February, though it might be a bit different for grad students.

Thanks. Not the best news for those of us who haven't decided where we are going yet....

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I just got my funding offer from IU-Bloomington and am hoping someone on this board could comment as to whether this will be sufficient to live on: 16k for the academic year, 4k fellowship for summer. I am hoping not to have to seek other employment. I'm not expecting a luxury apartment, I have no undergraduate debt (or any sort of debt for that matter), and am no stranger to student poverty (though 6 more years of a diet composed entirely of pb&j's and store brand macaroni and cheese does not bode well for my overall health, methinks)

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I just got my funding offer from IU-Bloomington and am hoping someone on this board could comment as to whether this will be sufficient to live on: 16k for the academic year, 4k fellowship for summer. I am hoping not to have to seek other employment. I'm not expecting a luxury apartment, I have no undergraduate debt (or any sort of debt for that matter), and am no stranger to student poverty (though 6 more years of a diet composed entirely of pb&j's and store brand macaroni and cheese does not bode well for my overall health, methinks)

WOW!! better than my IU package from sociology.

You'll be fine. Look at craigslist: cost of living is super cheap!! I will most likely be at IU on 15k a year and am not worried. If you share an apartment, you could be paying like 300 a month in a nice neighborhood.

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I am currently waitlisted at IU, and if I too, am lucky enough to get accepted, wanted to know thoughts/advice on job prospects for my SO.

My SO will be coming along, so I am curious if people who currently live there, or other students who have SO/spouses who have moved there can give me an idea of how easy it is to get a job in Bloomington. Also, how easy it is to live there without going to school/is it enjoyable?

My SO would like to work for a year, then go back school, but IU is very competitive in his area of study, so my main concern is the location (i.e., isolation) if he cannot get in to IU. Also, I will be doing my PhD (if accepted), so we are considering around 6 yrs in Bloomington.

Currently, I am accepted to UW-Seattle (currently w/o funding), and are slightly more inclined toward Seattle as far location (but IU is better in my field). Any thoughts??

We are both from California, have never lived in the mid-west or east-coast, and have lived abroad (together).

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Duli,

Honestly, finding an apartment later in the year in Bloomington is not as bad as you might expect. A lot of the undergraduates fill up complexes that, frankly, NO ONE else in the world would want to live. As an undergraduate I found a last minute apartment in July that is exactly one mile from campus, on the bus line, and is mostly graduate students and faculty. I am positive that you can do the same :-)

Papillion,

To be honest, Bloomington has been known to be pretty bad job-wise for many people. Many graduates (as well as undergrad part-timers) often take up the waitressing, coffee shop, and bar jobs, even after they graduate with a degree. Personally, all of the couples I know who moved to Bloomington were duel-grad students so I don't have personal experience about finding jobs. But on-campus jobs for the school, including tons of admin positions, tend to be the best option, because many other positions are filled by the locals. My guess, though, is that networking and ruthless jobhunting may give your SO better luck that other people have had recently.

I am confident that if you were to come here, your SO will LOVE Bloomington even though he won't be a student. Bloomington is such a wonderful college town with so many things to do and see even if you aren't the student yourself. Oh, and I'm from California too so moving to IU was such a big shock, but I'm staying for grad school because I absolutely love Bloomington (even if I hate everything else about the midwest, lol) and can't imagine going to any other school :-D

Good luck to the both of you, Duli and Papillion! And let me know if you have more questions, I'll always try to give you a good answer!

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Thanks for the advice and help so far! Though, I am still on the waitlist, I was told that they would be highly surprised if they weren't able to make me an offer before deadline. Additionally, I am beginning to lean toward Indiana as my first choice.

So, I guess it is time for me to get serious about narrowing down neighborhoods to live in.

What I am looking for:

Family-friendly, grad student-friendly. In other words quiet, safe, and preferably somewhere with a yard-like area, if not an actual yard!

Easy access to the university. My family hopes to move to being a one-car family. Being within walking distance of the university would be ideal if and only if I could live somewhere that wasn't noisy. I am more than fine with living a bit further from the university, if it would be a quick and easy bus ride away (say less than 15 minutes).

I would love to be able to find a roomy two bedroom apartment or small two or three bedroom house for under $700 a month.

Any suggestions? Also, warnings about neighborhoods to stay away from may be just as helpful (if not more so) than neighborhoods that would be highly recommended.

THANKS!

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Phil,

My biggest advice would just be to stay away from stadium-area housing on the north side of campus. That area can get quite raucous come game-time. If you're looking for a house with an actual yard, you won't be too likely to find anything within walking distance, as those houses are generally leased to undergrads who don't care about such things. However, I do suggest looking south of campus. Bloomington has a pretty good public transportation system. It's officially called Bloomington Transit, and I know that most houses have a stop within walking distance, and most rides take no longer than 15 minutes.

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Hi everyone - long time reader, first time poster

My info first: resident of Christchurch, New Zealand (island next to Australia...).

I've accepted an offer at IU in maths which includes a $15800 TA-ship and am seeking advice about living arrangements. For starters, what are the residence halls like for graduate students? If I were to stay in a hall, what are the meal plans ("Cream", "Crimson") like? Though I still live with the folks (well, one folk, my dad) --- I'm 21, that's still below the upper bound of respectability I'm sure! --- I prefer to do my own supermarket shopping. But I figure it may be more convenient to go with the flow of the residence hall business.

Any advice is most welcome :)

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IU-Bloomington Biochemistry 25K per year plus 5K fellowship. I think every program is different so depending on the funding of the department and your scholarly status you may be maximum or about average for your programs. I would check out how much other schools give out. Other schools offered me 23K per year, 21K per year not including fellowships. Also, anyone living around Regency apartments at Steeplechase (south side)? I will be in Bloomington June 5th and won't know ANYONE. Some friendly neighbors would be nice. Hopefully all worked out for you and you will be in IUB this fall. Cheers

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Bumping this thread for more info on Bloomington. Any knowledgeable folks out there, please chime in. What areas are good to live in and relatively affordable? What's there to do in Bloomington? How are the restaurants-variety? Cost of living, groceries, etc.? Hoping it's less than Nashville. My stipend won't allow for any lavish living conditions.

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I did my undergrad at IU, and the cost of living is very reasonable. Right now, I pay $490/month for a HUGE one-bedroom apartment within walking distance of campus. If you have roommates or are willing to live a little further away (which isn't a problem, since the bus system is great), you can live for much, much cheaper. As far as things to do, there are lots of bars, music venues, art galleries, theaters, etc. The restaurant variety is great - there are three Indian restaurants, a couple of Thai restaurants, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Ethiopian, Greek, Turkish - everything you can imagine. And the prices are pretty reasonable, particularly for lunch (the Indian restaurants do a great lunch buffet). Groceries are really reasonable, too - you can either go with the big chain stores like Marsh or Kroger, or you can shop at the local places, which are a little pricier, but also offer more organic/locally grown products. I know a lot of people are nervous about the prospect of living in Indiana, but Bloomington really is completely different than the rest of the state. I'm going on my fifth year here and I've had a great experience. Sorry I can't offer too many specific recommendations regarding housing - I lived in the dorms for the first three years, but there isn't really a "bad" part of Bloomington. The trade-off of living close to campus is that 1) it's more expensive and 2) there are more noisy undergrads. However, I live pretty close to the stadium, and my apartment complex is surprisingly quiet (they cater to grad students and enforce a pretty strict noise policy, so that helps). I would talk to current grad students in your department if possible for more specific recommendations, but there are some really cute/affordable houses in pretty much every part of town.

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I did my undergrad at IU, and the cost of living is very reasonable. Right now, I pay $490/month for a HUGE one-bedroom apartment within walking distance of campus. If you have roommates or are willing to live a little further away (which isn't a problem, since the bus system is great), you can live for much, much cheaper. As far as things to do, there are lots of bars, music venues, art galleries, theaters, etc. The restaurant variety is great - there are three Indian restaurants, a couple of Thai restaurants, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Ethiopian, Greek, Turkish - everything you can imagine. And the prices are pretty reasonable, particularly for lunch (the Indian restaurants do a great lunch buffet). Groceries are really reasonable, too - you can either go with the big chain stores like Marsh or Kroger, or you can shop at the local places, which are a little pricier, but also offer more organic/locally grown products. I know a lot of people are nervous about the prospect of living in Indiana, but Bloomington really is completely different than the rest of the state. I'm going on my fifth year here and I've had a great experience. Sorry I can't offer too many specific recommendations regarding housing - I lived in the dorms for the first three years, but there isn't really a "bad" part of Bloomington. The trade-off of living close to campus is that 1) it's more expensive and 2) there are more noisy undergrads. However, I live pretty close to the stadium, and my apartment complex is surprisingly quiet (they cater to grad students and enforce a pretty strict noise policy, so that helps). I would talk to current grad students in your department if possible for more specific recommendations, but there are some really cute/affordable houses in pretty much every part of town.

Sounds good. Thanks for the info. I'll be visiting Bloomington and the IU campus next week, and I'll see how it is.

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I love clothes and all things beautiful so I am also curious about the fashion scenes in Bloomington. What kinds of clothes shops do they have in B-town? I guess they'll have regular chains like GAP and Old Navy but I wonder if there is any chance that I could find H&M or Forever 21 in Bloomington?

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I love clothes and all things beautiful so I am also curious about the fashion scenes in Bloomington. What kinds of clothes shops do they have in B-town? I guess they'll have regular chains like GAP and Old Navy but I wonder if there is any chance that I could find H&M or Forever 21 in Bloomington?

If you want that kind of shopping, it's best to go to Indianapolis, or even Chicago (it's not that close, though).

Aside from College Mall, Bloomington is mostly boutique shops.

Edited by peppermint.beatnik

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