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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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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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On 3/3/2010 at 5:01 PM, stringgenius said:

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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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.

What kind of shops do they have at College Mall do you know? Boutiques are cool and quirky but they can't beat the price and variety at H&M.

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What kind of shops do they have at College Mall do you know? Boutiques are cool and quirky but they can't beat the price and variety at H&M.

No H&M, I looked up the link if you want to check it out: College Mall, IN

There's an H&M in Indianapolis.

Are you bringing a car? You can getting around Bloomington fine without one, but access to a car beats having to rely on the shuttle to Indianapolis, or freedom to go other places.

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There's plenty of Forever 21-type shops at the mall. You can't beat the amazing stores on Kirkwood though. (Kirkwood is the main street of activity, right by the Sample Gates.) Cactus Flower is AMAZING. There's also Pitaya and Cha Cha — pricier boutiques, but I always found funky, fun stuff on the clearance rack. Oh, and there's Urban Outfitters.

But Bloomington is incredible. It has the sporty, rah-rah, Big Ten vibe, but also incomparable culture opportunities. The School of Music is one of the best in the world, bringing in musicians and artists from all over the world. Fourth Street off Kirkwood is kind of the international cuisine street. If you like Thai, you must go to Siam House.

There's a reason B-town is often called the greatest college town! You should watch Breaking Away, a movie about IU's annual little 500 bike race. Their visitor site might help you too: www.visitbloomington.com.

In terms of housing, it depends what you want. All around campus, you can find reasonable houses and apartments. If you want a little more modern and chic, there are some pretty new complexes near downtown like Smallwood Plaza, but those maybe more undergrad-filled.

Please feel free to PM me for any other questions.

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Hi iuhoosier,

I am an international student and I am going to go to graduate school at IU. The US foreign policy allows me to enter in the country 30 days prior to the school registration day. So, in regard to your first response to Duli, I wonder, if I move in B'town, and start searching and looking rooms or apts in late July, is that possible to find a reasonably nice room around the neighborhood? Thank you for your time.

Grace

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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The few times I rode the city and campus buses, it did not take super long to get anywhere I was headed. Bloomington is a small town, so there isn't much distance between where you are and where you need to be most of the time. The thing you need to watch out for is to know the schedule and routes of the different buses ahead of time. They all run fairly regularly (I've more experience with the Bloomington Transit), and there are plenty of stops around town and near campus. But if you get on the wrong one expecting to go a particular direction, that bus route may take you completely out of your way until it finally gets back around to where you need to be. With stops occurring fairly regularly, though, it isn't hard to jump off and find the correct bus and route, or simply walk to where you need to be, which sometimes is easier and faster. Campus bus lines are free (meaning no fees needed to board), I think, for students, and the Bloomington Transit city buses are free if you show your student ID (again no fees needed at the time of boarding). With that said, it actually isn't free, as you pay an upfront fee to IU as an enrolled student to have these fee exemptions. It is a universal fee, but it is handy to not have to buy passes or have ride fees for each ride. Here is a link to the IU transportation website for more information, and it also has links to the Bloomington Transit site as well.

<!-- m -->http://www.transportation.indiana.edu/index.html<!-- m -->

Eh... as an undergrad sans-car, I respectfully disagree. Getting from the East side of town to campus is pretty easy (everything is relatively central). Buses run "regularly" 8-5 M-F, but don't expect it Sat/Sun. I have waited 3+ hours for a bus when 4 were scheduled. So, they are not reliable like the NYC Subway or buses in Europe. To get from the West side of town, good luck. There are several buses, but you may have to change and they are not nearly as frequent. In order to get to my neurologist (West side of town), I often walk 5 miles combined to/from just the EDGE of campus and back another mile and a half to where I live based on the fact that it would take TWO changes and 3 hours to get to/from. Thus, I give up and just walk. The town is not well-thought-out because it has just been added onto over and over. It's a nice little town, but the traffic is hell and getting from one side to another with road construction as it currently in is terrible - add that to the already terrible bus schedule and I disagree. Perhaps you husband could bike to where he needs to go?

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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.

I don't know if you're still around, tourist, but hi! I see you're coming to the History program; hope you like it.

Anyway, some general info about Bloomington:

The cost of living in Bloomington isn't too terrible, and as long as you're not concerned with living too close to campus, it's not difficult to find an apartment that is both inexpensive and quiet. I have a roommate, and I pay $295/month rent (plus electric) for a 2BR on the east side, which seems like an absolute steal considering the quality and size of our place (it's clean, super quiet, and about 800 square feet). Most of my friends live on this side of town, and as far as I know paying around <$400 for rent is pretty standard if you're in a 2BR with a roommate. It's a little far to walk or bike to campus, but the housing is cheaper and most places seem really nice.

I've got to echo what someone else said about the apartments north of campus, by the stadium - word is that they're pretty expensive, and aside from getting noisy on game nights, that part of town gets crazy congested with game traffic, in my experience. The apartments that are downtown and really close to campus tend to be either extremely expensive or filled with undergrads - unless you're lucky enough to get into a building that caters to grad students (although I have heard that even these can get noisy thanks to the frat jungle nearby). I actually tagged along with a friend this weekend to look at some apartments for her, and both of the places we saw in that part of town were absolutely disgusting. (One of them was kind of traumatizing, actually.)

Groceries are interesting in Bloomington because there really is a lot of variety. On the higher end of things you have fancy organic/homegrown places like Bloomingfoods and SaharaMart. (The latter has a really awesome wine selection, if you like wine.) I usually go to Marsh, which is a bit pricey but gives IU students a 10% discount on Saturdays, so it evens out. There are also several Krogers and at least one O'Malia's. There's a Walmart, too, and the Target in College Mall just expanded to include a produce section - so really, you have a lot of options and will surely be able to find a place that suits both your taste and your wallet.

Transportation is decent; the buses run pretty regularly, especially if you're lucky enough to live by a 9 or 6 stop (they come by every 10-15 minutes; most other lines claim to be every 30 or 60 minutes, but too often it's really more like every 45 or 90). The weekends can be rough, though, since the schedules change and a lot of the buses don't run at all on Sundays.

And on that note...parking on campus can be a real pain. The garages are really expensive, but the lots tend to fill up quickly, especially when the weather is bad. Generally it's a better idea to just take the bus, but if you ever really need to drive you can forget about parking near the library (or in any of the other lots that are close to the center of campus) unless you get there before 8:30 or after 5:00.

As far as things to do...there are some friendly bars and nice cafes. The Runcible Spoon has good coffee and pancakes. The restaurant scene is excellent in general; a lot of privately-owned places operate out of converted residential houses, which is cool. College Mall is nice, but nothing to write home about; the area around Kirkwood is much more fun, I think.

Can't really think of anything else...if anyone has any other specific questions about Bloomington, I'll do my best to answer them.

Edited by cupo

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Might anyone comment on queer life in Bloomington?

I know it is supposed to be a blue dot in a sea of red, but if any of you care to share your experiences that'd be great!

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Might anyone comment on queer life in Bloomington?

I know it is supposed to be a blue dot in a sea of red, but if any of you care to share your experiences that'd be great!

In my opinion (as a dyke in her mid-20s), the queer scene in Bloomington is pretty great. Although the undergrad population sometimes skews toward your typical Big 10 types, there are many queer/hipster/hippie/whatever grad students and young adults in Bloomington. The website of the GLBT Student Support Services might give you an idea of the climate and resources available, and I'd also recommend checking out the list of queer campus groups, which is a great way to get connected with like-minded people. There's one (fairly well-trafficked) gay bar called Uncle Elizabeth's, and it often hosts karaoke nights, drag shows, etc. The university itself is pretty inclusive and has fair policies concerning domestic partner benefits, etc. I've only lived in "red" places, but I found Bloomington to be a very refreshing change.

Do you have any other specific questions about queer life?

Edited by AwkwardPants

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In my opinion (as a dyke in her mid-20s), the queer scene in Bloomington is pretty great. Although the undergrad population sometimes skews toward your typical Big 10 types, there are many queer/hipster/hippie/whatever grad students and young adults in Bloomington. The website of the GLBT Student Support Services might give you an idea of the climate and resources available, and I'd also recommend checking out the list of queer campus groups, which is a great way to get connected with like-minded people. There's one (fairly well-trafficked) gay bar called Uncle Elizabeth's, and it often hosts karaoke nights, drag shows, etc. The university itself is pretty inclusive and has fair policies concerning domestic partner benefits, etc. I've only lived in "red" places, but I found Bloomington to be a very refreshing change.

Do you have any other specific questions about queer life?

Thanks AwkwardPants, essentially that is what I was asking. Big 10 type? Am not from a big ten instution nor am I from the midwest.

I am also Black, I know Bloomington is not very diverse town and I assume this is the same for all things lgbt and queer. Am I wrong?

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unemployed,

It is pretty whitewashed and pretty heteronormative, but a lot of us are straight and not narrow ;) I'm a gender studies minor and I have a million friends who are completely happy here with the gay/lesbian community as it is. Last semester, I had a course that was taught by a lesbian professor and was attended by a large number of lesbian students who really look up to her as a mentor and felt our class was an interesting, safe place to discuss film, life, etc.

My friends feel safe. I have only had one prof who is homophobic and I wrote a letter to the department head as she was up for tenure to stop it. She also made fun of people who suffer from clinical depression (such as myself) and minorities, which disgusted me. Like I said, I'm not part of the queer community myself, but with many friends who are, I can say they are pretty happy here! I would contact GLBT support services for more information, as they are a really great organization and always willing to help out!

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unemployed,

It is pretty whitewashed and pretty heteronormative, but a lot of us are straight and not narrow wink.gif I'm a gender studies minor and I have a million friends who are completely happy here with the gay/lesbian community as it is. Last semester, I had a course that was taught by a lesbian professor and was attended by a large number of lesbian students who really look up to her as a mentor and felt our class was an interesting, safe place to discuss film, life, etc.

My friends feel safe. I have only had one prof who is homophobic and I wrote a letter to the department head as she was up for tenure to stop it. She also made fun of people who suffer from clinical depression (such as myself) and minorities, which disgusted me. Like I said, I'm not part of the queer community myself, but with many friends who are, I can say they are pretty happy here! I would contact GLBT support services for more information, as they are a really great organization and always willing to help out!

gsams,

please forgive did not mean to exclude our not narrow straight folk like yourself and of course i take this into account in trying to gauge community for a person like me.

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unemployedgrad,

Haha! No offense taken. I just thought I would add that because as the community is not huge from my perspective outside (but connected to those in) the community might be helpful.

Best of luck!

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