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what does this mean? :roll:

Means they've already had several days above 60F so far this calendar year, and we're scarcely to the middle of March yet. They only had snow cover for a total of like 7 or 8 days this winter--and I guess that's not 'un-normal' for C-U. Supposedly, 50 inches for the whole winter is the snowfall record, set back in 1970-something. (For comparison, areas in the northeast posted record snowfalls of 190-something inches last winter.) All I'm saying is: if you're from Florida, that one week of snow cover may be enough to keep you away; but if you're from more northern climates--central IL winter is going to be pretty mild for you, and that may or may not be something you like. Me, I miss the snow; others may feel differently.

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Yes... but we also had days where the high was negative not taking into account wind chill. Winter in Champaign is more about the temperature, and the WIND, than the snow.

But you know, I've only lived here for 16 years, I wouldn't know much about the winters ;)

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Yes... but we also had days where the high was negative not taking into account wind chill.

Not many. And I mean that absolutely (there may only be a half-dozen days like that), and relatively (when compared to the number of such days in other parts of the country). I'm not trying to start some east-midwest war here, that's not my bag. Plus, there are plenty of places in the midwest that do have pretty brutal winters (like the Dakotas and Minnesota, etc.). Just not central IL. You're right to say that winters aren't necessarily just about the snow, but honestly, I found the winters there to be pretty warm anyway (yes, even with the wind chill).

Look, it takes all sorts to make a world, and this may be the perfect place for some people to live. All I'm doing is throwing in my $0.02, and mentioning the things I wish someone had told me before I up and moved to C-U/central IL for a while. (I mean, that is the point of this thread, yes?) I would've hoped that my "this is merely my own opinion" vibe was discernible from my previous posts, but here's a reiteration just in case.

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Oh, Champaign is an ideal place for some people-- just not for me, I'm finally moving in August. I really enjoyed growing up and going to undergrad here, but man the AZ weather we left was nice. You're right, the winters aren't bad compared to Minnesota and the Dakotas, but my program attracts a lot of people from the Southern states that still have a hard time acclimating to the climate... and even living here, I walk to class or work every day so it's still pretty cold. But, a lot of living in cold weather is learning how to dress, and a I think a lot of the time I like to deny how cold it actually is :)

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Hey everyone! I'm moving to the area this fall, and I was just wondering if anyone has info on apartment hunting. I am hoping to live with my boyfriend (if he can find a job in the area) or if not, with a roommate (I don't like living alone). Even if I live with my boyfriend, though, we are very young and not planning on doing the whole marriage/wanting a "quiet family neighborhood" thing ANY time soon. I'd like to live close to other grad students -- I'm pretty social and don't want to feel cut off from everyone. I wouldn't mind it being a "louder" area, though I'd like for it not to be filled with undergrads either. Anyone have any knowledge of what areas are good and/or where I should be looking? Also...near a bus line would be lovely...

Thanks :)

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The first place anyone should start when doing apartment hunting in C-U is the Illini Tenant Union, (just google it). It will give you reviews and recommendations on virtually every apartment complex and landlord in the area. Just for a general sense of the place, if you want to be in the middle of things, either go for an apartment on Springfield (main street in Urbana) in either city, or something near downtown Champaign. There are bus lines that go both places. A lot of grad students live in Urbana off of main and vine, there are several apartment complexes over there. My wife and I live in west champaign, is quieter and almost no undergrads, but we are a little older and will probably have kids in the next year or two.

Check out the union, and write if you have any specific questions.

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Does anyone have any info on the school systems? Any opinions on whether the Urbana schools or the Champaign schools are better, or any specific school recommendations?

Ask a real estate agent. They would know.

(My relatives' kids are in Montessori school, so I can't be much help to you with this.)

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That's what I assumed. But there is one problem: I am an international student and I can't visit to do an apartment hunting. So I can either sign a lease now for a pig in a poke or hope that there will be something left in August. The latter seems rather unlikely, in the former case I want to be sure that apartment is in good shape and the landlord is responsible. So, university housing seems like natural choice for the first year.

Taking this into consideration, what is your opinion? Also, when should I start looking for apartments for the next (2010-...) year? Spring? Winter?

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I went to law school in Chambana between 2002-05. I lived in Urbana at a complex called Town and Country (http://www.tandcapartments.com/). For a large one bedroom, I think I paid about $520 or so at that time. It was more expensive than some other places, but it's an extremely grad-student friendly place. The population is primarily grad and professional students, so management is used to working with us. The grounds and apartments are also very well maintained, management office is on-site, and any maintenance requests get taken care of promptly. It usually took me less than 10 min. to drive to campus. Or, if I took the shuttle that is right at the property, it would take me about 15 min. or so to get to campus.

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Anyone have any apartment suggestions for someone on a 13.5k, 9 month stipend? I've been in contact with the tenant union and they've been very helpful with apartment suggestions in terms of cost and complaint issues. They said they discourage finding roommates (I don't know anyone at UIUC yet), so I guess I'll be looking for a 1bed/1bath apartment. I'm not sure how much my stipend will be taxed, and I've never lived on my own, so I'm not sure what else to calculate in addition to the base rate for apartments.

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How often will I regret that I don't have a car? What are taxi rates? Have anyone used zipcar?

If you are near a bus line, you can do without a car, especially if you live closer to campus. There is almost no need, therefore, to ever take a cab.

I have used zipcar in the past, not in C-U, but found it very convenient, and there is a stop right outside of the union.

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I just visited UIUC today. Everyone was very nice, but I did get the distinct impression there wasn't a lot to do outside of bars + sports. I think I would miss mountains and beaches too much.

I agree with the comments that the campus seemed relatively urban for being in the middle of nowhere. Some buildings (such as the micro-nano tech lab) were very nice, large, spacious--others (geology department) seemed a little like they were falling apart.

The weather was clear today.

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regarding transit. the buses go pretty much everywhere and your University ID will get you on any bus for free.

www.cumtd.com (website for the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District)

For housing, Orchard downs is a bit more expensive but it's also more like a small village with lots of open space. It's also located next to the University's Arboretum and is directly on a bus line that goes to the heart of campus. It's a pretty good place for people who have kids and they have playgrounds scattered throughout.

For schools. In Urbana there are a few elementary schools (Leal, Yankee Ridge and others?), 1 middle school and 1 high school. The middle school and High school are right next to each other, about 3 blocks away from the public library and they've recently built the Urbana Aquatic center right in between the 2 schools. As for educational quality, they're not bad, definitely not top in the country or anything like that but you could do a lot worse.

In Champaign there are more schools and for the most part I think the education is roughly the same as in Urbana. There are also a number of Christian schools in town such as St. Thomas Moore and Judah Christian. The standards at these schools are probably higher but they charge tuition.

There is also a laboratory high school run by the University. This is a small academically selective (technically public) school that consistently ranks among the top high schools in the country (University Laboratory High School). They do not charge tuition but your child does have to buy their own textbooks like in college (the university bookstore has a section for them). This is probably the school to aim for if your child wants to go (it is a pretty isolated environment). The school is 8th-12th grade, and is limited to ~60 per entering class. http://uni.illinois.edu/

as for things to do.

There are the bars and sports. There is also Assembly Hall which is a stop for most major concert tours. The Krannert Center for Performing Arts which hosts world class orchestras and other performances throughout the year. The Virginia Theater which hosts Ebert-fest (Roger Ebert's film festival) each year. We're also 2 hours from Chicago, <2 hours from Indianapolis, and 3-4 hours from St. Louis and it's quite easy to drive over on a weekend to catch professional sports games or whatever.

Regarding the condition of the campus. It is a state University so money for large projects (renovations and such) often sits in the state senate for years before getting passed. As of now, Lincoln Hall is slated to start renovations this coming spring and several other buildings are on the list to be next. The Engineering campus tends to be much more updated than the rest of campus because of the amount of research money it brings in and many of the remodels that have occurred have been funded by external sources.

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UIUC is my first acceptance. I know rent is dirt cheap (compared to Chicago), but am I going to go crazy living in cornfields for six years? What else is around beside the campus? This is a serious concern for me ...

Also, anything I should see while I'm visiting next week?

Thanks!

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UIUC is my first acceptance. I know rent is dirt cheap (compared to Chicago), but am I going to go crazy living in cornfields for six years? What else is around beside the campus? This is a serious concern for me ...

Can't give specifics... but I have relatives who have lived there for 6-7 years now. They moved from Seattle and were therefore understandably skeptical about what there was to do. They like it, though--a lot! I know that they do go up to Chicago every couple of months to go to museums or whatever. But they say there's a good variety of restaurants, and some cultural events...so no, you won't necessarily go crazy.

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<br />UIUC is my first acceptance. I know rent is dirt cheap (compared to Chicago), but am I going to go crazy living in cornfields for six years? What else is around beside the campus? This is a serious concern for me ...<br /><br />Also, anything I should see while I'm visiting next week?<br /><br />Thanks!<br />
<br /><br /><br />

There's Curtis Orchards which is a fun little orchard with various things to do. About an hour East there is Turkey Run which is great for group float trips and what not. There are paintball fields nearby. Campus is pretty happening as well. There's almost always an event on Friday and Saturday night in the Union. During weeknights sometimes they'll have a jazz band or something going on.

Krannert (performing arts center) always have events. In addition many bands have tour stops at Foellinger. I don't think boredom is something you'll have to worry about.

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North of campus, between Green and University in Champaign are plenty of cheap apartments. I'm not sure how much a single would go for but I paid $275 a month in a 4 bedroom with roommates. Parking was another $50 a month though.

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<br />Wow, $275???? That's crazy!<br /><br />If anybody's lived there with dogs, I'd love to hear of some good dog-friendly neighborhoods!<br />

Yeah, this is only ~3 years ago so the prices are probably close still.

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