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Cost of living? Distance to Bangor? I know the town is small, which is not an issue to me. I grew-up in a town of 15k, but was close (less than 30 mins) to a city of 250K.

Also, what is the campus like? Parking a total hassle?

Weather is a concern, but it's just a small factor in the whole scheme of things. I'm used to a tough winter, but I really like having four seasons.

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Cost of living? Distance to Bangor? I know the town is small, which is not an issue to me. I grew-up in a town of 15k, but was close (less than 30 mins) to a city of 250K.

Also, what is the campus like? Parking a total hassle?

Weather is a concern, but it's just a small factor in the whole scheme of things. I'm used to a tough winter, but I really like having four seasons.

The cost of living is quite low, but you'll realistically need a car (which may be different from what you're used to). There's no city in Maine larger than 120K, which is Portland, and a few hours away. Bangor is nearby and will give you access to shopping and such, but it's not a city in the traditional sense of having a downtown where people just hang out. It's kind of strip mall city, if that makes sense.

Parking shouldn't be an issue, as the campus has a lot of space (heck, it's in Maine).

You'll get the four seasons there, but much heavier on winter and summer. Spring and fall are only about 2 months each, maximum, with about 4-5 months of winter and a few months of summer. It does get cold in the winter, but not as cold as you might expect. The biggest difference is going to be snowfall - sometimes you'll get 2 feet overnight, sometimes you'll get hit by 8 inches every 3 days for 2 weeks. And everyone expects that you'll be at work/class the next day.

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Oh, I'm well acquainted with the three areas most people study in ME.

Augusta is a major commuter school, but at least the location of it puts you close to Portland.

USM has some stellar opportunities IF YOU SEAK the opportunities out. It's also in Portland/Gorham, which are both lovely places to live.

I never understood why the hub of academics was in Orono. It's just not even remotely appealing there. Hit Bar Harbor and the coast and you've got something.

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UMO is a great institution, did my undergrad work there and I miss the hell out of it. I studied sociology there and had so many opportunities for my own research, while also having a variety of rare classes that you don't always find in a soc undergrad. I don't know what you're studying, but you should know UMO is a top notch institution when comparing state schools. The food is what you would expect from a state university - its meant to feed mass amounts of people, not wow people with culinary skills.

There are tons of amazing places nearby. I lived there for 20 years of my life. Mount Desert Island, Rockport, Old Orchard Beach, Portland, Blue Hill...etc.

Cost of living is minimal - you can easily rent a place with roomies for like 300 bucks a month (your share). Tons of apartments near campus.

Very small "downtown" area - with only 2 or 3 cool bars. If you're looking for a crazy night life this isn't the place for you. House parties are what happens in this town.

What else do you want to know?

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Man, Orono is getting a pretty bad rap! I did my Masters in English at UMO and I loved it. I lived in Bangor, where I had a small two bedroom apartment with heat included for $425 a month. I took the bus from Bangor to Orono everyday, which was free with my university ID. I was without a car for both years of the program, which made it necessary to get rides back to Bangor with students/professors. Orono has a small healthfood store/ coffeeshop, a bar, and a pizza place. It's a charming and tiny downtown about a 10 minute walk from the campus. Bangor was designed to be a major east coast city, which it, of course, is not. I find the city very pleasant in terms of architecture / layout, and there are hardly any chain stores in the downtown area! Good bagels, a great bookstore, decent coffee. The people aren't the friendliest (in my experience) but I also never felt unsafe.

UMO's campus is part beautiful part hideous, corresponding to the century in which it was built. There is a strong connection between professors and graduate students, probably because of the isolation of the campus. It's true that there isn't much going on outside of the university, but this produces an exciting intimacy within the university (I spent more time at professor's houses than at bars, for instance).

It is really, really cold. But you probably know that already. And its no worse than, say, Madison or Minneapolis.

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  • 1 month later...

I've lived in Orono for the past 4 years, and if you can handle walking to class/lab in -10* temps for a few weeks per year, it's not that bad of a place. Most of the winter is *ok*...just lots of snow and not a lot of stuff to do besides drink and work. There's pretty good skiing a couple hours west if you're into that, too.

In the summer, it's beautiful...the weather, the town, the campus, and the nearby parks. Most undergrads don't get to see it in the summer, which is a shame. The summers by far make up for the miserable winters, I think.

The campus is large...I think it's roughly 1 mile by 1 mile, but that's not really problematic if you're a grad student spending most of the time in one building. The facilities are pretty good depending on department (i.e., the engineering buildings are really nice, but the social science buildings are not). There's an awesome new rec center that all students have access to, as well.

Orono itself is a nice little town...there are surprisingly good restaurants and a few bars and boutiques. It's definitely a live-able town, as well as safe and relatively friendly.

It's about 15 minutes from Bangor. Cost of living is really quite low...there are a lot of options for apartments within a 5- or 10-minute drive from campus, and even more in Bangor. Most people I know pay around $300-500 per month with roommates. Parking is not really a hassle, especially if you're not an undergrad. I've heard rumors that grad students can get faculty/staff parking permits for pretty cheap ($30 or $50 for a year). Otherwise, student permits are $50/yr., and you have to compete with undergrads.

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i'll be applying to U Maine in the fall and think i have a reasonable chance of getting in, so this is all good information

how common/feasible is it to commute from Bangor to Orono? Sounds like a definite option, yes? What sort of drive are we talking to Boston - 2 hours?

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i'll be applying to U Maine in the fall and think i have a reasonable chance of getting in, so this is all good information

how common/feasible is it to commute from Bangor to Orono? Sounds like a definite option, yes? What sort of drive are we talking to Boston - 2 hours?

Yes, it's extremely common for people to commute from Bangor. There's also a bus (free for students!) that goes between campus and Bangor pretty often if you're into public transportation.

The drive to Boston is around 4 hours.

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  • 3 years later...

Was checking out the site for the local bus system, and I didn't actually see a route that runs from Bangor to Orono. (They seem to all service Bangor and surrounding areas except the Black Bear Express, which begins and ends in Orono). Am I missing something?

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Those buses sure look fun, LoL -- I like the red and black "Bat" design. How appropriate for Stephen King's (sort of) hometown.

 

So if a person lived in Bangor, went to school in Orono, and just wanted to ride the bus to and fro on snowy days, would that be feasible? The Wiki page says the route between downtown Orono and UM runs until 9pm, but I could swear the actual Bangor city page said it only ran until 5 or so.

Edited by TonyB
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  • 3 years later...

Does anyone have any information regarding the Umaine campus and any good tips for getting affordable living in the area? I am willing to live off campus and would love to hear about the good places to go and if they're any places to avoid living etc. 

Thanks!

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