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Anyone going to Minneapollis, MN twin for grad school, would like to know the area. Any feedback oon rent and cost of living

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This is wiered, probably among the few in Akron, OH, please assist in anyway about the cost of living. Is there anything to do there?

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Guest History_Nerd

Minneapolis is a great town. The Uptown area is a lot of fun, as is Dinkytown area near campus. Go check out a couple of Gopher basketball and/or hockey games to get a feel for the campus life.

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thank you

any idea about the cost of living?.... I heart its relatively expensive too! correct me if i am wrong

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Guest chainsawieldinun

Well, it's all relative ain't it -- but Mpls is definitely a lot more affordable than NYC! (Thankfully.)

While Starbucks costs (just about) the same across the 50, the housing market here is pretty good for the student, esp. if you don't *need* to live right next to campus. I live in Loring Park, which is half an hour from the U and right outside DT Mpls, and I pay slightly over $500 for my 1BD with water and heat inclusive. I'm quite sure if you share an apartment it'll be even more affordable - I'm just antisocial in my housing preferences. :lol:

Big plus: loads of ethnic food, esp. Mediterrenean and Asian. There're great groceries along Eat Street, and Grand and University Avenues, and prices are *definitely* better than fancy-pantsy places like Whole Foods for the same items...

Nights out: I'm not a big theater goer, but was told that the city has a pretty good scene for its size..

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Guest History_Nerd

(I'm not going to try to impress anyone with spelling and grammer on this post, but I hope this is helpful)

For its size, Minneapolis has a great cultural scene and pretty decent night life compared to cities of similar size. Things die down a little in the winter time because of the cold, but tends to happen in most northern cities. Consider getting one of those "happy lamps". I'm not sure if they really work, but a roomate of mine at Minnesota swore by his in the midst of "Spring" semester.

Also, if you decide to live in Uptown, a popular place for graduate students and upper-level undergrads, you can take the 113 and/or 114 express bus in the mornings and afternoon. Seriously . . .seriously, consider getting a UPass, the University of Minnesota's bus pass. When I bought mine a couple of years ago it was something like $60 per semester and it covers the metro bus and light rail 24/7/365. In other words, you can take the light rail on a weekend to the Mall of America or the airport by just showing your UPass. Also, the bus that runs on campus is free, and the campus is littered with tunnels for those winter months.

Most of the museums have free days (check ahead), the Walker is world famous and it is great if you like modern art. For a cheaper alternative go to the adjacent sculpture garden which is outdoors and free. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is the more traditional art museum (and is free except for special exhibits . . . and it is underrated. The Science Museum of Minnesota has an amazing omnitheater which shows some pretty amazing documentaries, as does the IMAX at the Minnesota Zoo (the Zoo also shows popular features at night . . . I saw Harry Potter at the Zoo last year).

The Mall of America is the best place to go for people watching. In the Spring and Fall you can go to a Wednesday Twins baseball game for $3 as a student (and it is dollar hot dog night).

The campus itself is divided into the east and west bank (and a St. Paul campus). The east bank is where most of the science stuff is, and the west bank is where most of social science stuff is. The St. Paul campus is where the vet. sciences, env. sciences, etc. stuff is, and there is a free U of MN bus that goes there.

I would avoid the "Riverside" area, near the campus' west bank, as a place to live, but if you study the social sciences you will spend most of your time over there, and you will find some pretty fun places to eat. Dinkytown will probably be your closest place for student housing, but the landlords in that part of town have a reputation for gouging, so I would consider looking in Uptown. Like I said, I lived near Franklin and Hennepin and could be on either the East or West bank in less than 15 mins by bus.

Hope that helps.

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I was an undergrad at the Twin Cities campus for awhile, but I graduate from the best branch of the University of Minnesota . . . at Morris. Woot, woot.

Before you give me a hard time, the only thing to do in Morris is to study. When I moved to the Minneapolis campus for a couple of terms (to study archaeology) I took some time to experience some other activities unrelated to academics.

I did take the time to talk to several of the faculty members at the Twin Cities about their graduate program in history, and graduate school in general so I know a few of the, oh say, one million history faculty.

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I'm currently a non-student applying elsewhere and living in Mpls. for the past 3 years. I live on about $11,000/year--frugal but I drink good beer every night and don't own a car. Despite the weather, it's easy to get by without a car, particularly living in a central area like Stevens Square--decent bike lanes/semi-conscious drivers. Uptown is pretty chic, and the prices bear that out.

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Yeah, in the words of my sister, "I didn't like walking through Riverside alone at night, but I've done it . . ." Sometimes, you will be able to find some very cheap housing in and/ or near Riverside, but there is a reason for that. Riverside isn't the most dangerous area in MNPLS but it isn't the best place to live either.

You should be able to find a similar space in a safer neighborhood with just as much or more personality. If you want to be close to campus, try Dinkytown or Stadium Village. Even if you are going for the Social Sciences and will be spending most of your time on the West Bank, there are shuttles running all the time across the river and the walk is only a few mins. and in the bridge is covered (for those cold winter days and nights).

All of this being said, Minneapolis, unlike most other Big Ten cities is a major metro area and you should be self-aware and careful. I've never had any sort of problem living in the Twin Cities, and I think it is a far nicer area than a LOT of other places in the country.

The standard of living is high, the art is fantastic, and the people are friendly. It is good to be a Gopher!

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Anyone know about areas that might be more affordable to buy a condo or a loft conversion? We own where we currently live since housing is rather cheap. I would like to consider buying again but don't know that we could afford to. In the end I think I'd rather be in a great urban neighborhood where I can do without a car than buying in the 'burbs somewhere and getting stuck on with an tedious commute. Of course, if I could do both that would be even better!

What's the story with St. Paul? I know nothing about it. Anything interesting to look into down that way or is all the action elsewhere?

Thanks.

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Guest Minnesotan

St. Paul has really changed in the last 20 years. It is clean, pretty, and comparatively crime-free. Great restaurants on and off Grand (like Dixies, Caffe Latte, etc.), a killer new stadium for the Wild, and lots of brilliant architecture. Some of the older neighborhoods are a little run-down, though, so I would suggest you look around a bit.

As for buying, I would bite the bullet, check the burbs, and commute. With all the new yuppy housing in areas like Lakeville, Apple Valley, Eagan, and otherwheres south of the river (I prefer SE suburbs for the lack of traffic), you're sure to find something you like. It's just a matter of how pricey you want to get. Lots of old farm communities (like the one in which I grew up) have turned into retreats for the megarich. I honestly don't recognize much of my home town anymore, and I've only been gone for about ten years.

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Anyone know about areas that might be more affordable to buy a condo or a loft conversion? We own where we currently live since housing is rather cheap. I would like to consider buying again but don't know that we could afford to. In the end I think I'd rather be in a great urban neighborhood where I can do without a car than buying in the 'burbs somewhere and getting stuck on with an tedious commute. Of course, if I could do both that would be even better!

What's the story with St. Paul? I know nothing about it. Anything interesting to look into down that way or is all the action elsewhere?

Thanks.

St. Paul is the city I was born in. So it rocks. Some fun things to do, if you are going to the St. Paul campus (vet. sciences, ecology, etc.) there is a really great little neighborhood on the border between Falcon Heights and St. Paul - across the road from the state fairgrounds, and just down the street from a bunch of places to eat, and a movie theater. If I were you though, if you are going to the Minneapolis campus (the 'main' campus) take a look at the Uptown area - which is probably the best place for a young person to live in Minneapolis, or near the campus itself in Dinkytown and move from there.

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If you have any particular questions, I can try to help.

Where do students usually live/ what are the neighborhoods around the school like? How far is the school from the Minneapolis nightlife? What is the city's trend? Is is more artsy/alternative, drinking and bar scene oriented, etc. Just an idea of what people tend to do when they go out? Bars, clubs, lounges, coffee shops, museums... where do people hang out at night? (I'm on the youngerside). Also, does the city have a more conservative/ liberal edge to it? What is the interaction among races like? Are there a lot of immigrants/ other cultures? Is it a friendly place/ hard to meet people? Do people often go to St. Paul? How much would you say is normal rent expectancy? It snows alot... anything in particular you recommend for the weather? Like do I need snowboots, snow tires, etc. What's the cost of living like? Thanks for your help=)

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I too would be interested in getting answers to the post above.

Also, I'm interested how non-native Minnesotans deal with the Winter? I'm from the mid-west, but know that extreme winters can be oppressive. What are Minneapolis winters like? And, are there lots of activities or does everyone just hunker down till Spring? :-)

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Hi there. I actually went to the University of Minnesota -- twin cities for my undergrad, and grew up in Minnesota so I figured I would throw in my two cents. As far as where students live it varies a lot. For areas that are right next to campus there are some decent places to live around dinkytown, there are various apartment complexes on the edge of the east bank campus around University and Huron Blvd. -- a lot of student apartment complexes like Melrose apartments and University Commons, but most are filled with undergraduates that enjoy the party scene and it could be hard to find some quiet time to work there... at least it was when I lived there during my freshman year. Also right of the west bank of campus there are a couple places to live around an area called seven corners (this area is not quite as nice but very conveniently located). A lot of students also live in Uptown which is a really cool area, lots of alternative/artsy places, but it isn't as close to campus as the other areas but if I were going to staying at Minnesota for grad school this is where I would want to live. The school is probably about like 5-10 min. from the "minneapolis nightlife", or at least from downtown minneapolis. The school is definitely its own little community. You can pretty much find any kind of "scene" that you're into... if you like the more artsy/alternative, coffee shops, museums, you can find that but you can also find plenty of bars and barhoppers/drinking oriented people. I would say the city is more liberal and there is quite a bit of culture and diversity, and people are pretty accepting and friendly to people of all races (although as you move farther away from the city to various suburbs, diversity drops drastically). I personally didn't go to St. Paul very often, there is nothing wrong with it though. One of my friends actually described the difference between Minneapolis and St. Paul pretty well the other day; he said that St. Paul is where your parents would live and fit in (nice, clean, quiet, but still stuff to do) and Minneapolis is where you and your friends would live/fit in (a little dirtier with a lot more going on at night and a lot more social). In my opinion this description is pretty accurate. As far as rent expectancy it really depends on where your looking and what your looking for. The winters can get cold as hell but I have never needed snow tires or anything like that, and I haven't used snowboots since I was about 10. Just make sure you have a warm jacket, hat, and gloves. Oh and if you are going to be driving make sure you always have an ice scraper for your car widows and windshield.

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If they're driving, they can live in the burbs on the cheap. You would miss out on a lot of the culture, but nice apartments in the heart of any city aren't cheap.

I mildly disagree with the statement about St. Paul. As a grad student, I would appreciate St. Paul a lot more than Minneapolis - less crime, cleaner, available parking, more intellectual pursuits, and the Wild play there. When I was younger, perhaps I would have enjoyed living in the Seven Corners area, but these days I like to know my stereo will still be in my vehicle when I wake up.

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I live in uptown and can recommend it -- a very short bus trip and I prefer being a little bit away from school. My husband is a graduate student at the U and almost everyone in his department lives in the neighborhood. I would recommend living somewhere between Hennepin and Nicollet, between Hennepin and Lyndale is where a lot of the more "artsy" places are. But uptown is becoming very yuppified and I think if I were moving here again, I would live in northeast Minneapolis. You could still get to the university quickly. There are lots of cool bars and restaurants there, too. I work just outside of Dinkytown and it's a nice neighborhood, but very student-y, I guess. Lots of bookstores, coffee shops, sandwich shops, and a couple head shops.

The main downside is the cold. It's really, really cold. Nothing will prepare you for it. I am very ready to leave after living through four winters, but I am looking at graduate schools that are places almost as cold. I think if you focused on your work and really loved your program, it wouldn't be so bad. It's just important to get outside during the sunny daytime, even if it's freezing, or else you get a little loopy. (Buy a dog!) The city is pretty liberal, and amongst the university community it is uniformly so. There are more conservatives in the suburbs, and I saw what I thought seemed more typical, puffy-haired "Midwesterners" (I'm from California originally) when I worked in the business district. The theater community is probably the most bustlin', but the arts community in general is very active and there are two good museums.

Also, order Pizza Luce. And be sure to visit Town Hall Brewery and Acadia Cafe just by the university.

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Overall:

I grew up in New York and moved to Minneapolis to attend the University of Minnesota. Minneapolis is a nice, clean city and there are plenty of things to do and great places to live, but the people are not the friendliest. If you are not Caucasian, I find that people can be incredibly ignorant and sometimes rude regarding your background. Most of the people that attend the U are already from the area and surrounding Midwestern states and have established groups, so it is difficult to make friends. The vast majority of friends I've made are not from the Midwest, and most plan to move back East or out West after graduation. I know that the U has lost some faculty from the coasts who have trouble with the cold Midwestern personalities. I do hang out with like-minded people, so I suppose you can take my thoughts with a grain of salt however. If you are a clean cut, traditional, moderate sort of person, I think the Midwest would be excellent for you.

Some people complain that the area isn't safe, but in living in areas considered both bad and great, I've never had a problem. There is some occasional, random violence that happens on campus that spills over from University Ave and Riverside areas, but as long as you travel in groups at night, the risk is minimized. The winters are cold, but as long as you cover all exposed skin, that means wearing hats and gloves, you should be fine. The U has a good tunnel and shuttle service so you won't be out too long in the cold. The U has great faculty, resources and there is quite a bit to do, but I'm only applying to schools on the coasts because I can't take the people here any more. :|

Daily Life:

The cost of living here is pretty reasonable for a large city, I lived in a cute studio in Uptown for $440/month, depending on your living situation, you can pay anywhere from $300-650 for the average one bedroom near campus or in a good part of town. Food, entertainment and transportation are also reasonably priced. There are several organic, high end, low end and everything in between as far as grocers go. If you have special dietary needs, finding a place to eat here doesn't pose a problem either. This area does have a good share of unique, quality, indie/cultural sort of film festivals, shows, etc. There is the Minnesota Opera, Minnesota Orchestra and other finer entertainment venues here as well. A great place to see concerts is First Ave. Wages here are pretty good as well and jobs were always available (although thankfully I haven't had to look since the recession has really hit). There is no need to have a car with the UPass, which is an all you can ride bus pass. In the city, the buses connect pretty well and offer good coverage of the city.

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Overall:

I grew up in New York and moved to Minneapolis to attend the University of Minnesota. Minneapolis is a nice, clean city and there are plenty of things to do and great places to live, but the people are not the friendliest. If you are not Caucasian, I find that people can be incredibly ignorant and sometimes rude regarding your background. Most of the people that attend the U are already from the area and surrounding Midwestern states and have established groups, so it is difficult to make friends. The vast majority of friends I've made are not from the Midwest, and most plan to move back East or out West after graduation. I know that the U has lost some faculty from the coasts who have trouble with the cold Midwestern personalities. I do hang out with like-minded people, so I suppose you can take my thoughts with a grain of salt however. If you are a clean cut, traditional, moderate sort of person, I think the Midwest would be excellent for you.

Are you serious? I've never been anywhere that even approaches the friendliness of the upper Midwest, and I've lived all over the world. I find it troubling that it all comes down to race for you, too. Are you sure none of these racial tensions are projected? I know in my hometown class was a much bigger separating mechanism.

Either way, you're obviously from the East if you think people out East are friendly.

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There are friendly people and not-so-friendly people anywhere you go. It's quite ridiculous to suggest that people in a particular city (let alone in an entire group of states!) are less friendly than in others. You'd be surprised to find that the number of friendly people you meet is quite well correlated with how friendly YOU are.

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