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I'm an international applicant and currently in the process of applying for the Spring semester at UI. Apart from the details regarding city and campus life, can any one give me some info regarding the Civil Engineering Department (faculty, programs etc)? Plus, what is the local economy like, are there any worthwhile jobs for civil engineers? Feedback is welcome.

 

I'm applying for the Transportation Engineering program.

 

Thanks.

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Hah, I just happened by this post; I live in IC for the moment and went to undergrad here! Do your best to avoid the rental company Apartments Downtown, aka Apartments Near Campus. They are, sadl

So, I am likely moving to Iowa City in August. (I just got an assistantship offer and will probably accept.) I live in New York, so I suppose I have to haul myself over there to look at apartments soo

For those of you who are considering Iowa, if you have asthma, don't do it. I went there for a semester and had 2 devastating asthma attacks. I swear they must be farming ragweed over there. Ot

Parking question.  I am living about ten minutes from campus by bus, but I would prefer to drive if possible.  However, I see that the passes are about $250 - $350 and the commuter lots seem almost comically far from the campus.  I was wondering if it even worth it to park in one of these lots or should I just park in the city lot down the street.  I will only be on campus probably 2-3 days out of the week and it might be just as expensive and a lot more convenient.

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Just park in the city lotsMost people who use the commuter lots are either students living in the dorms, hospital employees, or people who live ridiculously far away. The only city lot I wouldn't park in is the IMU ramp; it gets pretty crowded and it's narrow, so if you don't hit another car, you'll probably hit a cement pillar.

Edited by girlscoutcookies
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  • 3 months later...

You know, I've been reading through a lot of these city guides lately, and I'm hearing pretty much the same thing pretty consistently as far as the small, fairly secluded college towns are concerned: in general, rent is high if you live close to campus (which of course everyone recommends, because parking on campus is always a nightmare - hence people prefer to walk). It's cheaper if you live farther away, but then you have to deal with having to commute. There's usually plenty of bars, clubs, restaurants, and so on (college towns), but you may be quite a ways away from any major cities.

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Yep, and Iowa City is pretty similar. I don't think it's difficult to find housing; most Iowa students move out of the dorms really early on, so there's always apartments and stuff for sale. If you were looking for a one bedroom I'd think anywhere between ~500 to 700 would be the norm, ~800 to 950 if you were looking for a two bedroom.

 

There's lots of housing near campus (around Gilbert and Burlington) streets, but it's pretty jam-packed with undergrads and it gets expensive by Iowa City standards (~1500 a month for a three bedroom, I think). I'd recommend living farther out and taking the bus, since the Iowa City buses are nice and they do run on time - the Oakcrest and Westwinds routes both run super frequently and go straight to campus/downtown. 

 

On the west side near University Heights, there's some large apartment complexes that aren't too outrageous and are near bus lines; Seville and Carriage Hill are both on Benton Street and Carriage Hill is ~570 for a one bedroom, and there's nearly always vacancies. The rest of University Heights can get pricey if you wait too long (my landlord keeps hiking up the rates) and stuff will go quick, so I'd try to get an apartment locked down by the end of spring term. 

 

And it's cheap to live out in Coralville, but personally, I'd avoid it. The Coralville buses aren't as reliable as the Iowa City buses (so you'll need a reliable car) and Coralville is kind of soulless. As for the east side, I hear anywhere east of North Dodge is supposed to be nice, but I've no experience with it. 

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Yep, and Iowa City is pretty similar. I don't think it's difficult to find housing; most Iowa students move out of the dorms really early on, so there's always apartments and stuff for sale. If you were looking for a one bedroom I'd think anywhere between ~500 to 700 would be the norm, ~800 to 950 if you were looking for a two bedroom.

 

There's lots of housing near campus (around Gilbert and Burlington) streets, but it's pretty jam-packed with undergrads and it gets expensive by Iowa City standards (~1500 a month for a three bedroom, I think). I'd recommend living farther out and taking the bus, since the Iowa City buses are nice and they do run on time - the Oakcrest and Westwinds routes both run super frequently and go straight to campus/downtown. 

 

On the west side near University Heights, there's some large apartment complexes that aren't too outrageous and are near bus lines; Seville and Carriage Hill are both on Benton Street and Carriage Hill is ~570 for a one bedroom, and there's nearly always vacancies. The rest of University Heights can get pricey if you wait too long (my landlord keeps hiking up the rates) and stuff will go quick, so I'd try to get an apartment locked down by the end of spring term. 

 

And it's cheap to live out in Coralville, but personally, I'd avoid it. The Coralville buses aren't as reliable as the Iowa City buses (so you'll need a reliable car) and Coralville is kind of soulless. As for the east side, I hear anywhere east of North Dodge is supposed to be nice, but I've no experience with it. 

 

Thank you for the response, girlscoutcookies. It is very insightful.

 

I already have an acceptance from UIowa - it is very likely that I'll be heading there in Summer 2014. It's quite comforting to know that decent one-bedroom apartments are available in the 500-700 range (especially considering that I'm an international student, so expenditure is a major consideration).

 

I have another query: what is the average monthly expenditure on food? I know it probably varies for everyone but just need a rough estimate. I'm not a cook at all, so early on I'll have to rely on buying meals.

 

Thanks.

 

 

Adil

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Thank you for the response, girlscoutcookies. It is very insightful.

 

I already have an acceptance from UIowa - it is very likely that I'll be heading there in Summer 2014. It's quite comforting to know that decent one-bedroom apartments are available in the 500-700 range (especially considering that I'm an international student, so expenditure is a major consideration).

 

I have another query: what is the average monthly expenditure on food? I know it probably varies for everyone but just need a rough estimate. I'm not a cook at all, so early on I'll have to rely on buying meals.

 

Thanks.

 

 

Adil

 

Luckily, Iowa City has lots of restaurants and grocery stores! A lot of it depends on where you go restaurant-wise, but I have a hard time thinking of a casual restaurant that would cost you more than $10 dollars (the fancy steakhouse is obviously an exception!) Some restaurants here can get pricey, but they can also be very affordable if you know what to order. 

 

As for grocery stores, there are various ones you can try depending on your price point. Aldi and Wal-Mart are the cheapest, Hy-Vee somewhere in the middle, and the co-op and the Bread Garden are the most expensive. Usually I shop at Wal-Mart for pretty much everything: food for the week and then stuff like paper towels or laundry detergent or school supplies on top of that. The only things I don't get at Wal-Mart are meat and produce, I go to Hy-Vee for those since their selection is nicer.

 

Between shopping at the two stores, I usually end up spending about $30 to $40 on groceries a week? Usually about $25 to $30 at Wal-Mart and then sometimes another $10 to $15 depending on what I get at Hy-Vee. I probably spend more on groceries than other people, though; depending on what brands and things you buy, I bet you could bring that number down some. 

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Luckily, Iowa City has lots of restaurants and grocery stores! A lot of it depends on where you go restaurant-wise, but I have a hard time thinking of a casual restaurant that would cost you more than $10 dollars (the fancy steakhouse is obviously an exception!) Some restaurants here can get pricey, but they can also be very affordable if you know what to order. 

 

As for grocery stores, there are various ones you can try depending on your price point. Aldi and Wal-Mart are the cheapest, Hy-Vee somewhere in the middle, and the co-op and the Bread Garden are the most expensive. Usually I shop at Wal-Mart for pretty much everything: food for the week and then stuff like paper towels or laundry detergent or school supplies on top of that. The only things I don't get at Wal-Mart are meat and produce, I go to Hy-Vee for those since their selection is nicer.

 

Between shopping at the two stores, I usually end up spending about $30 to $40 on groceries a week? Usually about $25 to $30 at Wal-Mart and then sometimes another $10 to $15 depending on what I get at Hy-Vee. I probably spend more on groceries than other people, though; depending on what brands and things you buy, I bet you could bring that number down some. 

 

Its really cool how detailed your responses are - almost as good as being there! :) Thanks again, really appreciate it. Are you already attending UIowa or is it your hometown? You know a lot about the city!

 

Going by what you've described above, I'd say my grocery expenditure will be about 150 a month?

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A good thing to note if you don't have a car is that there is a Cambus that will take you out to the mall for free. I'm pretty sure it's just on the weekends, but there is a Target and movie theater there. I personally live outside of Iowa City and drive in. My rent is much much cheaper than my friends so the cost of a parking pass it worth it. The commuter lot isn't as far as it looks on the map and busses come by often. Because it's mostly hopsital employees during "rush hour" it comes every 3 minutes and takes you to the hub where you can catch a bus to the downtown campus within 10 minutes. I drive 15 minutes and my condo is $750 a month for 2 bedrooms/2bathrooms with a deck, eat-in kitchen, washer-dryer in unit, and garage parking. And, unlike most of Iowa City it is pet friendly, so my furry four-legger is welcome. 

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A good thing to note if you don't have a car is that there is a Cambus that will take you out to the mall for free. I'm pretty sure it's just on the weekends, but there is a Target and movie theater there. I personally live outside of Iowa City and drive in. My rent is much much cheaper than my friends so the cost of a parking pass it worth it. The commuter lot isn't as far as it looks on the map and busses come by often. Because it's mostly hopsital employees during "rush hour" it comes every 3 minutes and takes you to the hub where you can catch a bus to the downtown campus within 10 minutes. I drive 15 minutes and my condo is $750 a month for 2 bedrooms/2bathrooms with a deck, eat-in kitchen, washer-dryer in unit, and garage parking. And, unlike most of Iowa City it is pet friendly, so my furry four-legger is welcome. 

 

Personally, I'll be relying on the local transport system to get to places. So its good to know that the Cambus is effective and operates frequently. And not having a car will mean that I'll have to find an apartment within the city. Having looked at the University's off-campus housing website, I get the impression that I'll be able to find a decent place to live.

 

 

P.s. Best of luck on your grad school application journey, AuD2018! I hope you get into your first choice school. :)

Edited by AdilB990
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Cambuses are free for students! But the Iowa City/Coralville buses are not - you can get a student bus pass, though, for a discount! When you get your HawkID (or if you have it already), you can purchase it through ISIS ("My UIowa" and then "My Parking") and charge it to your U-Bill. 

 

(Since you asked, I'm not from Iowa City, I'm from another town in Iowa a couple hours away. But I do go to Iowa, I love it here!)

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Thanks Decaf, that guide was very helpful! Based on all the info here, I think I should come out to Iowa City in April/May and get an apartment with an 8/1 move-in date. I live in NYC now and don't have a car, but it looks like I won't need one as long as I'm near a cambus line. If any of this sounds wrong to anyone, let me know!

 

BTW: I'll likely be accepting my Iowa admission offer. Still waiting to hear from a few schools (most I haven't heard from at all, others I'm waitlisted), but Iowa is my top choice out of the pending schools, so I'll likely accept. Not booking any flights until I do.

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There are new graduate housing apartments going up that are very nice; but very pricey. Avoid the companies: Apartments Downtown, Apartments Near Campus. There are several other agencies that have rentals depending on the size and location you are looking for. Lucky for you, most of these companies start their leases in August.

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Hey you guys! I'm from Iowa City and I'm leaving at the end of this semester for UCSD. If you need to sublet an apartment until the beginning of August, please message me for details! Perfect for anyone wanting to settle in early/do any summer work in IC =)

 

Here is the ad: http://iowacity.craigslist.org/sub/4406047764.html

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I will likely be moving to Iowa City this summer to start an MS program in Civil Engineering at the U of I IIHR hydraulics lab. My girlfriend will be working in Cedar Rapids. Where do most grad students live? Has anyone heard anything about Coralville?

 

Anyone else here in CE?

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Hi all,

 

I was recently accepted to the University of Iowa's PhD program. However, I received no word on funding in the "snail" mail letter I received from the graduate school. Anybody else receive good news? How did you hear about funding? How much? Also, anyone else excited for the acceptance or possibly considering going to Iowa? :)

 

 

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Hello all.  I'm reviving this thread because there is a good chance I'll be attending Iowa in the fall.  I'm taking a trip out next week to see the city/campus and meet with some professors.  What's the job market like these days?  My wife is planning on joining me and she is currently a manager of training and development for a major medical school.  Are there equivalent positions?  

 

We're also looking into housing and will probably buy as the rental market doesn't look great.  Has anyone had good success a realtor? 

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Hello all.  I'm reviving this thread because there is a good chance I'll be attending Iowa in the fall.  I'm taking a trip out next week to see the city/campus and meet with some professors.  What's the job market like these days?  My wife is planning on joining me and she is currently a manager of training and development for a major medical school.  Are there equivalent positions?  

 

We're also looking into housing and will probably buy as the rental market doesn't look great.  Has anyone had good success a realtor? 

Hello Heimat! Congrats on your acceptance to the U of I! I am a fellow Texan, so I felt compelled to respond to your post! The job market in Iowa City is pretty good when compared to the nation as a whole. The state has a very low unemployment rate, I want to say I saw a statistic that noted it was around 3-4%. My wife accompanied me when I chose to attend Iowa, and she has had no problem in the job market (she's a medical coder). Homes here are much more expensive than a standard home in TX. Being a college town definitely plays into the hands of the market, but if you look around, you will be able to find something that suits your needs. My wife and I were able to find a 3/2 duplex with a large back yard for $825/month; whereas, one of my colleagues found a 1/1 apartment for nearly $1K. You just have to be willing to dig through all of the listings, and being in the city to just drive around and look for "For Rent" signs helps a ton. When we moved from Fort Worth, we signed a sublease for the summer, which allowed us to drive around the city to find our current space. To buy, homes run well into the $200K plus range, and it is far less than what you could get for that amount in TX. I hope this was of some help to you!

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Hello RiffRam!  Thanks for replying to the thread and thank you for all the information.  I'll be visiting Iowa City this week (Wednesday evening late, through Sunday midday).  What type of things should I check out while I'm in town?  Are there areas to look for houses/rentals?  We are thinking of potentially buying a house as we'll be here a good 5 years or so.  

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Hi ! I'll be attending U Iowa this fall too. I've seen excellent responses here about the city in some of the older posts, but they might be a bit outdated by now. Anybody here who's in the city right now? Heimat Historian? Did you visit the city as per your plan? Anything to share?

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Hello.  I actually haven't gone back since my initial visit in March.  My wife is moving up there in a few weeks as she starts at her new job.  I've gone through housing ads on Zillow, craigslist, etc and we have some decent leads.  If you are looking for just yourself there seem to be lots of options, especially if you don't have pets.  That seems to be one of the most difficult parts about the rental market in the city.  As for other information, I don't have much.  Anyone else out there? 

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I wonder why there aren't more U Iowa people here. They have 30 thousand people attending, after all... 

 

And I am looking just for myself. No pets, being a new country and all. 

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