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Astaroth

Burlington, VT

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Can anyone tell me anything about Burlington and the University of Vermont? I may be applying there for a Biophysics PhD. Are the winters as bad as they sound?

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As a matter of fact, I live about 5 minutes from campus (and my sister attends).

Burlington has been consistently ranked one of the best small towns, hippest art communities, healthiest (top 2?) spots in the US. It, in short, is a phenomenal place to be. UVM is part proper of the town, and although that does spread it into a little bit disproportionally large a campus, Burlington is safe, navigable by foot or by a decent public bus, and tons of fun.

Although I don't know about Biophysics, the medschool, bio and even the vet program gets accolades in the Northeast.

That said, the winters are (is, at present) lousy. Where are you from? I wouldn't imagine that the weather would be the biggest factor when deciding on a school, but if you've spent your whole live in Nevada, well, maybe you'd want to reconsider spending the next 5-? years in Vermont.

I would, and do, however, praise the city of Burlington across the board.

(and let me know any other questions; like I said, I drive by the school almost every day :D )

Edit: viz. our "mad props" : http://www.ci.burlington.vt.us/mayor/bu ... olades.php

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Well you're selling your city quite well! Small, safe and fun are definitely things I am looking for. I'm quite used to walking and taking public transport as well, although I love a good long drive.

I'm from Cyprus... so actually worse than Nevada. I'm doing my undergrad in the UK and one of the main reasons I'm leaving is the lousy summer you get here (if it can even be called a summer), so I guess weather is a consideration. Is the Burlington winter noticeably worse than, say, Boston's? How long would you say it is uncomfortably cold for?

Sure, I'm not used to extreme cold but to be honest, as long as houses there are built with good insulation and I won't be spending half my stipend on heating, and if the city can survive heavy snowfall without everything shutting down, then I don't think I will have much of a problem with it. The good thing about cold is that you can just wear 5 layers of clothes and you'll be fine. On the other hand, there isn't much that can help you in 42 Celsius heat (quite a common occurrence in Cyprus).

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Yes indeed; you can always wear layers here. And like you said, a little internal heating goes a long way, especially compared with the struggle of cooling down a summer in Cyprus.

To be honest, the cold isn't what makes winters in the Northeast a hassle. Yes it will be Very Cold here, particularly in January and February (below 20, say). But again, you put on an extra scarf and walk through it. (now I bust out a graph: http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimat ... undeclared)

What's a serious pain is the snow. It is unbelievably beautiful to have a winter wonderland here, but if you've never woken up 45 mins early to go shovel a driveway, three consecutive days...

But again, for a grad student, this amounts to what? You buy some nice boots, a scarf, make sure the place you live has heat and ask about the plowing during the winter. You won't have to/want to drive all that much in Burlington, so unless you plan on being a home and car owner right off, then I doubt it's that big of a concern.

The upshot is that it's very mild the rest of the year, perfectly gorgeous drives (even when there is a foot of snow on the ground, we get it off the roads quickly enough), and about one of three places in the US where you can find forest, mountains, and a lake all in one place. (wow, maybe I should work for the city....)

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Well, just sent in my application. Believe me, dowjones, the city should be paying you right now cause you have been a considerable influence in me wanting to go there!

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Well, just sent in my application. Believe me, dowjones, the city should be paying you right now cause you have been a considerable influence in me wanting to go there!

I completely agree with everything dowjones said. It is a rockin town and you will LOVE it there! If I had a beloved pet, I would bet said pet's life on you loving the town. My advice is to live downtown--everything is within easy walking distance. There's a great little art-y movie theater downtown (you know all those "playing in selected cities" stupid commercials? well, that theater gets a lot of them...), a great co-op grocery store, lots of awesome restaurants, the waterfront--and that's just downtown. The best part is surely Church St--there is a five (six? I forget exactly, too lazy to count) block portion of it that is only open to pedestrian traffic. This street is filled with outside dining/cafe seating in the warmer months. Out of town, in the surrounding area there are tons of hiking/skiing/other outdoorsy opportunities. As dowjones said, it is consistently lauded in the media for being healthy, having a great quality of life, etc. It's also a very safe town--I'd often walk back down the hill from campus to my apartment by myself when working late in the library--the streets are well-lit, and the downtown is young, so as long as you're not out TOO late (like, past 1 or 2am depending on the weekday), there will be other people around. I wouldn't wander north of Pearl St. by yourself at night, though, that part of town can get a little dodgy, especially on the weekends. The university does run a campus bus that does (free) loops from campus to various points downtown at night, 7 days a week--very nice in the middle of winter.

I lived there for a couple years, during part of my undergrad. Then I moved to the midwest for a job, and am totally missing Burlington!

To temper my paean to B-ton, I should mention a couple caveats:

1. Downtown can be a little loud on the weekends, at least when the university is in session. It does vary on the part of town though; if you want more fine-grain advice on the cool streets/blocks to live on, I'd be happy to post another note. One place I lived was generally quiet, another (closer to campus) was usually louder.

2. Rent downtown is not cheap. A teeny efficiency will cost you at minimum 650/month. If you live downtown, you will probably want to consider living w/ a roomie to cut down on costs.

But really, you get what you pay for. Nothing beats walking between classes everyday with simultaneous views of the Green Mts, the Adirondak Mts, and the sixth largest lake in the US. It's drop-dead gorgeous.

Edit: as far as the weather, Astaroth, I can't much speak for the winter, because I'm pretty biased. I grew up in that region, so am used to the winters. They do not shut down the school for much there :), to allay that concern. I wouldn't say Burlington winters are that much worse than Boston's (but as for the more rural parts of VT, up in the mountains, that may sometimes be a different story). The summers were actually really warm for me, despite the fact that the winters can be somewhat cold--if my memory serves me correctly, upper 70s or lower 80s (Fahrenheit, say about 25 - 30C) were common temps for the summers. Still cooler than you may be used to, but I would guess that's at least on par with whatever UK summers tend to be like.

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Although I don't know about Biophysics, the medschool, bio and even the vet program gets accolades in the Northeast.

Oo, I can help here. My degree from UVM was in applied math and physics (although I only went there for my senior year). Due to the presence of the medical college (which as dowjones said, is well-ranked/regarded), the physics dept has a decent number of faculty w/ cross-appointments in medicine/bio., and I got the impression that the graduate level research in the department was therefore often skewed towards those topics. So you at least have the benefit of not having to compete against many other topics for faculty attention in the physics department.

Past that, I can't really claim any specific knowledge about the biophysics studies, or their status in the biology department, as I was a math-physics student who admittedly spent more time in the math dept. while at UVM. :) But hopefully these general impressions are of some use.

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Anyone know anything about South Royalton, where Vermont Law School is?

I have only driven through it; seems like a regular little Vermont town tucked in among some mountains. Therefore pretty quaint and quiet, but scenic! (If you like more activity, you'd probably have to head off to Burlington (about an hour away) or Rutland (not nearly as vibrant, although I hear they're trying to do some community restoration) or Hanover/Lebanon, NH (don't know much about it other than that's Dartmouth country). Be forewarned that driving in that part of the state (i.e. the chock full of mountains part) can get a little sketchy in the winter sometimes, but since South Royalton is pretty near the interstate, getting between there and the larger towns should not be so bad, as the interstate is obviously kept in better condition than other roads.

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So I have been accepted to UVM and am seriously considering it. I loved Burlington and think I would love living there. I was wondering is it do able to live in Burlington on 20,000 a year? I am very worried about this and would appreciate input.

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So I have been accepted to UVM and am seriously considering it. I loved Burlington and think I would love living there. I was wondering is it do able to live in Burlington on 20,000 a year? I am very worried about this and would appreciate input.

When I was living there, I worked a job that was probably a couple thousand -ish shy of that. I was able to live on that, but it wasn't a breeze, to be sure. You'll want to live w/ a roomie (if you live downtown), and do a lot of your own cooking/bringing bag lunches as opposed to eating downtown or even on campus. (If you're not on the meal plan, buying food on campus can sometimes be pricey.) That having been said, Burlington has plenty of fun stuff to do in your free time that doesn't cost anything (like hiking or biking along the waterfront) or very much (like the movie theater--I think it was six bucks w/ your student id), so if you have to be a broke student, it's a good town to be a broke student in.

I would suggest checking out the craig's list postings to get a better idea of the current going rates for the type of apartment you'd be interested in. Another good resource is the local indie paper, Seven Days. (Google them for their webpage, I believe they post their classifieds online.) I didn't have a car, so had to live pretty close to campus, where rent is higher. But if you are able to live farther away and commute in, you could probably save well on rent (although I can't speak for what the price of gas is going to do in the future :) ).

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Hey thanks. That really helps. I appreciate it. I was wondering what the best way to find a roommate in Burlington?

I have been looking at the classifieds.. Craigslist etc. Apartments are certainly do-able with a roommate. I am really uncertain about how to go about finding one.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Hey thanks. That really helps. I appreciate it. I was wondering what the best way to find a roommate in Burlington?

I have been looking at the classifieds.. Craigslist etc. Apartments are certainly do-able with a roommate. I am really uncertain about how to go about finding one.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

The way I found a roommate for an apartment I was already renting was by putting a classified in the Seven Days. (I think it was $20 for a two-week ad at the time--so, not free, but a lot of people do read that paper.) You could try craig's list, too. The more specific you are in the ad about what sort of a roommate you are looking for, the better. I said that I was looking for a female about the same age as me, preferably a student, who was relatively quiet and tidy, but not uptight. That sort of thing. I ended up getting about half a dozen good prospects that came by to check out my place at various times. Some of those people I decided I'd be compatible with, and then started making calls back to those compatible people based on the order they had contacted me in.

Hope this helps!

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Hey quick questions about Burlington, Vermont Im hoping someone could answer!!!

1- How often (if at all) does the town/ school shut down for snow/ bad weather?

2- How long is the walk from downtown Burlington to the campus?

3- How are the campus facilities? The library? The campus center? The fitness center? (Im a bit of a work out-aholic)

4- Is Burlington the type of place that shuts down at 12am? Or is it an up all night type of place?

5- Are there any places in Burlington I should avoid...meaning not good places to live (either not safe...too expensive?)

Any/ all of this would be a tremendous help!

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Hey quick questions about Burlington, Vermont Im hoping someone could answer!!!

1- How often (if at all) does the town/ school shut down for snow/ bad weather?

2- How long is the walk from downtown Burlington to the campus?

3- How are the campus facilities? The library? The campus center? The fitness center? (Im a bit of a work out-aholic)

4- Is Burlington the type of place that shuts down at 12am? Or is it an up all night type of place?

5- Are there any places in Burlington I should avoid...meaning not good places to live (either not safe...too expensive?)

Any/ all of this would be a tremendous help!

well, here's my $0.02, although it would be cool to see what somebody else might have to say, too.

1: Not very often. My senior year we got two solid days off from school, which supposedly hadn't happened for a few decades. One snow day per winter is about average.

2: About 10-15 minutes, not bad; you can make it faster if you book it. It should be noted that the campus is on top of a big hill :), but you get used to it pretty quick. I would make the walk every day, but there is a free municipal shuttle that does loops up and down College St., if you hate the cold or sprain your ankle or what-have-you. You can also catch a town bus up Main St. or Pearl St.

3: The fitness center is pretty decent; not humongous but also not so small that you end up competing for equipment use all the time. (Burlington is full of health conscious people, so you will be in good company.) The new campus center was just finished when I left a year ago, so is pretty swanky, obviously. The library is...well, a pretty average library. :) The first floor can be noisy, but it's well-known that the quiet kids (like me...) would go up and study on the second, or even quieter, third floor. There's also a small science library in the science building--which is a reliably quiet place to study, albeit a small space--and supposedly there's also a medical library over by the hospital, I think? (Never been there.)

4: Burlington is a pretty young town--so not really a place that totally shuts down at 12am...but it's not a total all-night place, either. I'd say it's more like a shuts down at 1 or 2am kind of place, later on the weekends/in the summer.

5: I wouldn't live north of Pearl St.; the "North End" can be a fun part of town, but it's not the best place to go wandering around too much too late at night, by yourself anyway. I lived in the northern-y reaches of the "South End" during my time there, and I always felt pretty safe walking home from the library after late-night study sessions. It's also a bit quieter on that end of town (south of Main St., around S. Union St. and westward/towards the lake), rather than up north or in the middle.

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Thank you so much. This all is an amazing help. I am 99% sure Im going to UVM. I loved it.

Yeah, well I may be going back there myself if I get rejected from my last program. :) Stupid admissions process.

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Hey quick questions about Burlington, Vermont Im hoping someone could answer!!!

1- How often (if at all) does the town/ school shut down for snow/ bad weather?

2- How long is the walk from downtown Burlington to the campus?

3- How are the campus facilities? The library? The campus center? The fitness center? (Im a bit of a work out-aholic)

4- Is Burlington the type of place that shuts down at 12am? Or is it an up all night type of place?

5- Are there any places in Burlington I should avoid...meaning not good places to live (either not safe...too expensive?)

Any/ all of this would be a tremendous help!

Hi - I know this already got replied to, but I want to throw my thoughts in. I lived in Burlington for ~6yrs completing my undergrad [lost a couple of semesters for health/travel]. I LOVE it there. I moved to Boston to pursue my degree in Biotech, and had to actively not apply back to UVM for grad school. I've been gone for almost 2 years, and still haven't built the network of activities and friends in Boston that I left there. To address your questions:

1- School never shuts down. Maybe if there is a colossal storm [once per winter], but mainly it is understood that you live in the far north and snow is something you deal with. That said, a lot of teachers also understand that if there has been a huge storm, classes might be empty because kids are at the mountain.

2- The straight walk down the hill is ~10min. There is the free College St shuttle that runs up and down the hill [crucial for early classes and inclement weather], plus your UVM ID let's you ride all the public transportation for free. This is awesome when you live in the North End and don't feel like hiking the 1.5miles to class lugging all your books and laptop etc.

3- Facilities are mostly good. They just completed a huge new student center upon my graduation, so I don't know about it other than it looks beautiful. Gym is rated high but can be kind of night-clubby - if you have a car there is a Planet Fitness about 10-15min away. Main library first floor is a social scene, but head on up to 2nd and 3rd for actual studying. If you head over to the Dana Medical Library, that place is the serious one. Plus it's brand new and gorgeous.

4- Bars close at 2am every night. The main part of downtown, Church St, is the only place to go really. You can walk there and home. All of your friends will be there. There are probably 25 bars in 6 sqr blocks, everything from dancing to jambands to pubs, or some fantastic restuarants. Burlington is small enough that if you want to become a regular somewhere it won't take much, but big enough that you can go to a different bar and see an entire group of people you didn't know existed. And like any college town, although the bars close at 2 there are plenty of house parties/late night activities depending on who your friends are.

5- There isn't anywhere in Burlington you "can't" go, but there are more desirable places to reside than others. The student ghetto - bordered between North Winooski Pearl North Willard and North St should be avoided for renting: the units there have long been subject to undergrad molestation. The Old North End isn't the greatest for people/commerce, but it is cheap rent and no one will bother if you if you don't look like a target. South of Main St is very nice, lots of families and Champlain kids, nice apartments [sometimes insanely cheap], quiet at night, still close to downtown etc. Winooski is also an option for cheap cheap rent, but bear in mind it is a pain to return to after drinking downtown. Avoid South Burlington like the plague - it is a wasteland of stripmalls and condo developments. Finding an awesome place will take a year, as most of the really cool apartments get handed down between friends [or you might get lucky], but there really isn't anywhere you won't be able to make work for you. I always lived closer to the North End or on the south side of Main, never had any problems and found that it let me go to campus and do my thing, then come home and have access to downtown. Don't live on Trinity campus, no matter how they sell it, it has no positive positions in a debate.

If you have any more questions, from dogs to hiking to drinking to restuarants, please ask. I love that town.

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So is Vermont your las choice?

Only because it's where I got my bachelor's, and academic types tend to frown upon you getting your grad degree from the same place you got your undergrad...at least in the math/sciences. Superficial, I know, but if I want to get a job in academia someday, I figured I'd just have to play the game. :| But I think they'd frown upon me not getting a grad degree at all more. :)

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I had a phone interview with the CMB program yesterday, I think it went well and I'm really excited about going there! I really hope they accept me. It was supposed to be a safety app for me but right now I feel like it was one of my top choices all along. There are so many labs I would want to rotate in, I think I will actually have trouble choosing just 3/4.

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Thank you whatevernever3n. I really appreciate all of your insight. I am from the opposite end of the country (So. cal). So Im a little bit nervous about moving 3000 miles away. My interview/ recruitment weekend was great. I interviewed at four other places. Some nice...some (not to name any names) were awful.

I think Vermont is the place for me. I loved the faculty, the administration and the grad students. I feel that I would receive a tremendous amount of support from the school.

Im thinking about living in grad housing. At least for the first year, or until I can find something better. I believe its called Red Rock. Do you know anything about these? They seem nice (from the pics online) and affordable... which with the stipend 20,700 is definitely something Im looking for.

Anyway. Thanks for all of your help.

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I just stumbled upon some blog posts talking about how Vermont has poor cell coverage, and no 3G coverage. Could someone please clarify what the current situation is, and whether things will improve before this Fall?

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I just stumbled upon some blog posts talking about how Vermont has poor cell coverage, and no 3G coverage. Could someone please clarify what the current situation is, and whether things will improve before this Fall?

Answering my own question here, but a little googling brought this up:

http://news.prnewswire.com/ViewContent. ... 264&EDATE=

AT&T Outlines Plan for Vermont Wireless Network Investments in 2009

Expansion of Nation's Fastest 3G Network, New Cell Sites Planned

BURLINGTON, Vt., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- To address the growing demand for advanced wireless data products and services, such as the BlackBerry® Bold and the Samsung Eternity, AT&T* today unveiled its network expansion plans for Vermont in the coming year.

AT&T plans to roll out its third generation (3G) mobile broadband network in the state by the end of this year, bringing faster wireless speeds to communities including Burlington, Montpelier, Rutland, St. Albans, Hartford, West Wardsboro, Ludlow, Brownsville, Windsor, Vernon, White River Junction, West Wardsboro, Jamaica, Brattleboro, West Townshend, West Dover, Jeffersonville, Barre, Waitsfield, Essex Junction, South Burlington, Colchester, Williston, Winooski, Warren, Stowe, Killington, Northfield, Montgomery Center, Bennington, Middlebury and Pownal.

"The expansion of wireless broadband in Vermont brings many benefits to the small and medium businesses in our communities that rely on wireless connectivity to run and manage their enterprise," said Kevin Dorn, Secretary of Commerce and Community Development. "Investments in networks that deliver high speed wireless connectivity are especially welcome at a time when economic challenges make growing our communities particularly challenging."

In addition to this year's planned 3G build, AT&T will integrate Vermont's legacy Unicel wireless network, acquired by AT&T in December 2008, into its AT&T network infrastructure by the middle of this year. AT&T also plans to add 15 new cell sites, bringing new or expanded coverage to customers in Rochester, Wilmington, Lincoln, Williston, Cuttingsville, Essex, Springfield, Westfield, Fairfield, Plainfield, Sheldon, Poultney, Milton, Cabot and Eden.

"We're committed to delivering dependable high speed wireless access in more places across Vermont for consumers and business customers who need to stay connected to work, family and friends," said Joseph Divis, vice president of external affairs for AT&T Services, Inc. in the Northeast region. "We will continue to invest in our statewide technology infrastructure to ensure that customers in Vermont have the latest in wireless technology available."

AT&T's 3G wireless network is available in nearly 350 major metropolitan areas in the U.S. and ranked as the nation's fastest according to recent data compiled by leading independent research firms. By expanding AT&T's 3G wireless footprint to Vermont, AT&T is offering more consumers and businesses broadband-like speed and access to the latest interactive voice, video and data applications.

AT&T operates 10 AT&T retail locations in Vermont. AT&T's products and services are also available at a number of other authorized dealers and national retail locations.

To find out more details about AT&T's coverage in Vermont or anywhere in the United States, consumers can go to http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/. The online tool provides up-to- date wireless coverage information for specific locations. The tool can measure the quality of coverage based on a street address, intersection, ZIP code or even a landmark.

For the complete array of AT&T offerings, visit http://www.att.com.

Great stuff! Now, if only ATT had some reasonably priced plans...

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