Jokingly referred to by some as The People’s Republic of Austin - The place where locals encourage one another to keep it weird and nothing seems to stay complacent for long. Home of the University of Texas, the South by Southwest festival (SXSW), Fortune 500 companies alongside home-grown business, a ton of live music venues, festivals celebrating everything from kites to beer to dogs, and enough hike-and-bike trails to make any outdoor sport enthusiast happy, the City of the Violet Crown has a lot going for it.
Need more convincing? Consider this:
1. We Have The Jobs
Ranked #9 on Business Insider’s “Top Best Big Cities for Educated Millennials,” the City of Austin has a lot to offer in terms of job placement. Tech jobs make up a large employment cornerstone in this city, with major employers including UT Austin, Texas State, Apple, Hewlett Packard, eBay, GM, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Visa, and Blizzard Entertainment operating in and around the area. But this city doesn’t live and die by the tech industry alone; biotechnology companies, startups, and pharmaceutical organizations also make a big impression on the city’s employment geography, as do the Fortune 500 companies like Whole Foods Market and Dell.
This next-level job market can work with various professional skill levels, from a young educated professional looking for an exciting industry to break into or a college student hunting for a prime internship, the professional opportunities in Austin cannot be overstated. There are also few affordable apartments near downtown that you can choose from for those who prefers to live where most of the action and activities are.
2. A Plethora of Culture
“Keep Austin Weird.” The unofficial slogan of the city started out as a way for civic-minded residents to express their concerns over rapid area growth and development, and has since evolved to include the preservation of local businesses and events. Oddly enough, the phrase also captures the odd variety of culture and nightlife contained within the city limits. Offering nearly 200 music venues and advertising itself as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin has more music venues per capita than any other city in the U.S. and also hosts the annual South by Southwest festival. But if live music alone doesn’t sound appealing enough, Austin also boasts zoos, theaters, museums, and a host of festivals from Austin Gay Pride and Spamarama to Carnival Brasileiro and the O. Henry Pun-Off. Basically, boredom won’t be ever be an option in this town.
3. Take It Outside
Whoa, boy, where to start? Zilker Park, Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail, Shoal Creek, Dinosaur Park, Mount Bonnell, Barton Springs Pool, the Cathedral of Junk, countless trails… the City of the Violet Crown practically screams at residents and guests to come explore the great outdoors, especially those people who might shy away from such an invitation. Take Barton Springs Pool, for example. The spring-fed pool with a usual standing temperature of 68 degrees just begs swimmers to jump in and enjoy (fair warning: this place is also nudity optional). If swimming doesn’t sound appealing, there’s also Lady Bird Lake, which offers paddle boarding on the water and a hike and bike trail around its perimeter. And the 351-acre Zilker Park, aside from being a huge place to walk and explore, hosts some of the city’s outdoor culture festivals.
4. Did We Mention the Benefits?
Right, so let’s set aside the professional offerings, the massive amount of culture, and the outdoor activities for a moment and ask the big question: What exactly are the benefits of living in Austin?
Well, for one thing, there’s the politics. In a state known for being almost entirely red, Austin is one of the isolated blue spots and sports a “live and let live” philosophy as evidenced through the low taxes, business-friendly environment, and general open-minded approach to day-to-day life (i.e. the Barton Springs nude-optional swimming). Austin cuisine has claims to fame for its barbeque, queso, stuffed avocados (really), and food trucks, but balances that out by being one of the fittest cities in the country thanks to yoga enthusiasts, all those hike-and-bike trails, and the walkability of the city itself. And while Austin has no professional sports teams, they do have the University of Texas Longhorns, minor league baseball and basketball, and roller derby. Oh, and dog owners will find the city very receptive to Man’s Best Friend with its dog parks and fairs.
The University of Texas is a lot like it’s namesake state: bold. In total, over 51,100 students study there every semester, and the university employs over 3,000 teachers and faculty members. It is among the top 75 universities of the world, and students who graduate from UT go on to fulfill their dreams and change the world.
The University of Texas in Austin has a massive campus. It covers 434 acres of urban space, and has 31,000 or so of the student body studying and living there. When you are a student and looking for place to llive, it is important to stay as close to campus as possible for a variety of reasons. But dorms are expensive, and put limitations on the kind of lifestyle you can have as a student. The dorms of the University of Texas are great, but to live, work and learn in an off campus apartment near UT Austin is the best way to live.
1. Cheaper than a Dorm
The average cost to live in a dorm per semester is about $5,000. This is an estimate that factors in room and board, so keep that in mind. On the other hand, the Westside Group’s one and two bedroom apartments near UT Austin campus are much more affordable. And you can split that in half with a roommate! The cost of living in a dorm is much more expensive than in an off campus Austin apartment.
2. Experience the Wonders of the City
Austin ranks as one of the best cities in the United States to live. To squander your time there by hiding in a dorm room would be a travesty. One of the benefits of living in apartments near UT campus is the live music every night, exciting (and hilarious) night life, since Austin has the most improv per capita in the nation. There are over 200 restaurants in the city proper, dozens of nightclubs, music venues and movie theaters. Not to mention the ample opportunities for outdoor entertainment – with Zilker Park, Barton Springs Pool, and dozens of hike and bike trails just around the corner from your Hyde Park apartment or Clarksville neighborhood rental.
3. You Get Easy Access to All of the University’s Resources
Living in apartments close to UT campus means you have the opportunity to experience university life to the fullest, without being bound to a tiny cramped room of a dorm. The University of Texas’ library is the best in the area, with resources that are necessary to help you succeed.
The University of Texas has several fully functioning computer labs, a large library, and wifi access all across campus. Living near campus gives you the ability to access all these resources come homework time.
4. You Can Get Away With Not Having A Car
Austin is not famous for its wonderful public transportation. Because the city is so large, taking buses isn’t always a sensible option. But you know what Austin does have? Car2Go, Ride Austin (think: Uber) and a plethora of bike trails all around town. Car2Go is a service that allows you to rent/pick up a car from where it is parked, drive it to where you need to go, and then leave it parked somewhere else when you are finished. Austin is also home to several ride sharing companies such as RideAustin, Fasten and Fare. When you need to get from your downtown Austin apartment and over to campus in a hurry, these are great options for you. Car2Go and these ride share companies can be accessed and paid for via apps on your smartphone. But, if you’d rather stay green, you have an abundance of bike lanes and trails all around the city center.
5. Dorms Don’t Love Man’s Best Friend
Austin has a multitude of dog parks, walking routes, vets and other amenities needed for pet health and happiness. Austin is also home to multiple pet-themed festivals and events throughout the year, such as the Golden Retriever Zilker Meet Up and Weiner Dog Races. In addition, you’ll find no end to the amount of walking trails surrounding your new off campus UT Austin housing. Try out some of our famous dog-friendly restaurants! Here at The Westside Group, we love pets, and all of our apartment complexes allow your dog or cat up to a limit of 25 lbs. Having an animal companion has never been as fun or as convenient as living in Austin, Texas. Don’t leave your pup behind or miss out on the opportunity to enjoy having this little companion in beautiful Austin.
6. Live In Your Home Year Round
Dorms generally close up during the summer semester, leaving students who want to remain in the area for a job or to take summer classes without many options. Living in an apartment gives you the ability to study all year, and not have to move so often. There will be far fewer upheavals to interfere with your education.
Learning, working and leasing an apartment in Austin is an amazing opportunity for students. Not only is the University of Texas one of the top schools in the nation, but there is no really end to the benefits of living near campus. The joys of Austin, Texas are boundless, as are the benefits of studying and living in this wonderfully diverse and thriving city.