A Creative Center
What starts in Austin changes the world.
If you hosted a meeting of the minds — a place where the right-brained dreamers inspired the left-brained doers — Austin would be the perfect place to gather. At the heart of the Austin community, the university offers a home where the creative, artistic minds of the world live side by side with the scientific and technological innovators of tomorrow.
Austin is regarded as an open-minded, friendly and innovative city. The city has been consistently rated a national creative center that draws talented people from across the world to its high quality of life, abundant resources, lively entertainment and active lifestyle.
The city known as the Live Music Capital of the World hosts nationally known festivals such as the Austin City Limits Music Festival, South by Southwest (SXSW) and the Austin Film Festival. The fact that many graduates stay in Austin is a testament to the quality of life in the area.
Breeding Ground for New Technologies
The university has long been a pioneer and leader in establishing innovative education programs in technology, so it’s no surprise that technology companies such as Dell, IBM, Intel, Apple, Samsung and National Instruments have established major operations in Austin to draw from the highly skilled talent the university produces.
Austin is the state capital
Widely recognized as one of America’s most beautiful and livable cities. It is located in central Texas on the eastern Colorado River, and at the edge of the Edwards Plateau. To the west Austin is flanked by the Texas Hill Country, which is noted for rugged limestone hills, cliffs, caves, and springs. The land to the east is rolling prairie. The Colorado River has a series of easily accessible lakes that offer excellent opportunities for boating, swimming, and fishing. In addition, the Gulf of Mexico is located some 200 miles to the southeast. The climate of central Texas is warm and relatively dry, and outdoor recreation is commonplace throughout the entire year.
Metropolitan Austin has a population of just over one million. The city is culturally and ethnically diverse, with a cosmopolitan air and international flavor. It is large enough to support diverse cultural opportunities and social life, but is without many of the urban problems found in larger cities. The economy is largely based on state government, education, and a number of high-tech industries primarily relating to computers.
Austin is a major cultural center with excellent professional symphony, ballet, and opera companies. Austin is also known as a leading center for live music, including the Austin City Limits and South by Southwest music festivals. There are 50 clubs and other venues that present live performances. Many performers with national reputations reside and frequently perform in the Austin area. The local theatre is also active, and has a number of companies. The UT Austin College of Fine Arts offers many recitals, concerts, and theatrical productions that are free or cost very little, and the Performing Arts Center brings Broadway companies and many internationally famous groups to town.
The cost of living in Austin is moderate, especially compared to other major metropolitan areas. Housing is readily available, and affordable for students. Most graduate students live in private housing. Limited university housing is also available, and priority is given to students with families. The public transportation system is very good, and UT Austin sponsors a shuttle bus system that extends to all parts of the city in which significant numbers of students are living. There is also a wide variety of excellent and reasonably priced restaurants representing a diversity of culinary origins.
Because of strict zoning regulations, Austin has been able to retain much of the charm and beauty of its original landscape. There are many parks and 'greenbelts', even in the center of the city. Miles of hike-and-bike paths, including some that run through the UT campus, make these outdoor recreation areas readily accessible to people who either work or live in the city.
Top 10 Things to Do in Austin
- Barton Springs: The three-acre spring-fed pool stays at 68 degrees year round.
- Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum: The story of Texas is told through films and exhibits; home to Austin’s only IMAX theater.
- Texas State Capitol: Built in 1886, the Texas State Capitol is the largest state capitol in the country.
- Sixth Street and Warehouse Entertainment District: Popular, trendy areas of downtown Austin known for clubs, live music and unique restaurants.
- Congress Avenue Bats: Home to the largest urban colony of Mexican free-tailed bats in the country.
- Highland Lakes: Seven lakes, including nearby Lake Travis, Lake Austin and Lady Bird Lake, offer canoeing, boating and jet skiing.
- South Congress (SoCo): Home to eclectic shops and retro clothing stores and the very popular First Thursday event each month.
- Zilker Park: The 350-acre park just minutes from campus is home to the Austin Nature and Science Center, Zilker Botanical Gardens, Zilker Hillside Theatre and the Zilker Zephyr — a train that travels around the perimeter of the park.
- Mount Bonnell: A must-see for any Austin visitor, this popular tourist spot offers the best views of Austin and the Hill Country.
- Hike and Bike Trail: One of the finest hiking and biking trails in the country, the 10-mile trail offers wide paths for bike riding, walking or running.