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Austin Texas Mural

Austin is regarded as an open-minded, friendly, and innovative city. Talented people from around the world are attracted here by the abundant cultural resources, lively entertainment, and opportunities for an active lifestyle.

Creative Cultural Hub

Widely recognized as a major cultural center, Austin is perhaps best known as a thriving hub for live music and entertainment. Annual festivals such as Austin City Limits and South by Southwest draw participants from around the world, while local venues regularly host an impressive line-up of nationally recognized and emerging artists. Beyond this rich music scene, Austin is also home to world-class professional symphonyballet, and opera companies. The city's flourishing creative scene is further showcased through a plentiful museums and art galleries.

Technology & Innovation

Austin has a vibrant technology sector that attracts both established technology leaders and cutting-edge start-ups. Industry giants like Google, Apple, IBM, Intel, Samsung, and National Instruments base major operations in the region and frequently hire talented university graduates. The city is also home to a strong biotechnology and life sciences sector. As the state capital, Austin supports a diverse economy and is often at the forefront of urban policy development. Situated in the heart of the city, the university is a home for innovative research – providing a fertile environment for collaboration and creativity. What starts here changes the world.

Town Lake Austin TexasA Beautiful Place to Live

Austin is located at the intersection of unique natural landscapes. Situated along the banks of the eastern Colorado River and at the edge of the Edwards Plateau, the city enjoys a warm and relatively dry climate. To the west, Austin is flanked by the Texas Hill Country – an area noted for rugged limestone cliffs, caverns, and abundant swimming holes. To the east, Austin is bordered by rolling prairies enlivened with seasonal wildflower blooms each spring. A series of easily accessible lakes along the Colorado River offer excellent year-round opportunities for swimming, boating, fishing, and paddleboarding.

Extensive park and trail systems, known locally as "greenbelts", wind through downtown and the surrounding metropolitan areas. Residents enjoy easy access to these recreational areas throughout the city - including some trails that run through the UT Austin campus.

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Popular Things to Do in Austin

  1. Barton Springs: This three-acre spring-fed pool stays at 68 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.
  2. Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum: The story of Texas is told through films and exhibits; home to Austin’s only IMAX theater.
  3. Texas State Capitol: Built in 1886, the Texas State Capitol is the largest state capitol in the country.
  4. Sixth Street and Rainey Street Entertainment District: Popular, trendy areas of downtown Austin known for live music and unique bars and restaurants.
  5. Congress Avenue Bats: Home to the largest urban colony of Mexican free-tailed bats in the country. During summer and fall, residents gather along South Congress Avenue to watch their nightly flight over the river.
  6. The Blanton Museum of Art: Founded in 1963, this is one of the foremost university art museums in the country and holds the largest public collection in Central Texas.
  7. South Congress (SoCo): Home to eclectic shops, restaurants, and the popular monhtly First Thursday Artisan Market.
  8. Zilker Park: A 350-acre park located just minutes from UT's campus; home to the Austin Nature and Science Center, Zilker Botanical Gardens, Zilker Hillside Theatre and the Zilker Zephyr — a novelty train that travels around the perimeter of the park.
  9. Mount Bonnell: A must-see for any Austin visitor, this popular tourist spot offers the best views of Austin and the nearby Hill Country.
  10. Hike and Bike Trail: This 10-mile urban trail offers wide, shaded paths for biking, walking, or running in the heart of the city.

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Housing in Austin

Austin is home to many unique neighborhoods - each with a distinct character and set of amenities. When searching for housing, it's important to consider personal needs, lifestyle, and budget. For many graduate students, distance to the university campus is a primary consideration - though many also consider factors like proximity to grocery stores, recreation, dining, and public transportation to be important.

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