Austin is the fourth-most populated city and the capital of the American Texas state. Initially named Waterloo, Austin later got its name after Stephen F. Austin, the "Father of Texas", who was the first secretary of state in the U.S. Today, Austin is mainly known as “The Live Music Capital of the World”, since it has the largest number of artists, musicians and live music venues in the nation. Additionally, Austin is also the youngest big city in America, counting around 90,000 college and university students. Welcoming a larger number of international students each year, Austin is an ideal city for studying abroad. Enjoy many beautiful outdoor spaces, the delicious Texas cuisine, as well as the notoriously friendly Southern atmosphere.
Named one of the best cities in the U.S. for business and careers, Austin has a well-developed local economy. The major industries contributing to the thriving business environment are high technology (Austin was nicknamed "the Silicon Hills" for its numerous ITC companies), pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, services, entertainment and leisure.
Some of the largest employers of Austin cover companies like eBay, Google, IBM, Intel, Apple, Xerox, Whole Foods Market, AMD, AT&T, Flextronics, Walmart.
Students can partake many internship opportunities available within local companies, especially in the technology field.
Austin was declared the "The Live Music Capital of the World," due to the fact that you will find many musicians and live music venues within the city. However, Austin has so much more to offer, from fantastic outdoor spaces where you can engage in many sports, to cultural attractions and shopping streets that will make your student life a memorable experience.
The major attractions in Austin are:
In Austin, you can enjoy plenty of outdoor activities from cycling to water-biking or canoe-paddling.
Whenever you want to see a play, check out the Hyde Park Theatre, or go to The Enchanted Forest, an outdoor music, art, and performance art space frequently hosting events such as fire-dancing and circus-like-acts.
Savour the famous and delicious Texan cuisine in countless restaurants, and since Austin gathers more live music venues per capita than anywhere in the U.S., you can always enjoy a nice evening in one of the numerous bars and live music venues.
Have fun and embrace the American Texas culture during one of the local events and festivals, like Texas Craft Brewers Festival in September, Art City Austin in April, or Urban Music Festival.
Apart from the number of international students, population in Austin is pretty compact. Around 35 % of the city’s population is Hispanic or Latino and you will also encounter Asian people.
Austin has managed to attract various foreign corporations due to the fact that the city charges no corporate income tax and also has one of the lowest state and local tax burdens in the USA. In addition, Austin has the advantage of a young labour force, around 40 % of Austin locals are aged between 18 and 44.
In Austin, you would experience long and hot summers and short, mild winters. Sunshine is present during all seasons, and rains usually occur mostly in May and June. During summer, average temperatures range at 34–36 °C (90 °F). In the winter, daytime temperatures are around 17 °C (62°F).
The main housing choices for students in Austin are:
1. Campus housing – rates are around 600 USD/month for a single room.
2. University village rooms – rent starts at 710 USD/month.
3. Rent apartment – a one-bedroom studio is between 550 and 880 USD/month.
Austin is not an expensive but also not a cheap city to live in. Without the housing expenses, you would need on average 750-850 USD/month to cover food bills, local transportation, learning materials and social activities. You would spend around 200 USD/month on groceries, and traveling by metro or bus will cost you another 40 USD/month.
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