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Old 02-16-2009, 09:05 PM
 
6 posts, read 20,314 times
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I am trying to decide whether to attend graduate school at the University of Iowa or at Vanderbilt University this Fall. I'm from Texas, and my family and friends are skeptical of me moving to Iowa. All anyone has to say about Iowa City is "it's too cold for you there" or "there is nothing but corn there." I would appreciate opinions about Iowa City from people who have lived (or better yet, gone to graduate school) in Iowa City. I would also like to hear from Nashville residents if possible. Thanks for your help!
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Old 02-16-2009, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Coralville/Ames, IA
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Nashville and Iowa City are worlds apart, honestly. I haven't spent any significant amount of time in Nashville so I can't really compare them too much, but if you're looking for a more urban experience, definitely go for Nashville. If you're looking for life in a smaller area, then Iowa City would fit you better.

I was born and raised around Iowa City and I love it here. But it's a smaller city, and with that comes less entertainment. (Metro Nashville has 1.4 million people, Metro Iowa City has a tenth of that.) However, for our area, we do have our fair share of art and music. Not to mention that our crime is probably a lot lower and you won't really have problems with traffic. Iowa City is an extremely liberal, very college-oriented place. We have quite a bit of shopping available and a nice downtown near campus filled with smaller, locally-owned stores and restaurants. There are also lots of bars to cater to the undergrads. I personally think that Iowa City is more aesthetically pleasing than Nashville with our hills and the river, but that's just my opinion. It does get cold here in winter. It snows quite a bit, and below zero temperatures happen a few times a year. (This year, more than a few times, but it's been exceptionally cold this year.) If you do need something from the "big city", Chicago is only about a 4-hour drive to the east and Des Moines (while not exactly a "big city", it's the closest we have to one in Iowa) is 2 hours to the west.

Another thing to take into consideration is where you plan on living after graduation. If you plan to live in the South, Vanderbilt is probably going to have a better reputation there than UI, and UI might be better if you plan to live in the Midwest, if only because more people will have heard of it around here. I would guess that Vanderbilt is more highly regarded academically, but that also depends on the program you will be in.

It really comes down to personal preference because they're just so different. If you have any specific questions about Iowa City, I and others here would be happy to answer them for you. If you haven't already, you might want to read some of the posts in the Nashville forum to hear from the other side, because you'll probably get an Iowa bias on this forum
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Old 02-17-2009, 05:51 AM
 
Location: Davenport, Iowa
413 posts, read 1,567,232 times
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Before you (or your friends) picture Iowa City as some little farm town, I'd suggest taking a look at the pictures in this thread.

Thinking about Iowa City? Here are some pics if anyone's interested - City-Data Forums

It is indeed very college-oriented and liberal, as you can see in some of the pictures. Asking whether you'll like it better there or Nashville really depends on what kind of area you're looking for. However, one thing you don't see in those pictures is a lot of corn, so you can get that Iowa stereotype out of your head. We have cities.
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Old 02-17-2009, 02:18 PM
 
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I responded to your thread in the Nashville forum. having spent many years in both Iowa City, and Tennessee....I would hands down pick IC for college. Both places are similar in terms of being liberal, cultured, etc. But Nashville is MUCH larger and you will have a totally different experience there. They have a very high crime rate; not around Vandy, but overall. In IC, i left car windows down half the time (weather permitting)

I do agree though, that if you want to "settle" Nashville would be much better. It's a large city, and you'd be more likely to find a job there after grad school (if you wanted to stay). Lots of other large cities within a few hours too. At Iowa, people come for schoo, then leave. It's a great place to live, don't get me wrong. But Nashville would give more opportunities if you wanted to remain in the city after college.
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Old 02-17-2009, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Johnston, IA
70 posts, read 253,276 times
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I went to Iowa (2001 graduate) as did many people on this board, so if you have any detailed questions regarding the University I would be happy to help. What type of graduate work? Medical? Law?
Is money an issue at all? My guess is Vandy would have to be steeper than Iowa.
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Old 02-17-2009, 07:45 PM
 
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Good point, as a private university, Vandy would probably be more expensive. The cost of living in Nashvile is definitely much higher than in Iowa City. Much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MastermindDSM View Post
I went to Iowa (2001 graduate) as did many people on this board, so if you have any detailed questions regarding the University I would be happy to help. What type of graduate work? Medical? Law?
Is money an issue at all? My guess is Vandy would have to be steeper than Iowa.
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:13 PM
 
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Well, for me the cost won't be a major factor. I've been accepted to the graduate program in Immunology at the University of Iowa, and I've been accepted to the Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Sciences at Vanderbilt. The University of Iowa offered me full tuition, health benefits, and a stipend of $24,250/year. Vanderbilt offered me full tuition, health benefits, a stipend of $25,500, and $500 for moving expenses. So, either way I doubt that money will be a huge factor. One factor that I hadn't considered before is the job market. My boyfriend would be moving with me, and he would be looking for a job as an accountant. Does anyone know about the job market in Iowa City? By the way, I really do appreciate all of the information I'm getting!
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Coralville/Ames, IA
267 posts, read 1,122,714 times
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Wow, congratulations on all of that scholarship money!

Finding a job anywhere may be more difficult right now, as I'm sure you know, but Iowa (and the Midwest in general) has historically been a good place to ride out recessions. We have a more stable economy, without as much of the boom-bust cycles of the faster-growing metros, like Las Vegas or anywhere in California. I'd recommend looking for jobs in the local newspapers' websites:

Iowa City Jobs from press-citizen.com, Iowa City Press-Citizen and CareerBuilder.com
Corridor Careers - Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Jobs, Iowa Career Resources

After a quick look, it appears that there are some accounting jobs available in the area. If your boyfriend would be willing to make a roughly half-hour commute to Cedar Rapids, there are more accounting jobs there than in IC. However, he may be able to find one here, I did see a few listed.

Last edited by iowegian; 02-17-2009 at 08:38 PM..
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:41 PM
 
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Iowa City is a truly liberal college town, I think you'd like it.
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:10 PM
 
3,376 posts, read 12,225,845 times
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Luckily there always seems to be accounting/book-keeping jobs around, although they may not be exactly what he wants. Nashville is so much bigger than IC though, so automatically there would be more options there. Of course, there will be more people trying to get those same jobs.

Keep in mind, one of the states larger cities, Cedar Rapids, is near IC and a lot of people live in CR and drive to IC for work, or vice versa. It's only about 15 minutes, if I remember correctly. Closer than living in the burbs of Nashville and driving in!

Cost of living is going to be a lot more in Nashville. An apartment is going to be much more. If you have to pay to park your car in a lot (near Vandy) could add up. Things as simple as the bars you might go to will be more expensive. It's a big city, and Vandy is smack in the downtown/midtown area, the more "urban" and thus expensive part.
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