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Old 02-14-2012, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Iowa
30 posts, read 67,290 times
Reputation: 13

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Hello everyone, I'm looking at various graduate schools and the University of Maryland in College Park is at the top of my list.

I'm looking for any and all information on the school, the area, etc. I've been living in Des Moines, Iowa for the past few years for undergrad, so I'd be curious what kind of shock I could expect coming from Iowa.

Thanks for any help that anyone can provide. I'll check back frequently to answer any questions!
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Old 02-14-2012, 03:17 PM
 
687 posts, read 1,256,091 times
Reputation: 550
College Park is in the middle of a densely populated suburban area (Prince Georges County) which has a relatively high crime rate. Because the campus and neighboring communities blend together, it does not feel like a "college town." Assuming you want to live close to campus, look for rentals in College Park, Greenbelt, and Beltsville.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:12 PM
 
69 posts, read 250,591 times
Reputation: 22
Hard to say since I have never been to Des Moines, Iowa....

College Park is located in Prince George's county and close to Washington, DC. I went to undergrad there. But I have lived in Maryland my entire life so there wasn't much culture shock to me. PG County has large number of African American residents, I think was said to have largest number in the country or something like that. When I think Iowa, I think mostly white people (I could be wrong), so this might be a culture shock if that is what you are used to. There is crime in that area, mostly robberies and car theft, just big in urban areas. I had my car broken into once. Never a victim of violence though.

I used to live in Greenbelt and College Park back several years ago. Older buildings that were decent. Prices might seem high for what you get, but they get away with it because it is near campus. There are some newer apartment buildings built since then but they might be pricier. Stay away from Springhill Lake. It was bad there when I was living in that area and I heard it got worse.
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:33 PM
 
49 posts, read 150,556 times
Reputation: 86
Default hi

Knowledgeable on both CP and DSM/IA ...

Which program are you considering? Business/Finance? Grad life is a little bit like an incubator, so your daily quality-of-life is somewhat dependent on departmental environment.

Be prepared for sticker shock if you plan to eat on campus a lot. I've seen pre-made sandwiches sell here for a $1 higher than in nice $$ neighborhoods in DC.

Not prying, but it matters: will you be financially independent or living on TA/GRA stipend?

Where are you from, specifically? Beaverdale, WH, WDM ...?

Some quick ++ compared to IA ...

- a lot of good biking and trails are accessible from CP. I know IA is trying to bill itself as "Trail Capital of the World" + Trestle is getting some attention, but all of that pales compared to biking opportunities here. Also, if you plan to live in city of CP, biking as a way of life is a real option.

- diversity. Overused word, but it's really true. I just saw the clip of Branstad dancing to UNI's Interlude ... oh, my. UMCP is rich in heritage cultural groups, singing, dancing -- it's something I actively miss on a daily basis when away. Almost everyone is represented here.

- extremely wired. Extremely.

- proximity to Metrorail, good non-car options. Not the best in the area, but pretty good. Also, Zip cars on campus should you need one.

Some quick --

- petty crime magnet. Definitely on campus as well. Not for nothing that every desk in the Engineering library warns against leaving your stuff unattended for even a microsecond. I met a professor the other day who keeps her stuff literally strapped on her person. Campus tends to downplay petty crime publicity. It's rampant, mainly thievery on campus, the occasional robbery off-campus by the Metro station.

- a bit of cultural snobbery. I have a friend from southern MD who frequently mentions that he gets odd looks because he's not from DC area MD counties like Montgomery, or NJ -NY-PA, which are well represented here. Count on a lot of -- Iowa? type reactions.

Will have more after you return w/ some specifics. Also, feel free to PM.


Quote:
Originally Posted by financebirder View Post
Hello everyone, I'm looking at various graduate schools and the University of Maryland in College Park is at the top of my list.



I'm looking for any and all information on the school, the area, etc. I've been living in Des Moines, Iowa for the past few years for undergrad, so I'd be curious what kind of shock I could expect coming from Iowa.

Thanks for any help that anyone can provide. I'll check back frequently to answer any questions!
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, TX
9,396 posts, read 14,781,618 times
Reputation: 6254
Nanoscale hit it on the head. I go to UMD for undergrad and love it here. Kinda laughed at the cultural snobbery cos it's rather true... I'd definitely be one of those "Iowa?!" types, but it'd be followed by "Never been there, what's it like??" way too many people from MoCo, HoCo, Balt Co and the NJ/NY area so it's refreshing to meet someone not from those places.
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Old 02-19-2012, 06:35 AM
 
Location: Hagerstown
459 posts, read 1,173,721 times
Reputation: 155
Beautiful campus, lots of stuff to do on campus and in the area. DC always has something going on, and close to Baltimore and Annapolis as well. I loved the diversity of the school, I made friends from all over the world while I was there. Neat place.
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:13 AM
 
Location: Iowa
30 posts, read 67,290 times
Reputation: 13
Thanks for all the comments thus far! I'm just getting some feelers out right now, as grad school is likely at least 2 years away. I highly doubt I'd go straight out of undergrad.

The crime would be my largest concern, but I'd be excited to see what kind of opportunities are present. That said, I may make a college visit either this summer or sometime in 2013.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:48 PM
 
1,176 posts, read 2,981,218 times
Reputation: 470
I got my Masters in International Management from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC), the night school/grad school attached to the main campus (where some of my classes took place). UMD has a nice campus. I was living in Silver Spring, and working in DC during the day, so can't comment on the on-campus or off-campus living condtions. I knew people who liked it.

Why did you settled on UMD as one of your choices? What other places did you consider? What are your priorities? Proximity to Washington, DC is a definite plus for many. You're kind of far out on the Green Line, but the fact that you can use it at all to get to DC and other places is a plus. I did my undergrad at UCLA (many years earlier) and frankly prefer California,but it may well be even more expensive and no one place is good for everyone. All in all, I think UMD would not be a bad place to live, but you have lots of time to research and, ideally, visit the campus. BTW, Baltimore is also a rather interesting place.
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:18 AM
 
Location: College Park
94 posts, read 177,230 times
Reputation: 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by financebirder View Post
Hello everyone, I'm looking at various graduate schools and the University of Maryland in College Park is at the top of my list.

I'm looking for any and all information on the school, the area, etc. I've been living in Des Moines, Iowa for the past few years for undergrad, so I'd be curious what kind of shock I could expect coming from Iowa.

Thanks for any help that anyone can provide. I'll check back frequently to answer any questions!
DIVERSITY! I assume Des Moines is pretty white & UMCP is diverse..VERY diverse. I live in the area and on any given commute on the train or bus you will probably hear 4-6 languages spoken. People from all over the world live in this area and it's great. UMCP is a large college, although I suppose some of the mid-west schools are about the same size, so you have to be ready for that. and it's so close to DC you have all the advantages of living near the Nation's capitol.
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, TX
9,396 posts, read 14,781,618 times
Reputation: 6254
Even on campus you'll often hear foreign languages being spoken. It's quite the international uni.
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