Hi Kristin, welcome to the site! I see you're interested in Austin; maybe you'd like to join the Austin group? (http://lifeafternyc.ning.com/group/austin) I also just spent 4 months there, so let me know if you have any questions!
Kristin, I am from Brooklyn and my boyfriend is from Austin. We just bought a house there and are going to have a hybrid living situation for some time (he works remotely and I am working on transferring internally to a remote position).
I never thought I would be comfortable outside of NY, but I really love Austin. It is laid back, interesting, and the way of life is just much easier than it is here. I always feel relaxed when I'm in Austin.
I think it would be a great place to go to school. You can be really focused on your studies, and then let off steam by eating at great restaurants, drinking at fun bars, or seeing a show. And the winters are so mild!
Kristin, Austin is definitely landlocked, but you don't really feel it because the city is very focused on outdoor living. Town Lake runs through the middle of downtown, and much of the outdoor life is focused around the lake (at least that is my perception). I think as a student, you should have absolutely no problem meeting people and making friends. People in Austin are VERY friendly and laid back.
Since I work from home, I'm getting nervous about meeting people.
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