Where can I meet fellow grad students?
November 23, 2009 6:27 PM   Subscribe

Where can I go to meet cool UT grad students in Austin.

I am a grad student at UT in Austin in a field full of professional types. Think business, law, public affairs. In college, I had friends from a variety of areas, including creative types (arts, film, music) and science people. I miss this, but my program is very insular. Where do the grad students hang out around campus or in the city? Seeking the ability to meet a variety of people. I need friends outside of my program, and grad students are great because we have similar lifestyles, spend a lot of time on campus, etc. It would also be nice to have a dating pool one day that is not in my same school. I am 25, if that helps. Thanks!
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Flightpath on 51st and Duval, Spider House Cafe on Fruth and 30th, a different library than normal (maybe the Fine Arts Library), the Crown and Anchor on Speedway on a Thursday evening.
posted by cachondeo45 at 6:35 PM on November 23, 2009

My wife was an LBJ student, and I was a student in Latin American Studies and ethnomusicology, so she pulled off precisely what you're talking about. If you are an LBJ student, there are some students that are doing joint degrees with Latin American Studies, and at least a few years ago when we were there, Latin American Studies grad students had great parties.

The great thing about an area studies program is that if you meet people in it, you'll be meeting people with close ties to all sorts of different programs that branch out from there--Latin American Studies students who take lots of anthropology can lead you to anthropology parties, students who take ethnomusicology can lead you to the music department parties happy hours, etc. There's a snowball effect.

Also, if you can take an elective or two outside of your program, that can be a great way to meet people in other departments.
posted by umbĂș at 6:43 PM on November 23, 2009

You don't mention whether you are male or female, straight or gay, but when I was a grad student in art history at UT Austin, there were so few men in the program that they had to join forces with another program (it may have been history or american studies) to field an intramural softball team. So 2 relevant points 1) if you are interested in meeting women, art history programs, at least in my experience, are predominantly female and 2) see if your program fields a intramural team. It's very low key and good fun. From what I remember athletic ability would be nice, but it wasn't a requirement. Even if your programs team isn't a joint team, it will still afford you a low key and fun opportunity to meet grad students from other programs.

cachondeo 45, glad to hear that the Flightpath is still open. I've sometimes wondered about that and how much the neighborhood has changed since they moved the airport and it is no longer in the "flight path." I heard that housing prices went up quite a bit. I lived one block away and remember when it opened. I haven't been back to Austin since I left 13 years ago, but I do have fond memories of that place.
posted by kaybdc at 6:53 PM on November 23, 2009

follow-up from the OP: I forgot to say that I am a straight woman.
posted by jessamyn at 7:48 PM on November 23, 2009

Dog & Duck on Tuesdays is "pint night" -- I met almost everyone I knew in Austin there, which was pretty much students - Physics PhDs, Latin American studies, and others. Sit outside.

Seconding Crown & Anchor, plus they literally have the best burgers in Austin.

And JP's is a coffee place where a lot of older students go. Again, physics, math...

Clementine's on the East Side was becoming more and more popular when I left (1 year ago) -- probably is even more so now if they're still open. They have wireless, sandwiches, coffee, and $2 Tuesdays for beer.

Epoch uptown is open 24 hours so tons of students go there, although I don't know that they're necessarily older.

For a higher professional-to-student ratio, but still young, try the Flying Saucer in the Triangle.
posted by thebazilist at 8:20 PM on November 23, 2009

Okay and I'm totally blanking on the name -- it's off Guadalupe, near the Blockbuster, has a big outside section with tons of mis-matched crazy chairs and tables including rockers/swinging chairs, and space heaters. Help me out here. M-something? Anyway, during the day it's a nice place to be outside and study; in the evening it's not so much a place to go alone because it's all tables, but there are still some people alone with laptops.
posted by thebazilist at 8:25 PM on November 23, 2009

When I was a grad student at UT Austin (my there are many of us on MeFi, aren't there?) many people from my program (Comm Studies) hung out at the Hole in the Wall on Guadalupe.

Also nthing taking classes in other departments, if you can. I met a number of people in different disciplines through taking outside classes.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 8:46 PM on November 23, 2009

You could also try taking an Informal Class, although your fellow classmates will not necessarily be grad students. Also check the various schools and departments for their event calendars (typically online) for lectures and performances. For example, the Butler School of Music puts on fabulous shows and the Harry Ransom Center has numerous readings throughout the year...both are heavily attended by grad students. The science and engineering departments have special lecturers and seminars that are typically open to the public (you can find postings in the various buildings or online). I had the benefit of being a dual degree grad student and was exposed to different academic settings, but I was constantly surprised at the diverse backgrounds and interests of my fellow classmates in both my disciplines (even though sometimes it did feel like high school all over again). But don't discount the students in your program, just try getting to know them a little better! Have fun, and maybe I'll run into you at the Crown and Anchor...
posted by ch3ch2oh at 9:38 PM on November 23, 2009


not Austin-ist
posted by cmoj at 11:45 AM on November 24, 2009

If you want to meet engineers, a lot of us seem to spend almost all of the time we're not working at either JP's or Crown and Anchor*, on the northeast side of campus. They're pretty grad-studenty places. Dog and Duck strikes me as having a similar, low-key feel. Flying Saucer is kind of douchey, but at any given point in time in the evenings you're likely to find a reasonably heavy grad student contingent.

I'm a current 2nd year grad student, writing this from my office in the ETC. But I don't have the most active social life either, so take the above as you will.

*Crown and Anchor so does not have the best burgers in Austin. Them's fighting words.
posted by malthas at 12:28 PM on November 24, 2009

I went to UT for grad school and signed up for a housing co-op simply as a way of keeping my expenses down. You will run into a certain % of drunk/annoying people, but I got to meet and make friends with a cross section of people in other programs. Especially great was meeting people in Latin America Studies because I got invited to some of the most fun parties of my life*. Also based on the conversations I had with people in my program/cohort (Library School), they weren't meeting people in other programs. So I feel like that one financial decision ended up totally making my grad school experience - besides the social life, I feel like I just learned a lot getting to know people working in engineering, Latin American studies, Business School, Social Work, Architecture et cetera. And several of these people are now lifelong friends.

Also this may or may not be possible, but I found going to school at UT as a great way to reconnect with my relatives living in that part of Texas. Again, got to know them better and some of the best memories of my life are the time I got to spend with those people. But as my friends from that part of my life has said, we're all not so lucky to move to a region where we also have a lot of cousins.

** Seriously, make friends with people in ILAS and get invited to best parties ever. We're talking all night dance fests with cute/friendly guys, improving your Spanish skills, and best food/booze of any parties I've ever been to. ILAS is still the benchmark for any party I go to .
posted by green_flash at 3:09 PM on November 24, 2009

I know, right green_flash? I lived in one of the houses that would host ILAS/anthro parties. I'll always remember how random it was to see thirty people dancing salsa in my room with the furniture moved out for the night.
posted by umbĂș at 10:33 AM on November 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

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