What is Ann Arbor, MI like?
I'm thinking of applying to U of M for grad school, but I have a one year old. Is it reasonably safe? Is it a nice place for families? I know it's a college town, so is Tallahassee (where we are now), but is it reasonably green, unpolluted, kid-friendly, etc?
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Oh my gosh, YES YES YES to all of the above! Ann Arbor is fantastic and so much better than Florida, well, that is if you don't mind the snow! I moved here after a year in Tampa, and found the people here much nicer and much more "real."
Ann Arbor is a fantastic place for families. The crime rate is extremely low, with the most crime being petty theft, mostly a around the campus area (think dorm rooms and student apartment towers). There are several great parks in town that are safe for kids, my personal favorite being Gallup park right along the Huron river.
There's also plenty of indoor things to do during the cold months including the fantastic Ann Arbor Hands on Museum, the Natural History Museum on the UM campus, and more.
There's also several good daycare options. The University has a child care facility near North Campus, which is where family housing is. And there's also a local daycare called Gretchen's House which is FANTASTIC for those kids before preschool years. If you're coming here for a PhD, Ann Arbor also has one of the best public school districts in the entire area.
Also, there is a fairly good support network for graduate students who are parents. Rackham Graduate School in particular has several excellent resources. If you are a Graduate Student Instructor or a Graduate Student Research Assistant, I believe that you get a childcare package for a pretty nominal fee, and medical insurance is pretty easy to add on for kids and spouses.
There's also plenty of things to do when you get a baby sitter. Ann Arbor has a plethora of excellent restaurants, a great local music scene, and a vibrant downtown area. During the summer after the undergraduates leave town, Ann Arbor has a fantastic summer festival of music and movies culminating with the HUGE Ann Arbor Street Air Fairs, which literally takes over the entire town with art.
All that, and a great education at one of the best universities in the nation, IMHO. ;)
Definitely come for a visit, be sure to to talk to other graduate students who have parents, and talk to the staff (not just faculty!) who help run your program as they will be the ones to point you in the right direction in terms of parenting and childcare resources at the University.Source(s): 6+ years as a UM graduate student and resident of Ann Arbor