Life in Austin

Austin is the capital of the state of Texas, with nearly a million people living in the city and another million living in the surrounding area. It is the 11th largest city in the U.S. When the first town was built here in the 1830s, it was called Waterloo. After the Republic of Texas was founded in 1836, Waterloo was chosen as the capital and renamed for Stephen F. Austin, “The Father of Texas.”

Because the weather is usually warm in Austin, residents spend a lot of time outdoors. The main part of the city surrounds the Colorado River. In and around the city are 17,000 acres (68 sq. km) of green space, and 220 parks, where Austin residents love to bicycle, swim, hike, run, boat and do other activities.

More than 100 people a day move to Austin from all parts of the world, and people in Austin tend to be very welcoming and friendly toward newcomers. Though it is growing to be a large city, it maintains a small town atmosphere.

Austin can get very hot in the summer, with temperatures rising above 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit). It generally has mild temperatures the rest of the year, though the temperatures can fall below freezing in winter. Students will need jackets in winter and lightweight clothing the rest of the year.

Austin is in the central time zone. The area code is 512.

Arrival Information

We hope you have a safe flight and smooth arrival!

If you arrive on a Saturday or Sunday, you will find that the university and most government offices are closed, but most retail stores will be open over the weekend. If you arrive on a weekday (Monday through Friday), we invite you to visit the International Office (INT) and ESL Services between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.


From the Airport

The airport is located approximately 15 miles from the campus. Unfortunately, we are not able to make arrangements to meet you at the airport.

For more information, please see the transportation options on the Austin-Bergstrom Airport website


Most students ride the bus to get to campus. There are also several “Park and Ride” lots where you can park your car and take the bus to campus. Once you have completed registration, you may get a UT photo ID card, which allows you to ride the buses for free. It is not possible to get a UT ID prior to registration. If you plan to take the bus to campus during registration week, be sure to bring money for the bus fare until you can get your UT ID.


You must make your own arrangements for where you will stay when you arrive. There are many housing options close to UT campus. Your options include:

  • Co-ops
  • Private Apartments
  • Private Dormitories

Cooperative Houses

Cooperative houses are democratically-run residences, called "co-ops," in which occupants share cooking and cleaning responsibilities and share decision making about house policies and activities. Sometimes less expensive than other housing options, Co-ops provide an opportunity to meet a variety of people. For information contact:

Co-op Name
Street Address and Phone Number
College House, Inc.

1906 Pearl St.

(512) 476-5678

Inter-Cooperative Council

2305 Nueces St

(512) 476-1957

Austin Cooperative Directory

Private Apartments in Austin

Many privately owned apartments are available within walking distance of campus and on the UT shuttle bus or city bus routes. Some helpful tips to assist you in your housing search are as follows:

Visit uTexas.Rent, a resource guide for UT students looking for off-campus housing.

Check the “Classified” Section of the following local newspapers, and select “Central” Austin for addresses closer to the University of Texas at Austin:

Walk or drive around neighborhoods near campus (north or west) looking for “For Rent” or “For Lease” signs.

Contact an Apartment Locator Service (apartments are usually rented in person, but apartment locator services may assist you before you arrive)

** The International Office does not endorse any particular apartment locator service.

Private Dormitories

Though on-campus dormitory space is limited, the need for safe, convenient dormitory space in Austin is filled by several off-campus private dormitories. Though located "off" campus, private dormitories are quite near (in some cases, just across the street) from UT. Private dormitories also offer meal plans to residents.

Private Dorm Name
Street Address and Phone Number
The Castillian

2323 San Antonio

(512) 478-9811

Dobie Center

2021 Guadalupe

(512) 505-1000


2112 Guadalupe St.

(512) 472-1343

Hardin House

2206 Rio Grande

(512) 472-6717

Short-term (Temporary) Housing

There is no short term housing on campus, but the following places are used frequently by international students and scholars. Ask for a UT discount!

Street Name
Days Inn, University
3105 N. IH 35
Doubletree Club Hotel
1617 N. IH-35
Doubletree Guest Suites
303 W. 15th
La Quinta Inn
5812 N. IH 35
Motel 6
5330 N. IH 35
B&B Name
Street Name
The Star of Texas Inn
611 W. 22nd Street
Carriage House Inn
1110 W. 22 1/2 Street
Strickland Arms
604 E. 47th Street
Inn at Pearl Street
1809 Pearl Street
Hostel Name
Street Name
Hostelling International
2200 S. Lakeshore Blvd

Activities and Events

Intercultural Programs

UT offers many activities and events for students. These events help you better understand American culture as well as other cultures while exploring Texas, or just meeting for conversation practice. These activities and events are also a great opportunity to make friends and speak English.