Austin is one of the most interesting and enjoyable places to live in the United States. Its residents are among the most educated and creative in the U.S., helping to make Austin a very dynamic city and a major center of high technology. Austin’s abundant sunshine and beautiful natural surroundings attract nature lovers. In U.S. News and World Report’s 2017 and 2018 Best Places to Live lists, Austin ranked #1 among the USA’s 100 largest metropolitan areas.
- 11th most populous city in the U.S. with 932,000 residents
- Most highly educated community in the U.S. of cities with more than 250,000 residents
- Seven universities and colleges in the Austin area
- Capital of Texas and seat of state government
- Major center for high technology, nicknamed “Silicon Hills”
- Cultural events and festivals throughout the year, including SXSW Music, SXSW Film, SXSW Interactive, Carnaval Brasileiro, and the Austin City Limits Music Festival
- Hundreds of live music venues have earned Austin the title of “live music capital of the world”
- Concerts, theaters, museums
- Ballet, opera, and symphony
- Excellent shopping and diverse, homegrown restaurants with national reputations
- Mild southern climate with 300 days of sunshine annually
- Beautiful lakes, rivers, parks, and wooded hills
- Outdoor activities include sailing, river rafting, water skiing, swimming, fishing, kayaking, golfing, rock climbing, and many kilometers of hiking, running, and biking trails
- Football, baseball, soccer, tennis
- TIEP Summer Outdoor Activities Guide
- Austin’s airport is Austin–Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)
- Central Time Zone (UTC -6): World Clock – Time Zone Converter
For more information about Austin attractions, click here.
Volunteering is a great way to become part of a community and to practice your language skills. Here are some popular, very worthwhile volunteer opportunities in Austin:
- Habitat for Humanity – Help build homes for the poor. No experience necessary. www.austinhabitat.org
- Austin Humane Society – Donate your time to play with and care for animals in need. Homeless dogs, cats, and other animals need your help. www.austinhumanesociety.org
- Capital Area Food Bank and Salvation Army– Help feed a hungry family. Help provide shoes and other clothing for a child in need. www.austinfoodbank.org and www.salvationarmyaustin.org
- Multicultural Refugee Coalition – Help refugees learn about computers and other life skills. www.mrcaustin.org
- Ten Thousand Villages – Help support one of the world’s oldest and largest fair trade organizations. Ten Thousand Villages has spent more than 60 years cultivating trading relationships in which artisans receive a fair price for their work and consumers have access to distinctive handcrafted items. www.tenthousandvillages.com
University of Texas
Located in Austin and a part of the NCAA’s BIG XII Conference, the University of Texas athletic program is one of the best in the country. Coming off a National Championship football season, the University of Texas Longhorn Football team was consistently ranked in the Top 10 teams in the country in 2006. The men’s and women’s basketball teams are also both ranked nationally, and enjoy tremendous fan support. There is rarely an empty seat at any University of Texas Athletic event!
As the developmental league affiliate of the Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, and San Antonio Spurs, Austin’s own Toros basketball team is full of tomorrow’s NBA stars! The Austin Convention Center serves as home court for this exciting team. With so much attention on Texas during the NBA finals with two teams making the playoffs, the Austin Toros have generated a lot of buzz around Austin for being a family-friendly atmosphere at affordable prices.
Round Rock Express
Located in Round Rock, Texas, and only a few minutes north of Austin, the Round Rock Express is the Triple-A baseball affiliate of the Houston Astros’ Major League Baseball team. In only their third year being a Triple-A team the Express has been in the top 5 attendance figures each year. Fan support is second to none in Austin, and the fun, affordable, friendly atmosphere is sure to help take the focus off those hot Austin summer nights!
With so many lakes in the Austin area, you’ll never be far from a place to cool off during those warm months in Central Texas. From Lake Buchanan, to Lake Travis, to Town Lake, you’ll always find fun in the sun in Austin! But don’t forget about all the other outdoor activities Austin has to offer. You can go hiking, mountain biking, take a nature walk, or watch millions of bats fly from under the Congress St. bridge every night. If you feel like heading a few miles south of Austin, you can find friendly people all relaxing and floating down a river in tubes. There are also plenty of places to play disc golf in and around Austin, if you’re looking for something unique and fun.
Live Music Capital of the World
Other sources of information on Austin
More than 140 universities and colleges
- Texas is the second most populous and the second largest state of the United States
More than 27,000,000 residents in an area of 713,328 square kilometers
Texas is a leader in high technology, research, and emerging industries
One of the most popular travel and tourism states in the U.S.
Home of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas
Major recreational parks such as Sea World, Six Flags Over Texas-Arlington, Six Flags Fiesta Texas (San Antonio), Six Flags AstroWorld (Houston)
More than 1,000,000 jobs in Texas related to international trade
U.S.A.’s third coast – 624 miles of coastline
Beaches – mountains – deserts – forests – prairies
Professional football, soccer, basketball, baseball, and ice hockey