Resident Life

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Living in Tampa Bay

The University of South Florida is one of the new universities created in the 20th century. The 15th largest university in the United States and still growing, USF has built a solid reputation as a leader in learning, offering comprehensive state of the art, student centered programs.

Founded in 1956, USF serves over 36,000 students, with nearly 200 academic programs on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, and Lakeland. USF's libraries hold some 1.4 million volumes and a computer link to hundreds of data bases and international communications through the Internet and the World Wide Web.

Located in the metropolitan area of Tampa Bay, USF contributes to the well being of its immediate urban neighborhoods through research and service. In 1995, USF surpassed the $100 million mark in sponsored research, contracts and grants and is fast becoming a model urban research university.

USF's economic impact on the Tampa Bay region totals $1.1 billion. The University has an operating budget close to $500 - million and employs three of every 100 Tampa Bay area residents. The majority of USF's 130,000 graduates continue to live in the region.

The Tampa Bay region is the third fastest growing metropolitan area in the country and offers residents the best in a pleasant life style at a reasonable cost-of-living. A sub-tropical climate with an annual average temperature of 72.5 degrees makes golf, tennis, jogging and biking possible year round with water sports readily available along the beaches, bays and rivers adjoining the Gulf of Mexico. Beautiful beaches are less than 30 minutes away from the USF campus. The Tampa metropolitan area supports the Tampa Museum of Art, the Florida Orchestra as well as theater and dance at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Bayfront Center and other venues. Professional football, hockey and baseball are represented by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Tampa Bay Rays. Beginning in March each year, this area is home to nine major league baseball teams for spring training.

The Tampa Bay region is served by an international airport, consistently ranked among the best in the country. Florida's second largest tourist attraction, Busch Gardens, is just two miles from USF while Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World are less than a 90 minute drive from Tampa. The Lowry Park Zoo is another family favorite and the Florida Aquarium, which showcases the unique ecosystems of our region, is located on Tampa's downtown waterfront.

Tampa's history dates back to the mid 1880's when a thriving cigar industry brought people to this exciting port city. Ybor City is a large Hispanic historic district which is home to a number of small art galleries, shops and restaurants. Ybor City is also the epicenter of Tampa's night life. Tampa is an exciting city and an enjoyable place to work and play.