Reviews & Comments
Diversity in Ames
One thing I really liked about growing up in Ames is the cultural diversity that can be found because of the university. You can meet people from all over the world who are studying at Iowa State University. Half the population of Ames are students, so it is a pretty young population. You can find a number of ethnic restaurants run by people from other countries. Many of the Iowa State students have studied abroad, so many of them are quite knowledgeable about other cultures.
Reply to Eric
I agree with Eric. It is unfortunate many US Citizens do not know a foreign language or really understand there own history. I am a white US citizen who speaks three languages- English, Spanish, and French. I have made a lot of efforts to learn foreign languages and learn about other countries and cultures. I am just about to finish up my bachelor's degree in Spanish and Latin American studies. I think more US citizens should learn a foreign language, because its not just English anymore. But the problems I have with Miami is that it has a very high cost of living. There are so many people here and so many people moving here everyday that the competition for jobs is horrible. It is a nice place to visit and appreciate many different cultures, but I wouldn't want to raise my kids here.
Des Moines, IA
Reply to Devin
You are quite right that you can have experiences in other places that you can't have in Iowa. I have lived in Mexico. There are obviously many experiences you can have in Mexico that you can't have in Iowa. There are also many experiences in Iowa you can't have in Mexico. I have also lived in Miami and the same is true there. I have also travelled to New Orleans, Indiana, Arizona, Texas, Michigan and many other states. I love travelling and seeing new places. Every place has its pros and cons. You cannot experience all the things in life there is to experience in Iowa, or any one place. That is why travelling and living in other places is important to make a decision on where you want to live. I was not trying to say that you can experience all the diversity there is to experience in Iowa. But I am sick of people saying there is NO diversity in Iowa. I do speak Spanish fluently, and most of it I learned in Iowa among the growing Latino population. I grew up and lived in Iowa for 24 years, but I have also lived in Mexico and Miami. I think everyone has to decide where it is they are happy and want to live. I love to travel and experience many different places, but as far as raising a family and settling down, I want to be in the Midwest.
Don't move to Miami!
My fiance moved to Miami a year ago. He has a degree in Finance and is bilingual (Spanish and English). He still has not been able to find even an entry-level job here. I moved here to join him a month ago. I am also trilingual (French, Spanish, and English), and have a college degree, but I am having difficulties finding a job. We graduated from Iowa State University (one of the best public universities in the nation) and have realized we should've stayed in the midwest. There are too many people here and there is too much competition for jobs. Every day, 700 more people move to Miami. The average family earns $29,000 a year here but the average house is around $387,000!!! We moved here thinking we'd have a lot of opportunities.
You have to drive and drive and drive to get anywhere. I grew up in the midwest and I am not used to driving more than 30 minutes to get anywhere. In towns in the midwest, like Omaha, Nebraska, and Ames and Des Moines, Iowa, the average family earns A LOT more than the average family in Miami, and the cost of living is about half what it is here.
Unless you have millions of dollars, you're wasting your money here. Miami is a nice place to have a vacation, but not to live. The only really good thing about Miami is the weather.
Yes, it is a sad thing about the elementary schools closing. I grew up in Ames and went to Roosevelt Elementary, which is one of the schools that closed. Roosevelt had a lot of history, and it is sad to see it close. The Ames High School is an excellent high school, though. In general, Iowa has excellent public schools, especially when compared to Texas or Florida (where I am living now). Overall, though, Ames is a well run and organized town. The electricity prices haven't risen since 1979, and the average family earns around $33,000 a year and the average house is $160,000, so it is a very affordable place to live. There is very little crime. Iowa State University (in Ames) is one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. If you like flowers, trees, and nature trails, there are plenty of those to be found in Ames.
Des Moines, IA
Sunshine in Iowa
I disagree with Devin that only 1/4 of the days are sunny in Iowa. I would say about half the days in Iowa are sunny. I have lived in Iowa 24 years.
Des Moines, IA
Reply to Michelel
I grew up in Ames, Iowa, and I have to say Iowa is one the best places to live. I am sick and tired of people bashing Iowa. If we are to compare Des Moines with Chicago, for example, a family in Chicago earns only $2,000 more a year than a person in Des Moines, and yet the average house in Des Moines costs $110,600, and the average house in Chicago costs $403,000!!!! There are beautiful houses to be found in Des Moines.
As far as the weather, the winters are harsh, but they make you appreciate the spring more. The spring, summer, and fall are absolutely gorgeous in Iowa.
As far as diversity, diversity is found by people who are diverse. I learned to speak Spanish and French fluently IN IOWA. As I said, I grew up in Ames, and I have met people from all over the world in Ames. For the past six years, I have spoken Spanish with native speakers daily in Ames.
I just moved to Miami to be with my fiance, who has a job here. That was a big mistake!!!! We both are yearning to get back to Iowa. Here in Miami, the average family earns only around $29,000, but the average house costs $387,000!!! We are wasting our money here.
I have found there are good and bad people everywhere, but in general, I find the people in Iowa to be very nice and honest folks. For the record, I have never ever had people deal with me dishonestly in Iowa the way Michelel refers to. This is one young, Iowan girl who wants to go back.