Considering relocating to Burlington for grad school, almost 50 yo
I am making a much needed career change in mid-life. That might sound crazy, but I'm in good health and the way the economy is I will probably need to work another 20 years. So, I am looking into grad schools, and UVM has a 2 year program that meets my needs. I am considering relocating and have some questions.
I have lived in Seattle for over 20 years and still love it most of the time, although dealing with its massive gentrification and rapidly growing population can be a bummer. Burlington sounds like it has a lot of what I like about Seattle - beautiful mountain and water views, easy access to hiking, a well-read population, and progressive politics.
How much would it cost to rent a decent (preferably quiet) studio apartment within walking distance from the school? How hard is it to find places that will accept pets? What's the overall cost of living like? I live pretty simply.
How easy/hard is it for middle aged singles to meet people around their own age? Seattle has really active Meetups and hiking/outdoor rec clubs through which it's pretty easy to meet new people.
I really like a good neighborhood coffeehouse/cafe. Seattle, of course, has a zillion, but I'd need access to only one or 2 good ones to be happy. I figure a college town like Burlington would have a few of those, are there some?
Re: weather. It sounds like summers and falls are really nice. I grew up in MD and miss fall colors. I've never lived somewhere that gets super cold, but I figure I can dress against it. I am leery about driving in the snow, but I have an AWD and I figure most people on the road would know what they are doing. When we get even an inch of snow in Seattle, the city shuts down. I know Vermont is far enough north that I'd have to suffer through super short days in the winter there too, but at least there'd be a lot more days with sun, right?
Thanks in advance for your responses!