Building Your Community
Discover, Connect, Inspire

There's something here for everyone, whether you've just arrived or you're a native Wolverine. Explore our countless campus and community resources and you'll see why Ann Arbor is an open, welcoming city beloved by so many.

Medical students sitting together talking
Moving Here

What’s it like to move to Ann Arbor for the first time?  Thirty percent of Michigan Medicine learners said their transition was seamless with no issues, with 39 percent reporting a few bumps in the road. Whether you’re focused on finding the best place to live to reduce your bus commute, or you’re curious about interest groups at U-M — or you just want some insider tips on uniquely Ann Arbor places to explore — this guide will help.

Campus perspective

Everyone at Michigan Medicine is here with the goal of helping patients and making the world better, in ways big or small. Naturally everyone wants to do that in different ways, but the underlying goal is the same. I have connected with like-minded peers and with people who approach problems differently.”

Hannah
MSTP student
Two people walking through a cafeteria lounge
Where to Live

With a large demand for rental housing and a higher-than-national-average rent, you’ll want to be strategic about finding a place to live in Ann Arbor. Michigan Medicine learners share the following advice and considerations:

  1. Start your search early. If you’re moving to town outside of the normal school-year leasing cycle, you may have fewer options. It wouldn’t be too soon to start looking in early spring for a fall lease, if possible.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the layout of the city, the location of grocery stores like Kroger, Meijer, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Kerrytown Market & Shops, and the bus routes if you’re going to bus to campus (which is free!). If you’re going to be working late or odd hours on campus, pay attention to when certain bus routes stop running and plan accordingly.
  3. Get a good idea of your ideal price range, and be open to having a roommate if you’d like a bit more space — you may be able to get a larger 2-bedroom apartment for about the cost of a 1-bedroom.
  4. Consider the winter factor. A short walk or bus ride in warm weather can be colder or longer during the winter when it’s snowy.
  5. If you’re looking for something more affordable and with a bit of built-in community, consider a local housing co-op or, for med students, one of two medical societies. Nearby Ypsilanti, a 30-minute bus ride from Ann Arbor, is home to Eastern Michigan University and also has more affordable housing options and a tight-knit campus and downtown community with shops, cafes, and a food co-op.
  6. Build a network of current learners in your program to find current leases to take over or apartments going on the market. Many of the best places are passed down from one person to the next and may never get advertised. If you’re looking to rent a condo or a single-family home, check out local realty companies that often list properties that don’t appear on Craigslist.
  7. Know your trade-offs: More space? Lower cost? A garden or yard? Shorter commute? Allows pets? Know which options are your must-haves, and it will be easier to jump on a good opportunity.
  8. If you’d like to buy a home, be sure to check out both Ann Arbor and its surrounding communities, including Ypsilanti, Saline, Dexter, Brighton and Plymouth-Canton. The Ann Arbor market moves quickly, so find a realtor you click with so you can trust them to help you navigate the process.

 

More on Housing

Fostering a diverse community
U-M Diversity Resources

At Michigan, we support a safe, just and peaceful community where you can connect and thrive. Visit our DE&I section for regional community groups and health resources.

About DEI
Making Friends
A group of students at a table working together

Ann Arbor has a well-deserved reputation for being open and welcoming, and Michigan Medicine learners from other regions report that they’ve been pleasantly surprised at how friendly everyone is here.

Even so, you’ll be busy acclimating to a new place, a new program, and new colleagues — so how easy is it to make friends? According to current students and trainees, pretty easy!

With more than 1,600 student groups at U-M, 75 or so just in the Medical School, groups for PhD students, and an association for house officers and postdocs, you’ll find like-minded people with a common passion for making the world a better place. The Office for Health Equity & Inclusion and the Spectrum Center are also supportive avenues for finding your people.

Beyond campus, you can explore Meetup groups interested in entrepreneurship, technology, and adventuring.

Partners & Families

Find family-friendly benefits, support groups and courses, childcare, and information on housing and job-hunting.

For Partners & Families
Interest Groups

There are a lot of groups. Sometimes it feels daunting to start going to one if you don’t know anyone else. Luckily, most people in Ann Arbor are incredibly welcoming. Showing up is the hardest part.”

Krista
PhD student
Find your group

The Medical School hosts 75+ medical student groups, many of them founded by students. Ranging from socially and academically focused, to service and identity oriented, these groups round out your medical student experience.

Points of Blue
See all stories A photo of Kahli Zietlow
Points of Blue
Kahli Zietlow, MD: Building interprofessional teams
Kahli Zietlow, MD, is a clinical assistant professor of internal medicine who specializes in geriatric medicine. Originally from Michigan, she earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan before attending Duke University, where she earned her medical degree and completed her residency and fellowship. Dr. Zietlow returned to U-M in 2020 and is currently the associate director of Interprofessional Education (IPE) at UMMS and the associate program director of the Geriatric Medicine Fellowship. She is passionate about IPE, geriatric medicine and medical education. Read on to learn more about Dr. Zietlow, including her talent as a wildlife photographer!
A woman, Alli Ruff, holds a maize and blue sign that reads #ProudToBeGIM, General Internal Medicine
Points of Blue
Alli Ruff, MD, MHPE: Helping students succeed
Alli Ruff, MD, MHPE is a clinical associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School. Originally from Florida, she came to Michigan after earning her MD from the University of Miami and completing an internal medicine residency at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Dr. Ruff loves working with learners at all levels and fills many roles around the medical school. Find out how she faces challenges as a physician and her most important advice for medical students.
Three people smiling for the camera
Points of Blue
Gabriela Leticia Maica: Breaking through language and cultural barriers
Gabriela Leticia Maica (she/her/ella), pictured far right above, comes from Staten Island, NY.