Postdoc Life at UF

Information for current and prospective postdocs about living in Gainesville


About Gainesville, Florida

The City of Gainesville is the largest city in and county seat of Alachua County. It serves as the cultural, educational, and commercial center for the North Central Florida Region. In September of 1995, Money Magazine ranked Gainesville as one of the best places to live in America. For five consecutive years, it has been tapped as Florida's most livable city.

Alachua County encompasses 965 square miles and includes the municipalities of Archer, Alachua, Cross Creek, Gainesville, Hawthorne, High Springs, LaCrosse, Melrose, Micanopy, Newberry, Waldo, and Windsor. The County has an estimated year round population of 191,000, including more than 50,000 University of Florida students.

The Visit Gainesville site provides information about the Alachua County's attractions, cultural events, local history and heritage, historic sites, hotels, and sports.

Before you Arrive

When you Arrive

  • International postdocs on J-1 Visas will be oriented through the International Center's Exchange Visitor Services.  J-1 exchange visitors paid by UF are eligible to apply for a Social Security Number.  Visitors must complete their check-in with EVS and wait at least 10 days after entering the U.S.  before visiting the local Social Security office. Information on this process is available here:
  • If you need to obtain a State of Florida driver's license (some car rental agencies require a Florida license), please see information on this site, which also includes information about transportation options in Gainesville:   State of Florida Driver License Service Center information is available here:
  • You will likely need to open a bank account right away. Wells Fargo is the official banking partner of the University of Florida but there are numerous other area banks and credit unions available to you.

Housing Options

Getting Around Campus

Activities in Gainesville

Campus and Community Connections

Gainesville Postdocs on Facebook: Join this Facebook group to make connections with postdocs and others in the Gainesville postdoc community.

Gainesville Postdocs on LinkedIn:  LinkedIn group to connect with postdocs and those in the Gainesville postdoc community.

ACEL (Alachua County Emerging Leaders) is an organization of professionals between the ages of 21 and 45 who are interested in educational, leadership, social and service opportunities in Gainesville and other cities in Alachua County. ACEL keeps young leaders connected, informed and involvedwith the community and with each other by hosting networking, philanthropic and civic events and by working on projects that benefit our members and the community.

UF Student Organizations:  Almost 1,000 listed here.
Gator Connect (currently in development): 

Islam on Campus:
University of Florida Hillel:
UF Campus Ministry Cooperative:

French Alliance of Gainesville:

UF French Club:

VISA:  Volunteers for International Student Affairs
   VISA Organizations:

  • African Student Union (ASU)
  • Arabic Cultural Association (ACA)
  • Brazilian Student Association (BRASA)
  • Caribbean Students Association (CaribSa)
  • Club Creole
  • Friendship Association of Chinese Students & Scholars (FACSS)
  • Greek American Student Association (GASA)
  • Gators United for Haiti
  • Hope for Haiti
  • Indian Student Association (ISA)
  • Italian Student Association
  • Japanese Club
  • Lebanese American Society (LAS)              
  • Mexicans in Gainesville (MIG)
  • Pakistani Student Association (PSA)
  • Persian Student Society (PSS)
  • Polish Student Association
  • Russian Club
  • Turkish Student Association (TSA)

UF APIA (Asian Pacific Islander American Affairs)

International Friendship
Bringing International Scholars and Americans together at the University of Florida
Provides Conversational English Classes:

Learning English:

Free English classes open to anyone held every Tuesday:  The Latina Women's League's free English classes beginning August 30th at the Millhopper Branch Library. If you want to participate, you can enroll at any step along the way. The classes, held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. every Tuesday, will run through November 8th.  Although the classes were initially offered only to Spanish speakers, they are now open to anyone from any country. Participants will learn conversational and survival English. Survival English includes day-to-day vocabulary and expressions to help non-English speakers communicate on a daily basis.

What: Free English classes
Where: Millhopper Branch Library, 3145 NW 43rd St., Gainesville, FL 32606
When: 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays August 30 - November 8, 2016
For more information visit or email or call 262-6601
To register - attend a class and sign up at that time

Gainesville Sun Article:

Shopping and Food

Area News and Information