Student Guide/Housing

Creative Side Student Guide

Welcome to Creative Side Jewelry Academy of Austin. We are so excited that you are enrolling in a class or classes at Creative Side! This page will help you find answers to questions about class information, housing, transportation and things to do in Austin. If you have more questions, please don't hesitate to give us a call at 512-799-0731 or email us at
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Class Information
Creative Side offers classes for every level of student, from complete beginners to masters of metalsmithing. If you are looking to get started pick any of our Beginner -101 courses and come get your feet wet. These courses provide you with a great foundation and get you comfortable with basic skills such as sawing, filing, sanding, soldering, as well as important terminology and understanding of the tools of this trade and their uses. We also offer weekend electives and duration intermediate courses, so you may focus on certain techniques at your own pace. 
***Classes are updated by season, so be sure to check out new opportunities and courses regularly.***

Winter/ Spring January - June

Summer/ Fall July - December

Materials and tools needed vary by class and individual instructor. Material fees are explained in each class description and automatically included in your tuition fee. The fee covers equipment rentals, raw materials and project supplies. Several classes require a “kit” which includes the same materials for each student.

Studio Information
The studio address is:
321 W. Ben White Blvd, Suite 204
Austin, TX 78704

Please feel free to contact us anytime:

For tons of info about events and accomodations in Austin, visit

Accommodations in Austin
If you are coming from out of state please be aware that Austin is growing by 150 people per day and is one of the most popular cities in the country. There are always events happening here which is what makes Austin an amazing place to visit. Do be aware that this could interfere with getting a good price for room and board. As soon as you sign up for a class we advise that you reserve a room here in Austin for your stay right away. Waiting could risk a lack of good options or a very high price. We can not be responsible for lack of preparation. If you would like to be connected with other students who may be traveling in for your course, we are happy to connect you to discuss sharing vehicle or room costs to make your trip here more economical.


Here are some hotel and housing options for Creative Side students, faculty and friends:

Woodspring Suites Signature Austin South Central
4911 South IH 35
Austin, TX 78744
Phone: 512-344-9271
Distance: 3 miles from Creative Side studios
Brand new hotel with moderate prices. Fitness center, free wi-fi, and some suites with in-room kitchens

Red Roof Inn
4701 South I-35

Austin, TX 78744
Phone: 512-448-0091
Distance: 3 miles from Creative Side studios (1.8 walking distance)
Lower pricing and a good location for those travelers on a budget; just minutes to the studio and downtown Austin. Pet friendly, free wifi and free parking. Close to restaurants, bars and shopping.

Spring Hill Suites Austin South
4501 South I-35
Austin, TX 78774
Phone: 512-441-8270
Distance: 3 miles from Creative Side studios (1.8 walking distance)

This mid-priced option is located close to the studio and features large suites with separate a living area, microwave and mini fridge in each room. Complimentary hot breakfast, gym and pool access makes this space an inviting option.

Hotel San Jose
1316 South Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78704
Phone: 512-444-7322
Distance: 2.5 miles to studio

What something a little different during your stay in Austin? Hotel San Jose has got your covered with a minimalist, chic interior and location in the hip South Congress neighborhood. Easy access to the studio, a lounge and pool create a simple backdrop for your creative expression.

Hotel Saint Cecelia
112 Academy Drive

Austin, TX 78704
Phone: 512-852-2400
Distance: 2.5 miles to studio
If you are looking for to make your trip to Austin incredibly special, consider staying at this boutique, luxury hotel. Located close to the studio in the South Congress neighborhood, it is also only 5 minutes to downtown. Features such as a lounge, library and pool may make you never want to leave.

Austin Lone Star RV Park and Resort
7009 S I-35

Austin, TX 78744
Phone: 512-444-6322
Distance: 3 miles to studio
If you are traveling with a trailer or RV, this park is a wonderful place to set up home close to our studio. Daily, weekly and monthly (with a contract for any space over 1 month) rates available with full hook-ups and amenities such as laundry and a heated pool. Individual, smartly-priced cabins for rent are also located on the property.

Condo/House Rentals

Book directly through Creative Side for these special rentals. Send inquiries to or call the studio directly: 512-799-0731
Condo rents as low as $135 a night (depending on the length of stay). 1 bedroom/ 1 bath, sleeps 2. Kitchen and livingroom downstairs. Quaint spiral staircase inside and normal stairs outside leading to the upstairs deck. Bedroom has sliding glass doors leading out to deck overlooking quiet courtyard with ancient oak trees. Condo is in the heart of South Austin,Bouldin Creek area, just blocks away from the "happening" South Congress area and 2.1 miles from the Capitol and 2 miles from Creative Side. 
House is a 2 bedroom, about 4 miles from the school. Right off Manchaca Road, with Full English Cafe, and Strange Brew across from neighborhood. Close to several food trailers, Radio Coffee, Kerbey Lane Cafe, and Torchy's Tacos. 

There are several AirBnB options around the studio. Here are a few that students have used in the past. These book quickly, so be sure to make your reservations in advance!

Burton Drive Apartment

South 6th Home

SoCo Casita

Travis Heights Studio

Treehouse Oasis with 2 bikes


Pet Sitting/Doggy Day Care 

If you have a dog that needs a place to play while you're in class, there are several options around town for Doggy Day Care. 

Pups and Pals Pet Lounge

Dog Town Austin

Southpaws Playschool


We highly recommend renting a vehicle for your time in Austin, especially if you're here for more than 2-3 days, but public transportation is available and convenient for travel to and from the studio.
Car Rentals
Hotwire has great last minute deals on car rentals all over Austin. Put in your location and it will find the best deals, revealing the name of the rental agency after selection

Enterprise is another great option for car rentals in Austin. They have convenient locations and will pick drop your car off at any hotel location in the metro area.
Budget Austin Bergstrom Intl Airport Car Rental

Public Transportation
Capital Metro Public Transit provides bus services all over city and a light rail downtown. The South Congress bus depot is located right next to the studio which is serviced by buses 1L N. Lamar via Lamar, 1M Lamar via Metric, 30 Barton Creek, 101 N. Lamar/S. Congress, 228 Burleson and 300 Govalle.

Taxi Services
There are also several taxi cab companies in Austin, including:

Austin Cab Company
Yellow Cab
Lonestar Cab


Austin is a musical, outdoors-oriented and nightlife mecca. We are known for southern hospitality and delicious food. Come see what central Texas has to offer you in addition to our top notch jewelry academy. The Creative Side studio is located a few minutes from downtown and close to South Congress. It is about 5-10 minutes away from South Lamar and East Sixth Street.

Austin has grown as a city extensively over the past 5 years, but the downtown blocks centered around Congress and 6th Street are the most fun.

Lambert's Downtown BBQ – Fine dining BBQ with some of the best ribs in town.
Roaring Fork – Delicious wood fire steaks, fish and delicious vegetarian options.
Austin Java – Breakfast served all day, dinner menu from 11am-close, great coffee. 
Music Venues:
Mohawk – A small venue with a lot of heart. This is a favorite amongst locals with 5 viewing areas.
Elephant Room – A Jazz club located in the warehouse district.
Antone's – Austins own Home of the blues. 40 years and counting. 
Book People – The best bookstore in Austin. Local and independent. Cozy on a rainy day, with an in-store coffee shop. 
Tears of Joy – A shop full of hot sauces! Huge selection of novelty sauces and made-in-house salsas you have to bring home! 
Austin Rocks – Something for every musician in your family. Clothing, instruments, and much more. 
This area delivers offbeat shopping, great dining options and legendary live music haunts. The strip is walkable and smattered with food trucks to keep your energy fueled. Parking can be a bit challenging on the weekends, so be sure to double check street signs for resident/permit only parking.
Hopdoddy – Burgers galore and a great bar. Try their Diablo burger and fries with cheese dip if you're feeling dangerously hungry.
Lucky Robot – Fresh Japanese cuisine at a great price.
Homeslice Pizza – NY style pizza right here in Austin. Open 11am - 11pm(midnight Fri. and Sat.), with slices served at "More Home Slice" right next door til 3am. Closed Tuesdays
Music Venues:
Continental Club – Both the club and the gallery upstairs host wonderful artists near and far. Make sure to check out their free shows during the week with resident musicians.
C-Boys Heart and Soul – Retro soul and blues themed venue.
Hotel San Jose – The parking lot shared by Jo's coffee shop and the hotel is often converted into a stage with live music. 
Allen's Boots – A texas staple with handcrafted cowboy boots and western wear galore. Even if you aren't in the market for a new set of two-steppin' kicks, it's worth checking out the store.
Tesoros – Folk art, furniture, jewelry, housewares, clothing and more - the majority of which is handmade and sourced to benefit the people who created it. Features a great spread of Dia de Los Muertos items.  
Uncommon Objects – Self dubbed the “emporium of transcendent junk,” make sure to use the buddy system so you don't get lost. Truly a store you can loose yourself digging through the piles of antiques and knickknacks.
A short stretch of road with a lot to offer. Great for ditching the car and spending the day walking or biking.
Chuy's – Classic Austin Tex Mex. Great enchiladas and margaritas, with a self-serve queso bar during happy hour! What could be better?
Uncle Billy's Brew-B-Q – Enjoy beers (brewed in-house) and BBQ on their lovely shaded patio. Live music some weekends. 
The Picnic – An awesome grouping of about a dozen food trucks with excellent food, and some retail trucks as well. Ample seating on shaded picnic tables. 
Music Venues:
Shady Grove – This family-friendly spot boasts a large outdoor patio with a permanent stage and acoustic music almost every night.
Blues on the Green – Zilker park is transformed into a concert venue every other Wednesday, from May to August. Featuring local acts and world-famous names alike, come spread out a blanket, bring some cold drinks, and enjoy the music in the fading light of a hot summer evening. 
Green Mesquite – This decades-old local BBQ spot hosts live music on their patio almost every night.  
Barton Springs Pool – This spring-fed pool stays at 68-70 degrees year-round and reaches a depth of 18 feet at the deep end. A natural bottom complete with kelp and schools of fish provide some   entertaining snorkeling. 
Peter Pan Mini Golf – In operation since 1946, this BYOB putt-putt course (yes, you read that correctly) features two 18-hole courses with fun sculptures at each hole.  
Ann and Roy Butler Hike & Bike Trail – This 10-mile trail winds its way around Town Lake, providing excellent views. 
This area is more laid-back than other areas on this list with an approachable style. Explore the cheap eateries, thrift stores and dive bars.
East Side King A must for asian/barbeque fusion with a menu focused on local and sustainable foods.
Torchy's Tacos An Austin favorite for outrageous and untraditional tacos.
Opa! – A coffee and wine bar serving Mediterranean fare. Gorgeous outdoor patio where you're surrounded by plants. 
Music Venues:
The Broken Spoke – A honky tonk bar worth experiencing for yourself. Traditional country music at it's finest.
One-2-One Bar – Premier Austin Motown music venue with a great bar and fun atmosphere.
Austin Art Garage – Original art for all budgets and featuring local Austin artists.
downSTAIRS Apparel Cute clothes and local treasures.
Half Price Books – A local staple, great prices on all the books you love. 
The alternative to downtown and just on the east side of IH-35, East 6th offers an eclectic mix of art, dive bars and food truck grub.
Buenos Aires Cafe – One of the only restaurants that's not a food truck on East 6th, the in-house empanadas and desserts are heaven.
VIA 313 – Fair warning, this pizza is served in a dive bar called the Violet Crowne, but it's authentic Detroit style flatbreadcheesy, saucy dish is worth it.
Counter Cafe – A fully vegan menu with delicious options sets this eatery apart from the rest.  
Music Venues:
The White Horse – The place to go for two-step dancing and a young, hip crowd.
Hotel Vegas – An East 6th staple for live music and DJs just about every night of the week.
The Volstead – Enjoy the DJ on the dance floor or escape to an expansive outdoor patio. 
Charm School Vintage Shop – Wonderful women's vintage clothing store.
Maga La Boheme – Austin fashion boutique with South American flair.
Clayworks Studio/Gallery – Architectural ceramics and wheel-thrown pottery, all handmade. 
The Great Outdoors
Austin is full of wonderful places to explore outdoors and here are a few of our favorites.
Zilker Park – A gorgeous expanse of open grass and big shade trees with an unbeatable view of downtown. Dog, picnic, kite, frisbee, and sunbathing friendly. 
Barton Creek Green Belt – Located just a few minutes from the studio, the greenbelt has wonderful hiking, biking and running trails along with excellent rock climbing routes and seasonal kayaking in the river. This space gives you a moment to breath and disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the city. Dog friendly and free to the public.
Onion Creek Park – Another short drive from the studio, this Southeast Austin park is a watershed, which leads to lush vegetation unlike what you typically think of Texas. However, it also leads to flooding so only plan a visit if it hasn't been raining. 
Lady Bird Lake – Lady Bird Lake (Formerly Town Lake) is a reservoir on the Colorado River located just south of downtown. This is the perfect place to get out on the water with a kayak or stand up paddle board rental. There are walking paths around the lake that allow you great views of the river and all the activities happening on the water. Now featuring a boardwalk open to foot and bike traffic from 5am - midnight. 
Pedernales State Park – About 45 minutes outside of Austin is Pedernales State Park with excellent hiking, biking, picnicking, swimming and tubing. It is worth the drive with over 10 miles of trails to explore.
International Students 
Planning to take a course with us and traveling from out of the country? Please read below for information regarding international travel and visas. Please feel free to email with questions. 

Calling Creative Side from out of the country:
From Mexico: 00+1 (512) 799 0731
From Canada: +1 (512) 799 0731
From Italy: 00+1 (512) 799 0731
From Japan: 010+1 (512) 799 0731
From China: 00+1 (512) 799 0731
From Australia: 0011+1 (512) 799 0731
Most of Europe uses the 00 exit code but for any other inquiries please refer to International Country Calling Codes

VISA requirements for extended stays:
Since we are a vocational school we are unable to provide a student visa at this time, but you are eligible to apply for a B2 Visitor Visa. 
Click Here for the link to the application. Please read through all instructions carefully and take note of the FAQ's on the right hand side of the Visitor Visa website. The first step is filling out your application electronically through this website. You will complete the DS-160 form. Please take note of the following.
Completing the DS-160

Important Notice: Take care to answer all questions on the DS-160 accurately and completely; otherwise, you may have to correct your application and reschedule your visa interview appointment.

Electronically submitting your DS-160 online application is only the first step in the visa application process. Once you have electronically submitted your DS-160 online application, you must contact the embassy or consulate at which you wish to apply to confirm whether you need to be interviewed by a consular officer, and to schedule an interview. You can find a list of U.S. embassies and consulates here, with links to their websites where you can find information about scheduling a visa interview appointment.  If the embassy or consulate at which you apply informs that you must have a visa interview, the visa application process cannot be completed until you appear for an interview with a consular officer.
Also, each country has different wait times to complete the application and schedule an interview with US Embassy or Consulate. Please allow plenty of time to complete your application. Please click here to determine your wait time. 
If you have any other questions pertaining to your visa application please contact us. We are excited you are joining us and we look forward to hearing from you!


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