Local Atmosphere

Bloomington, IN
Tuition (in-state)
$31,483 ($10,033)
Admission Difficulty
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5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: I love Bloomington and I can't wait to go back!

4 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Great but could be better

4 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: The downtown area is very popular for students, although it's just one street it has a lot of shopping, food, and great bars. There are lots of cultural events throughout the year including music and art fairs. There are lots of homeless people in this area, but it's safe.

5 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Downtown Bloomington is a cultural hub where there are plenty of places to have fun and shop - all within walking distance of campus.

5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: The transporation system is free for college students.

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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Andrew Belsky/Chelsea Demarris
Highland Park, Ill./Unknown
Public finance/Unknown
View all previous student authors

One of the chief draws to Bloomington is the beauty of the surrounding environment. The town was named for what it does, and in the spring, there is no refuting the awe-inspiring scenery. In addition to Hoosier National Forest, which is a short drive from campus, there are many hiking trails and forested areas for the aspiring naturalist. You're apt to find locals who chose Bloomington for the surrounding countryside and students from major cities who add to the mix, making the small town eclectic and refreshing. As in any small town, close-mindedness is not unheard of. Fortunately, this negative way of thinking is mostly drowned out by the liberal attitudes on campus.

Without the college, Bloomington may be just like any number of other small Indiana towns: rural, serene, and not all that enticing to most college students. However, IU brings such a magnitude of diversity to the city that it far surpasses the norm. You'll find everything from small businesses where the owners know the clientele by name, to chains like Borders, Best Buy, and McDonald's. There are plenty of clubs and bars to sate the partygoers' thirsts, and just as many coffeeshops and art galleries. Bloomington houses students and faculty who are interested in a vast array of hobbies, pastimes, and passions, as well as the locals and some small-town vibes. Whether you want intimacy or anonymity, open air or indoor recreation, the variety of just plain nice folks in Bloomington will help you get what you're looking for.

Facts & Statistics

Local Slang
  • Coke: Any kind of carbonated beverage, including Pepsi
  • Hoosier: IU's "mascot," an indefinable expression of school spirit-what you are if you attend IU
  • Nap Town: Indianapolis
  • Ruff: Meaning roof, as in the part of the house that keeps the rain out
  • Townie: Non-student Bloomington resident
  • Y'unt: A faster way to say "Do you want . . ." As in, "I made some taters, y'unt some?"
Points of Interest
  • Downtown Square
  • Hoosier National Forest
  • IU Art Museum
  • John Waldron Arts Center
  • Kirkwood Observatory
  • Lake Monroe
  • Memorial Union
Shopping Centers
  • College Mall
  • Downtown Bloomington
Movie Theaters
Indiana Memorial Union
900 E. 7th St.
(812) 856-6381
Movie Theaters
Kerasotes Showplace East 11
1351 College Mall Rd.
(812) 323-0796
Movie Theaters
Showplace West 12
2929 W. 3rd St.
(812) 323-0884
Major Sports Teams
  • Chicago Cubs: Baseball
  • Indiana Pacers: Basketball
  • Indianapolis Colts: football
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Chicago: IL: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Indianapolis: IN: 1 hour

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 170 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 168 responses

  • 0% Painfully remote.
  • 2% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 9% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 81% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 8% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 167 responses

  • 41% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 23% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 35% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 166 responses

  • 28% No way.
  • 57% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 15% Totally.


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