Local Atmosphere

South Bend, IN
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: It's South Bend. You aren't moving here, but you enjoy it while it lasts. Plus it's super easy to get to Chicago, if avoiding bullets is a thing you're into

2 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: South Bend sucks a bit. There are bars and clubs right off campus that students go to, but overall, students spent very little time in South Bend.

3 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: South Bend isn't the best city to live in, however, for being so small, it has some nice restaurants and shops. I believe it is on the rise though.

3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Downtown South Bend is extremely sketchy but are very accommodating to students.

3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: There are a lot of crimes in the sketchier areas.

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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Alex Barker
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At Notre Dame, a trip off campus is not a fun-filled vacation in Beverly Hills (or a walk in the park, for that matter). As you can see, most students find the South Bend atmosphere to be disconcerting. The consensus is that this is not a quaint college town, but a dirty and somewhat dangerous small industrial city. While some students confess a longing for the relief of big city activities and attractions, most will admit that, although South Bend is not their favorite town, they find comfort in the isolation of the Notre Dame "bubble."

Notre Dame is so isolated from South Bend that it even has its own ZIP code. In the minds of many students, they believe this is a good thing. South Bend is a poor city and has many rough neighborhoods. While this may make it difficult for many students to feel comfortable venturing off campus, leaving the Notre Dame "bubble" to run errands is a feasible idea, as long as you know what areas to avoid. However, the lack of student attractions and the disparaging comments from students, leaves Notre Dame's location with low marks.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Notre Dame was founded as a primary and secondary school before becoming a University in 1844.
  2. Notre Dame became a coed school in 1972.
  3. Notre Dame is the only college in the country to boast a full-pads, 11v11 intramural football league.
  4. 57.6% of students choose to study abroad at some point in their college careers. This is 6th highest percentage in the country.
  5. Curly Lambeau (of Green Bay Packers fame) attended Notre Dame and chose Blue and Gold to be the Packers' first uniform colors.
Notable Natives
  • Schuyler Colfax - former U.S. vice president, speaker of the House
  • Ryan Newman - NASCAR driver
  • Charles Butterworth - actor
  • Vivica A. Fox - actress
  • Craig Counsell - baseball player
Points of Interest
  • College Football Hall of Fame
  • Morris Performing Arts Center
  • Potawatomi Zoo
  • South Bend Symphony Orchestra
  • Studebaker National Museum
Shopping Centers
University Park Mall
Movie Theaters
Cinemark 14
910 Edison Rd.
(574) 254-9689
Movie Theaters
Cinemark Movies 6
6424 N. Grape Rd.
(574) 277-7336
Movie Theaters
The Michael Browning Family Cinema
On campus
(574) 631-2800
Major Sports Teams
South Bend Silverhawks: minor league baseball
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Chicago: IL: 2 hours
  • Indianapolis: IN: 3 hours

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 54 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 54 responses

  • 11% Painfully remote.
  • 31% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 20% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 35% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 2% 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 54 responses

  • 6% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 22% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 72% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 54 responses

  • 59% No way.
  • 37% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 4% Totally.



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