Local Atmosphere

South Bend, IN
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Great shopping and activity options off campus. Lots of things to do on-campus, including sports, which often bring in area citizens. Local attitude toward students is generally positive.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: I love South Bend! Locals are very nice, except for a select few. People always complain about the weather, but if you like variety in weather South Bend keeps things exciting.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: The surrounding areas are not very safe, especially at night

3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: South Bend isn't exactly a thriving metropolis, but it's okay.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: South Bend has some troubled areas. The bus is free to students and you can pick one up at the library that will take you to the mall. University Park Mall is pretty good, and there are other places nearby in Mishawaka. Many of the locals don't really like the Notre Dame students, but some still go to the sport events.

1 person found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Alex Barker
View all previous student authors

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 48 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 50 responses

  • 10% Painfully remote.
  • 34% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 20% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 34% 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 49 responses

  • 6% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 24% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 69% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 49 responses

  • 59% No way.
  • 39% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 2% Totally.



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