Local Atmosphere

Madison, WI
Tuition (in-state)
$26,628 ($10,378)
Admission Difficulty
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5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: There's always something to do here. I absolutely love it.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Very beautiful city. Quite by the lake, lively toward State Street.

5 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: The amount of school pride from faculty and students alike is unparalleled. The city and the university interact like nothing I could ever imagine. There is never nothing to do here and always a fun time.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Lots to do if you keep an open mind and ask around.

3 people found this useful Report
5 Recent Alumnus

Local Atmosphere: Madison is an incredible town! There is always something to do no matter what day of the week. I never want to leave

1 person found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Marie Puissant
Green Bay, Wis.
Marketing and English
View all previous student authors

With two large lakes bordering opposite ends of campus and the Capital building sitting at the top of State Street, visually, there aren’t enough positive things UW students can say about the locale of this college. Apart from the gorgeous aesthetics, students find the areas near campus to be very accessible. State St. offers a multitude of restaurants, shops, bars, and cafés. Capital Square also offers dining and shopping, but at a little higher price. Students acknowledge the nearby universities, but at the same time, admit to not interacting with them much. In general, students feel the placement of campus creates a very picturesque and “college-esque” atmosphere.

Madison itself is a comfortably-sized city located in the heart of the Midwest. Most students feel its locality creates a friendly and safe environment. The UW campus sits right next to the city’s trendiest street, complete with shops, restaurants, and bars. However, the campus is also close to a strong business district. The meshing of these two worlds exposes students to college life, and that of the ‘real world’. Overall, students at Madison will be provided with the comforts of a small town, as well as the opportunities of a large city.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. According to Forbes Magazine, Madison is ranked 2nd in the nation of top places for overall education.
  2. Madison is the 82nd largest city in the U.S.
  3. The cornerstone for the capitol building was laid down in 1837.
  4. The original population of the city in 1846 was 626 people.
  5. Madison is known as the "The City of Four Lakes." Those lakes being Lake Mendota, Lake Monona, Lake Kegonsa, and Lake Waubesa.
Notable Natives
  • Chris Noth - "Sex & the City" actor known as Mr. Big, originally from Madison
  • Phil Hellmuth - famous championship poker player, born in Madison and attended UW-Madison
  • Meinhardt Raabe - born in Wisconsin, attended UW-Madison, and currently living in Madison, he is the only surviving munchkin of The Wizard of Oz movie.
  • Butch Vig - drummer for the band Garbage, grew up in Madison
  • Chris Farley - comedian and actor, born in Madison
Local Slang
  • Bubbler: Water fountain ("I need a drink from the bubbler.")
  • Cheese-head: Wisconsin native ("Oh, you're from Madison? You cheese-head!")
  • Disc-Golf: A hippie sport that incorporates golf and frisbee ("Wanna play a few rounds of disc-golf?")
  • Doozy: Unfortunate situation ("She dumped you, now that's a doozy!")
  • Froke: Past tense of freak ("I failed my test and froke out right in class.")
  • Jack: To assault or attack someone ("I'll jack you!")
  • Salty: A way one feels after being defeated ("After we lost at disc-golf I was feeling pretty salty.")
  • Soda: Carbonated beverage ("To drink? I'll just have a soda.")
  • Tight: A phrase to show approval ("You have a date tomorrow?! Tight!")
  • Tyme Machine: ATM ("I need to get cash, where's the closest tyme machine?")
Points of Interest
  • Camp Randall
  • Capital Square
  • Lake Mendota
  • State Street
Shopping Centers
  • East Towne Mall
  • University Square Mall
  • West Towne Mall
Movie Theaters
Eastgate Cinemas - Madison
5202 High Crossing Blvd.
(608) 242-2117
Movie Theaters
Orpheum Theater
216 State St.
(608) 255-8755
Movie Theaters
University Square Theaters
62 University Square Mall
(608) 251-FILM
Major Sports Teams
  • Green Bay Packers: football
  • Milwaukee Brewers: baseball
  • Milwaukee Bucks: basketball
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Chicago: IL: 3 hours
  • Milwaukee: WI: 2 hours

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 108 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 109 responses

  • 0% Painfully remote.
  • 5% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 5% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 30% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 61% 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 109 responses

  • 17% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 41% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 41% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 109 responses

  • 11% No way.
  • 55% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 34% Totally.



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