While Urbana-Champaign is bounded by prairie land, students often forget how close they are to farms and fields when they walk around campus. The U of I campus, nestled between the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign, is like a city unto itself. Every day, 30,000 students flock to the University’s popular main road, Green Street, which runs along the Quad and comprises the busiest part of the campus-town. Urbana and Champaign, however, are each cities in their own right. Each has a small downtown with shops, bars, and clubs, and each has its own unique charm and culture. They have truly kept the small-town feel as much as possible.
The University offers a daunting number of on-campus events, not to mention non-stop parties, so many undergrads don’t bother to explore Urbana-Champaign as much as they could. Among the most popular happenings are music shows, school sports games, and artsy events which are campus- or locally-sponsored. Some students do say that the campus bars and clubs grow old, and being so far from a big city can make them feel restless. However, there are always alternatives to the Green Street bars if you know where to look. Many musicians and artists call Champaign-Urbana their home, and with the University’s thriving theater program, there is no shortage of performances. Buzz Magazine and the217.com, both publications of the student-run Illini Media Company, keep students posted on community and campus events.