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Guest SHELLY

Bloomington, IN

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How is the safety situation like in bloomington and surrounding areas? Is it a safe place? What kind of crimes are common?

Bloomington is easily one of the safest places I've ever lived in or even visited.

The only instances of "crime" that I can think of... the homeless community, whose members are mostly friendly but have been known to sleep in random spots (outside my apt last summer, for instance); lots of scavengers in the warmer months, mostly busy and won't bother you; and the rare home theft during long breaks. That's it. Zero violent crime, unless you want to brawl at a frat party.

Just this week actually, my girlfriend couldn't sleep one night, so she took a walk around the local neighborhood, the campus, and downtown at around 5 in the morning.

Edited by MCfresca

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Does anybody know of an easy way (bus, train, etc) to get from O'Hare airport to IU Bloomington?? It looks like I might have to take a plane to Indy, but the airfair to Chicago is WAY cheaper than the airfare to Indy.

Thanks!

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Have you looked at Amtrak? I'm guessing that's going to be the fastest - maybe not the cheapest.

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Yeah, I checked out amtrak. They have a station in Bloomington IL but not IN. Flying to Indy will be the best bet--actually, I found out that it will be cheaper flying out of my local regional airport than from the closest international airport (go figure). Ah, being a student on a shoestring budget... Thanks for the suggestion, though :)

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I believe there is a bus from Chicago.

But it's MUCH easier to just fly into Indy, and there is a regular bus that goes from the Indy airport down to the Student Union on campus.

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There is a bus from Chicago, but I don't think it goes to the airport, so you would need to go to downtown Chicago and then take that bus. Just as @unforth said, your best bet is to fly to Indy. There are two shuttle companies that go from Indy airport to Bloomington (Go Express Travel - formerly known as Bloomington Shuttle -, and Star of America). They're not too pricey and usually you don't have to wait much in the airport for the shuttle. Once in Bloomington, they have several stops, so you can choose which one suits you better.

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The main problem with Bloomington (and most of Indiana) is that it is heavily car dependent. The only other way out of town is the airport shuttles that Bumblebee mentioned.

Amtrak has service to Indianapolis once a day from Chicago, but it arrives downtown at midnight, after the shuttles to Bloomington have stopped for the night. Megabus has service from Union Station in Chicago to a parking lot on the east side of downtown, but no connecting service to transportation to Bloomington. When comparing the prices between flying to Chicago or flying to Indianapolis, keep in mind the extras: CTA from O'Hare or Midway to Union Station, cost of the bus to Indianapolis, then the cost of the cab ride from downtown Indy to the airport where you can catch the shuttle bus to Bloomington. Then, ask yourself if the extra time is worth it. You are looking at adding 6-7 hours to your journey this way, while a flight will add an hour of connecting time at the airport and 45 minutes of flight time.

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Hey! Two Graduate Students looking for one more roommate to fill their 3br house. We are a soon to be English PhD student and Russian and Eastern European Masters student. (There will also be a cat.) We are looking for someone who is laid back and social. We are respectful and passionate about our studies but also hope the house will be fun. The house is in a great location. Right on the Eastside of Campus. The number three bus is also right near us which can get you straight downtown or to College Mall if you don't want to walk/bike/drive. The living room is furnished. And the kitchen mostly stocked.

The lease runs August 7th 2012-July 31st 2013

If you are interested please PM a little blurb about yourself and past living experiences.

Edited by Elipschu!

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@Elipschu! You may want to try OneStart as well. With the username and pass phrase you created you can go to OneStart. Once there, you go to classifieds and you can post an add there. People moving to Bloomington to study or people changing places usually check there. Good luck!

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@Elipschu! You may want to try OneStart as well. With the username and pass phrase you created you can go to OneStart. Once there, you go to classifieds and you can post an add there. People moving to Bloomington to study or people changing places usually check there. Good luck!

Thanks!

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Figured I'd bump this for this year.

Im moving to Bloomington to start my MA next year, but am feeling pretty lost in terms of housing. Anyone have advice about good neighborhoods to live in? I'd prefer not to be in an undergrad neighborhood, but it would be nice to live within biking distance of campus. Also, what are good sites to find apartment-mates in Bloomington? 

Thanks! 

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Figured I'd bump this for this year.

Im moving to Bloomington to start my MA next year, but am feeling pretty lost in terms of housing. Anyone have advice about good neighborhoods to live in? I'd prefer not to be in an undergrad neighborhood, but it would be nice to live within biking distance of campus. Also, what are good sites to find apartment-mates in Bloomington? 

Thanks! 

 

When I visited in March, all the grad students said to stay away from the stadium/north side of campus since that's the undergrad neighborhood. 

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I just graduated, and am moving to Bloomington to work at IU! I've heard the same thing as far as neighborhoods being heavily undergrad populated/Greek around the stadium. Does anyone have some suggestions for must see/dos in Bloomington? I was there for my on-campus interview, but that was only for a couple of days.

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Hi studentaffairsgrad! Welcome to Bloomington! For a small city, there really is a ton of stuff going on here and in the surrounding area. What sort of things are you into?

 

Here are a few of my favorite things:

 

1.) WonderLab -- This is an awesome science and technology museum that packs a lot of neat hands-on exhibits into a relatively small space. I put off going for a long time because I don't have kids, but when I finally went, I realized it was super fun for all ages.

 

2.) Bloomington Parks & Recreation -- Parks & Rec sponsors all kinds of fun events and programs, from the Farmer's Market (every Saturday morning from spring to fall -- basically the social event of the week) to painting classes and sports leagues and nature hikes. The quarterly program guide lists all of the things they have going on and also provides descriptions of the numerous parks, playgrounds, and pools spread throughout the city.

 

3.) Monroe County Public Library -- I know, I know, every city has a public library. But this one is one of the best in the country. The size of the collection isn't overwhelming, yet somehow they almost always have the exact book/DVD/music I want to read/watch/listen to. (I honestly don't know how they do it.) Plus they have all kinds of events and activities, including a summer reading program for adults.

 

4.) Tons of places to hike -- If you like hiking, there are almost too many options. A few of my favorites are Lake Griffy, Charles Deam Wilderness, Yellowwood, Lake Lemon, and Morgan-Monroe State Forest. The landscape around Bloomington is full of gentle hills, hardwood forests, and small wild critters. Some of these areas are also great for birding, kayaking, and whatever other outdoorsy things you might want to do.

 

5.) So many delicious restaurants -- Bloomington is a great place to eat. I try new places all the time and still haven't eaten at all the good restaurants. There's a row of international restaurants on Fourth Street (Thai, Indian, Turkish, Tibetan, Burmese, Italian, etc.) within walking distance of campus that usually have good lunch buffets/specials. Hands down, my favorite is the lunch buffet at Taste of India for its superior quality and excellent value. Then there's Nick's, which is a Bloomington tradition known for its delicious pub grub and iconic drinking game Sink the Biz. We have not one but two soup restaurants (Soup's On -- my favorite -- and Darn Good Soup). There's also the annual Taste of Bloomington event in June that showcases different area restaurants to help you find new places you might like.

 

6.) Cute shops -- Bloomington is known for its locally owned businesses, and there are a lot of neat specialty stores on the square and in the downtown area. A few favorites that come to mind are The Game Preserve (board games, card games, puzzles, and more), JL Waters (camping, fishing, and hiking gear), Indiana Running Company (running shoes and accessories plus expert staff), and Boxcar Books (new and used books).

 

7.) Music -- The Bluebird brings in great live music. There are also tons of world-class performances through the Jacobs School of Music. In the spring, the Union Board puts on a concert for Little Five (the famous IU bike race), and this year it was Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, which was pretty cool. There are also musical acts that the IU Auditorium brings in as part of their regular season, as well as musicals, comedians, and other notable figures (this year: David Sedaris!).

 

 

These are the fun things to see and do in Bloomington that spring to my mind. Are there other things you're interested in knowing more about?

Edited by AwkwardPants

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AwkwardPants - this is amazing! Thanks so much for all of the links too :) I was really excited to hear about the library - I am really into reading. I was in town during the little 500, and it seemed like a fun tradition! I'm definetly going to hit up the farmer's market, and try the cool retaurants out when I move in July. Do you have any suggestions on coffee shops?

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Very nice list, awkwardpants.

 

I want to add Upland and Lennie's, the two breweries in town if you're into beer. They're both excellent and also have excellent food.

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Upland and Lennie's are great too! Upland is especially nice in the summer. When the undergrads are in town during the rest of the year, it can be a pain to try to get a table there.

 

As far as coffee shops go, Soma is probably the most popular of the local places. Of course there are several Starbucks around, but Soma is the non-chain place that has a nice "hang out here for a while!" vibe. The inside is a little cave-like, though. I think some people like The Pourhouse Cafe, but I've never been there. (I'm not a huge coffee drinker.) One of my favorite places to go in the morning (though they're open all day) is the Bloomington Bagel Company. They have coffee, bagels, breakfast sandwiches, assorted baked goods, etc. They seem to have gotten a little pricier in recent years, but it's still a nice treat because the food and the customer service are both excellent.

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Hello everyone,

 

I'd really be thankful if someone could give me an insight on living in Bloomington.

I am an international prospective student who is applying to 5 PhD programs this Fall, and one of my preferences is in Bloomington.

 

However, I have met several Americans recently who strongly discouraged me to go there. They say the university is great, but the city is not really a city but a village, and it can get depressing fast. This makes me a little uneasy. I'm not very fond of the idea of moving to someplace potentially depressing for 4-6 years. :-/

 

Can anyone give me feedback on this & on their experience in Bloomington (especially in a PhD program)?

Thank you

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Bump, as I am interested in the above question too. Does Bloomington ever feel small and isolated, or is there enough going on and it's connected to enough bigger cities that you don't feel trapped?

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Bumped one Bloomington thread, and bumping another to see if there is ANYONE OUT THERE who is also considering IU for the upcoming fall. Mostly I am interested in good neighborhoods for living South and West of campus. No car. Just completed a MA program in a large-ish European city where I cycled 15 minutes to campus or walked 40 minutes and have no problems doing that. 

 

So yeah. Bumped. 

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As far as safety issues... there was a girl who disappeared from there a couple of years ago (got quite a bit of play in the media, though not on the level of a Natalee Holloway or anything like that), though of course that could happen anywhere. I bring it up because someone was talking about their girlfriend taking a walk at 5am - maybe not the best idea. :/

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objectivityofcontradiction, I just visited Bloomington and drove around a bit to get a sense of where I would like to live. My concerns might be different than yours because I am married and have children, but the South and West sides of campus were nowhere near as nice as the East side. There are lots of neighborhoods around the mall and pretty much anything you could need there, and you would still be only 3-4 miles to campus by bike.

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