About IU Bloomington

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Whether you’ve visited IU Bloomington before or will see it for the first time when you arrive to begin school, you’ll want to be a part of our community. Get ready to get a modern-yet-traditional college experience on our beautiful, diverse campus. Get ready to love IU.

A major research university with rich academic and social opportunities

Indiana University Bloomington is one of IU’s two core campuses in the state of Indiana. Over 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students attend IU Bloomington—and just over 6,000 are international students.

At IU, you’ll find resources, options, and personalized degrees in a diverse and safe place with incredible opportunities to have fun and find your community.

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A classic college town

Over 86,000 people call Bloomington home. It combines a small-town atmosphere with the amenities of a much bigger city—international grocery stores, restaurants with cuisine from around the world, and ethnic festivals. It’s also easy to travel to larger cities nearby, such as Indianapolis, Louisville, Cincinnati, and Chicago.

Explore Bloomington

Description of the video:

Video: Eashita Singh stands on campus with the Sample Gates in the background.

Eashita speaks: Whenever I asked anybody like, "Where is Bloomington?" Or you know, "What's that one thing that Indiana's famous for?" I only got two things from like literally every person I met my freshman year. One: it's in the middle of nowhere, and two: we're famous for corn. So... [laughing]

Video: Sankalp Sharma stands in front of the Rose Well House.

Sankalp speaks: Do I–Oh man, do I say what I actually felt?

Interviewer speaks: Yeah!

Video: Kris Kuang stands in front of a sunny clearing.

Kris speaks: Before I came to Bloomington, I feel... there will be many cornfields.

Video: Rachel Alexander stands in the Rose Well House.

Rachel speaks: I came here, and this one day I saw snow, rain, and sun all in one day.

Video: Aerial view of Franklin Hall, the Sample Gates, and the law school.

Words appear: Indiana University Bloomington: First impressions from an international student perspective.

Video: Iswerya Ajay stands on campus.

Words appear: Iswerya Ajay, senior, psychology major, from Hong Kong, Bangalore.

Iswerya speaks: Being someone from Hong Kong, which is a big city, I expected Bloomington to be a very small town.

Video: Sankalp Sharma stands in front of the Rose Well House.

Words appear: Sankalp Sharma, Junior, business major, from Bangalore.

Sankalp speaks: Being an Indian, I expected Bloomington to be completely different, to be like an alien land, a new culture, not being able to understand people at all. But in reality it was actually the complete opposite. I found the people to be so caring, so friendly, I had tons of people help me move in, and Bloomington actually became my home away from home, believe it or not, within the first semester.

Video: Eashita Singh stands on campus with the Sample Gates in the background.

Words appear: Eashita Singh, senior, business major, from Bangalore.

Eashita speaks: Okay, to be honest, I had never heard of Bloomington or Indiana for that matter, and I still remember stepping my foot into this campus and seeing the massive Sample Gates—

Video: The Sample Gates in the early morning, with the sun shining through onto red and white tulips.

Eashita speaks: —and those tulips just you know, glowing and basking in their natural glory.

Video: Eashita stands on campus with the Sample Gates in the background.

Eashita speaks: And I feel like somehow this campus just really spoke to me and since then, it's just been my home for you know, these four years.

Video: Kris Kuang stands in front of a sunny clearing.

Words appear: Kris Kuang, junior, business major, from Shanghai.

Kris speaks: Before I moved here, I think Bloomington is a small town, so I'm worrying if there are not too many entertainments, activities, or a lot of like, Asian restaurants or markets in Bloomington.

Video: Iswerya Ajay stands on campus.

Iswerya speaks: Coming from abroad is a challenge just because people don't accept you or your culture isn't present here, but um, I think after coming here, I kind of saw that there was a community of, whether that be Indian or just like, other groups of Asian minorities um, really well-represented on campus so I felt like, even though that was something I was feeling like would be a challenge, I felt very comfortable once I got here.

Video: Rachel Alexander stands in the Rose Well House.

Words appear: Rachel Alexander, junior, psychology major, from Dubai.

Rachel speaks: So I think a main concern as an international student was just moving away from my family for so long. The longest time I've been away from my family is probably four months, and now it's gonna be a year, so that was my main concern as well coming to you know, the U.S., and coming to Indiana as well but I think I've grown as an individual and been able to take up that challenge.

Video: Sankalp Sharma stands in front of the Rose Well House.

Sankalp speaks: I think the first main concern that I had was food, simply because I'm a big, big foodie, and I didn't think that as a vegetarian from India I would be able to survive in the U.S. but that actually worked out really differently. I ended up becoming a really good cook over the pandemic so now I cook food for myself—

Video: A view of Anatolia Restaurant, Korea Restaurant, and India Garden.

Sankalp speaks:—and when I don't feel like cooking, there's tons of amazing restaurants from around the world downtown that I get to go to, and even great food on campus—

Video: Sankalp Sharma stands in front of the Rose Well House.

Sankalp speaks: —so that was one of the big things that I was worried about, which actually worked out really well.

Video: Kris Kuang stands in front of a sunny clearing.

Kris speaks: There are so many like, great food restaurants from all over the world.

Video: A view of My Thai, Taste of India, Anyetsang’s Little Tibet, a banner listing the types of cuisine you can find on Fourth Street, and Fourth Street International Market.

Kris speaks: Asian, or Indian food, like literally all over the world you can have.

Video: Kris Kuang stands in front of a sunny clearing.

Kris speaks: And there are many international food markets in Bloomington as well, so you do not need to worry about any like, your stomach, or you know, some taste you're missing from home, the taste of home.

Video: Eashita Singh stands on campus with the Sample Gates in the background.

Eashita speaks: One of my concerns about Bloomington moving here was primarily the weather. Bloomington's weather is highly unpredictable.

Video: Students walk down a sidewalk on campus. A student jumps across a creek in the Arboretum. Three students walk through the Sample Gates.

Eashita speaks: I still remember my first year here on campus, there would be times where I would leave my dorm you know, with an umbrella thinking it would rain, and I would just come out of my class and it's like bright, sunny, you know?

Video: Rachel Alexander stands in the Rose Well House.

Rachel speaks: I had family friends in Bloomington that lived here and something they told me was you can expect to see all four seasons in a day, and I thought that was so cool. Because I've only seen like super hot, and maybe like decent weather, you know, like in the in the 60's so I was like, I want to see all four seasons! And they weren't wrong.

Video: Iswerya Ajay stands on campus.

Iswerya speaks: One of my favorite things about Bloomington is fall.

Video: An aerial view of the clock on the Student Building, with the IMU in the background. An iconic red clock with autumn leaves in the background. Kirkwood Observatory surrounded by autumn foliage.

Iswerya speaks: If I had to pick one thing, it's fall because I had never experienced that back home. Um, Hong Kong does not have, you know, snow or fall, leaf-changing.

Video: Iswerya Ajay stands on campus.

Iswerya speaks: I went to like, a pumpkin patch and an apple orchard with my friends—

Video: A photo of Iswerya and her friends on the back of a truck filled with pumpkins. A photo of Iswerya sitting on a bale of hay.

Iswerya speaks: —right away, that's not something I've done before, again. It kind of helped me get involved with the community and understand what the culture here is like.

Video: Sankalp Sharma stands in front of the Rose Well House.

Sankalp speaks: As an international student I went through a little bit of a culture shock. So after about three weeks when my parents left there was a time where I started missing home and I felt a little upset, I would miss my family, my culture, my people, my food, everything, and you know, but I can say with a lot of pride that within my first semester here—

Video: International students chat outside. Students throw colored powders on each other.

Sankalp speaks: —going to all of those orientation events, being an Indian student going to Indian Student Association events, still being able to celebrate my festivals with people from my country—

Video: Sankalp Sharma stands in front of the Rose Well House.

Sankalp speaks: —and actually being able to share that culture with the American students here

I think it was all of that, that came together and really made IU home for me.

Video: Photos of Sankalp in traditional dress. Students dancing.

Sankalp speaks: And so the first time was actually when we celebrated Diwali in the United States with all of my friends and my American friends, where I was enjoying my culture and actually sharing a little bit about my culture with my American friends—

Video: Sankalp Sharma stands in front of the Rose Well House.

Sankalp speaks: —I think that was the big, "Ah ha!" moment when IU went from my college, my university, to actually

becoming my home in the United States.

Video: Kris Kuang stands in front of a sunny clearing.

Kris speaks: Bloomington starts to feel like home to me the first school day, when I was looking for the school buildings and the classrooms for all the classes—

Video: The front of an academic building. An iconic red clock in front of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center.

Kris speaks: —there was a math professor who think I might lost direction. He came forwardly to me and asked me if I need any help.

Video: Kris Kuang stands in front of a sunny clearing.

Kris speaks: I just like, at that moment, I feel like he is so warm-hearted and so welcomed, at that moment I really feel like IU is a home, like welcomed me. And I feel like, a sense of belonging.

Video: Eashita Singh stands on campus with the Sample Gates in the background.

Eashita speaks: Bloomington started feeling like home when I started attending the Late Nite events, which are basically Friday nights hosted by the Union Board at the IMU.

Video: A photo of the IMU lit up after dark. A photo of students sitting around a fire pit. A photo of students roller skating in Alumni Hall. A photo of Eashita hugging a friend.

Eashita speaks: I started meeting my now-called friend group; they ended up being my roommates and I ended up meeting one of my best friends, Rhea.

Video: Eashita Singh stands on campus with the Sample Gates in the background.

Eashita speaks: You know, to any student coming out here on campus, there's tons to get involved in. There's something out there for everybody. So you know, whatever that your niche is, you're bound to find your family there.

Video: Rachel Alexander stands in the Rose Well House.

Rachel speaks: Something I wanted to kind of connect with even at Bloomington was, I didn't want to leave behind my roots um, and I wanted to somehow find a community.

Video: Students cheering. A photo of students posing for a photo. Students interacting on campus. Students tinikling. Students drawing with chalk on a sidewalk. Students dancing on stage. More student cheering.

Rachel speaks: I had the opportunity to interact with people from you know like, India, people who were born in the U.S. but are of Indian origin and it was just really nice because I felt like I was branching out, exploring, but also managed to keep my roots in check.

Video: Rachel Alexander stands in the Rose Well House.

Rachel speaks: That's when I realized, I'm at home like, Indiana has so much to offer to me and it’s—as an international student, I've grown as well.

Video: The IU trident appears.

Words appear: Indiana University Office of International Services, ois.iu.edu.

[END OF TRANSCRIPT]

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