Life in Bloomington

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Cosmopolitan city + college town= Bloomington, Indiana

Once you visit Bloomington, you’ll fall in love. Live music, coffeehouses, open-air farmer’s markets, local restaurants, more than 30 annual festivals, and breathtaking natural scenery are just part of what makes Bloomington so unique. You can walk and bike almost anywhere and, should you ever want to leave, the Indianapolis airport is a shuttle bus ride away. Of our 80,000 residents, approximately 40,000 are students—representing all 50 states and more than 125 countries.

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Students talk about making their home in Bloomington, Ind.

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The O'Neill School feels special because it

has a world-class academic program and opportunities


for professional development, while also still

being in the Midwest in a big-small town.


Bloomington is just so gorgeous.


I tell everyone.


You've never seen a more gorgeous campus.


Living in Bloomington has been a great experience

because I kind of get that small town feel,


but I also get all of the resources that are

available to the university.


This is where I would want to be learning.


I don't want to be in a big city.


I just love the energy that you get at a Big

10 school.


There's definitely, you know, that Big 10

experience, but you also still have


that feeling that you're still, you know, right at home in Bloomington.


And there's still that real sense of community.


I love living in Bloomington because of the

absolute appreciation that I feel for the arts.


The arts organizations are plenty here, and

there's music, there's visual art,


and around every corner, there's something to go see and do.


There's so many international foods and nonprofits,

and then the tons of different festivals they have.


It's just a really great place to live for

a few years.


You can really involve yourself in the community

more than just taking courses.


Having just this beautiful, natural campus

and these beautiful buildings, on top of everything


that the program has to offer, makes this definitely

the number one program that you could be applying to.




#1Best city for work-life balance, Forbes Magazine

#7Smartest town in America, Venturebeat

#8most desirable place to live, Vegetarian Times

#15most amazing college campus,

Easy, affordable, healthy living

Enjoy a cost of living below the national average—with easy access to natural attractions and major cities. Our rolling hills and state lakes, parks, and national forests make us a destination for outdoor adventures, but it’s still a short drive to Chicago (218 miles), Cincinnati (133), Indianapolis (50), Louisville (93), or St. Louis (225).

Bloomington is like a second home to me … Whether a festival, a local or national concert, the opera, a new exhibit opening at a gallery or museum, or new restaurant opening downtown, there is always something happening. I can go to cultural events and also afford them—I love that!

—Alexa Lopez, MPA/MAAA alumna