MSHA students are part of the vibrant University of Illinois campus and surrounding community. The twin cities area of Champaign and Urbana (also called Chambana and C-U) is a lively, micro-urban college town that offers a diverse, safe, and affordable living environment with easy public transportation and the amenities of a larger city. Champaign-Urbana was recently ranked among the 10 best college towns. Here are some of the reasons:
- Campus: The Illinois campus is a large and beautiful, filled with thousands of trees and an award-winning quad. The campus has state-of-the-art classrooms and technology, including libraries, computing labs, and collaborative spaces. Fitness amenities include three pools, extensive intramural fields, and even an ice rink.
- Student Services: A wide range of services are available to support students during their graduate studies. Health services include the McKinley Student Health Center, The Counseling Center, and Student Wellness programming. The Writing Workshop and Career Center provide additional supports to students on campus.
- Student Organizations: Illinois has more than 1,500 registered student organizations (RSOs), making it easy to find friends with shared interests.
- Diversity & Inclusion: Diversity is a hallmark of Illinois, from its origins in creating the first campus accessible to students with disabilities to now enrolling students representing more than 45 countries. The campus has been awarded the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award 4 times. Cultural houses, the Disability Resources & Educational Services program, International Student & Scholar Services, and Women’s Resource Center all offer programming and services to support students.
- Activities: Popular events in town include Illini athletic events, farmers’ markets, concerts in the parks, trivia nights, yoga in the sculpture garden, music festivals, and more.
- Housing: Housing is affordable here, with average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment from $350-$700. Housing options range from brand new studio apartments to homes in historic neighborhoods. Most apartments in town are furnished, which makes moving here even easier. Since this is a college town, there are many opportunities for students who want to find a roommate or live in a shared house.
- Weather: C-U experiences 4 seasons. Fall is filled with beautiful tress and fun times at the local pumpkin patch and apple orchard, and the winter brings light snow. Spring is filled with flowers in bloom, and summer is time to enjoy the many outdoor events and cool off in the pools and lakes.
- Transit: Commutes are short here, an average of only 14 minutes! Many students live within walking distance of campus, and bikes are popular too. All students get free access to the CUMTD mass transit bus system which provides frequent bus service to campus and the surrounding community. Zipcar, Uber, and Lyft are also in town.
- Big City Access: Chicago, Indianapolis, and St. Louis are easy weekend trips since they are just 2-3 hours away. You can get there by car, Amtrak train, or one of the shuttle bus lines that goes directly from campus to Chicago.