Part of what makes Illinois a great place to learn is its location in a great place to live. The campus straddles the border between the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana. With a combined population of 105,000, Champaign-Urbana is large enough to support cultural and entertainment opportunities usually associated with major metropolitan areas, yet small enough to maintain its identity as a friendly, Midwestern community.
Because the University is the area's largest employer, it comes as no surprise that the community values quality education at every level. Parkland College, in many ways a partner with the University of Illinois, provides educational opportunities to traditional students and nontraditional students who want to continue their education while earning a living. Numerous elementary and high schools, both public and private, provide parents with high quality educational choices.
Both Champaign and Urbana are actively involved in preserving their neighborhoods, and both cities can boast of award-winning park facilities and programs. The Champaign park system includes a terrific children's petting zoo and one park in Urbana includes a sculpture garden spread over 130 acres.
Two full-service hospitals and two comprehensive multi-specialty health clinics serve residents' health care needs. Named one of the world's "10 Hot New Tech Cities" by Newsweek magazine, Champaign-Urbana is still small enough that newcomers joke that "rush hour" lasts about seven minutes (and only then if you happen to be in the right spots). Most Champaign-Urbana residents' commutes to work lasts only a few minutes.
Leisure choices abound. Days can be spent going to museums or playing golf. Malls or neighborhood shops off a variety of shopping experiences. Arts-lovers can choose between community theater productions, nationally renowned acts, and a vibrant local music scene. Weekend getaways to Chicago, St. Louis and Indianapolis are within a three-hour interstate drive of Champaign-Urbana.
Champaign-Urbana: outstanding overall quality of life.