Department of English at Illinois State University

The Community of ISU and Bloomington-Normal


Bloomington-Normal has a population of a little over 100,000 people. There are two major universities (Illinois State and Illinois Wesleyan) as well as two community colleges (Heartland Community College and Lincoln Community College). The largest employer in the area is State Farm Insurance Company, whose national office is in Bloomington. The Mitsubishi automobile plant in Normal is the second largest employer.

Most of the commerce is centered along Veterans Parkway, which is east of campus. The town offers four multiplex movie theatres and an art theatre.Bloomington-Normal has one of the highest percentage of restaurant-goers in the country and a variety of restaurants available. These include the typical chain restaurants as well as local restaurants that include ethnic Mexican, Indian, Chinese and Thai foods. Local attractions include a Children’s Discovery Museum, a performing arts center, a zoo, and an aviation museum.

Bloomington-Normal Links


Illinois State University

ISU offers many extra-curricular activites for students, from participating in clubs and societies on camus to joining a fraternity or sorority to taking part in free events and lectures. When it's time to eat, ISU features 3 dining centers and 7 cafes, snack bars, or restaurants. Find out more about the community of ISU through the links below.

Things to Do


Resources for Students

Public Transit

Buses are available for both students and the public. These can take you to different parts of campus, malls and other places of business or work.

The Redbird Ride Transportation Programs provide transportation to students on and around campus:

  1. The Redbird Express Campus Shuttle provides transportation around campus from 7:30 am to 7:00 pm on regularly scheduled class days.
  2. The Nite-Ride busprovides transportation form 7:00pm to 1:00am, seven days a week, around campus and other locations such as to malls and Wal-Mart.
  3. The Late Nite-Ride bus provides transportation beginning at 9:00 pm between downtown Normal and downtown Bloomington.

Public transit off-campus is provided through the Bloomington-Normal Transit System. This system offers riders fixed routes throughout the twin cities.

Transportation to Other Cities

The town of Normal offers Amtrak service to Chicago, St. Louis, and other cities. In addition, the Peoria Charter bus company offers daily service to O'Hare and Midway airports. The Central Illinois Regional Airport provides regional flights within the United States.