Living in Champaign-Urbana

Living in Champaign-Urbana

Whether you are studying or training at the university for one year or two weeks, the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana have a lot to offer.


The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is located in the heart of the Midwest in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana (total population 207,000), situated about 225 kilometers south of Chicago, 200 kilometers west of Indianapolis, and 290 kilometers northeast of St. Louis. The university is one of the original 37 public land-grant institutions created after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act in 1862.

Campus Services

  • Campus Recreation: Exercise at the largest campus recreation center in the U.S. with swimming pools, racquetball courts, weight machines, indoor tracks, basketball/volleyball courts, and a 35-foot climbing wall.
  • Campus Maps: Find any building on campus using this interactive map.
  • International Student and Scholar Services: Commonly referred to as ISSS, their website is full of resources for international student and scholars.
  • University Library: You can take advantage of one of the largest public libraries in the country.

Community Services

Visit Champaign County provides directory information about all tourism-related business as well as other local attractions. The New Resident Resources page is a helpful resource for individuals who are here for a longer program.


U.S. currency is based on the decimal system with 100 cents (¢) to each dollar ($). Currency is issued in coins or bills of 1, 5, 10, 20, or 100. The names and values of the coins are as follows:

1 cent
5 cents
10 cents
25 cents
Small copper coin.
Larger than a penny.
Smallest silver coin.
Larger than a nickel.

Things to Do

  • Cultural and International Events: the university’s event calendar for cultural and international events.
  • Performances: The university’s event calendar for different performances around campus.
  • Local Movies: This site has links to trailers and movie ratings as well as local theater times and locations.
  • Sports Events: This is a composite calendar of sports events. The university has many sports teams. With your student ID you can get discounted tickets to see the football team in the fall or the basketball team in the winter as well as many other team events.
  • Krannert Center for the Performing Arts: Krannert has many types of performances from theatrical plays to classical or jazz concerts.
  • Campus Auditoriums: Foellinger, Gregory and Lincoln Auditoriums offer a variety of interesting speakers and different kinds of musical performances, as well as occasional movies.
  • The Illini Union is a great place to eat, study, or just hang out. The Illini Union has restaurants, billiards, a bowling alley, and many places to study.
  • State Farm Center: Find out what is coming to the State Farm Center. Big name Broadway productions such as Cabaret can be seen here as well as concerts from well-known stars such as Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen and many more. This is also where the university basketball team plays.
  • Champaign & Urbana Park Districts: Champaign and Urbana together provide 49 parks and recreation centers for public use. There are a variety of programs, activities, and beautiful areas to explore in the Champaign-Urbana area. For a full list of events and information, visit or
  • Champaign Public Library and Urbana Free Library: Participants can join the public library in the city where they live for free. All that is required is a picture ID and proof of residence in that city. Library members can check out books, DVDs, Videos, CDs, books on tape and use the library’s resources.


The Champaign-Urbana area is served by the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD), which has its main interchange at the Illinois Terminal. Illinois Terminal also provides service by Greyhound Lines, Burlington Trailways, Peoria Charter Coach, and multiple Amtrak train lines that can take participants to many areas of the United States. Willard Airport (CMI), Champaign-Urbana’s regional airport, offers direct flights to Chicago.

Weather & Environment

The Champaign-Urbana area has four distinct seasons. Depending on when the participants will be on campus, they should plan for the following temperatures:

  • Fall (September to December) is pleasant and cool (average temperatures of -2°C to 25°C).
  • Winter (January to March) is cold and snowy (average temperatures of -10°C to 9°C).
  • Spring (March to May) can be sunny and rainy with a mix of cool, warm, and hot temperatures (average temperatures of 0°C to 23°C).
  • Summer (June to August) is sunny and hot with occasional humidity (average temperatures of 16°C to 29°C).

Situated on sprawling prairie, the university’s architecture and landscape provide an inspiring and comfortable environment to learn and engage. In addition to the many, state-of-the-art instructional facilities, the campus is filled with open spaces, iconic sculptures, and numerous plantings. The sprawling lawns of the Main Quad, located at the center of campus, is often filled with students and faculty members enjoying the weather, studying, or meeting.

The information on this page is provided for informational purposes only. Links to non-university websites do not constitute an endorsement, approval, or recommendation by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

campustown street


Centered on Green Street, the campustown area has several restaurants, businesses, and shops frequented by students, faculty, and staff.