The City of Valparaiso
Valparaiso, Ind., the home of Valparaiso University, is a city of about 32,000, attractively situated in a rural setting at the edge of the busy industrial district of Northwest Indiana. Its most celebrated event is the annual Popcorn Festival, honoring the heritage of the famous agronomist and businessman Orville Redenbacher, who made Valparaiso his home. A number of community organizations in Valparaiso have mutually beneficial relationships with the University, offering sites for service learning and community service.
Nearby Merrillville, Ind., is the site of the Westfield Southlake Shopping Center, a large complex of retail, dining, and cinema establishments.
Cultural Treasures: The City of Chicago
Just an hour’s drive from campus is the city of Chicago, offering almost limitless resources for culture and entertainment. Chicago is easily accessible by bus or train, and the University often charters buses so that students and faculty can take advantage of the theatres, museums, and other educational benefits of this great city.
Natural Resources: The Indiana Dunes
Fifteen miles to the north, on the shore of Lake Michigan, are the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Indiana Dunes State Park, important recreational and scientific resources that offer a combined 17,000 acres of varied natural landscape.
Students from Thomas Jefferson Elementary School join sophomore civil engineering students to do soil testing and macroinvertebrate identification.