Q: Are there any extracurricular activities for ND students interested in the outdoors?
A: There are so many activities outdoors at ND. If you are into sports, each dorm has a variety of interhall sports. For example, there is interhall football, flag football, bowling, basketball, tennis, volleyball, lacrosse, cross country, golf and many more. You also do not need to have any experience, all levels are welcome! There are also the Kelly Cup and the O’Leary Cup, which enable dorms to compete against each other. Another fun outdoor activity offered by ND is “Artful Yoga,” which is held in the courtyard of the Snite Art Museum. Through “Artful Yoga,” participants can relax and enjoy some of the artwork the art museum has to offer.
There is also an Outing Club here at Notre Dame. The aim of this club to help facilitate involvement in outdoor activities both off and on campus. The Club Fair at the beginning of the fall semester is an excellent way to find out about all of these amazing clubs, and there is truly something for everybody.
Q: What is there to do off campus? How can a student get involved with the South Bend community?
A: South Bend has a great location. It is two hours away from Chicago and twenty minutes away from Niles, Michigan. Campus is less than twenty minutes from the South Bend Shore Line, which is a train that takes you directly to Millennium Park in Chicago. Downtown South Bend is a great place to have a daytime excursion. The public bus of South Bend leaves from Library Circle and drops students in the center of downtown, and it is free so long as you have your school ID. There is a slew of fantastic restaurants, such as Nom Nom Pho and the South Bend Chocolate Factory, where you can grab a great lunch, dinner or dessert. The Morris Performing Arts Center is also located downtown, and there is always a Broadway production being performed.
In terms of getting involved with the community of South Bend, each dorm during Welcome Weekend has a day called “Day of Community.” Each dorm is partnered with a local South Bend organization. And on Day of Community, first years and other members of the dorm can go participate in this organization and help the community of South Bend. One of the organizations that I have been to is called Unity Gardens, which is a community garden where members of the South Bend community can grow and pick fresh fruits and vegetables. During Day of Community, students help to plant fresh produce. Involvement in the community does not end there, as you are able to establish connections with organizations and continue your participation through the school year, and maybe even over the summer.
Q: Does ND have any programs that go places over the Fall/Winter/Spring breaks?
A: Yes! Some classes offer opportunities to go to different states during fall and spring break. For example, Transnational European Seminar in Washington D.C is a full semester class offered to Political Science and some business students that enables the students to travel to D.C during fall break. The Center for Social Concerns also offers one-credit courses that meet less than ten times a semester. During either fall or spring break, these seminars bring students to Appalachia to immerse themselves in that culture and apply what they have been learning throughout the semester. Campus Ministry also has pilgrimages that bring students out of the country! During fall break 2019, Campus Ministry brought one group to LeMans, France and another to Mexico City, Mexico. The pilgrimages aim to help students strengthen their relationship with God and to visit sacred places within these countries.
Also, do not let finances deter you from applying to any of these programs. There are a variety of financial aid programs that can help you to pay for the expenses that come with the trip.