Life in the Notre Dame area offers a vibrant, close-knit community, affordable neighborhoods and award-winning school systems — all within a short drive from campus.

Living here is easy

There are thousands of good reasons to live in the local area, and each reason has a name with a good story (or more) to tell. Add one to that number and write your own narrative of life in northern Indiana. You’ll be glad you did.

Look around the bend

You'll find a city proud of its rich history and excited for a promising future. Situated on the most southern bend of the St. Joseph River and near the Michigan state line, South Bend is celebrating more than 150 years of history and heritage, innovation and transformation.

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Choice of Neighborhood

From historic homes built during the Studebaker era to the popular Sunnymede neighborhood to Granger’s many subdivisions, there is a new, comfortable place for you to call home.

If your lifestyle is better suited for less maintenance than a house requires, consider one of the apartment, condo or villa options located across the region.

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Co-Workers Who Are Friends

Most people new to the area arrive here to start a new job or to attend college. You will quickly meet cohorts who are eager to tell you about their favorite places, and are likely to offer to take you to those places themselves.

Area Communities

South Bend

One of Indiana’s largest cities (at around 103,000), South Bend was first incorporated in 1865. Situated on the most southern bend of the St. Joseph River and near the Michigan state line, the city was originally served as a trading post. The city flourished with the successes of Studebaker, Bendix, and Singer Sewing Machine Company. Today, South Bend is experiencing an economic rebirth of sorts with technology startups and extensive health care offerings.


The county seat of Elkhart County, Goshen was settled in 1831 and has experienced a revitalization in its downtown with eclectic shops, cozy cafes and delectable restaurants. The city prides itself on community service and is home to more than 34,000 residents.

La Porte

Having taken its name from the French phrase "The Door," La Porte is conveniently located in between Chicago and South Bend. The city's historic neighborhoods meet fruit orchards and farmlands, and La Porte's downtown area features many festivals, shopping and dining.


Just east of South Bend is Mishawaka, a city of approximately 51,000. The city boasts a number of beautiful parks and a popular river walk, vibrant downtown area, and a growing economy.


The community of Granger is northeast of South Bend and is home to more than 30,000 people. Granger’s location makes it an easy choice for commuting to South Bend or Mishawaka for school or employment.


A short drive from Notre Dame, this city's 53,900 residents and its visitors thrive along the Elkhart Gateway Mile, a mile-long downtown neighborhood with an active Entertainment District, a beautiful RiverWalk and a variety of restaurants and brewpubs.


Niles, Michigan, is the first community north of the state line. The town of 11,800 offers a lively downtown, restaurants, movie theater and golf course.

Volunteering can change your life by making connections through advocacy, education and local community involvement.

Foster your inner spirit and find a cause you can champion in the local community. Students, faculty and staff donate thousands of hours each year to a number of local agencies, including La Casa De Amistad, Robinson Community Learning Center, the Center for the Homeless and so many more.

Check out a number of ways the community can serve your needs–or you can serve the community–by clicking on the categories below.