Study in Indiana
A largely agricultural state in the Great Lakes region, Indiana offers beautiful countryside, a passion for sports, an impressive selection of highly ranked universities, and an even more impressive approach to sandwich fillings.
The annual ‘Indy 500’ motor race, held at the Indianapolis Speedway, is one of the world’s biggest single-day sporting events, attracting more than 250,000 spectators each year. The state also hosts the Brickyard 400, a major NASCAR event, and in February 2012, it hosted the Super Bowl – the grand final of the National Football League (NFL).
In true Indiana style, the state celebrated the occasion by announcing a list of its 46 greatest sandwiches – one for each Super Bowl year.
To give an idea of how seriously Indianans (or ‘Hoosiers’, as they are known) take their sandwiches, check out the ‘Boogie Monster’ – a giant of a sandwich, packing in two burgers, pastrami, cheese, bacon, fried egg and onion rings. Not a sandwich in the traditional sense, as few people can get their mouth open wide enough to take a bite; cutlery is advised!
Other popular fillings include bratwurst (a German sausage), hamburgers, grilled tenderloin, breaded tenderloin and grilled cheese. But in fact you’ll find sandwiches with pretty much any kind of filling you can imagine – from shrimp to salami, and bison meat to goat’s cheese.
Indeed, it’s fair to say that food in general occupies a central role in Indiana’s culture. Annual food-related celebrations include the Starlight Strawberry Festival, Valparaiso Popcorn Festival, Frankfort Hot Dog Festival, Tipton Pork Festival, and Marshall County Blueberry Festival.
After Indianapolis, other major cities include Fort Wayne, Evansville, South Bend and Gary. Outside of the city, there are a number of beautiful state parks to explore, as well as the Indiana Dunes region – a stretch of beaches, sand dunes and wooded areas along the shore of Lake Michigan.
Indiana: Fast facts
• Located in the Midwest region of the US; borders with Michigan to the north, Ohio to the East, Illinois to the west and Kentucky to the south (separated by the Ohio River)
• State capital and largest city is Indianapolis
• People from Indiana are known as ‘Hoosiers’
• Famous Hoosiers include actor James Dean, talk show host David Letterman, and the Jackson family of singers – including Janet and Michael
• The state’s motto, ‘Crossroads of America’, reflects its position as a hub for major interstate roads and waterways
• Indiana’s professional sports teams include the Indiana Pacers (basketball), Indianapolis Colts (American football), Indianapolis Indians (baseball)
• Average summer temperature is 70-80°F (21-27°C); average winter temperature is 25-35°F (-4 to -2°C)
Top universities in Indiana
Indiana’s highest ranking institution is Purdue University, which is ranked 85th in the 2011/12 QS World University Rankings. It’s a public university based in West Lafayette, but with several smaller campuses elsewhere in the state.
Indiana University Bloomington, ranked 216, is – as you would expect – based in Bloomington. Like Purdue University, it is the central campus of a larger university system.
Indiana University (IU) is closely followed in the rankings by the University of Notre Dame (223), located to the north of the city of South Bend.
In addition to the Purdue and Indiana University groups of colleges, there are also several other state universities – Indiana State University, Ball State University and the University of Southern Indiana – and a large number of private universities.
As you’d expect, sports play a central role in student life at many of these institutions. The University of Notre Dame, for example, has one of the country’s most successful American football teams. Known as the ‘Fighting Irish’, the team has won 11 national championships.
More Great Lakes states:
This article was originally published in November 2012 . It was last updated in September 2021