Diverse Culture

A diverse culture that cares for the needs of all students

Indiana University attracts and supports a diverse faculty that mentors a student body coming from all socioeconomic backgrounds. We invest in academic support that takes into account the special needs and unique contributions of first-generation college students, veterans, students from underrepresented minorities, GLBT students, international students, returning students, and part-time students.

Developing empathy and understanding

From day one, in new student orientation (part of IU First Year Experience Programs) students learn to respect intercultural perspectives—and to integrate intercultural experiences into their studies and their lives.

Supporting a diverse faculty and student climate through hundreds of programs, offices, and services, the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs and many other campus organizations diligently advocate for success in academics and campus life. In 2017, IU Bloomington received an award for excellence in diversity from the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education and was honored for the third year in a row with the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award.

A welcoming home for LGBTQ+ students

IU Bloomington was ranked the #9 gay-friendly college by Newsweek and was named a 2017 Campus Pride top LGBTQ-friendly university. We’re proud to offer a welcoming environment that offers support, student groups, and events through IU LGBTQ+ Culture Center. Our town is also known for its strong LGBTQ+ community. Learn about gay Bloomington and Bloomington PRIDE.

IU LGBTQ+ Culture Center house

A truly global campus

IU continually deepens and expands our engagement with the world, as well as the international dimension of the student learning experience. IU graduates are prepared to be confident in internationally focused careers. We recruit a diverse faculty with global expertise who teach courses with international themes, through many IU degree programs and in the IU School of Global and International Studies. Our campus is a leader in study abroad experiences, with more than 380 immersive programs and more than 2,700 students participating annually.

Indiana University students in Guatemala

With an international culture to match

International students from 113 countries contribute to our academic experiences—and to a campus and city culture that features attractions like the world-famous Lotus World Music and Arts Festival. You’ll find the nation’s only Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center in Bloomington—which is the American home for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who visits often to engage the campus and the community in activities and workshops. Tibetan, Thai, and Turkish are just some of the many flavors and cultures represented by Bloomington’s international restaurants and global citizens.

The promise of A community where you belong

See how IU is fulfilling the promise

Helping international students transition to America

The Office of International Services makes the transition to American culture easier for our international students, providing resources for everything from communication to visas.

Learn how current IU students traveled overseas to meet future IU students through the IU2U program, which prepares international students for U.S. academic and cultural experiences before they arrive here.

Description of the video:

[Video: The Indiana University trident appears]

[Words appear: Indiana University]

[Words appear: Fulfilling the Promise]

[Words appear: IU2U]

[Words appear: Angela Gast, IU2U Program Coordinator]

Angela speaks: The IU2U program is one where we take current IU students and staff and faculty to locations around the world where we have incoming international freshmen to meet with them, to present a full day workshop where they get to learn about the resources available to them at IU and the information that they're going to need to be successful students once they're here. This year, this past year in 2015, we took 10 current domestic students with us and we all traveled together to Beijing. That was our initial destination and our initial workshop location and so as a group we held a workshop in Beijing which is where we had the largest population of incoming international freshman and then we split into two teams and traveled separately from there. One team went to Delhi, India, and the other team went to Shanghai and on to Seoul. Workshops were conducted in these locations but there is also some cultural sightseeing that took place in each of these cities as well. So we want the trip to serve two purposes. We want the incoming international freshmen to have a chance to meet current students and to learn about IU, but we also want our current students to have a global experience and get to know their cultures where they're traveling as well and to better understand the cultures that the students that were meeting with, kind of understand their culture and where they're coming from as well.

[Words appear: Kyle Stanley, Sophomore, Management Major]

Kyle speaks: We are at the Great Wall in China. It's pretty amazing. I can't think of anything that's beat this so far. Almost 21 years, this is pretty incredible. Mind blowing up here.

[Words appear: Dominic Potorti, Scholar Advisor, Office of International Services]

Dominic speaks: I think pretty much everything that we've done has been an educational experience, from trying to find food to this. It was a learning experience for everybody. Think everybody is getting really great exposure to things they never would have ordinarily gotten exposure to.

[Words appear: Sahand Emamian, Senior, Physics Major]

Sahand speaks: I mean  I'm just really excited to get this new experience and to be able to help out while I'm doing it. I think that's what really makes me feel good about it, that I'm going to have this great experience, I can go to a place that I've never been before but I also get to help people on the way. So it will be cool. I think building those relationships with international students will come mainly during the down time. You know the part where we're in the workshops, telling them about the nuts and bolts of how things work. They definitely need that and they probably want that but building those relationships and showing them how similar we can be and how they can build relationships once they come here to IU. I think that's the way they can feel most supported.

[Words appear: Courtney Baugh, Junior, Arts Management Major]

Courtney speaks: I've always been really interested in different cultures and traveling so when I studied abroad in Vienna last fall and I went through some of the things that they went through and I wanted to make the transition easier for them. I just thought it was a really good message to make them feel a little bit more comfortable on campus and skip of some of those steps that I was freaking out about. I would be nervous even ordering a cup of coffee. Like, not that I could communicate—I could get the cup of coffee—but just how I said it and it just like thinking about it. So it's things like that, that you just don't really think about it. It's the small things. I think that really make a difference.

[Video: Sahand sits in front of trees]

Sahand speaks: We too often think as domestic students that it should be on the international students to come forward and and make friends with us, when in fact they've come halfway around the world, so some of the onus is on us to step forward and say hey, will you be my friend, let's hang out, let's go to coffee, tell me about who you are and what your story is.

Unnamed Female Student 1 speaks: I'm excited to make American friends because I think American people, all of them, are very easygoing and friendly.

Unnamed Female Student 2 speaks: What I feel excited about is my roommate because I chose to go random, so I know nothing about my roommate. Maybe she’s American, or Indian, or Chinese. I don’t know. So yeah, I am really excited about it.

Angela speaks: I think the program is really beneficial for parents especially because many are unable to travel to Bloomington to actually see the campus, see the city in which their perhaps only child is going to be living and studying in. Just to give them a little bit of a glimpse as to what life in Bloomington is like. I think that's a big benefit for the parents, just to be able to have that interaction with faculty, staff and students.

[A Chinese father, Wentao Quan, sits in a conference room]

Wentao Quan speaks: [in Chinese] The information they have given us has been very comprehensive. We understand more about the university now. Sending our child to school abroad is making us more and more apprehensive. But at this orientation, we have been able to have our worries and doubts addressed.

Student’s mother speaks: [in Chinese] I think many parents like us know very little about the university. At the session today there was a student section where the staff and the students’ classmates could answer any questions they might have. So, we feel more comfortable and assured. It really takes a load off of one’s mind. I think it was really worth it to come. I’ve also seen that the staff and the students are so kind and polite.

Angela speaks: If students were to attend an IU2U workshop and walk away just feeling more confident in their ability to make this transition that would be, we would consider that a success. That would be our number one goal. Ultimately we want them to feel comfortable, we want them to feel confident, that this big journey they're about to embark upon, that they have the skills, they have the knowledge, they have the resources they need to make that transition to life here as an IU Bloomington student.

Sahand speaks: I know that, you know, there's hard work that's going to go into making these students feel welcome.

Unnamed Female Student 1 speaks: We're excited to go to IU.

[Video: The Indiana University trident appears.]

[Words appear: Indiana University]

[Words appear: Fulfilling the Promise]

[End of transcript]

Celebrating diverse forms of expression

IU student cultural centers offer many outlets for academic support, creative expression, and cultural education—benefitting both the students who participate and the audiences.

The Asian Culture Center provides a home for all students who are interested in Asian culture. Established in 1988, it is the oldest center of its kind in the Midwest, presenting many cultural events and resources—like language learning sessions in Hindi, Korean, and Mandarin.

Visit the Asian Culture Center site

The Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center is home to the African American Arts Institute, which nurtures nationally acclaimed performers through three musical groups: the IU Soul Revue, the African American Dance Company, and the African American Choral Ensemble. The center’s programs, services, and student organizations promote knowledge and awareness of the Black experience at IU.

Visit the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center site
IU African American Dance Company

The La Casa Latino Cultural Center promotes personal growth and cultural pride through support services and programming for Latino students. The center presents arts performances and cultural events and is an advocacy office and link between IU, Bloomington, and the Latino community.

Visit the La Casa Latino Cultural Center site

The First Nations Educational and Cultural Center invites first nations, indigenous, and nonnative allies to come together to promote community-building, academic, cultural-preservation activities. The center hosts the popular annual IU Traditional Powwow.

Visit the First Nations Educational and Cultural Center site
IU First Nations powwow