IUP is not the biggest party school everyone thinks it is. The school did a survey and only about 50% of students admitted to drinking and going out on the weekends. Of course, there are parties every weekend, but most sch0ols have the same parties. The only events in which it could be different is when IUP has their homecoming and IUPatties. These are the only times that things can get really crazy.
IUP’s campus is huge. I had no idea how big the campus was when I applied here. If you are staying on campus you may have to walk 15 minutes or more to get to a class. It is really a struggle walking that far for 8 am classes. There is also a PNC Bank located right on campus in the HUB. Although the campus is big, it is fairly easy to find where you need to go and in a few days you will know the whole campus. Most fellow students and staff will help you out if you just ask.
There is a lot of group work and your freshman year you really do not have much homework. Some exams can be extremely hard so just make sure you study hard. There are a lot of sports and clubs and activities that the school and students will post about. A lot of events are written in chalk on the sidewalks. There is a health center and a counseling center that are available throughout the weekdays to every student. There is an IT place and a multicultural and international students center that are both located in Delaney Hall. Every student gets a P.O. Box and the post office is located right under Folger Dining Hall, as well as the writing center. You can go to the writing center when available for people to look at your papers. Some classes require you take your paper there.
Most of the food here is not very good. Do not expect really great meals. I know most colleges can be like this, though. Folger Dining Hall is one I usually try to stay away from. There has been a lot of stories of students getting food poisoning from eating there, including myself. IUP recently opened up North Dining Hall. The food here is a lot better and they have so many more choices to choose from. Dining Halls take one meal swipe every time you eat there.
There is also a place called Crimson Cafe. Here they have a burger place, a sandwich place, a pizza and pasta place, and a Starbucks. Starbucks you can only use flex dollars or your own money. While at the other places you can use meal swipes and/or flex dollars. Another eating place is called the HUB. A lot of events happen here and they even have a gym. The eating places are Chick-fil-A, Einstein’s bagels, and a place that has burgers, salads, pasta, and deli. You can use meal swipes and flex at all places, except Chick-fil-A you may only use flex dollars.
There also happens to be a Subway on campus located in the Humanities and Social Sciences building. Here you may only use Flex dollars or your own payment. There is a little coffee shop located in the library called Java City. They have coffee and pastries and you may only use flex here as well. There are also 3 P.O.D. markets located in Wallwork, Putt, and the Co-op store. You can use meal swipes for sandwiches and use flex for all other items.
Outside of Campus
There are a lot of food places and stores right around IUP. There is a lot of fast food and pizza places. They also have salons and bookstores. There is a bus that will take you to places like Walmart, Giant Eagle, and the mall. Ther is also a movie theater located in the mall. Pittsburgh is about an hour away from Campus. Philidelphia Street is not too far and along this street, there are many different food places, stores, and tattoo shops.
There are a lot of off-campus housing apartments that are available to IUP students. Although, as a freshman you must stay on campus in a dorm unless you are commuting. The dorms/suites on campus are fairly nice though. They offer a single private room, a semi-shared 2 person suite, a private 2 person suite, a semi-shared 4 person suite, and a private 4 person suite. All suites come with a kitchen area and both 4 person rooms come with a living area. 2 person private suites come with your own room and own private bathroom, whereas a semi- shared you share a room and bathroom. A 4 person semi has two rooms for two people in each and have one bathroom in each. A person perosn private provides a private room for all 4 students and 2 bathrooms that have to be shared.
If you are not from Western Pennsylvania, then you will have to get used to the weather here. It rains A LOT, mostly in the spring. I highly recommend bringing a good umbrella that will last and maybe some rain boots. It may also get really windy. The winters can get really harsh here. Professors almost never cancel classes here even with the weather so bad. Make sure you pack very warm winter clothes and some snow boots. If you are coming here be prepared for winter!