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Many residents find that the best part about living at the University Village is the full schedule of events and activities throughout the year. Whether we are getting together to celebrate a holiday, learn something new, or just for fun, there always seems to be something happening. More than just low-cost or free fun, these events enable us to connect with our neighbors and form lasting friendships.
The office of the Village organizes lots of activities, which make our lives colorful. Almost on every holiday, we have a party. This means a lot to us whose homes are far away. I really appreciate it.
(Former resident, Xia, Biological Sciences, China)
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Whether we are gathered to search for hidden Easter Eggs, or celebrate Eid-Al-Adha, here at the Village, we like to celebrate holidays! Most celebrations include food (many potlucks), crafts, and the company of neighbors. We have a diverse community and many residents volunteer to help the entire Village celebrate the traditions of their culture. At the Village you can meet Santa at a Christmas Party, paint a paper lantern at Chinese New Year, throw colors for Holi and indulge in decadent desserts during Carnival. There are potluck brunches at Christmas and Easter, and a barbecue and children's bike parade on the 4th of July (American Independence Day). Celebrating holidays helps us to learn about one another and provide comfort and a sense of belonging to those far from home.
Throughout the year we have many events that don't necessarily revolve around a holiday. Each fall we have a kick-off party to welcome new residents and reconnect after summer holidays. Our Concession Stand Fundraiser is an opportunity for everyone to help sell food to fans heading to the first home football game of the season. At Halloween, children dress up in costume and trick-or-treat in the safety of the complex; then everyone gathers for the Halloween party complete with live music, a petting zoo, hay-rides, and a costume contest. In January, the Winter Formal is a rare opportunity for all the adults to get dressed up and enjoy a free evening of limo service, dancing, and food (even the babysitting is included). As Spring rolls around, we hold an annual photo contest and reception - a great chance to see all the fun that has been 'captured' throughout the year. Before the school year is over, the Year-End party offers an opportunity to say good-bye and recognize those who have helped make a difference in our community. Of course, the fun doesn't stop for the summer - we enjoy weekly social gatherings around the complex and you can always find a neighbor willing to join you for a cup of tea, a play date, or a morning walk.
When the the weather starts to get cooler, the University Village calendar fills up with opportunities to wash away the winter blues. There are mom's groups, exercise classes, workshop dinners, and cooking classes to help residents connect with one another and learn from each other. Sunday Catholic Mass is right at the Community Center as is one weekday Mass and Adoration. For those who practice other faith traditions, you will likely find that a neighbor or two shares your beliefs and all residents are welcome to use the Community Center as a meeting place for their gatherings.
As much as we love our little corner of campus, the University Village residents do make it out into the greater Notre Dame, South Bend, and Indiana area. There are different excursions throughout the year to help residents explore all that Northern Indiana has to offer. The staff has arranged trips to nearby orchards to pick fruit, to state parks for "Maple Sugar Camp," or simply to our local bowling alley for a few hours of fun. Residents can also look forward to going to some sporting events and music and theater performances together, for free or discounted prices.
Families with children can look forward to bi-weekly story times and play groups throughout the winter months. Other fun events specifically for children include a Gymnastics bus, cooking classes, and the International Children's festival. In the colder months, the community center offers toys and a safe place to play. Almost all the activities and events mentioned above are planned with children in mind. However, as wonderful as all the programming is (and a great bonus to have these options right within the complex) the large, fenced-in playground and green space truly makes The University Village irresistible to families with children - you have a park, complete with playmates, in your own backyard.