Congratulations on being admitted to Bradley University! We are sure that you must be looking forward to your studies in the United States. In anticipation of your acceptance, to introduce you to one of the most exciting and challenging times of your life. We provide the following information: Peoria is a small nice city located about 160 miles southwest of Chicago, in the central us. The Indian Students Association at Bradley University, or ISA, as it is better known, represents the Indian students at Bradley. Throughout the year, ISA organizes programs in co-ordination with HHC ( Hindu Heritage Center) and IAP (Indian Association of Peoria) to celebrate Indian festivals and national days. Independence Day, Dussera, Diwali, Republic Day, Dandia,Pongal and Holi are the major celebrations organized by ISA.
Additionally, we screen Hindi movies on a regular basis at the theater of Bradley. For those of you who are interested in cultural activities, ISA provides a forum to display your talent. To assist you in preparing to leave, planning your travel and arranging your stay here, we have thought of a few things that will be important to you in the next few days. A listing of the committee members can be found on the Committee page. Please make any Correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org if possible.
The Membership to ISA is open to all students of Bradley Community. The membership will keep you well informed about the various events supported or organized by ISA-Bradley and also keep you well informed about the functions. ISA membership entitle you free entrance to these events. The annual membership is $10 for individuals. It can be sent to Indian Students Association committee.
How to reach Bradley University?
Peoria city has its own domestic airport called as Greater Peoria Airport. The nearest International airport is O'Hare International Airport Chicago. Students normally come from India to this airport and from there take a bus to come to Peoria. You can take a plane ride from Chicago International airport to Peoria which can handle only small planes. For more information on how to get the booking done, ask your travel agent. However, we don't recommend you to travel by air from Chicago. We will let you know more easy way.
By Bus (This is the safest way to reach Bradley University)
Bradley University has special arrangement with Peoria Charter Bus company which runs daily from peoria to chicago and visa versa. Flights from India usually land at Terminal #5 of O'Hare airport. At terminal #5, after you complete your normal procedures with INS and other officials, just outside you will find a information counter. From the counter you will have information of Peoria Charter bus company. Right from morning, about 5 buses are coming to Bradley University Student Center. We will be there to pick you up- if you tell us in advance.
The bus fare is $39 for students. Be sure to tell the bus driver that you are a student of you will end up with more bus fare. For bus schedule and information about Peoria Charter just go to http://www.peoriacharter.com/tickets/?mrkt=ds.
Peoria don't have its own railway station. The Closest Railway Station is BLOOMINGTON-NORMAL (BNL) which is about 36 miles (actually 35.78 miles). Again, don't do this, since you have to take either a bus or have to come through taxi (expensive!!!) to Peoria.
What after reaching to Bradley University?
All the transportation will drop you at the Bradley University Student Center. Normally, students will inform Bradley University (which eventually inform ISA ) , or directly to ISA or any of the Indian Students here. In any case, rest assured, there will be students to pick you up from Student Center at the time of your arrival. He/She will take you to his/her house and bingo!, you are in safe hands.
What about Housing?
As already said, you will be at the house of one of the students who were at the student center to pick you up. After you are bit settled , start searching for house. You will find valuable tips while your initial stay at one of the student and also help you to adjust in the new environment. Housing is available around Bradley University in big range. We however, encourage you to come in time here so you will have a house suitable to your requirements near to University. Don't panic, houses are adequately available near the University, but the earlier you come, more chances that you will end up with house which is just 3-4 minutes walk ! Sounds interesting hmmmmm?
If you are a person likes to be with multicultural environment, Bradley University offers Student Apartments all around the campus. This are full fledge apartments for two persons, For more information on Bradley housing just go to http://www.bradley.edu/housing
What you should bring from India?
Winter and Summer are the main seasons here so, lets talk about that a bit.
Sweaters - both light and heavy are absolutely essential for winter, when the temperatures drop well below the 0°C mark. A heavy jacket with a hood, gloves, woolen socks, ear-muffs and monkey caps are also very useful. Thermal (woolen) undergarments are highly recommended from India. However, it is a better idea to buy your winter jackets here. Peoria is subject to frequent changes in weather and expect rain at any time, so don't forget to get an umbrella or a raincoat. A pair of good water-proof boots like the Woodland brand would also be very useful
Summer is warm, almost hot and very humid. It's the time to wear T-shirts, shorts, etc. Cottons are quite expensive here unless you find a good deal or blow out sale. So, you might want to get some from home. Do bring some traditional Indian garments like saris, salwar-kameezes, kurta-pyjamas, you do get to show them off at Indian festivals and international gatherings. Try and bring some formal attire too. A blazer or a suit, ties, a formal wear shirt, a skirt suit etc. These are useful during professional meetings and interviews.
Last but not the least, unless you are fond of doing your laundry often, get enough clothes (especially undergarments!!!) to last you for at least 2-3 weeks!
Bradley University must have sent you a medical record form along with other official documents. Please don't take this form lightly. Do follow the instructions given in the form and complete the form by your Doctor. We advise you to go on a complete body check-up, especially eye and dental check-ups since they are very very expensive here, before filling the form out. If you happens to be wearing glass or contact lens, bring around 3-4 pairs with you since it will cost you like anything.
Ensure that you have taken all the important and necessary immunizations as mentioned in the immunization record sent to you from Bradley University. It is advisable to get MMR , Hepatitis B vaccines. This are very expensive over here. Remember to bring the medical certification or endorsed proof of your completed immunization. This document is important since without it you might not be able to sign up for courses and you have to go through vaccination once again.
Health insurance is mandatory at Bradley University for all students. You cannot enroll for classes unless you are covered by a health insurance policy. Health Insurance costs you around $520 in Bradley. You can take policy either from India or You can take out a policy once you get here. It is advisable to take policy here since it will speed up process in a unwanted situation. However, bring medication for common ailments like Combiflame, Crocin, Aspirin, Vicks, Iodex, cough syrup, antacids etc., as they can be very expensive here. Also, be sure to get the prescription for all the medicines that you get along with you.
Food and other stuff
Masalas, pickles, rice, dals etc., are available in Peoria. Even Maggi noodles and Parle-G are available!! We have two indian utility stores in Peoria. But do bring certain specific spices and mixes that are peculiar to your type of cooking, to start with. Also commonly available are a wide variety of vegetables and vegetarian foods. Home-made items that you are fond of can be brought in small quantities. Learn to cook well so that you do not get sick of eating your own food! A recipe book or two would also be a great idea.
Pots and pans and other useful stuff: A pressure cooker with spares, a non-stick pan, regular cooking and eating utensils and a tavaa. We recommend bringing flat-bottomed pans. Other useful items are a blanket, bed sheets, pillow cases, towels, napkins and a masala box. Audio cassettes (Hindi, English, Gujarati,Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi etc...) .
Bring all textbooks you think you might need to keep your 'fundas' clear. These are very, very, very.... expensive here. Also, stationery to get you started off.
- Airline tickets, Passport, I-20 (Travel documents/immigration documents).
- Health care documents/Immunization form and immunization completion certificate.
-General and specific medication/Spectacle and Contact Lenses and spares.
- Clothing and Accessories: Sweaters, Umbrella/raincoat, even a pair of good water-proof boots (helpful in snow) if you can.
- Formal attire and traditional attire. At least 2 weeks supply of daily-wear garments.
- Required pots and pans, a pair of tongs ('pakkad') to lift hot pans, even a masala box if you can.
- Edible items/Spices/Masalas
- Textbooks, plastic files and folders to start you off in school. Other stationery you think will be useful.
- Your list of contact numbers and useful addresses.
- Some loose change in quarters, dimes and nickels (25 cents, 10 cents and 5 cents respectively).
- Travelers' checks/cash for foreign exchange