Indiana University
Bloomington

Hoosier Profile

Illinois
  • Mark Gaughan

  • Naperville, IL
  • Neuqua Valley High School
  • Major: Microbiology
  • Minor: Chinese and Chemistry
  • Scholarships:
  • IU Distinction Scholarship
Hoosier Profile Picture

Why did you choose to attend Indiana University?

When I was going through the process of selecting which college to attend, I came down to a choice between a large in-state institution and IU. The sense of community I found at IU, even though the campus is so large, as well as the competitive science and language programs were really what attracted me to IU. I don't regret the decision I made one bit.

What are your favorite things about Bloomington?

I love how diverse of a town Bloomington is. Bloomington has a wide variety of ethnic restaurants as well as cultural and music festivals that really made me feel as if I wasn't in a town in the middle of rural Indiana! This is my second year here now, and Bloomington is totally my home away from home, I absolutely love it here!

Tell us something that has surprised you about IU.

I was surprised at how easy it was to get involved, and about how many opportunities there were to get involved. Obviously in a school with over 40,000 students there are opportunities for leadership and social organizations, but I never imagined the extent to which my life would be affected by them. I've had the opportunity to explore so many more of my interests and hobbies, and getting active and being involved has been one of the single biggest factor that has influenced my life here at IU.

What is the most exciting opportunity you’ve had, so far, in your college experience?

This past summer, with help from IU's Chinese Flagship Program, I was given the opportunity to study abroad in Taipei, Taiwan, to develop my language ability at National Taiwan University's Intensive International Chinese Language Program (ICLP). These two months abroad were absolutely spectacular, and have made me completely reevaluate my direction in life. Studying abroad this summer was the most worthwhile experience of my life, and I hope I can take advantage of more opportunities like this in the future!

What do you like about being away from your home state? What are the advantages and disadvantages of attending an out of state school?

Being out-of-state has been an awesome experience, but it definitely comes with pros and cons. I like being far away at home and being able to spend most of my time with my friends here in Bloomington without being tied down to friends and family back in Illinois. Bloomington as a town is amazingly convenient, anything I could have wanted or missed from home I can find here. That being said, my two best friends both attend colleges close to home and it's hard being so far from them and my family sometimes, but the new friends I've made here definitely make everything worth it!

Now that you’ve spent some time at IU, what has reaffirmed your college decision?

The friends I've made here, the organizations I've had the chance to participate in, and the amazing education I've been lucky to receive have completely reaffirmed my decision to attend IU. I have absolutely no regrets, and I'm so excited that I get the chance to spend these 4 years here in Bloomington!