Students socialising at a cafe

Student life

Residence activities

James Madison University plans over 1,400 programs and social activities each year in the residence halls. Each hall has a Resident Advisor – a student worker who lives in your hall. Your Resident Advisor will organize special social events and weekend activities so you will easily make friends and enjoy your time at the University.

Things to do

JMU students are all about engaging with the community. Get out and explore!

  • Discover Shenandoah Valley National Park with a hike through the woods and see beautiful waterfalls and views.
  • Visit an amusement park. Kings Dominion is a 2-hour drive, Busch Gardens Williamsburg is 3 hours away, and there’s Virginia’s largest water park too.
  • Water Country USA.
  • Dance and sing along at one the many music festivals, including Rocktown, and Redwing Roots Music Festival.

Join our Global Champions program today!

By becoming a Global Champion, you will join a network of international students studying at International Study Centers/Colleges around the world. 

With regular training sessions, catch-ups and creative activities to get involved in, the role is perfect for those of you interested in sharing your experience with others, developing your professional skills and boosting your resume.

It’s an exciting program to be a part of, with a variety of tasks and activities to get involved in from blog writing, social media takeovers, attending events and taking part in focus groups.

Please contact us if you’d like more information or apply for the role here

Student clubs and organizations

James Madison University offers more than 350 different student clubs and organizations. By joining these clubs, you can easily make friends with American and other international students from over 70 countries around the world.

With such huge choice there is something for everyone. Here is a sample of some of the clubs that you can join:

  • The Breeze - the University's award-winning student newspaper
  • WXJM - student-run radio station
  • James Madison Eco Community
  • Building Tomorrow
  • Amnesty International
  • Brass Band Club
  • Drumline
  • Stratford Players (theater production)
  • Cinemuse Film Club
  • Madison Motorsports
  • Outdoor Adventure Club
  • Belly Dance
  • Ethnic and cultural organizations
  • Academic and professional organizations
  • Spiritual and religious organizations

Cuisines from around the world

JMU has the #12 best campus food in the U.S. (Princeton Review, 2020), and with so many choices, it’s easy to see why. From world-class coffee, desserts and snacks, to halal, kosher, vegetarian, American and Korean dishes, JMU’s 20 on campus dining facilities offer something for every taste.

Eliza, from Russia

What our students say 

"I feel like JMU is different to other universities because of the atmosphere. It’s the university spirit and you get really involved and participate in a lot of events; you’re free to do everything you want. There’s a lot of clubs, organizations, which are led by other students. The difference is the people I think."

Eliza, from Russia. Studying Musical Theatre