As thrilled as I was to move to Durham after getting into the MQM program, I was also really nervous. I hadn’t learned how to drive in the U.S. yet and thinking of the 10 months I had ahead without a way to commute to and from Fuqua was eating at my brain. I was quickly relieved to learn about Duke Transit’s LaSalle Loop Bus.

Where To Live

The LaSalle Loop covers a handful of apartments and housing options which is a convenient method for students to get around Duke’s West Campus. Apartments like Heights, Belmont, Holy Hills, Partners’ Place, and Chapel Tower have stops and other apartments like Lofts at Lakeview, Duke Manor and Blue Leaf are at a walkable distance from bus stops. Going in a loop, there’s a bus nearly every 10 minutes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. This makes it convenient for those 8 a.m. classes or those late team dinners on campus.

Where To Eat

There are many food options along Erwin Road, near Fuqua’s campus. Having options like Chipotle, Dunkin’ Donuts, Firehouse Subs, Saffron Indian Cafe, Noodles and Company, Enzo’s Pizza and Mediterra Grill, there’s a fix for any craving. These are a five-minute walk from the ‘LaSalle at Campus Walk’ stop. Enzo’s is definitely a student-favorite pizza joint with the best cheesy breadsticks.

A two-minute walk from the ‘Bradford Ridge Apartments’ stop, other restaurants include NaanStop Indian Cuisine, Pure Vegan Cafe, Heavenly Buffaloes and Sushi Love. My friends and I have come to love Pure Vegan Cafe’s fusion food, and my favorite has to be tied between the Channa Masala Wrap and the South of the Border Burger.

Where To Go on Campus

My mornings are not complete without looking at the Duke Pond which is a two-minute walk from Fuqua and a minute walk from the bus stop. The pond is a beautiful sight to witness year-round—the beautiful colors in the spring, the burnt orange leaves in the fall and the stillness of the water during winter.

The University Libraries are a two-minute walk from the ‘Research Dr. at Duke Clinic’ stop. Perkins Library has various zones, each with a permitted level of conversation. The higher the level, the quieter the zones—creating some of the best study spots for students depending on their learning styles!

Duke University's Chapel
The view from the top of Duke Chapel tower is worth all 239 steps.

Right next to the Chapel, Brodhead Center and Bryan Center, the heart of Duke University is just a couple of steps away from this stop. Every morning on my way to a day at Fuqua, the bus goes past the Chapel and gives its passengers multiple angles on its Collegiate Gothic architecture.

One of my favorite activities this past month was climbing the Chapel’s 239 steps to see most of Durham from the top. The view was breathtaking (so was the climb, literally) and no picture could do the experience justice.

With familiar faces hopping in and out of the vehicle at all parts of the day, and dozens of languages being shared between seats, and as the bus navigates through the vibrant landscape of the campus—the ten-minute bus ride to Fuqua has become a pleasant part of my routine at Duke University.