Why Study Abroad in Chicago?

15 December 2021
Students walking under one of the L train bridges in central Chicago.

When looking for your perfect university program as an international student, there is more to consider than your major and the university ranking. You are choosing where you’re going to live for the next few years so finding the right place where you will thrive is important. Deciding to study in Chicago means access to a city lifestyle, culture and opportunities for your future. Condé Nast Traveler ranked Chicago the number 1 big city in the USA for 5 consecutive years and it is easy to see why. 

Why Live in Chicago?

1. Entertainment

With nearly 200 performance venues and seven professional sports teams, there is always a lot happening in Chicago; it is even the home of the first improv theatre group! If you’re looking for something different, there’s a table tennis café, ghost tours, river cruises and much more to create your own perfect student life in Chicago.

2. Food

Chicago is known for taking its own signature style and applying it liberally to many popular dishes, like deep dish pizza, Chicago cheesecake and Chicago-style hot dogs to name a few. As a culturally diverse city, you can also find food from all over the world in Chicago. There are dedicated parts of the city for Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian cuisines to name a few so you can always find a taste of home or try something new.

3. Culture

There are 50 museums and many art galleries for you to discover during your Chicago study experience. You can take guided tours or make your way around at your own pace. Be sure not to miss the Cloud Gate in Millennium Park, sculpted by world-famous artist, Sir Anish Kapoor. There are also statues around the city by Picasso, Miro and more.

4. Sports

Take in a baseball game with one of Chicago’s two major league teams, the Cubs and the White Sox, or you can see the basketball team of the legendary Michael Jordan: the Chicago Bulls. If American football is more your style, you can see the Bears. There are also two soccer teams: Fire and the Red Stars, so there will be plenty of games throughout the academic year while you study English in Chicago.

5. Lakefront

Chicago borders Lake Michigan, offering a beautiful lakefront and beaches with scenic views. There are extensive trails for walks and cycling - there are even Segway tours! Lake Michigan is one of the five great lakes of North America, so it is the perfect place to take a boat trip or check out the boats moored nearby.

6. The Loop

The Loop is the name for downtown Chicago, with great connections within and out of town by the affectionately named ‘L’ Train (short for ‘elevated’). Take the L to get to know the city better and see the sights or to just get around quickly and safety. The Loop is where you will find many theatres, famous restaurants and the central business district where you can take in the breathtaking architecture.

7. Location

Chicago has many neighborhoods, each with their own character so there is lots to see and do during your study abroad program in Chicago. The city is in the Midwest USA so offers big seasonal changes. In summer you can be sunbathing on the beach, then building snowmen in the same spot in the winter.

Two students standing and laughing on the L train in Chicago.

International Students in Chicago

Once you have decided to study abroad in Chicago, you can choose your program. At DePaul University, international students can choose the Undergraduate or Graduate Global Gateway Program which combines English language study with academic classes while also offering you time to settle into life in the USA with cultural support. If you meet the English and academic requirements, you may apply for direct admission to DePaul. By choosing to study at DePaul you will receive an exceptional education while getting all the benefits of living in Chicago.

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