Over the past couple of weeks, I have had several questions rise about the living situation at Chicago Booth. Personally, it is one of the many aspects I enjoy about Booth, so I wanted to use this post and talk about student living and campus interaction.
First, to adequately talk about student life, I first want to briefly describe the academic facilities available to students. Booth has two campuses available to full-time students: The Harper Center is the main campus for full-time students and is located approximately 8 miles south of downtown Chicago in an area called Hyde Park (President Obama’s neighborhood). This campus is where the majority of classes are held and is a new and amazing state of the art building. The Gleacher Center, located in the heart of downtown Chicago (in Near North Side on the map below), serves as the primary campus for the night and weekend students, but is also utilized by full time student body for both classes and for studying.
At Booth, students live in any location they choose. Speaking specifically of my class, students have literally chosen neighborhoods across the city in areas that meet their individual needs and/or wants. Be it a family atmosphere, next to campus, a lively social scene, or even close proximity to a company a student might be working with, we choose the neighborhood that best suits our desires and makes life as enjoyable as possible. (As a point of reference, some of the more popular locations are Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown, Wicker Park, The Loop and Hyde Park – see map below).
While there might be some anxiety about this situation as many of your classmates and friends might be spread out over the city I can assure any person considering Booth that of all of the people that I know, everyone loves the freedom they have in their living situation.
First and foremost, as you have heard me talk about on several occasions, both the Booth School of Business and the student body here place an enormous amount of value in out network. This being the case, it is literally impossible that one can go a week with out one or more big social gatherings you can attend – be it Wednesday open forums with the Dean, Thursday social gatherings, Friday after class functions (dubbed LPF), or alumni reunion events just to name a few.
Second, while Harper Center and Gleacher center serve as natural gathering places due to classes, recruiting and study groups, the public transit is so good in Chicago that living next to each other is not necessary. Personally, I sold my car when I moved to Chicago and I chose to live downtown in a neighborhood called The Loop. Harper center is literally a 20-minute train ride away, the Gleacher Center is just a five minute walk from my apartment, and almost any neighborhood where my classmates live are a short train ride away.
Finally, while people are somewhat spread out, it has been my experience that the Booth community is a pretty tight group of people and students tend to live close to each other in each neighborhood. My experience has been that this builds a tight bond in the neighborhood and enables the student body to have a diverse selection of places to hang out with their friends.
All in all I feel like Booth has the best of two worlds: we have two amazing campuses available for use that are near almost any area you want to live in, but we also have the freedom and public transit to live in a place that suits our own personal desires. I have heard the term “commuter campus” used before by outsiders; to be honest I don’t totally know what that means, but I assure you, come to Chicago, visit our campus, and I think you will agree, it is an amazing set up we have. As always if you would like to hear more about this topic or else, just let me know (leaving a comment on the blog is probably the easiest method).
Thanks for reading and until next time, good luck on the applications and have a great week.