Prospective Student FAQ, Part I: Chicago Living

I’m a seasoned First Day volunteer and I jump at every other opportunity to talk with prospective students about Booth. So, I’m very familiar with the kinds of questions prospective Booth students have. In this post, I have made an attempt to answer the most frequented asked questions with regard to Chicago living.

Do you like Chicago?

I spent much of my childhood in a town of about 500 people and I had mostly lived in small cities prior to Booth, so as a prospective student, I was worried about adapting to a large city like Chicago. I wasn’t exactly sure what big city living would be like, but I thought it might not be for me.

I’m glad that my anxiety about the transition did not overwhelm me. The Chicago experience has greatly enriched my MBA experience. I have absolutely loved living in Chicago. It has quickly become my home. It has the benefits of a large city, such as great restaurants and lots of entertainment options, and a Midwestern feel. It’s a friendly city and it feels small because I run into fellow Boothies everywhere. If you haven’t been to Chicago, I highly recommend that you check it out.

Where do most students live?

Chicago has a ton of great neighborhoods and Boothies have the opportunity to live in different parts of the city. Most students with children tend to live in Hyde Park, whereas most other students tend to live in the Loop or the South Loop. Given that I was unfamiliar with Chicago prior to Booth, I have really loved living in the Loop. Transportation to and from the Loop is easy. In fact, my building is located directly across the street from a train that goes to the main campus and is a 10 minute walk from Gleacher, where full-time students can take classes and often meet for team projects. Furthermore, I’m a 5-10 minute walk from most CTA train lines and bus stops are abundant near my apartment, so access to other neighborhoods in Chicago is simply unparalleled. Another benefit of living near in the Loop is that I live near many other Boothies. It’s really easy to meet other students in the lobby of my apartment building and go together to a restaurant or networking event.

Do I need a car?

The answer to that question depends on where you live and personal preferences, but the modal answer from Booth students would likely be “no.” I have not had a car while at Booth and I have not missed having a car one bit. Like I said before, public transportation within the city is great. For out of town trips or large haul shopping trips, renting a Zipcar is usually an easy solution.

If you have any questions about Chicago living that you would like answered, feel free to post them in the comment section. I’d love to hear from you! Also, in my next posts, I will address frequently asked career and academic questions. If you have any questions you would like me to answer in those posts, also let me know! Finally, I highly recommend our interactive online chats to learn more about the Booth Experience.

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