Olivia in Chicago

Table of Contents

Overall Thoughts & Feelings

Chicago is an incredible city, especially in summer and autumn. I think if what you are looking for is experiencing USA life at 100% and how living in a big city feels like, then come here. I must say it is expensive, and the fact that the semester is super short (end of September – start of December) really makes finding a good price rent hard. But the feeling of studying in a university as prestigious as Booth is breathable in almost every class.


  • Rent: 1600 per four months, but you can also only stay for 3 
  • More detailed: Food around 100 per week, but many times at Booths they were offering free food, a beer is around 7 dollars, and eating out is hardly ever less than 20 dollars.


I was living in the south loop, right in the center of Chicago since from here there is a train which every university student takes, and goes directly to uni. It is a dormitory, and I have my own private room. Also little suggestion, there are students from the law faculty of WU going on exchange in Chicago, but to a different uni. Still valuable to get organized. We are living together. 

So, living in Hyde Park (where the uni is, is significantly cheaper) and walking distance to uni. Though most of the things happens in the loop or north part of Chicago. So would say that if you are willing to pay a little more, go live in the loop. Oppositely if you want to save, and just get an Uber once you actually go out, live in Hyde Park and look for a room through Facebook. 


Booth is full of events. Every week there was some free food on a Friday afternoon in the uni, with free alcohol included. Moreover every Thursday there is TNDC, an event organized by uni for which a bar is reserved every week only for Booth students (do not take evening classes on that night!).

Courses I took: 

  • Culture
  • Marketing strategy 
  • Data analysis with R and python 
  • Digital marketing
  • Media and communications

I had to take too many classes in such a short period of time which made it pretty exhausting some days. The classes usually have many assignments. 

So, overall workload I would say can be pretty high, but to be fair you can just not do some of the readings and not put 100 effort in the assignments, since general Booth students have better things to do then assignments. 


TNDC every Thursday, halloween party, and many more open bar events where a place was fully reserved for Booths and you only had to pay for entrance. Got to say that connecting fully with Booth students has been quite challenging. Most of them have their life, and many friends already, so not really keen on meeting a new face which will only be there for 2 months. Got along really well. Generally a little older, but fun and interesting people.

Places to Visit

Chicago is full of bars, restaurants and places to go. Also, I went to New Orleans on Thanksgiving, and will go in New York. From Chicago, you can find pretty convenient flights to other cities (convenient in American terms).

Country & City Vibes

Well America is America. This has is pro and its cons. It takes some time to get used to this.
Chicagos are nice, and Americans in general. But for the most I connected with the other exchange students. Compared to other American cities, the great thing about Chicago is that you can move around with public transportation which is efficient and not too expensive.

Chicago can be dangerous. But my suggestion would be to not go in the bad areas (why should you?!) and to always be with other people. To be honest, once I got to know the city a little more, I have never felt unsafe.


Visa is needed for Austrian citizens. There should be no problem getting it, but it’s just the process being lengthy. 

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