Chicago

USA

The Place Where All Things Are Possible

Although it is often referred to as America’s “second city,” in many people’s minds this city on the lake is Number One when it comes to standard of living, culture, entertainment, shopping and commerce. A city that harmonizes cosmopolitan sophistication and Midwestern accessibility, Chicago is both a friendly laid-back city and a fast-paced metropolitan wonder.

With a population of almost 3 million people, Chicago is the third largest city in the US. Less trendy than New York and less expanded than LA, it is one of the most enjoyable US cities in which to live. It offers numerous parks and playgrounds, endless cultural activities, and countless restaurants. During the summer months the city comes alive and expatriates living here can enjoy alfresco dinners, fantastic summer festivals and relaxing days on the sandy shores.

In reality, Chicago is more a collection of distinctive neighborhoods than it is a city. Each community has its own unique character, much of which has been fashioned by the various immigrant populations that have made the area their home. It is perhaps this that makes Chicago so special; spending time in each district can make expatriates feel like they are visiting a unique small town and with over 200 distinct neighborhoods and 77 community areas, the possibilities for adventures are endless.


What’s the draw?

  • A reasonable cost of living that allows expatriates to make the most of what’s on offer.
  • A cultural, historical, diverse city full of interesting things to do and fascinating people to meet.
  • A smaller population than L.A and New York, giving rise to more efficient transport, quieter roads and less crowding.
  • Good old-fashioned Midwestern hospitality that can’t be found elsewhere in the United States.

Live there:

Moving to Chicago can be a life changing experience. Make sure you make the most of it with our Expat Info Desk guide to living in this exciting city:

  • Wondering where to live? With so many districts in this intricate city, each with their own advantages, disadvantages and charms, it can be overwhelming. The Chicago expat relocation guide will give you the insider information to make the correct decision for you and your family.
  • Looking for fun and entertainment? There is no shortage of entertainment in Chicago and being a foreigner in this amazing city need not be a lonely business. Our guide aims to help expats ‘find their own Chicago’, providing an overview of the top shopping, dining and leisure locations as well as additional indispensable advice about enjoying and acclimating to life in this exciting and vibrant American city.
  • Our insider guide to the people of Chicago will assist you to avoid embarrassing situations and mistakes, feel confident in unfamiliar situations, and develop trust, friendships, and successful business relationships.

Experience this quintessential American city first hand with the Expat Info Desk.

About Chicago we have

Our guide was written by Veronique Martin-Place and last published on Sunday 7th February 2010.

Read this guide »

Five top tips

01Before choosing somewhere to live in Chicago thoroughly research all areas. This decision will have a direct impact on your way of life in this city.
02Choose your children’s school first and then look for an accommodation as the area you live in may determine the school your child can attend.
03The US Social Security administration also advises you wait 10 days after arriving in the United States to apply for a Social Security number.
04Chicago can be extremely hot in summer but very cold in winter. Bear this in mind when searching for accommodation; you'll need good AC and heating!
05Subscribe to a local Newspaper. We advise the Chicago Tribune. It is a good way to get familiar with both the city and what is going on.

Interesting fact

When it opened in 1991, Chicago's Harold Washington Library Center, with approximately 6.5 million books, was the world’s largest municipal library.