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Read SAYIT's advice on and contact information for accommodation and J1 summer job hunting in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Chicago is located in Illinois at the southwestern tip of Lake Michigan. It is referred to as the "Windy City" or "Chi-Town". Chicago is a lively city with plenty to see and do. The city is home to two Major League Baseball teams, the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox's, making it a great place to experience authentic American Culture. 

The city is an international hub for finance, commerce, technology, telecommunications, and transportation. Chicago is the home town of both Obama and Oprah! 


Downtown, inexpensive accommodation can be difficult to find, so it is best to search around the outskirts in places such as the east side of the city e.g.  the Gold Coast, Old Town & Lincoln Park, Lake View & Wrigley Ville, Wicker Park & Buck town. These locations are all near the lake, and as such, a great spot for water sports and recreational activities. The majority of J1ers head to the north side of Chicago, which is surrounded by many local students. You may be able to sublet accommodation from local university students heading home for the summer.

There is an off-campus housing office in the University of Illinois that you may also try for suggestions.

Phone: +1-312-413-7440 Email: commuter@uic.edu

Check out these websites for accommodation suggestions:


Job Hunting

The best places to look for summer jobs would be Navy Pier (Chicago's tourist hotspot) and the city centre. Bars are very strict on hiring people who are over 21, so if you’re younger than this, we recommend you concentrate on other types of employment such as retail. However if you are 21 years old, Navy Pier has many restaurants and bars that hire J1 students, especially Bubba Gump's Shrimp Co., Harry Caray's and Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Bar and Grill, click here for more information.   In Water Tower Place there is a large shopping Mall, which may also have jobs available. Check out the cruise boats, particularly the Spirit Of Chicago.  

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