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Before you know it, you’ll be a pro at navigating the city by foot, bus, and train. As part of your tuition, you will be given a UPass which provides unlimited access to trains and buses throughout the city. Both housing sites are close to train lines and bus stops so you’ll be able to commute to and from your internship, explore neighborhoods throughout Chicago, and quickly get to the Chicago Semester Office with ease.

Though it may take a couple days to adjust, we strongly recommend that you leave your car at home. Because the UPass gives you unlimited access to almost every part of the city, we encourage you to rely on public transportation. City parking is challenging and expensive even for the expert city dweller, so please keep this in mind if you have visitors driving in on the weekends.

Learning to Navigate the City

During orientation week, you will participate in an extensive workshop on navigating Chicago and the CTA. Chicago Semester Staff will help you learn Chicago’s grid system, share the ins and outs of public transportation, and teach you how to map a route to your internship. We are available to escort you to the Chicago Semester Office on your first day of orientation.

Helpful Apps when Exploring Chicago…

Many smartphone apps are available right at your fingertips to help you explore the Windy City. Take a look at the apps listed below to see just how easy navigating the city can be.

Google Maps: You likely have used Google Maps before, but if you haven’t lived in a large city before, you may not be familiar with the transit function. Google Maps has a feature that will notify you which route you should take to get to a certain location and when buses and trains are arriving.

Transit Stop: This app tracks when buses and trains are arriving at particular stations and stops. You’ll avoid having to wait for long periods of time for buses and trains if you check this app ahead of time.

Uber/Lyft:: Out late? Stuck in the rain while your bus is delayed? An alternative to riding the CTA, Uber and Lyft, are another option for getting around the city in special circumstances. Simply request a car using one of the apps, and it will pick you up at your location, and drop you off at your destination. Uber and Lyft have safety features, allowing you to send your pin location to someone so they can track you as you ride. There also are “Split Fare,” and “Pool” functions, where you can ride with other riders, making these affordable options. We recommend riding the CTA whenever possible.