For Students

How much does the program cost?

We are committed to making your Chicago Semester experience as affordable as possible. Your costs include:

Tuition

  • For the CS Semester Program (fall or spring), tuition is the same as any other semester at your home institution. You still pay tuition to your institution, but that tuition is applied to Chicago Semester. Check with the financial aid and off-campus study offices at your campus to see how scholarships could be applied to CS.
  • For the CS Summer Program 2019, tuition is $3,220. You receive nine academic credits, pending approval of the registrar at your home institution. For more information about Summer 2020 costs, please contact Alexis Rivers at alexis.rivers@chicagosemester.org
  • Recent graduate students pay $1,715 for up to 3 credits in the Semester Program or $1,100 for up to 3 credits in the Summer Program.

Fees

  • The application fee is $50 for the Semester Program and $150 for the Summer Program.
  • The enrollment fee is $325 for the Semester Program and $500 for the Summer Program. This fee covers program activities, events and transportation around the city.

Housing

  • The cost to live in Chicago Semester’s housing ranges from $575-675 per month per person, all utilities included.

Food & Living Expenses

Since you will prepare your own meals rather than pay for a meal plan, the total amount you spend depends on your individual budget and personal preferences. You’ll find a detailed look at the anticipated living expenses here

How does internship placement/selection work?

You submit your references, resume, transcript and essay responses along with your Chicago Semester application. We will review your materials, create a professional profile to send to potential internship sites and collaborate with you to create a polished resume ready for professional review by potential internship sites. You will then interview with potential internship sites and prioritize which opportunity is the best fit for you.

Visit our Semester and Summer Program pages to find your preferred track and details about the specific placement process.  

What’s the best way to discuss this opportunity with my family?

Explain that Chicago Semester is a safe, supported opportunity for you to learn how to navigate the city while also building your professional resume through an internship in your field of study. The short-term experience can provide valuable direction as you decide where you want to start your life after graduation.

What have other students said about being in Chicago for the semester?

Over and over, students tell us that Chicago Semester was a great way to grow as a professional and experience a big city. They felt challenged and excited to step outside their comfort zone and engage in the community of Chicago, through eye-opening courses and individual exploration. Visit any page of our website to see what our incredible alumni say about their CS experience.

What does it mean that the program provides “urban experiential education from a Christian perspective”?

Classes at Chicago Semester are taught from a Christian perspective, and include readings and discussions informed by Christian thinkers both inside and outside the Chicago community. However, a religious background is not required to participate in CS. We welcome students of all backgrounds and faiths to join us in creating a diverse learning environment.

For Parents

How much does the program cost?

We are committed to making your Chicago Semester experience as affordable as possible. Your costs include:

Tuition

  • For the CS Semester Program (fall or spring), tuition is the same as any other semester at your home institution. You still pay tuition to your institution, but that tuition is applied to Chicago Semester. Check with the financial aid and off-campus study offices at your campus to see how scholarships could be applied to CS.
  • For the CS Summer Program 2019, tuition is $3,220. You receive nine academic credits, pending approval of the registrar at your home institution. For more information about Summer 2020 costs, please contact Alexis Rivers at alexis.rivers@chicagosemester.org
  • Recent graduate students pay $1,715 for up to 3 credits in the Semester Program or $1,100 for up to 3 credits in the Summer Program.

Fees

  • The application fee is $50 for the Semester Program and $150 for the Summer Program.
  • The enrollment fee is $325 for the Semester Program and $500 for the Summer Program. This fee covers program activities, events and transportation around the city.

Housing

  • The cost to live in Chicago Semester’s housing ranges from $575-675 per month per person, all utilities included.

Food & Living Expenses

Since you will prepare your own meals rather than pay for a meal plan, the total amount you spend depends on your individual budget and personal preferences. You’ll find a detailed look at the anticipated additional living expenses here.

How do you help my student adjust to city life?

One of our primary goals at Chicago Semester is to help your student grow comfortable and confident living in Chicago. During orientation week, all students participate in a workshop on navigating the city. CS staff help your student learn Chicago’s grid system, share the ins and outs of public transportation, and teach how to map a route to his or her internship. We will escort your student from CS housing to the Chicago Semester office on the first day of orientation. Our staff is also available throughout your student’s Chicago Semester experience to assist with any concerns that may arise.

How will my student benefit from the CS experience?

Your student will gain tangible, resume-building experience within his or her field of study, valuable professional network connections and an understanding of city life. Nearly 80% of 2017-18 CS students were offered references from their supervisor for future positions. Your student will also have the opportunity to cultivate new friendships with other students from faith-based liberal arts colleges participating in CS. Students say that they leave the program with lasting friendships.

How can I encourage and support my student’s participation in CS?

Even though participating in Chicago Semester is your student’s decision, he or she really cares what you think. In a recent CS survey, 84% of students said their parents’ opinions were influential. Encourage your student to try a new experience and step outside his or her comfort zone. Discuss how important internships and building professional connections are to future career success. And be sure to point out that not only will CS be an exciting learning opportunity – it will be fun!

For Faculty

What should I tell my students about CS?

Let them know that CS is a great way to work in an internship in their field of study while also experiencing life in a vibrant big city!  Here’s a brief look at how it works:

Semester Program: Students participating in the CS Semester Program are guaranteed an internship through a collaborative interviewing experience. If an internship, field experience, or student teaching placement is needed for their degree, Chicago Semester will fulfill that requirement. Enrolled as full-time students, students receive credit for their internship and professional seminar, and up to two courses taken through Chicago Semester. Our admissions page details how those courses can be applied at your institution.

Summer Program: Students participating in the Summer Program receive nine credits for an internship and professional seminar and one additional class taken through Chicago Semester. Our admissions page details how those courses can be applied at your institution. Summer internships are competitive, but we have had tremendous success placing our students. We encourage students to submit their applications by our December 1 first priority deadline so that we have plenty of time to work with them on securing an internship. We guarantee interviews to students that apply and are accepted to our Summer Program.

Why are internships important for my students?

Internships set them apart when they apply for jobs and graduate school. The ability to include an internship in Chicago on their resume demonstrates that students not only gained valuable professional experience but that they were willing to try something different.

When should I recommend my students participate in CS?

Students typically participate in Chicago Semester during their junior or senior year, although our programs are also open to sophomores. We encourage you to have conversations about Chicago Semester with your students early in their undergraduate careers. That way, they can plan for a semester off campus in Chicago and still ensure they graduate in four years.