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Chicago Program: Arts, Entrepreneurship, & Urban Studies

Chicago, Illinois

Living arrangements

Housing costs are included in the program fee and are based on double occupancy in furnished apartments with cooking facilities; students with special housing needs should contact the ACM office early in the application process.  The costs for apartment rent, gas, electricity, and wireless internet are included in the program fee.

While locations may vary each semester, apartments are located in the city of Chicago, close to public transportation and a variety of amenities.  The Chicago Program office is easily accessible via public transportation from the various student housing locations.  Apartments in recent semesters have been located in neighborhoods such as Hyde Park, Uptown, Pilsen, Logan Square, and the Gold Coast.  Students from the Arts, Entrepreneurship, and Urban Studies academic tracks of the program may be housed in any of the apartment locations throughout the city in a given semester. 

Our current student apartments are located in the following neighborhoods:

  • Hyde Park is located on the southeast side of Chicago and is within walking distance from Lake Michigan.  It has beautiful housing stock, strong institutions and stores, and it is anchored by the University of Chicago.  However, it is much more than a university community.  The University of Chicago is an ambivalent presence, sometimes accused by neighboring communities of insulating and isolating Hyde Park while trying to control those neighboring communities.  It is the city's most truly bi-cultural neighborhood, where black and white, rich and poor, live together – if not always in harmony, at least in dialogue. 
  • Uptown is a changing north-side neighborhood on the shore of Lake Michigan.  Its history is mirrored in the Art Deco architecture of many buildings and is home to some of the best concert venues in Chicago including: Uptown Theatre, Aragon Ballroom, The Green Mill, and The Riviera.  Uptown’s rising entertainment industry was hard hit by the Great Depression and the years that followed, but has once again seen an influx of interest and funding in the past decade. Uptown is one of Chicago’s most diverse neighborhoods, highlighted especially by a strong Southeast Asian community centered around Argyle Street in its northeast corner.  Uptown also features Montrose Beach along the lake and a large recreational area in the adjacent lakefront parks.
  • Pilsen is a vibrant neighborhood located just southwest of Chicago’s Loop.  Pilsen was originally settled by German, Irish, and Czech immigrants and historically was home to industries such as lumber mills, rail yards, and garment factories.  Labor shortages during the world wars led to an influx of newer immigrant groups, and the 1950's and 1960's witnessed the addition of numerous colorful murals and mosaics created by Mexican artists to the landscape of Pilsen.  Today, Pilsen has a very strong community spirit infused with deep roots in the labor movement and a commitment to remaining a gateway for Hispanic immigrants.  The neighborhood is home to the National Museum of Mexican Art.

Chicago Program: Arts, Entrepreneurship, & Urban Studies

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Isaac Stewart-Silver The spring that I spent on the ACM Chicago Program was one of the most valuable semesters I have had during my time in college. The grounding in experiential and place-based learning provided opportunities for growth personally and as a community member/citizen, which was a big part of what I was looking for in an off-campus program. I was encouraged to immerse myself in the complex and vibrant city of Chicago and, even more importantly, I felt supported in trying to engage with all the complications, injustice, inspiration, struggles, and hope I came in contact with. It was not just as an intellectual exercise but also as a human-being in relation to the people and communities around me.

—Isaac Stewart-Silver, Chicago Program (Urban Studies), Spring 2014

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