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Chicago Program: Arts, Entrepreneurship, & Social Justice

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, student housing is 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.  Housing in recent years has been located in neighborhoods such as: Pilsen, Hyde Park, Uptown, Logan Square, and the Gold Coast.  Students from the Arts, Entrepreneurship, and Social Justice academic tracks of the program may be housed in any of the apartment locations in a given semester. 

Student housing in recent semesters has been located in the following neighborhoods:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Chicago Program: Arts, Entrepreneurship, & Social Justice

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Luke Tervola In my experience in the ACM Chicago Program, the educational opportunity presented to me through experiences was truly transformative. For me, the gathering of passionate students around related issues translates into a depth of conversation an experiential sharing that leapfrogs the traditional educational experiences, and forces the learning process to continue outside of the classroom. The aspect of continuing conversations about relevant issues has lacked in my university experience, even though that experience is equally invaluable. The ACM Urban Studies Program fits best for a student who is willing to burst out of the bubble of traditional education into the realm of real experiences, real people, and real communities.

—Luke Tervola, Chicago Program (Urban Studies), Spring 2009

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