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Chicago offers a diverse range of cultural, entertainment, social, and business opportunities. It is the third largest city in the U.S. and its lively downtown area is just forty-five minutes away from the Evanston campus via public transportation.
Chicago is home to established biotech and pharmaceutical companies like Abbott Laboratories, Baxter Healthcare, and Hospira as well as to homegrown start-ups like Coskata, Nanosphere, and Ohmx. Click here for a full list of Chicago area biotech & pharma companies.
The iBio IndEx conference, an annual life sciences expo, is an excellent way for graduate students to get a first look at some of the current trends in the biotech industry.
Research parks like the Chicago Technology Park, University Technlogy Park at IIT, and Illinois Science + Technology Park provide the opportunity for universities and industry to establish a community-based approach to research and scientific development.
Renowned architecture - three of the world’s tallest skyscrapers call Chicago home. Buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Helmut Jahn can be seen on the numerous architectural or sightseeing tours available on foot, by bus, or boat.
Recreation - there are twenty-nine miles of lakefront parks and beaches in Chicago and Evanston perfect for jogging, swimming, cycling, rollerblading, golfing or picnicking. There are also opportunities available to go sailing or kayaking on Lake Michigan itself.
World-famous museums – the Field Museum of Natural History, Alder Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, and the Art Institute of Chicago are just a few of the museums that are available to visitors year-round. The Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the nation’s oldest zoos, has free-admission.
The Arts – Chicago lays claim to a rich cultural tradition and is home to many celebrated musical and theatre companies. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is recognized as one of the top orchestras in the world and it is a treat to catch one of their concerts outside in Millennium Park. Other notable cultural experiences include the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, the Second City comedy troupe, the Joffrey Ballet, and the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.
Exceptional music scenes – the blues and jazz have deep cultural roots in Chicago, but the city has also been very influential in the hip-hop, alternative, and indie scenes. Annual festivals include Lollapalooza, Intonation Music Festival, and the Pitchfork Music Festival.
Shopping and Dining – Chicago offers world-class shopping whether it be on the Magnificent Mile, on State Street, or in the shops neighborhoods across the city that offer goods and fashions from around the world. There are more 4-star restaurants in Chicago than any other US city and there are a wide range of cuisines from around the U.S. and all around the world.
Transportation – the CTA, Metra, and Pace offer easy and affordable public transportation throughout the city and suburbs by train and bus. Chicago also boasts two international Airports; Midway International Airport on the south side and O’Hare International Airport which is one of the world’s busiest airports.
Sports – there are many collegiate, club, and professional sport activities for spectators and participants alike. As of 2007, Chicago was the only North American city to have had champion teams in all five major professional sports; football, baseball, basketball, hockey, and soccer.
Here are some links for more information about the Chicago area: