Here are some tips to make your time at Chicago/IIT an enjoyable experience.
Clothing & Personal Items
Chicago, also known as the Windy City, is generally known to have unpredictable and extreme weather patterns. Through the fall, winter, and spring seasons, the city and its inhabitants experience rain, hail, snow, freezing cold, and of course, great amounts of wind. Therefore, in order to make your stay in the Windy City as comfortable as possible, we recommend that you buy (formal and informal) clothing that is designed to keep you warm, dry, and cozy. The climate in the city ranges from -20 C to 5 C in the winters, and that sometimes doesn’t take into account the wind!
As such, we suggest that you buy gloves, sweaters, hats, and winter boots here, as they are tailor made to help you get through the cold climate. If you are a fan of leather items, they will definitely be cheaper in India than in the States. Likewise, personal items such as contacts and glasses are also quite expensive here, so be sure to bring replacements along with you. For the fall and spring seasons, be sure to bring an umbrella and a raincoat, because when it rains, it pours! In addition, IIT’s Keating Center has a multitude of exercise facilities, such as weight machines, a pool, and basketball courts, so be sure to bring workout clothes, tennis/badminton racquets, and Cricket bats if you so desire. Finally, don’t forget that you are more than welcome to bring your traditional clothes, musical instruments, and any other possessions that you feel you need!
Tuition and housing aside, we know that you are going to be spending money visiting the magnificent city of Chicago and exploring the various opportunities that it offers. Of course, while there are many locations that host free events, there will be expenses that one will eventually have to bear. Therefore, we wanted to take a bit of time to remind everyone of the various expenses that can easily pile up.
- If you are living off campus, be sure to remember that rent can easily be at least 500 dollars a month, provided that you share the apartment; studios will be much more costly.
- Cell phone costs are normally around 50 dollars for a basic individual plan. Of course, if you r family is responsible for this bill, one can overlook this in their monthly expenses.
- Between ordering food while finishing late night projects and dining at the various restaurants in Chicago, one can expect to spend from 50 to 200 dollars depending on their personal eating habits.
- Other expenses can include items you will purchase, such as mattresses, comforters, kitchen supplies, and so on.
However, all is not lost! There are plenty of opportunities for students to obtain an on-campus job, through which one can earn anywhere between 200 to 400 dollars per month. A word of wisdom however, is that one should bring around 1000 dollars initially, as there is no guarantee that you will immediately find a job to cover expenses.
Here are some quick tips to make your experience from the airport to IIT much more enjoyable!
- While traveling, be sure to keep at least two sets of clothes in your baggage in the event that one becomes misplaced and does not arrive on time. In addition, we advise you to not bring blankets here, as the comforters that can be purchased here are better for the climate.
- Do not carry large amounts of cash with you! In contrast, traveler’s checks are far more preferable. However, be sure to keep small amounts of money (dollar bills and change, especially quarters) in case you need to use a public phone.
- Do bring medicine for common colds, headaches, fevers, etc. because the adverse weather may make you sick as you adjust to it.
- Always keep your important documents (I-20 and passport) on you, as you will need to clear customs at the airports.