To tourists, Chicago means deep-dish pizza and beautiful harbor-front views. To locals, Chicago means Bulls, Blackhawks, and the major traffic intersection known “affectionately” as The Circle. And somehow, to most liberal arts students, Chicago is simply an ideal place to learn and grow. The city is full of affordable and accessible opportunities for adventure, immersing students in a rich cultural history and active political life.
Considering a liberal arts college education of your own? Here is our countdown of the top five reasons to study liberal arts here in Chicago!
5. A Low Cost of Living for Students Taking Liberal Arts Programs
Studying in Chicago is a great way to experience a big city on a small budget. Compared to housing and food costs in other American hotspots like New York City and Boston, Chicago makes student-sense and saves students’ cents.
A sign for Chicago’s popular elevated railway.
The city’s affordable and accessible public transportation system is also popular with students on a budget. For example, Shimer students living on-campus have quick access to Chicago’s Red and Green Line transit system, along with multiple bus lines that make it cheap, quick, and easy to get around.
4. Chicago’s Radical History: Enriching its Liberal Arts Programs
Chicago has a long and storied history of boundary-pushing citizens. It’s been home to some of America’s most famous radicals and revolutionaries—from confederation’s Lucy Parsons to civil rights-era Mary “Mother” Jones to today’s Reverend Jesse Jackson, and hundreds of cultural influencers in between. The world’s annual May Day (then International Workers Day) even began here in Chicago in 1886.
Chicago citizens at a May Day protest for immigrant rights and labour reform.
By pursuing one of the liberal arts programs in Chicago, you’ll be immersed in a rich and deep legacy of progressive thinking. What better place to learn about the complex forces that shape our society than in a climate of passionate, involved citizens—with constant opportunities for activism and inspiring historical landmarks around every corner?
3. Cheap and Delicious Food: A Favorite Student Perk
Ask a Chicagoan for their favourite aspect of the city, and they just might name their favourite cinnamon bun joint or pizza place. Taquerias, Polish places, pan-Asian restaurants, Middle Eastern bistros, city-specific fast food chains and a burgeoning food truck industry—Chicago’s food scene has a famous and unforgettable multicultural flavor.
A snapshot of the popular annual Taste of Chicago food festival.
Students in liberal arts classes at Shimer endorse tacos at The Commons and potlucks in the student lounge, for a start.
2. Gorgeous Study Spots for Students of Liberal Arts Classes
One of Shimer’s philosophies is that “big ideas can’t be contained on two floors” (the approximate size of its close-knit campus). That’s why you’ll find Shimer liberal arts students going out and meeting up throughout the city’s vibrant café and study-spot scene.
Students enjoy Autumnal ciders and pastoral picnics in the city’s public parks. And if you’re wary of Chicago winters, consider the beautiful and picturesque backdrop it offers each cozy exam season.
1. The Friendly, Diverse, and Outgoing People of Chicago!
As Chicago native Brent DiCrescenzo puts it: “People are nicer here. Try saying hello to someone when you walk pass them on the street…it’s pretty common.” He says you wouldn’t have the same experience in other big cities like fast-paced New York, or even Los Angeles (where “nobody walks anyhow”).
Study in Chicago to meet a diverse range of Americans from all walks of life. For example, Shimer’s college community makes time outside of class to keep the conversation going, at group outings to theatres, art shows, and a virtually endless array of community events where locals and tourists intersect.
Are you inspired to attend a liberal arts college in Chicago?
Visit Shimer for more information or to speak with an advisor today.