Five tips to relocating in Chicago, by Véronique Martin-Place
If you plan to relocate your family in Chicago, follow these five tips to make your life easier and settle faster.
#1 Make a choice of lifestyle
Before your arrival, you will have to decide if you want to live in the suburbs or within the city of Chicago. This decision will highly impact your stay and your family way of life. Do your own research online and hold a family meeting to get each member of the household’s opinion.
#2 Choose your children’s school first and then your home
Most of the public schools in Chicago are ‘neighborhood schools’, which means that they accept mainly students living within the school boundaries.
#3 Get involved in your local community
This can be within your child’s school, at church or at a sport organization – it doesn’t matter where, but will definitely be the key of a successful stay in Chicago. Keep in mind that volunteering in the US is very important and well recognized socially and professionally.
#4 Prepare for the Chicago weather
Chicago’s winters are very cold and long whereas summers can be very warm and humid. So make sure that your accommodation has a good heating system and A/C. It might also be a good idea to buy humidifiers. At the beginning of the fall, buy good winter clothes and shoes for the whole family and wait for the first snowfall!
#5 Subscribe to a local newspaper
It will allow you to get familiar with what is going on in the Windy City in different fields such as politics, economics, arts, business and travel. On Sundays, the newspapers come with a lot of advertising brochures. A good means to learning where the best deals are in town!
Veronique is the author of Finding Your Feet In Chicago – The essential guide for expat families (Summertime Publishing, 2012). Read more about the book here.