Letters from abroad: Chicago

Flickr photo by hearkencreative
Flickr photo by hearkencreative

Greetings from Chi-town! It’s the city where sporting black hair is a sign that you’re Brazilian! No seriously, I have never been asked so many times in my life if my ‘funny accent’ is Brazilian, which by the way, it isn’t.

The moment I stepped off the plane, I got the foreigner stare. People here seem to know right away when Chicago is not your home. They find it really entertaining to ask you to say something in French when they find out that you’re Canadian (I don’t find it entertaining), because apparently you aren’t Canadian if you don’t speak it. Once you crack and say something, they respond with ‘ou la la!’ which apparently is their way of telling you they know how to speak French too.

Besides their annoying demands that you speak French, everyone here in the city and at Loyola University Chicago is pretty nice. It’s funny though, because I never understood those articles that name Canadians as some of the friendliest people until I moved to the United States. People are nice, but they don’t want to be bothered.

The vibe is just very different here. The competition is obvious to an outsider like me who back home would rather help my peers succeed than see them fail.  Not to say that competition is a bad thing, it’s actually a great thing if the reasoning behind it is positive.

As Frank Lloyd Wright said, “Eventually, I think Chicago will be the most beautiful great city left in the world.” Photo by Marilyn Santucci.

The school itself is just a world of its own. The journalism program here is pretty popular and like at Concordia, has its own J-School building. The broadcast studio has windows around three of its walls, so those outside of the building can see and hear what is being broadcasted. Many of the professors are known journalists who are recognized not only locally and nationally, but internationally as well. It’s thrilling to be around so many people who have the same dreams and aspirations that you do.

Downtown Chicago is just a masterpiece. I have travelled to many places, but something about this city sends shivers down my spine every time I step onto its streets. You discover something new about the city everyday. Magnificent Mile truly is magnificent. The architecture, restaurants, shopping and parks are unique, and nothing short of great. I literally got lost for four hours in Millennium Park the other day, and it turned out to be the best day I have had here so far. It’s very difficult to put into words how beautiful the city is, as Frank Lloyd Wright said, “Eventually, I think Chicago will be the most beautiful great city left in the world.”

I truly do love and miss Montreal, but right now, Chicago isn’t doing such a bad job of stepping in as my temporary home.

Currently on exchange or heading off in Winter 2014? Interested in taking part in “Letters from abroad?” Let us know! Email: [email protected]


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