Moving to Chicago

Chicago at first glance seems like an unlikely expat destination; tucked between the American heartland and Lake Michigan, foreigners would seem more inclined to stop at the coastal cities of Boston and New York before they ventured inland to Chicago. Yet many expats are bypassing America's more international cities for a more vibrant, multicultural and certainly business-oriented environment in the said heart of the USA.

Chicago is America's third largest city, but has throughout American history been known as the 'other' big city after New York. A reputation as an underdog has worked well for Chicago, which is ever proving to the world just how important a metropolis it really is. This manifests itself in a number of ways, including world-class museums, towering skyscrapers, beautiful parks and a huge glistening business district.

Perhaps most importantly though, the city keeps investing in itself, continuously improving infrastructure, trying to fix its educational system, providing some of the country's top higher educational universities and, as expats will notice, courting the world's largest companies to relocate their headquarters to within its windy borders. Expats moving to Chicago with children will be pleased to find that the city offers a solid range of private and international schooling options.

While health insurance is one of the major expenses expats will need to account for when moving anywhere in the USA, those relocating to Chicago can rest assured that they will have access to good quality medical services. The city is home to some of the best hospitals in the USA, largely due to the presences of many medical schools.

While the cost of living in Chicago is considerably higher than the national average, it is lower than many other American cities such as New York; this is also offset by the fact that salaries in Chicago are also higher than the national average. Yet for all these advantages, Chicago has many of the same entrenched problems that plague most American cities. Public education can be dismal and high crime rates force families away from the city.