This post includes the perspectives of members of UChicago’s International Student Advisory Committee (ISAC). ISAC is a group of current students who are excited to help you learn more about the UChicago undergraduate experience. ISAC is made up of students from all four years of the College and from all over the world!
For students coming from all across the globe (and the States), one concern about Chicago is confronting the winter. As one of the most frequently asked questions on tours, in panels, and at all of our events, we decided to speak to a couple of students from some of the warmest climates around the globe to talk to us about their transition to the Chicago winter.
Maya, a first year in the College, grew up in Singapore, or what she would describe as “basically the tropics.”
“I was not at all prepared for my first winter here at UChicago,” she said, “but I did have friends who were well used to this climate. They were always there to give me tips, advice, and recommendations for surviving the winter! My biggest takeaways were definitely layering and investing in one good coat that would last.”
Growing up in Taipei, Taiwan, fourth year Liam was exposed to a climate similar to that of Maya. He jokes that the humidity during the summer back home “constantly made you want to opt for the least amount of clothing possible (within societal standards).”
“The Chicago winter affords you the ability to layer as much as you want to stay warm, and everyone will understand if you end up looking like the Michelin Man,” he joked.
While some may be focused entirely on adjusting to cold weather, both students have loved their winter experiences. As heavy snow falls into Chicago, our gothic campus is transformed into a sort of winter wonderland, accompanied by the University’s winter lighting that makes the whole season of winter effectively a holiday on campus.
Because of this, and all the activities you can take part in, Maya thinks winter is now her new favorite season.
“One of my favorite memories of winter quarter was a class-wide snowball fight we had with our HUM professor outside of Harper,” she said.
For those hoping for some treats to warm up during winter, hot chocolate becomes a huge staple of campus once the snow hits! On top of grabbing a cup from the dining halls, tables are set up across campus from time to time with the University passing out cups of these delicious treats to give students a midday boost their way to class. Students also find other cold-weather passions such as snow sculpting or learning to ice skate on the Midway’s rink!
Thank you to Maya and Liam for sharing their experiences getting used to winter in Chicago! Be sure to keep an eye out for future posts sharing the experiences of our ISAC members!