LAWG Week: Gabriela Garcia and Rebecca Teasdale on Chicago for Students and Evaluators on a Budget

Hello! We are Gabriela Garcia and Rebecca Teasdale, two Chicagoans who are also doctoral students in Educational Psychology specializing in program evaluation at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. We want to take this opportunity to not only welcome all graduate students who will be attending the AEA conference this fall, but to also share some of our favorite things about our home town.

As you may know, Chicago is home to more than 20 colleges and universities, which has contributed to a vibrant cultural and scholarly community. Here are some of our Hot Tips for your time in Chicago:

Hot Tip #1: South Loop is college central

South loop is home to 5 universities: Columbia College Chicago, DePaul University, Robert Morris University, Roosevelt University Chicago Campus, and School of the Art Institute of Chicago. So it’s got everything you need in a student-friendly atmosphere. You can find free wifi at the Harold Washington Library Center and at the Panera Bread across the street (501 S. State). For great coffee, check out Intelligentsia or Cafecito. If you need access to a university library, just take the blue line train to the University of Illinois at Chicago where the Richard J.Daley Library (401 S. Morgan) is open to the public. And a quick ride on the red line train will take you to the Apple Store (679 N. Michigan).

Hot Tip #2: Chicago on a budget

Chicago has many great attractions, but some of them can break a student budget. Here are some of our favorites that are free of charge every day: Chicago Cultural Center, Lake Michigan, Lincoln Park Zoo, Millennium Park, National Museum of Mexican Art, and Smart Museum of Art. The Jane Addams-Hull House Museum is also free every day but does have a suggested donation. And the DuSable Museum of African American History is free on Sundays while the Loyola University Museum of Art has free admission every Tuesday. For those who would like to get their cardio in while sightseeing or just go for your weekly run, take advantage of the Chicago Lakefront Path which is about a mile away from the Hyatt Regency.

If you are looking for budget-friendly accommodations, consider the HI-Chicago Hostel, which is located a mile away from the Hyatt and offers free wifi and breakfast!

We’re looking forward to November and the Evaluation 2015 annual conference all this week with our colleagues in the Local Arrangements Working Group (LAWG). Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to contribute to aea365? Review the contribution guidelines and send your draft post to

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