Intern in Chicago—a beautiful city on the shore of Lake Michigan, home to major global corporations and companies, with fantastic architecture, green parks, sandy beaches, great food, and exciting nightlife. Walk, bike, or take the "L" (the elevated and underground subway system) to work in this dynamic city of bold skyscrapers and major cultural events. For lunch, you can sample staples like deep-dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs. Grab a bag of caramel corn on the way back to the office for dessert! An IES internship in Chicago develops your professional skills, your ability to communicate across cultures, and provides substantive work experience to jump-start your career in today’s competitive job market.
A summer internship in Chicago develops your professional skills, your ability to communicate across cultures, and provides substantive work experience to jump-start your career in today’s competitive job market. You'll be guaranteed an unpaid placement at a local business or organization, where you'll work for at least 32 hours a week. We will work with you to help find the closest match between your expressed preferences and professional goals with what's available via IES Internships in Chicago.
Before you go, your internship coordinator will work with you to fine-tune your résumé, perfect your cover letter, and hone your communication and interview skills as we prepare you for working in a new cultural environment.
Spend your free time exploring the many world-class museums, numerous neighborhoods, or some of the 580 parks and beaches, including the 696-an elevated park built upon an abandoned train line. Root for the Cubs at historic Wrigley Field on the north side or the White Sox at the modern U.S. Cellular Field on the south side. Save time for IES field trips and networking events.
Past summer interns have worked in placements like those listed below. Keep in mind that this list is by no means exhaustive. We encourage students of all majors to apply.
Nonprofit focused inspiring students and community members through public art
Nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting kids by improving children’s product safety
Global company offering professional training to adults who want to teach English as a foreign language overseas
Global nonprofit that builds partnerships to lift communities out of poverty
Nonprofit providing housing, health care, and human connection to community members struggling with poverty and homelessness
Nonprofit center building economic success among Chicago families through tax preparation and tax-related legal and financial services
Wearable fitness device company integrating cardio exercise into every person’s daily life
High-end digital photography company
Organization promoting Spanish culture and language
While working in Chicago you’ll also enroll in a required 3-credit academic internship seminar with other IES interns, where you'll gain context for your internship placement by examining cultural issues in the workplace. Topics covered include:
Understanding workplace culture
Strengthening work attitude and aptitude
Navigating issues, challenges, and opportunities so you can succeed on the job in Chicago and when you return home
You can participate in field trips and extracurricular activities in and around Chicago.
Potential destinations include:
Take a water taxi from the Magnificent Mile to Chinatown to attend the Dragon Boat Race and Festival. Experience authentic Chinese culture and cuisine.
Explore this 150-year-old hub of Mexican American culture in Chicago. Visit the National Museum of Mexican Art and grab a bite to eat from a local bodega or panaderia. Pilsen is also home to the Chicago Arts district featuring several blocks of artists’ lofts, studios and galleries.
See another great Midwestern metropolis by joining us on an overnight excursion to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Have lunch at a local German establishment, attend a Milwaukee Brewers baseball game, and take part in Fest Italiano in the heart of downtown Milwaukee.
All field trips and off-site activities are optional for Internships students. Additional costs may apply and availability will depend on your work schedule.
Part of making you feel at home in Chicago is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it is an orientation program that makes you feel prepared, housing that is well-located and comfortable, or networking and social events with Chicago professionals—we’re all about our student services.
When you arrive, the staff in Chicago will welcome you for orientation. This includes an introduction to the city with sessions about housing, commuting, and professional and cultural expectations.
We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Chicago, it will feel like home.
Live in a residence hall with three other IES interns in suite-style double rooms. Daily breakfast included. Optional meal plans are available for an additional fee.
Get to Know Your New City
Root For the Home Team
No summer in Chicago is complete without attending at least one baseball game. Root for the Cubs at historic Wrigley Field or the White Sox at the modern Guaranteed Rate Field.
Chow Down in Chi Town
Be sure to try all of the culinary delights the city has to offer including Chicago’s signature dishes: deep-dish pizza, a Chicago-style hot dog, Italian beef, and Chicken Vesuvio.
Roam the Parks
With more than 580 parks and beaches, you’ll be sure to spend some quality time in a few of them, whether you choose to bike along the lakefront or catch a free concert in Millennium Park.
Experience the Street Festivals
Chicago’s neighborhoods come alive in the summer with street festivals nearly every weekend from Wicker Park Fest and the Old Town Art Fair to Ribfest, the Taste of Chicago, and everything in between.
Visit World-Renowned Museums
Check out the newest exhibits at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Field Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), the Chicago History Museum, and others.
Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.
The IES Internships Chicago Center is housed within the IES Abroad Chicago offices. Situated in the Chicago Loop it is a short walk from the lakefront, Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park, Harold Washington Library, and State Street shopping district.
Andrew Erwin, Ph.D.
IES Abroad Staff
IES Internships Staff
Angela Liu- College Relations Manager and Advisor
AT A GLANCE
Non-native English speakers will need to refer to Application Requirements