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SUMMER IN CHICAGO: Topics: My First Impressions of Chicago/ Compare and Contrast My Culture with US Culture Photos by Pattanan Boonkong. I Am Stuck Between Two Cities

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SUMMER IN CHICAGO:Topics: My First Impressions of Chicago/ Compare and Contrast My Culture with US CulturePhotos by Pattanan Boonkong

  • I Am Stuck Between Two Cities

  • I arrived in Chicago from Krakow at the end of April. It was very cold and rainy. It was a long day for me, because of the time difference. I visited downtown and I was very excited. I have lived here for three months, and I like this city. One reason I like Chicago is because it is located on Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes, and I enjoy water and every sport connected with it (swimming, sailing and diving).

  • Chicago gives me a great opportunity to study, rest, and have fun all in one place. However; the things I most hate are public transportation and over crowded streets. It takes too much time to get from place to place. So maybe life in general would be easier in a smaller city. In my opinion, I think that it is easer to live Krakow than Chicago.

  • Krakow is a very old city, much older than Chicago. It is a big city as well, the second largest in Poland. There are not as many skyscrapers and other taller buildings, but there are a lot of older ones. The entire Main Market Square is listed in the UNESCO List of Word Heritage. This market is very beautiful, and is the biggest market square in Europe. There are a lot of pubs and coffee shops. The pubs are located in old buildings which are over a hundred years old. There is a very special climate and culture, you can feel the spirit of this town. Unfortunately, there isn’t any type of lake in my city. Therefore; it is not easy for me to choose which city is better for me to live in.

  • Rafal


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  • Manu said…

  • My Second Summer Class

  • I love the summer class; we always have something to learn from them.My first summer class it was beautiful, but this one is was the best one the trip, the experience and the new friend we meet. Every trip is was interesting, full of color and emotion my prefer it was the cancer park and the library of Chicago, two place of sapience and quiet both they a lot in common, my experience here in Chicago now is grow up, because I learn to watch every thing whit different eye.I always love understand the story of Chicago city and now I know more it’s not a lot but I can start something from this one, Chicago is a beautiful city full of magic, and people a perfect combination.But this experience is was more full because of a special person travel whit me all-time, whit her I see a lot of staff and know more about my new house, I going to sad thanks to her and to great teacher follow us in this beautiful summer class, I want pass more time like this go around Chicago and learn a lot of this beautiful city.Thanks for everything Manuel Artiano Manu


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  • Una said…

  • My First Summer ClassThis class is the fifth class of me in BIR. I found many things different from another class that I used to study before. I can join with another student in the group that the teacher assigned to do the project together, and I got a lot of new experience.The first I can go out every afternoon class, so interesting because of I have to go the place that I never seen before and some where I never thought that I will go, for example, the cemetary the place that made me think and relies about the life, finally we will go to the same place. I am so sorry I had missed the beautiful trip, Boat trip. My friends told me this trip was very nice and they can see many place in Chicago. But for me the most beautiful place is Garfield Park. I really like this place because they have many beautiful kinds of plant and sorce of them,especially I can see the plant that came from my country, Thailand such as papaya tree, jasmine and orange tree. The next reason, this class gave me the freedom of thinking,I can write everything that I need and I can show my inspiration in the space that I have to built.All of them that I said were made the class colourfull, but Lynne Sabas made the class perfect. I never scary for think in this class. Thank you for teach and take me to know many side of life. I like this class.

  • SirilakMongkolsri


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  • Slawek said… (

  • This class is my second in this scholl, so that means its my first sommer in here…I really like it this term because we travel a lot to many diferent places where i never been before.For example, the cemetary the place that made me think and forgot about the life.there was beautiful places that we went to, but the most fun and relaxing trip was on the boat.We travel around Downtown Chicago, toward the lake michigan and back to city. Last week we went to beautifut place called Garfield Park.I really like this place because they have many kinds of plant, especially I can see the plant that are in my country too.Chicago is a greate and beautiful city and place where you can live and travel every day, because there is so many places to see. i want to thank to my teacher Lynne Sabas for all that she show to us and teach in this beautiful summer term… Thank You!!!!!!

  • Go Go said… (

  • PattananBoonkongMy First Impression of Chicago The first impression of Chicago for me is at O’Hare International Airport. The first day that I arrived Chicago by plane, I walked in the passenger path way, I was really surprised because of the music mixed with lightning show along the way. It means to me welcome to city of art and music. I have never seen before the city like this before. You feel relaxing after a long flight. Chicago has the best environment. The great lake, which names Michigan Lake, contains deep- blue- clean- fresh water. The beaches along the lake are beautiful, in summer time people do many activities there such as swimming, walking, playing volleyball, and so on. Chicago has another interested atmosphere full of many skyscrapers. The beautiful tall buildings are located along two sides of Chicago River. Sear Tower is the most famous building. Michigan Avenue is the most important shopping street of Chicago, brand name shops such as Gucci, Prada, Louis Voitten, Apple, ect., are here.


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  • Anna said

  • I came to Chicago with my future mother-in-law, and I was very glad that I wasn’t alone. The main reason I came to Chicago was that my boyfriend moved here. I was very excited because we didn’t see each other one year. In the plane I was thinking about everything but especialy about our meeting. On the other hand I was affraid because I have to live in new place and with new people:my future parents-in-law. Also I didn’t know any English. But for my surprise many Polish people have lived in Chicago. First day we went to know our neighbourhood, and I recognized that I didn’t feel strange in this city. Nearby our house are Polish stores, restaurants, churches, travel offices. That means for beginning I didn’t have to know any English. In Poland I had lived in village and first things I could say about Chicago were big roads, big trucks and lowly flying planes because we have lived here near Midway airport. When I came to Chicago, I heard a lot that life in Poland is better and happier than in the U.S. In the U.S. everyone thinks only about money. I was disappointed that everyone said this to me. In Poland, people think the life in the U.S. is very good, people are happy here and everything comes easy. In the beginning time in Chicago when I visited some friends and family, the main topic of conversation was job and salary. I could recognize what was important for people in the U.S. Everybody said they didn’t have time to visit friends a lot because they had to go to work. In Poland it’s a little bit different. I can say that people don’t live only for money. They have time to visit family during the week, not only on Sunday.Now that, I have been living in Chicago, I see that people were right. I don’t have time to spend with my husband. Maybe I have time, but he doesn’t have it.


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  • Mike said…

  • I came to Chicago on May 4, 2004. It was the biggest adventure in my life because I have never been far away from my home before. I remembered my first impression here was the scene of the Skyline of Chicago from the airplane. I was also caught of guard by el, brown line. I got on the train to downtown to explore Chicago, it did not make me feel disappointed at all. I experienced many beautiful buildings in Loop, all of them are both tall and nice architecture. However, I had to construct with many difficulties in Chicago. As I described on the beginning, Chicago weather is not the same as my home country. Thailand is the hot climate country so I am familiar with summer at Chicago. On other hands, winter is a big obstacle for me. The temperature in Thailand is only 15 to 17 celcius degree while Chicago temperature goes below 0 celcius degree, freezing point. It took me many weeks to adjust myself to the climate. Transportation is another major difference. Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) makes my life easier than Bangkok. In Thailand, I drove a car everyday, the traffic in Bangkok is so jammed. At that time, there was no rapid transits like skytrain and subway. In addition, the taste of the food is unlike from my home country. Thai food is really spicy but the food here is not spicy at all. There are lots of butter, cheese, and cream in American food so it takes me a little while to familiar with them. Finally, I am really glad to live in Chicago. I love many things here, such as buildings, public transportation, environment, etc. I would recommend that anyone who will travel to the United States should make a stop at Chicago.

  • Pae said…

  • Payungsakkiatruangkit (Pae)My First Impression of ChicagoThe impression of mine was the first time I saw the first snow. Hornestly, snow is the reason that I decide to come to Chicago. The first time I saw snow was very dramatic. On that day I woke up because I heard my roomate shouting. He said that it was snowing. Then, I looked out of the window. I saw something strange fallen down from the sky. I ran out of my room suddenly and stood out at the middle of the street in front of my apartment. I felt something cold and soft touching my skin. It was white and clean. I streached both of my hands out and tried to catch the snow. It was unweight and tiny. Ferw hours later, the path along the street, tree branches, lofts of th the apartments bacame white. It is different from my homeland, Thailand. We do not have snow and we do not have to wear any sweaters or overcoats to make us warm because it is hot all year. For me, I rarely wear jeans. I usually wear shorts because it makes me feel better and comfortable. The temperature there has never belowed zero. It is alomost 100 farenheits or above.Thus, it is truly that I am very excited about the first snow. Moreover, I can say that I will never forget the impressive moment that I see the first snow in Chicago.


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  • Om said… (05 Aug 08, looking at version 1)

  • My first impression of the city of Chicago was cold weather. I arrived Chicago on January 2006 which was the coldest month of the year. In contrast, it is never cold in Thailand. At first I enjoyed the cold weather and beauty of snow. However, I miss Thailand and its hot weather after spending 2 years in Chicago. Although Chicago has a long winter, it is beautiful in summer. There are a lot of events to join and lake are open to enjoy the weather.Chicago is a metropolitan city with a good combination of quiet residential area and busy downtown, unlike New York City which is very busy city. Everywhere is crownded with people and building. There are different cultures and communities in Chicago, such as, Korean, Latino, Chinese, Greek ans more. People came from many countries which is different from Thailand.


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  • Amal Kimawi said…

  • My first impression of the city of Chicago that it is very big city.I rememberd when I went from the airport to the downtown hotel that I got scared and was thinking to move from Chicago to smaller place.Next morning,when I walked down in the street,going to the famous parks and getting help from many freindly people to find my way,I changed my mind.Chicago is the one of the biggest cities in the world.It has many attractions and muesuems.It also has one best schools and universities with all different branches.That why many international students prefere to study here.Chicago has all cultures and people here from all background.There are many thing to do in this city . There are more than 10 different big muesums and parks. There are many resturants with foods from all over the worlds.There are many attractions for children to play like six flags and navy pier.Public atransportations are excellent.I like every thing in Chicago except the winter as a from the Middle East.Chicago other name is The Windy City which I discover it later.Otherwise,the summer here is the best and I hope it stay for longer time.

  • Kim Hyoseong said… (

  • I will discuss about people, places, things and things to do in Chicago. Also, I will compare with my country about those.

  • At first, I think about the people in Chicago. What I thought about is that most of people are very kind and friendly. For example, when I arrived at the O’Hare airport, one guy was waiting for me. He was very nice and kind but he let me take wrong place. I was afraid because I did not speak English fluently as well as now. Fortunately, one woman who was in front desk of a dorm that I was helped me very kindly. Although it was very small thing, I was impressed because as you know it is very nervous to be unfamiliar place alone. In our country in general, most foreigners said that Koreans were very unkind when they meet them at first but after they spent time with them they could find the fact that Koreans are not unkind and they really want to try to give foreigners real love not just kindness.At second, I think about the places. When I saw the skyline of Chicago at first time, I just could not stop being admired because it is very beautiful and elegant. I would tell the skyline of Chicago is the best in the world and each building has their own character such as European style and Egyptian style. If you are an architect, you should visit Chicago. Contrary to capital of Korean, the buildings in Chicago are more cultural and elegant than Seoul’s. In Seoul, the buildings do not reflect our traditional culture. They have quite differences, I think both of them are very nice though. Moreover the people in Chicago can enjoy the arts, for example, Chicago has a lot of museums and galleries. Furthermore Chicago has a huge and clear Lake Michigan. It looks like a sea. When I went to the lake, I was impressed because of size and clearness. I heard the government try to keep the lake clean and has a law about banned the pollution by ships. I think it is very good attitude for environment. So it makes people can enjoy playing and swimming in the water. Also in Korea we have a lot of beautiful places in nature. We have a lot of mountains and lakes. At third, I think about things and what we have to do in Chicago. As you know, Chicago has a lot of festivals in the summer like Jazz festival, Taste of Chicago, etc. I am very lucky because I can enjoy and be part of them. In Millennium Park it has a big stage. So a lot of musicians come to there and play music or held concerts. We can rest on the grass peacefully with music. One thing I was surprised is Rainbow festival. It is for gays and I heard this festival is one of big one in Chicago. I wanted to go there but I could not. Why I was surprised we do not have any chance like this festival. Even though the thoughts about gays are changing now, we still mind talk about gays. For example, one actor in Korea came out that I am gay but people did not like him. As a result, he could not act not any more. I think it is sort of freedom. Fortunately these day people are respecting others’ thoughts.


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  • yan said… (05 Aug 08, looking at version 1)

  • Different Education The education in the United States is very different form China. I had experenced the two kinds of education Firsthy,in traditional Chinese school,the schedule is really long a day.we usually take eight enen more hours’ study each day. Unlike in China,I just take three hours’ class a day in the United states. It sounds easier than before? The answer is exact mot.This is the cecond difference. From primary school to university, we always have two semesters a year. There are two big exams of each semester.Wedonot have pressure about study. How ever, there are four quarters a year in the United States and we have exams , tests everyday even every class. So I think we have more stress with study than in China.Teachers is another way to defime the two education. Chinese teachers dress fomal, students feel a little scared all the time. In contrast to China, teachers in the United States just lide our classmates, dresses are same to us. Furthmore,we will have fun together. Two countries’ educationn is completely different, but each one has its special way ,its good or inferior way.


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  • JEEJEE^_^ said… (

  • My first impression of the city of Chicago was the weather. When i first got here, it was freezing. There was snow everywhere. It looked beautiful. I was home sick because it was too cold to go out anywhere at that time. It was sooooo boring to stuck at home. I really wanted to go back home. Now,i have more friends and have more things to do. I do miss my family and still want to go back to Thailand. However, it’s not in the mood to go back at this time, i still want to learn more things about cultural and people of this city,Chi-Town. I think that Chicago is the good place to study. There are lot of good schools here. Most of the people here are nice if comparing to New York. It’s not too big and not too small.I’m still not sure if i will apply for MBA here or not becaucei can’t stay cold for too long. I don’t know what it’s going to happen and how long im going to stay here. I like changing. At this time, Chicago is just “PERFECTO” for me. Thank for reading guys. Enjoy _

  • Nonnie said… (

  • My 1st impressions of Chicago

  • I’ve been here about 8 months. The 1st day i was here is 12/06/07. Yes, it was winter which means that it’s my 1st time that i saw snow,andi think it’s too much snow. I was very excited and cold. My host family “Kelly” picked me up @ O’hare airport. While we was in the car driving to her house, it was a lot of traffic jam that made me feel like i was in Bangkok. I though that it’s no traffic jam in Chicago but it’s not. A couple days later, i went to Water Tower.It’s crowded. I think that people in here is so nice. They are always smile to other people, even they don’t know each other. About the city, I think it’s not too big which i can go around the Loop in one or two days by walk. It’s a lot smaller than Bangkok and also a lot more beautiful. I think it’s good for me to stay here because it’s a good weather(not too much pollution as Bangkok), but I still prefer to stay in Bangkok with my family. Moreover,I hope one day my family could be here with me.


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  • Tukta said… (

  • My First Impression of the City of Chicago.I come to Chicago because I went to study English language, work, travel and exchange culture. I just come here for 1 month so I went to some place but it wasn’t many place. My favorite place which I most like is Lake of Chicago because it looks like the sea but it isn’t salt. Many times, I go to the beach, some times I go to the beach alone but some times I go to there with my friends. The transportation is comfortable, I can go to anywhere by trains and buses. The people in Chicago are friendly, they are say “Hi, How are you?” with everybody. The buildings are beautiful especially the buildings are in downtown. When I took the bus in the night, the light from buildings is wonderful. The difference between Thailand and Chicago is the weather. The weather in Thailand is so hot about 35 – 40 degree C and it is hasn’t snow. I never see snow. I hope to see it here.

  • ShuangGu said… (

  • My first impression of the city of ChicagoI have been in Chicago for a half year. Now I love this City more and more. It was the winter season of 2007 when I came here. The first impression is cold, more snow. It snowed one time in ever week. Although it snow frequently, the city is beautiful!!! The city after snowed likes a world of fairy tale. The white is so shine, also and fresh air. Except snow, the Chicago also is windy. Native American calls it “windy city”. So windy is a mark of Chicago.

  • The Chicago people is nice group. In public, when I looking for some location on the map. you may accept some help form some persons. As a alien, I felt warm in Chicago. Chicago is a famous history city in USA. A lot of famous historical architectures in Chicago, the noble Chicago museum, the extensive Michigan Lake, the thriving business centre, Sincerely Chicago is a big Museum of architecture. When people talk about Chicago, we can not ignore Michigan lake. the most excellent printer can not draw its scenery.

  • Comparing Chicago with my home city, Beijing, the environment is better but much colder. Anyway I like this city and the people who lives in Chicago!!


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  • seulgigu said

  • 5 oct 06. I arrived in U.S.A.It was a my first visiting time in U.S.A. So everything was a marvel for me. First time, i lived in virginia with my aunt, uncle and my cousin. When i arrived Washington Dollars airport, my feeled little afraid because everything was new and i couldn’t speak in English. Also, people were different to me. On my way, i was looking around. It was so clean, silent and peaceful. Until so far, virginia is a good place in my memory. And then after 1 year, i want to live by my self. So i moved to chicago. That day was a night time and snowing. So outside was too dark and so cold. Next day in the morning i went to the downtown and i saw the big and beautiful buildings. It looked like my country. Ofcourse smaller then there. But anyway it seems to be Korea, so i love chicago.

  • ThoucharinRuttan... said…

  • My first impressions of the cityofchicago.I came to chicago on January. When I got here it was so freezing and the snow was all over the street,thebackyaer and the house. I couldn’t go out side for a week because I hadn’t gotten use to it. Most people are really nice to me, may be they think I’m a tourist. Everyone keep telling me the summer is so nice, I can’t waitting to see it, Until today I love summer really much, it’s similar to Thailand but feel different. I have a lots of things to do on summer,I can bike, going to the lake, swimming and barbeque. Chicago has many Thai restuarants and that makes me not miss home so much. The thai food here is tast good and similar to my home. I love chicago because the places are beatiful,people are relly nice and the food is so good.


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  • PunpidKhomhomrune said…

  • My first Impressions of the city of Chicago. Chicago is a beautiful city. It has a good transportation, tourism location and also it is a economic city. I like how they do the city planing. They have a tourist attraction in the city and also the big company all over around the city too, so it is advantageous for Chicago tourism business.

  • I like the weather here in Chicago. They have winter activities and also a lot of summer activities that you can do many kind of activities. For example: you can do Ice skating in winter, riding a bike on Summer etc.

  • Chicago is very lovely city, I love Chicago.


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