Why Choose Chicago?

It was February 2005 and my friends and I sat down to try and figure out where we wanted to go for a summer of fun. We asked ourselves several questions, and within an hour or so we realized that Chicago ticked all our boxes. Here’s what we wanted from our experience and this is why Chicago is the perfect place to work and have a great time with your friends.

Chill Out by the Beach!

Many people from outside the U.S. don’t realize that Chicago boasts some phenomenal beaches. Very few cities can say they have 26 miles of lakefront, 33 beaches and 19 miles of a bicycle track. The most popular beaches for tourists in Chicago are Oak Street Beach and North Avenue Beach. Both are in the heart of downtown Chicago, walking distance from some of the world’s best shopping (we’ll get to that!).

When I traveled with my friends, our favorite thing to do was hit the beach with a frisbee or ball and just relax for hours on end. Go for a dip, chat with the locals, or simply work on your tan (or burn in my case!), Chicago’s beaches provide for the ultimate chill out day. Oh, and by the way, the skyline view from the beach is simply breathtaking.

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The Nightlife!

We had such a laugh, with literally hundreds of places to go for a bite or a pint, but looking back, we probably didn’t get the best out of the city and the area we were in. Why? Because a company like Hop The Pond didn’t exist back then. The ‘Hoppers Hangout’ is the ultimate summer party, located in the heart of wrigleyville. Our Hop The Pond parties will bring your summer experience to a new level.

“I’m Just Going to Jump on the L”

Whether you’re living in Wrigleyville or Bucktown, Chicago’s bus and ‘L’ system makes commuting around the city simple. For $2.25 you can just jump on the bus or ‘L’ and travel the full length of the route and get where you need to be.

Although, the ‘L’ is great for downtown and local suburbs, it was so frustrating not being able to travel to places just outside of the city. I wish we had a service like Hop The Pond where my mates and I were brought to Six Flags or Skydiving. They’re a couple of trips that should be a ‘must’ when you come here!

Chicago, You're Gorgeous

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Chicago is one of, if not the most beautiful city in the world. It boasts the best skyline in the world, for sure. Add to that the lakefront, its gorgeous parks and its clean streets and you’ll quickly see that Chicago has plenty of charm.

In the heart of downtown you can visit the lovely Navy Pier, which has a 150 foot Ferris wheel with spectacular views. And within walking distance of Navy Pier you can visit Lincoln Park Zoo (free of charge!) and the Shedd Aquarium. Go for a jog or a walk and just take in this classy town!


Meeting New Friends Every Day!

After our summer, we all agreed that it was the perfect place to meet new friends, and just share a laugh with the locals. Some cities’ locals like to defend their own patch, but in Chicago you’ll be embraced, as long as you have mutual respect for the city and its people.

Through organized ‘Hopper’ nights out, events & trips, playing GAA or Soccer, you’ll find it near impossible to return home without a book full of new friends! Our Hoppers Hangout Rooftop Party was quickly established last summer as the place to go and meet people.

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How Can I Afford a Summer in the States?

Choose Chicago! Simple. Chicago is extremely low-priced compared to New York, Boston, California, and overseas countries like Ireland and England. I can’t overstate how affordable this beautiful city is compared to your other options. Whether it’s your commute costs, or your food and drink prices, Chicago is perfect for international tourists.

While here, I worked as a waiter in an Irish Pub downtown and I did well with tips most days. That money made my summer a dream for eating in cool restaurants, picking up a new t-shirt or a gift for someone, and just having cash to go visit a different city or treat myself. You can experience this too by purchasing our Guaranteed Seasonal Job before you land to take the worry out of affording this new adventure.

I want to go to the Match … Well I Want to Shop!

Stop right there! You can do it all in the windy city! Chicago’s sports and shopping scenes are arguably the best in the world!

From Soccer, to Baseball, to Basketball, to Ice Hockey, to American Football – Chicago has plenty of professional sports teams, with affordable ticket prices for the casual fan, and the games are always a great laugh with friends.

And if you’re a fan of the odd splurge when it comes to shopping, why not check out Chicago’s ‘Magnificent Mile’. Located steps away from Oak Street Beach, this shoppers’ paradise caters for a fancy trip to Tiffanys, or a bargain basement hunter.

To conclude, by hopping to Chicago it was honestly one of the best decisions of my life. Now I want to show you, with Hop The Pond, everything this incredible city has to offer.