Note: A lactation room for mothers is available on the 19th floor of the Illini Center.
Getting to Chicago
Chicago is home to two major airports: O'Hare International Airport (ORD) and Midway International Airport (MDW). Together they offer approximately aproximately 1,450 daily direct flights to more than 245 destinations. O'Hare is about 17 miles from downtown Chicago, and Midway is about 10 miles from downtown Chicago.
GO Airport Express offers a shared shuttle service between both airports and hotels/attractions in downtown Chicago. We recommend making a shuttle reservation prior to your trip. From O'Hare Airport to to downtown Chicago, the average roundtrip cost is $35 per person. From Midway Airport to downtown Chicago, the average roundtrip cost is $30 per person.
Alternative options include taking a taxi cab, Uber, or CTA bus or train. The CTA Blue Line provides service directly to and from O'Hare Airport, and the CTA Orange Line provides service directly to Midway Airport.
For more information and to compare pricing, please visit transitchicago.com/airports.
Amtrak serves downtown Chicago via Union Station (225 South Canal Street, Chicago, IL 60606). Union Station is about 0.5 miles from downtown Chicago.
Additionally, the Metra rail system has 11 lines with 241 stations radiating from downtown Chicago to the six-county area of northeast Illinois. Trains run frequently during rush hour and about every hour during off-peak times.
Greyhound provides daily coach bus service to and from downtown Chicago. The station is located at 630 W. Harrison Street, Chicago, IL 60607, about 0.5 miles from the conference venue in downtown Chicago.
Megabus provides daily, low-cost bus service with two stops in downtown Chicago.
Peoria Charter Coach Company also provides daily bus service between both airports, Union Station, and downstate Illinois, including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus.
Chicago is a hub for several major interstates and higways such as I-90 (Kennedy Expressway), I-94 (Dan Ryan Expressway), I-55 (Stevenson Expressway), I-290 (Eisenhower Expressway), and I-294 (Tri-State Tollway). However, please be aware that parking in downtown Chicago can be both challenging and costly.
Entering the USA
Every visitor entering the USA from abroad needs a passport. Foreign passports must be valid for at least six months longer than your intended stay in the USA unless your country of origin is exempt from that requirement – see the exempt countries at this CBP website.
Foreign nationals entering the U.S. are also required to present a valid visa issued by a U.S. consular official unless they are:
- a citizen of a country eligible for the Visa Waiver Program
- a lawful permanent resident of the USA
- a citizen of Canada orother visa exempt country
A foreign national travelling by air who is a citizen of a country eligible for the Visa Waiver Program must have an approved ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) before travelling to the USA. You may apply for ESTA at esta.cbp.dhs.gov.
As a routine matter, U.S. Customs and Border Protection may search your belongings even if you don’t declare anything. The full list of customs rules is at cbp.gov.
The unit of currency in the United States is the Dollar ($). Click here to calculate the current exchange rates. Foreign currency may be exchanged at banks during normal business days as well as at the airport and hotels. Exchange rates are set daily by each bank. Credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and Diners Club are all widely accepted. ATMs are available at airports, hotels, and many shops and fast food restaurants.
It is custom to tip 20% for good service at restaurants and bars in the United States.
Electric power is standardized in all states across the USA. It is set at 110 Volts and 60 cycles. 220 Volt power is used in homes only for large appliances like stoves, water heaters and clothes dryers. It is not normally available for personal appliances.
If you bring any electrical appliance to the USA, you may need an adaptor to fit the US electrical receptacles. You may also need a converter to change the voltage from 110 volts to 220 volts.
Most common appliances will function with either 50 or 60 cycle current. Electrical frequency can affect electric clocks, audio equipment and some other electronic gear. You should check your electrical equipment for compatibility with 60-cycle current before you bring it to the USA.
Dial 911 for emergency services (police, fire, paramedics).