Getting to UIC
Once you arrive in the U.S., you have many options to get yourself to campus or your temporary accommodation. Which option you choose depends on your budget, time of arrival, familiarity with public transportation, and of course, how much luggage you have. The Office of International Services does not offer airport pick-up, but we hope the information below can help you see how easy it is to make your way to campus.
Arriving to Illinois by plane Heading link
Most international travelers will arrive to Illinois via an international flight landing in Chicago’s O’Hare or Midway international airports. O’Hare International Airport is located about 17 miles northwest of downtown Chicago and is connected to the city by the CTA Blue Line train. Midway International Airport is about 11 miles southwest of downtown Chicago and is connected by the CTA Orange Line. O’Hare is the larger of the two airports and most international flights will land here. Midway is a hub for Southwest Airlines and serves mostly U.S. domestic flights, however, some select flights from Mexico may land here. If your final destination is UIC’s campus in Peoria, General Wayne A. Downing Airport runs daily jet service to Peoria from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston and Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Airport shuttles and coach bus service Heading link
GO Airport Express provides shuttle service at an affordable rate from O’Hare and Midway airports to the UIC campus in Chicago, downtown Chicago, and select suburbs. Coach USA Van Galder provides bus service from O’Hare Airport to Rockford, IL and Peoria Charter provides bus service from O’Hare and Midway to Peoria, IL. These services are a good option if you would like to book your transportation in advance and at a fixed rate.
Public transportation Heading link
Both O’Hare and Midway airports are connected to downtown Chicago and the UIC campus by the city’s public transportation system known as the CTA. The Blue Line train runs from O’Hare, through downtown Chicago, and links directly to the UIC campus. The Orange Line train runs from Midway to downtown Chicago where a transfer to the Blue Line train or CTA bus can get you to campus. The ride from O’Hare costs $5 and from Midway it is $2.50. The CTA is a good option if you are comfortable navigating public transportation systems, are arriving during daytime hours, and have minimal luggage that you can lift and manage quickly on your own.
Taxis and ride shares Heading link
If you are not yet comfortable navigating public transportation, are arriving outside business hours, or have more luggage that you can manage on a train, taking a taxi or ride share service from the airport to your temporary accommodation may be worth the extra cost. Both O’Hare and Midway airports have designated areas for taxi drivers and ride share services, such as Uber or Lyft, to pick up new passengers. For your safety, it is important that you only enter a car parked in these designated areas to ensure that you have a licensed driver. Do not accept a ride from a driver outside the designated queue or from anyone who approaches you inside the airport. These are typically unlicensed drivers who will over charge you for your ride. The fare from the airport to downtown Chicago can vary based on traffic conditions but typically costs $30-$40 from O’Hare and $35-40 from Midway and an additional 15% tip for the driver is customary.