Visa Application and Chicago Trip

*Please note: This post was first published on the blog I kept in 2011 while studying abroad *

For people planning to study abroad sometime in the future I thought it would be worth it to use my first post to talk about applying for your visa. (If you’re studying abroad during the summer you will most likely not need one.)

First of all, for a Spanish Visa you will need to go in person to the consulate (in Chicago) or contact an agency that can go in person for you to drop off your application materials. International Affairs can get you a list of credible representatives to contact. The website for the Consulate General of Spain is:

I wanted to have a fall break trip to Chicago and applied for my visa in person, knowing that I would have to return in person to pick up my visa. On the website they state all student visas must be picked up in person. However, they have not updated their website to state that if you apply in person you can give them a priority mail envelope (~$18) to have your visa and passport mailed to you. No matter what you have to go to Chicago once during your visa application process but once is much less expensive than twice which is what I ended up doing.

I’m not sure what other country’s visa applications are like but if you end up going to Chicago here are some things I recommend seeing:

My First Trip to Chicago (October)

Sears Tower (Now called the Willis Tower)

You get a full panoramic view of the city and can stand on glass ledges and look straight down.




Lincoln Park Zoo

It was free and had a lot of cool animals.




The Field Museum

This museum has so much natural history in it that I’m sure there is a lot we didn’t see.



Shedd Aquarium

If you have time to see the aquarium go, but if you don’t, go to the Field Museum.



Buckingham Fountain

This fountain is huge and is another free attraction.




Museum of Science and Industry

Even if you don’t go inside go to the bus stop to see the R2D2 mailbox (if it’s still there). The museum is kinda like a children’s museum that’s acceptable for adults to play in.



Second Trip to Chicago (December)

The Art Institute of Chicago

There is a lot of art in this building.





Cloud Gate

A very cool interactive (and once again free) piece of art just north of the Art Institute



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