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Steeped in rich history, blessed with a dynamic cultural scene, and buoyed by a robust economy, Illinois stands as a beacon for many expatriates seeking new horizons. Nestled in the heart of the Midwest, this state, often dubbed the “Prairie State,” offers a blend of bustling urban life and serene countryside. From the iconic skyline of Chicago to the fertile farmlands of its southern regions, Illinois promises a diverse tapestry of experiences. But, for expats, navigating a new state can be a mix of exhilaration and challenges. There are many things that you, as an expat, need to know about moving to Illinois. If you’re moving from a place with a different culture, then you will have a bit of a complicated time adjusting to your new home. That is why you should definitely continue reading our guide and find out more about Illinois from our Illinois for expats guide.

Breathtaking landscapes

If you are one of those persons who enjoy the great outdoors, then moving with professional movers Chicago to Illinois is the best thing you can do for yourself. Unlike other states, Illinois will leave you breathless because of the most beautiful outdoors you have ever seen. The whole state is, let us freely describe it, a flat state. Meaning that there are no mountains here, but they’re still attractive landscapes you can enjoy. For example, in the southern part of Illinois, you can enjoy the Garden of the Gods. It is a wonderful place that is also a hidden gem, where you can enjoy hiking and overall nature. But that is only the case if you’re not moving to Chicago. We are quite certain that you will enjoy this place a lot. Furthermore, there are many other interesting places you can visit.

a bird in nature as a part of Illinois for expats experience
Illinois for expats offers beautiful nature and scenery

As someone who loves nature, you would want to prepare for your move in the best way possible. That can only be possible if you think about hiring professional movers. For example, if you decide that Illinois is the perfect state for you and Niles is the community that can anticipate all your lifestyle needs, ensure to hire movers Niles IL, and have a stress-free relocation. After the move, make sure to visit the North Branch Trail and enjoy the breathtaking views that it offers.

Life in Illinois for expats

Now that you know what to expect of nature in the state of Illinois, it is time to take a look at more important things such as overall life, job opportunities, education, and many other things. When we talk about the cost of living in Illinois, we should mention that it is quite affordable place to live. With their rent going below the U.S. average rent, you would be happy to know that you will only spend around $970 on average per month. Now, on the other hand, we all know that Chicago is a place where prices can go up. So if you decide to hire Chicago area movers, you’ll need to expect that the price of rent can be twice as much.

But do not worry! Because there are certainly places in Illinois that are more affordable than Chicago. Morton Grove, situated just outside Chicago, typically offers homes at an average of $300,000, a more budget-friendly option compared to Chicago’s city center, where prices can soar to an average of $500,000. Therefore, if you would like to live near a vibrant place like Chicago but pay less for the rent, consider hiring movers Morton Grove IL. While Chicago’s price reflects its vibrant amenities and urban conveniences, Morton Grove boasts a quieter suburban appeal.

The cost of living in Illinois

In Illinois, the cost of living varies considerably, mainly based on the city. For example, groceries in Chicago cost approximately 10% more than in the smaller cities, with the average family spending around $400 per month. Dining out is another expense; a meal in a mid-range restaurant in Chicago averages $50, while in Springfield and Rockford, it’s closer to $40. As for healthcare, if you decide to obtain moving quotes Chicago and relocate here with one of the most affordable companies, be aware that a standard doctor’s visit in Chicago can cost about $120 without insurance, a bit more than Springfield’s $100 or Rockford’s $95 average.

A man with a purchased groceries
While groceries in Chicago can be more expensive, rest assured that in smaller towns, it’s a different story

The state has a flat income tax rate of 4.95%, but expats might have additional federal tax obligations based on their income and residency status. In summary, while Illinois offers diverse living experiences, it’s essential to consider the varying costs, especially when weighing options among its major cities.

Job opportunities in Illinois for expats

Believe it or not, Illinois is almost completely focused on producing corn. That means that much of the economy here is based on agriculture. But, they’re not only producing. Did you know that the small town name Morton can produce up to 85% of canned pumpkins currently on the world’s market? That means that even a small town can leave a big mark on the world. The next industry where you can score a job are mining and manufacturing. On the other side, Chicago is a place with the opposite story. Here you will find job opportunities in the tech industry. Many new and innovative companies look for young professionals to help them build new products.

a job search sign
Job opportunities in Illinois for expats are numerous

Moving to Illinois for a job is something you need to plan. And while you have to focus on a job search, it can be really stressful if you also need to plan your relocation as well. This is exactly the reason why you need to think about hiring residential movers Chicago. That way, you can completely devote yourself to your job search.

Education in Illinois: Options for expat families

Education is a cornerstone of life in Illinois, offering a range of options for expat families. Public schools in Illinois provide a comprehensive education funded by the state. They offer the benefit of exposing students to a diverse set of peers and often have programs catering to various talents and needs. Plus, attending a local public school can help integrate expat children into the community.

Teacher and two kids in the classroom
When it comes to the education system, there is no doubt that Illinois is the right state for your kids

For those seeking a more tailored education, Private schools are available. While they come with tuition fees, often exceeding $10,000 annually, they provide specialized curriculums, smaller class sizes, and sometimes religious instruction. International schools are a boon for expats, offering curriculums like the International Baccalaureate. They cater to a global student body, ensuring a diverse environment and internationally recognized education standards, albeit at a premium cost. Illinois also boasts prestigious higher education institutions. The University of Illinois system, Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago are just a few that offer world-class programs across various disciplines. In short, Illinois presents a rich tapestry of educational opportunities, ensuring that expat families can find a fitting choice for their children’s academic journeys.

Transportation: Getting around Illinois

Illinois, a state with vast urban expanses and quaint countryside, is a blend of the historic and the modern. Its transportation network is a testament to this blend, offering both locals and newcomers a range of choices to traverse its landscapes. From the bustling streets of Chicago to the serene byways of its smaller towns, getting around in Illinois is designed to be efficient and user-friendly. Whether you’re an expat seeking the easiest commute or a tourist eager to explore, the state provides ample avenues:

  • Public transport: Major cities, especially Chicago, have extensive transit systems. The ‘L’ train in Chicago is a prime example of urban connectivity.
  • Driving: For those expats who have decided to use auto transportation Chicago services, it’s crucial to be aware of the fluctuating gas prices, local driving regulations, and the requisite driving licenses for foreigners.
  • Airports: Illinois hosts several airports, but Chicago O’Hare stands out prominently, renowned for its vast network of global connections.
  • Alternative modes: Beyond conventional means, the state encourages sustainable transport. Biking paths, pedestrian zones, and shared transit options like carpooling and ride-sharing apps are growing in popularity.

Illinois weather: What to expect?

Illinois, with its varied geography, offers a distinct climate experience. In the north, Chicago is renowned for its chilling winters, where snow blankets the streets and temperatures often dip below freezing. Contrastingly, southern Illinois experiences milder winters, making it relatively warmer. The state’s weather paves the way for season-specific activities. Winter beckons ice-skating in Chicago’s Millennium Park or snowboarding in Galena. Spring and summer are perfect for exploring the Shawnee National Forest or enjoying beach activities along Lake Michigan. Fall, with its vibrant foliage, is ideal for scenic drives or visiting apple orchards.

Chicago during winter as a challenge in Illinois for expats
Life in Illinois for expats can be challenging because of the cold winters

For newcomers, especially those from tropical regions, preparing for Illinois’ weather is crucial. Winters demand warm layers, including insulated jackets, scarves, and gloves. Waterproof boots are essential for snowy days. Conversely, summers can get humid, so light, breathable clothing is recommended. Always check the forecast and be ready to adapt; the state’s weather can sometimes be unpredictable. In essence, while Illinois’ weather varies, it adds to the state’s charm. Whether you’re sipping hot cocoa by a fireplace in winter or enjoying a lakeside BBQ in summer, Illinois ensures a memorable weather experience.

As an expat, you will certainly enjoy Illinois

There is no doubt that life in Illinois for expats can be a great adventure. Illinois offers a unique blend of experiences for expats, combining the urban allure of cities like Chicago with the tranquility of its countryside. From its diverse educational opportunities and housing options to its varied transportation networks and seasonal climates, the state caters to a myriad of preferences. Add to this a rich cultural scene and a warm, welcoming community, and it’s evident why Illinois is a top choice for many expatriates. Whether you’re seeking career growth, cultural immersion, or simply a change of scenery, Illinois promises a fulfilling journey. Embrace the adventure and let the Land of Lincoln become your home away from home.

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