While the experiences of NELC students are as varied and unique as the interests and identities of the students themselves, student life in the department is defined by shared membership in an academic and social community committed to helping students grow intellectually, succeed professionally, and find fulfillment personally, all while promoting physical and mental wellness.
To these ends, students have the opportunity to take courses, from introductory languages to advanced seminars with only a few students and the instructor, from faculty leading their fields of inquiry. They spend time with students and faculty with common interests in workshops, language circles, and at the weekly NELC social hour. They are invited to lectures to hear scholars from all over the world who come to Chicago to present cutting edge research. They find the best places to study in the library and in the Research Archives (with breaks in the library café as needed!). As desired, they participate in some of the numerous student organizations related to the Middle East.
UChicago Grad provides services on a variety of issues for graduate students and is an indispensable resource. NELC students have access to university resources promoting wellness, including Student Counseling Services (available without cost to students who have paid the Student Life Fee) and the Student Health Service.
The university is committed to providing a welcoming and productive environment for all students with diversity and inclusion as a highest priority. The Office of International Affairs assists students coming to Chicago from abroad. The creation and support of diverse and inclusive communities is the mission of the Center for Identity and Inclusion.
The University provides a range of services to support families, including need-based stipends for childcare and a universal graduate student parent policy that outlines academic support available when students become parents.
NELC students may pursue interests outside those of their academic field through a variety of university resources, including an Olympic-sized pool and gym at one of multiple physical fitness facilities and a diverse intramural sports program. They may find connections in a wealth of student groups and programs whose focuses range from public interest and activism to archery, rugby, and tap dance. Based in Rockefeller Chapel, Spiritual Life serves as a destination for all things spiritual and religious at the University of Chicago. Those searching for artistic fulfillment may be drawn to the Smart Museum of Art, Robie House, and the modern art museum Renaissance Society, or the on-campus professional Court Theatre, or the longest-running student film society in America, Doc Films. And there’s the pub.
If students wish to get away from campus, they might still be able to find something to do in one of the world’s great cultural capitals: downtown is about 15 minutes away and accessible by train and bus.
NELC students can utilize the Housing Resources guide when thinking about where to live and how to go about finding a place. Incoming students should think well in advance and be sure to look at multiple options.
Career development and professionalization is a high priority for the University. UChicago Grad offers one-on-one advising to explore and identify career opportunities in academia, industry, government, non-profits and beyond, as well as other resources. The Chicago Center for Teaching gives workshops, teaching consultations, and offers a Certificate in University Teaching in order to help graduates compete on the job market.