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The best resource for students in Chicago is STA Travel (www.statravel.com), one of the biggest student-travel agencies in the world, which can set you up with an ID card and get you discounts on plane tickets and rail travel. There is an STA office in the suburb of Evanston, near Northwestern University, at 900 Church St. (tel. 847/475-5070).

Chicago also has several hostels offering students and other travelers inexpensive, no-frills lodging. The best is Hosteling International Chicago, 24 E. Congress Pkwy., in the Loop (tel. 312/360-0300; fax 312/360-0313; www.hichicago.org). It features many amenities (including a free buffet breakfast) and can help set up activities throughout the city. Another hostel open year-round is the more basic Chicago Getaway Hostel, 616 W. Arlington Place, Chicago, IL 60614 (tel. 773/929-5380; fax 773/665-5485; www.getawayhostel.com), in Lincoln Park.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.