Good morning! Your day starts in your suite in the RC, a professional living space like no other. Residents can opt-in to dozens of outings a year, including sports games, comedy shows, and restaurant tastings. If you need a quiet night in, there are plenty of study spaces available. The RC is directly across the street from ICO’s main building, meaning maximum sleep time and no long hikes to class.
Time for the big exam! Classes take place in the 466-seat Lecture Center. You’re set up for success with HD screens and lighting, swivel seats, and multiple tables with build-in outlets. The Lecture Center is also where we celebrate our students, from the White Coat Ceremony to Capstone. Various organizations host professional guest speakers, contests, and cultural events.
You’ll begin seeing patients in the IEI during your very first year, so once class is over, you may have clinic hours to complete. As time goes on, you’ll gain more responsibility with diverse and challenging cases. The IEI is one of the largest eye care providers in the nation… and it keeps growing! Even more new facilities are coming soon, including a diabetic care clinic and pharmacy.
Meal time! All of that studying and patient care can make a person hungry. Thankfully, the cafeteria provides breakfast, lunch, and dinner on weekdays, plus a true Chicago tradition: weekend brunch! In addition to a convenient meal plan, you can enjoy free popcorn and piles of treats during exam weeks. Vegetarian options are always available. Our talented staff is even known to cook up a few surprises, from elaborate Halloween decorations to an artistic pulled sugar show.
To practice what you’ve learned, head over to the Eyepod. This state-of-the-art facility offers 38 ophthalmic lanes with specialized lighting, individual assessment rooms for clinical testing, five teaching labs with separate preparation space, six research labs, and lounge areas with striking views of downtown Chicago. The Eyepod contains the exact same equipment as our clinic- the same gear used in the NBEO exams, too. By upholding real-world standards, this space will best prepare you to practice optometry.
You deserve a break after such a productive day. Why not head outside from some soccer with friends? The RC field is your green, grassy backyard in the middle of the city! It is a great place for casual or intramural sports. It’s also home to the annual ICOlympics, a competitive afternoon of dodgeball, limbo, hula hooping, and more.
If it’s too chilly for outdoor sports, the Fitness Center is the ideal place to work out. We have a wide range of cardio and strength training machines, plus free weights and other amenities. Our full-sized gym hosts pickup basketball games as well as classes- yoga, Zumba, and other fitness favorites. ICO employs a full-time Fitness Coordinator who will happily plan workouts, diet plans, and lifestyle choices just for you.
The ICO Library is the perfect spot to study or do research before you leave campus for the day. Renovated in 2014, it contains over 24,000 books and 114 print serials on eye care, the visual sciences, and general health. You can also access the library from afar through its digital resources- PubMed (MEDLINE,) VisionCite, Science Direct, and more. Your relationship with the library doesn’t end with Commencement, either; ICO alumni are given permanent access. Happy reading. Visit the ICO Library’s full website
We know your car is your baby, and you need quick access to it when your friends want a ride downtown for dinner. Don’t worry about tough city parking! For a very affordable price, your vehicle can be steps away. You’ll have covered, monitored parking year-round- no more snow on the windshield! Plus, students get free parking for guests.
Why not take your lunch outside to eat? On a summer afternoon in Chicago, there’s no better place to catch a moment of sunshine than the Courtyard. The ICO community gathers here for outdoor meals during Capstone, Homecoming, and many summer barbeques. Mmm!
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