How close-knit is the expat community in this area? How do I get involved with it?

The expat community in Chicago is not very close-knit. Your workplace may have an organized and active expat club. Contact your expat colleagues for information.
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Beside expat groups, what is the best way to make social connections outside of work?

There are endless ways to meet people in Chicago, but it is up to you to involve and motivate yourself. Your country's local consulate typically sponsors social events and seminars and may be able to provide you with a list of people from your country residing in Chicago.

Local chambers of commerce also hold many networking functions where you can make social and business connections. By becoming a member of such clubs, you can attend cocktail hours, galas and fund-raising events.

If you enjoy sports, try joining your local community's running /training team or an organized softball, football or volleyball league -- which accept all levels.

Community and not-for-profit organizations are constantly looking for volunteers to assist with a wide range of activities.

Your local cafe, sporting goods store or gym will usually have flyers hanging that advertise different events or classes. Also check the below listed websites.
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Where can I meet other singles in this city?

You will meet singles by getting involved in any of the above activities. Chicago's many bars and nightclubs are also great places to meet other singles. Organized church groups are another option.
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Are there any unique networking opportunities for accompanying partners?

Your spouse can take an active role in any of the above activities. If your spouse does not speak English, he/she may want to take an English course at one of the many universities. If fluent in English, your spouse has the option to pursue further studies or take a course out of interest.

Universities promote many activities to help foreign students get acquainted with Chicago and often hold networking events.
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