Green gardens, majestic architecture, historical buildings – these seven US college campuses are jewels to their cities. They’re so beautiful it's definitely a pleasure spending terms and breaks there, either as a student or as a tourist.
Unless you’re passionate about Arts, Design and Architecture (maybe Landscaping, Architecture, or Urban Planning), the prettiness level of college campuses might not be the top criterion when choosing your university. But did you know that a beautiful campus has several positive effects on students?
It encourages a healthier lifestyle by spending more time outdoors, will make you feel like you are part of something bigger than yourself and will have a positive impact on your grades. In fact, according to a professor at Washington State University, 62% of students make their final decision regarding which university to choose based on how the campus looks like.
When the first universities were founded in the US in the 17th century, the main inspiration for their architecture and landscape design were English and Scottish universities. In time, that style diversified and moved away from its origins, but the most common one among American colleges is Collegiate Gothic which is a subgenre of the Gothic revival of 19th and 20th centuries.
Today, there are many beautiful universities where you’ll enjoy so much visual harmony that you might wish to postpone your graduation just to enjoy it a little longer. Out of the many that deserve appraisal, we managed to create a list of seven that we consider to be the most beautiful college campuses in the US.
Each has its charm and specific atmosphere, and when we compiled this list, we tried to pick those locations that offer something unique, that cannot be confused with any other place on Earth, that before educating you, will leave an impression on you just by the way they look. Also, we aimed to include a variety of visual vibes, from ocean views to imposing historical buildings.
So if your university is both great at teaching and delights you with its views, that is certainly a great plus when it comes to motivation, inspiration and concentration. So, let’s dive in and see what are some of the most beautiful college campuses.
1. Flagler College, Florida
You can smell the ocean as you walk around the campus of Flagler College and bathe under the Florida sun as you walk toward your lessons. That is pretty cool, right? The main building of the university is a former luxury hotel built in 1888, now a National Historic Landmark - Ponce de León Hotel. Inside, there is a gorgeous dining hall with stained glass windows, a lobby has beautiful mural paintings and an impressive room with crystal chandeliers.
Outside, it feels like you're walking through the courtyard of your own fairytale. You can take a virtual tour and see for yourself what it's like to be at Flagler College studying one of their many Liberal Arts programmes.
2. Furman University, South Carolina
Furman University resides in the small American city of Greenville which sits next to the Blue Ridge Mountains, surrounded by colourful trees and built around a beautiful lake. The campus has a rose garden with a gazebo built of intricate metalwork and Corinthian columns which could easily fit into a Lord of the Rings scene while the lake is peacefully guarded by the Bell Tower. Tall and white, the tower is an iconic image of the university.
3. Pepperdine University, California
Pepperdine University stretches over the soft rolling hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean near Malibu and Los Angeles in California. With its white buildings of Mediterranean inspiration, beautiful views over the ocean, the Santa Monica Mountains, and Catalina Island, the campus will make you feel like you’re constantly on an exotic vacation.
4. The University of Chicago, Illinois
Historical. Modern. Grandiose. Surrounded by big parks. Located in one of the most iconic neighbourhoods of Chicago, Hyde Park. All of these describe the campus life at the University of Chicago. Holding the 10th position in the QS World Ranking, the University of Chicago is among the most prestigious in the U.S. and the world. The first buildings were designed in Gothic and Victorian styles after the colleges at Oxford University, but in the second half of the 20th century, the campus was extended with modern buildings, including a glass dome completed in 2011.
5. Stanford University, California
Third, in QS World University Rankings, Stanford University is well known across the world for its high academic achievements, however, its campus is also something to behold. The buildings at Stanford are done in the style of old adobe Spanish houses which creates a unique atmosphere as you enter the huge campus, one of the biggest in the US. But beyond beauty and atmosphere, the campus also has two world-class museums, an arts district, a large concert hall, an outdoor amphitheatre, and many other venues that make life on campus exciting and filled with possibilities.
6. Lewis & Clark College, Oregon
Imagine going to university in the forest. Well, it happens here at Lewis & Clark College, one of the colleges with the most beautiful campuses. Located in Portland, the campus is perfect for those who love adventure because, with a two-hour drive, you can reach the beach, the mountains, and even the desert. If you love nature, you won’t get bored in Portland. And the campus with its buildings that look like rustic cabins in the woods blends in perfectly with the environment.
7. University of California Santa Cruz
University of California Santa Cruz is located in the Santa Cruz Mountains amid sequoia trees. The campus has shrines and dens created by students with forest-gathered materials, which were once gathered in an area called Elfland. There are also creeks and footbridges that traverse them, as well as caves (the "Porter Caves") and a 31 metres tall fir tree.
If you're curious to learn more about studying in the US and why it would be an excellent choice for an international student, head over to this article: 5 Reasons Why Everyone Wants to Study in the U.S.