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Study abroad : Destination Guides

5 of the most beautiful university campuses

Does the environment surrounding a university matter to you? Here we look at some of the world's most beautiful universities and what they have to offer.

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When choosing a university, you’ll need to consider a multitude of factors such as the courses on offer, institutional reputation, academic quality, facilities, location and so on. However, another important aspect for many students is the campus environment and how appealing it looks and feels. So, with that in mind, we’ve taken a look at five particularly beautiful university campuses to get you feeling inspired and excited about the unique university experiences on offer in different parts of the world.


1. Keele University

We kick off our list with a UK based university in Staffordshire, located just an hours train ride from the two major cities of Birmingham and Manchester. The campus sits within 600-acres of land, making it the biggest single-site campus in the UK, home to parkland, lakes, woodland, an arboretum and plenty of flora and fauna. The campus also has the largest collection of blossoming cherry trees in the UK which lights up the already flourishing natural environment.


This abundance of natural beauty makes Keele University one of the most attractive places to study in the UK (Times Higher Education 2018). What’s particularly great about the university is that it’s surrounded by stunning green space, but also has its own vibrant student community with all the facilities you could possibly need in one place.



2. Syracuse University

A university located just four hours outside of New York City in the USA, the Syracuse campus is well-regarded for its impressive architecture and sprawling green spaces. You get the best of both worlds here as New York experiences hot summers and also snows during the winter months. Both seasons accentuate the beautiful college buildings, old and new, making this a particularly attractive campus to live on. One particularly iconic building is The Dome where sporting events take place, an integral part of the student culture at Syracuse.


In addition to its uniquely distinctive appearance, Syracuse University was also the first U.S. institution to grant a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. This creative and innovative flair didn’t stop just there as it also formed one of the first journalism schools in the U.S. in 1934. Notable alumni members include Joe Biden, Joyce Carol Oates and Grace Jones, reflecting the high standards and reputation of this American university.



3. Carleton University

Stretching across 100 acres of land, the Carleton University campus sits between the Rideau River and Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Canada. Surrounded by natural beauty, the campus is a hub for students with plenty of green spaces and tree-lined roads. In fact, you can admire the scenery directly from the university as you gaze out towards the campus. Outside of the buildings, the city is also perfect for those who love the outdoors as there are many hiking trails and parks around the city. So, you can take advantage of being in Canada’s capital where there is plenty to see and do such as visiting museums and galleries.   



4. University of Otago 

A university located on the southeast coast of New Zealand, the campus boasts neo-gothic architecture and proximity to over 25 beaches. Students can enjoy being based in the centre of Dunedin, a university city that replicates the Scottish architecture of Edinburgh and is home to rare wildlife such as penguins, seals and sea lions. You can explore the city on foot or bike and there are many trails to explore for jaw-dropping, panoramic views of the vast landscapes.


However, there is plenty of natural beauty to admire without even stepping off campus. Many of the university buildings are surrounded by tranquil gardens and blossoming magnolia trees can be admired during springtime. This picturesque environment is perhaps one of the reasons why 20,000 students choose to study at the University of Otago each year and why it has been named one of the most beautiful university campuses in the world (Huffington Post).


5. The University of Western Australia   

Not only is Perth the world’s sunniest capital city, but it is also home to one of the most scenic university campuses in Australia. The University of Western Australia sits beside the Swan River in Perth offering a mix of both traditional and contemporary architecture. On the Crawley campus, students can enjoy the many amenities such as cafes, a hair salon, art galleries, museums, swimming pools, a recreation centre, tennis courts, an outdoor cinema and much more.


This creates a unique student community just within the campus itself. However, the university is also only ten minutes away from Perth’s central business district and just a 30-minute bus journey to the white sands of Cottesloe beach. So, this university is ideal for anyone wanting to study near a beach and soak up the sunshine while also gaining a qualification from a leading research institution in Australia. 



Much of your choice of where to study may depend on what kind of student lifestyle you want. You can use our course matcher tool to personalise your search and find what’s right for you. Make sure you also check out the latest news for international students to help you plan and research.


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