The Most Beautiful University and College Campuses in the World

When it comes to picking a post-secondary school, there are a lot of factors that should be considered. Schools are generally assessed for the quality of their academics, as well as the various other factors that affect student life, like housing, food, athletics, and extracurriculars. One factor that many people fail to consider is the look and feel of the campus itself — after all, students will be spending at least three or four years there, and some academics who complete post-doctoral degrees spend a minimum of seven years studying and working at the same school.

There are several schools around the world that offer a superior environment in terms of on-campus architecture and landscaping — below are the most beautiful post-secondary campuses in the world (according to The World University Rankings).

University of Bologna

The University of Bologna, in Bologna, Italy, is widely considered the oldest university in the Western world. It was originally founded in 1088, as a school to teach aristocratic students the foundations of grammar, rhetoric, and logic. Former students and teachers include Thomas Becket, Nicolaus Copernicus, and the legendary Italian poet Dante Alighieri. It also holds the potential record for earliest female university professor — in the 12th century, a female scholar named Bettisia Gozzadini regularly attracted huge crowds to her university lectures.

The most spectacular buildings on campus are also their oldest — the Archiginnasio was the university’s original building, until the Palazzo Poggi took over that function in 1803. The majority of the university buildings are located along the historic Via Zamboni which retains its marble floors and graceful arches to this day.

Joaquin Ossorio-Castillo / Getty Images

University of Salamanca

Another ancient and spectacularly scenic university is the University of Salamanca, which was founded in 1218 by King Alfonso IX. It was also Spain’s first institution of higher learning. Although its primary campus is in Salamanca, since its inception 800 years ago university officials have built three additional campuses in Ávila, Béjar, and Zamora. Some famous alumni include explorer Hernán Cortés, and Don Quixote author Miguel de Cervantes. Some of the campus’s most famous buildings flank an area known as the Patio de Escuelas , including the Old University Library which is a marvel of Renaissance architecture and is still in use by students today. The ornate façade of the library features a small carved frog, and popular lore dictates that if a student can spot the frog, they’ll easily pass their exams.

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