Back to School: The Globe’s Most Impressive University Campuses

University Washington, Seattle

Image: sea turtle

Imagine studying in ancient buildings, on beautiful green lawns, overlooking mind-boggling coastlines or in the foothills of a mountain range. These universities from around the world are set to impress, even if you’re not planning to go back to school.

Oxford University

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Image: Pablo Fernández

Ah, Oxford. It’s the prestigious name on every student’s lips. Oxford is known as the oldest university in the English-speaking world. It’s been around since approximately 1086 and was highly regarded even in the 1300s. Famous figures who have studied here include Tony Blair, Lewis Carroll (who wrote Alice in Wonderland) and Stephen Hawking.

Moscow State University

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Image: Alexey Kljatov

This university has been thriving since 1755, and it is huge! The campus is currently home to around 40,000 students and 1,000 buildings, meaning you’ll likely need a map to get around. The Russian cosmonaut, Yuri Ivanovich Onufriyenko, graduated from Moscow State in 1994. Talk about setting the bar high!

University of Sydney

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Image: Jason James

If you’ve ever set foot in the University of Sydney (particularly in the famous quadrangle), you’ll probably agree it’s quite something else. Established in 1850, it is Australia’s first and oldest university and it sprawls over an incredible 72 hectares. Did you know that the university also has campuses in the rural area of Camden and the Great Barrier Reef?

University of San Diego

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Image: ckbee

Um, are you sure this is a university and not a seaside resort?! That’s probably the question you’ll be asking if you ever end up studying here. This Catholic university sits on the Californian coast and was founded in 1849, offering students exquisite mesa-top views.

University of Cape Town

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Image: Ian Barbour

Surrounded by the gorgeous mountains that characterise Cape Town, the university here is the oldest in South Africa and the top place to study, all while ogling at Devil’s Peak. When it was opened in 1829, it was originally a school for boys, but it began to admit women as early as 1886. Imagine going for a Table Mountain hike on your study break!

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

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Image: Hkust pao

Having only been founded in 1991, the Hong Kong University of Science and Tech is a newbie on the scene – but its semi-circular design and location on the Clear Water Bay Peninsula is contemporarily magnificent. On the inside, you’ll find classrooms and lecture halls as well as a supermarket and a dental clinic.

University of Glasgow

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Image: Jim Nix

Yep, studying here is basically like going to school in a real-life castle that was built in 1451. The grounds of this university are breathtaking, with the Main Building and the University Chapel being main features. What’s even more impressive is that in 1933, Albert Einstein gave a lecture on his Theory of Relativity here.

Berry College

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Image: backdrift-

If you think the oldest universities are the most majestic, think again. Berry College, situated in the US state of Georgia and established in 1902, is beauty embodied. Forests, lakes, mountains and manicured greens spread over 27,000 acres to make up this university, and it might be the only campus in the world where you can actually camp out or go mountain biking.