Not everyone’s holiday plans involve spending time at a university, especially if it reminds you of the work or study you are trying to escape! However, spending a few nights in one of the world’s great universities can be an affordable and memorable opportunity.
Iconic universities right around the world often welcome overnight travellers during the academic holidays, allowing you to soak up the rarefied atmosphere and academic history. Imagine walking through the same great halls as the likes of – Albert Einstein (Princeton), Stephen Hawkings (Cambridge and Oxford), Charles Darwin (Edinburgh), John F Kennedy (Harvard) or Aung San Suu Kyi (Oxford and University of London). Or perhaps you just want to dine in the Oxford hall immortalised in the Harry Potter movies? Whatever your reason, universities can offer a unique accommodation experience.
Each university takes a different approach to welcoming guests in the off-season and naturally some give priority to accommodating summer students and conference attendees first. However a quick internet search will find accommodation being offered by universities in England, Italy, Spain, Canada, USA, Austria, New Zealand, Australia, Scotland and France.
Don’t expect five star facilities, as some rooms are your basic and functional student digs with shared facilities. However, others are more comfortable and include ensuites, access to grand dining halls and picturesque locations. You may not want to spend your entire holiday reliving your student days, but the reasonable rates on offer can make universities a good option for a short stay.