If sitting in a lecture hall with hundreds of other bored undergraduates doesn’t sound like a thrilling learning opportunity to you, you’re not alone. Colleges and universities have been working for decades to develop unique curricula that will give you a college experience you will never forget. If the conventional approach isn’t for you, check out these unusual institutions of higher learning.
Aalto College, Helsinki, Finland
Founded in 2010 with the merger of three institutions to offer highly focused programs in technology and economics. Unlike other schools, which market their broad range of available fields of study, Aalto chooses to focus its resources on a few subjects. This allows for an interdisciplinary approach and lets the school form close relationships with industry, ensuring that students graduate with skills for which employers are seeking.
Hampshire College, Amherst, MA
Hampshire College forgoes the traditional four year college approach altogether. Rather than progressing through the freshman, sophmore, junior, and senior hierarchy, students are placed into one of three divisions. During the first division, students take courses in “schools of thought,” exploring a variety of areas of study. In the second division, students study a given subject in detail. Upon progressing to division three, students complete a long term project. This approach allows students to take charge of their own study.
Kyung Hee University, South Korea
Kyung Hee University attracts students from around the world to its School of Education and Sport Science, which boasts one of the only academically-oriented programs specializing in Tae Kwon Do the world. While physical education may be perceived as an easy mark in some other colleges, students at Kyung Hee focus on developing mentally, physically, and spiritually to become masters of sport and sports theory. Many graduates go on to become renowned teachers in the field of martial arts.
European-American University, many campuses in African and Asia
Rather than existing as a single entity, European-American University was established by incorporating many local campuses in Nigeria, Ghana, Indonesia, and Malaysia as partner schools. This private institution welcomes students from all corners of the globe and takes a nontraditional, individualized approach to learning. Each campus functions autonomously and in cooperation with the others, incorporating features of both American and European university systems to educate a highly diverse student body. Distance learning is also available.
Deep Springs College, California
Located in California’s high desert, Deep Springs College is certainly the most unique college on our list, and perhaps in the world. A two-year institution, Deep Springs College limits its enrollment to 26 students, all of whom are male. The students receive full scholarships and live on a working cattle ranch and alfalfa farm. In addition to liberal arts courses, the college offers close interaction with the three person faculty, who also live on the farm, and teach skills such as knitting, stargazing, and bread-making. Most alumni matriculate to prestigious four year institutions.
In the academic world, variety is infinite. If the traditional lecture hall based university experience doesn’t appeal to you, or if you are interested in exploring other options, check out these unusual schools that think outside the box.