As a bustling city located near a giant lake, Chicago offers many amenities both urban and rural. Because of its unique topography, Chicago and its neighboring suburbs enjoy an environment not unlike New York City (minus the crazy mele of people seemingly everywhere). Located in Evanston, Ill. 12 miles from downtown Chicago, Northwestern University acts as a hub of research and creativity across multiple disciplines.
This private university boasts more than famous alumni (Meghan Markle, George R.R. Martin, Stephen Colbert, just to name a few). With six prestigious schools students can take classes in (including my all-time favorite, the Medill School of Journalism), Northwestern’s curriculum encourages students to reach out beyond their interests in order to establish a well-rounded education on a stunning campus.
With Lake Michigan as a background, Northwestern already offers incredible views. Add in a cohesive mix of Gothic architecture and “modern steel and glass,” as put by the university’s website, and you get a thriving campus in an environment designed to mix traditional concepts with the ever-evolving modern world. This blend translates to the classrooms as well, with many classrooms arranged with thinking chairs. These circular-shaped chairs have wheels on the bottom that allow students to move around the room, sharing ideas and encouraging growth.
Northwestern excels in more than their academics, with 19 Division I sports teams and over 500 student organizations that reflect their campus. Overlooking Lake Michigan, the Walter Athletics Center serves as a practice facility literally on the beach. With open windows that allow sunlight to stream in and a view unrivaled by any other practice complex, the Walter Athletics Center arguably provides some of the best indoor sights both on campus and of any college athletics compound. Extracurricular housing extends to more than one incredible building, though, with a professional soccer field, Lakeside Field, parallel to the lake and the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts that hosts multiple theatrical productions in a bright, sunlight-lit theater.
As a whole, Northwestern’s location on Lake Michigan allows the school to offer three private beaches for student use (two more than the University of Miami, my tour guide also named Kayla joked). When I visited in mid-January, a snowstorm hit and left the campus covered in two to three inches of snow that made Northwestern feel like a winter wonderland. With a gorgeous campus, Northwestern feels like more than just a university; it feels like a home base that facilitates growth.
If words aren’t enough to give you a mental picture of this jaw-dropping campus, check out the virtual tour Northwestern offers on their website.