With all the study spots available on Penn’s campus, it can be overwhelming for students to choose where to hit the books. Here are some of the staple locations on campus.
Fisher Fine Arts Library:
Laid with red brick and iron beams, the Fisher Fine Arts Library boasts the grandeur of Gothic architecture that is characteristic of many Penn buildings. This a great place to study if you prefer a quieter atmosphere, a castle-esque vibe, comfortable chairs and generous lighting and space. Reminiscent of Hogwarts itself, you might see Hermione Granger huddled in a graduate student carrel.
Van Pelt Library:
Probably the most popular study location on campus, Van Pelt offers the standard computer labs and group study rooms typical of most University libraries. Although the sixth floor is generally the most appealing area to study with its plush couches and new bathrooms, the basement of Van Pelt is open 24 hours on most days, so it’s the go-to study spot if you ever need to pull that all-nighter. However, Van Pelt can get crowded quickly, especially during exam time. If you get hungry while studying, Mark's Café on the ground floor accepts Penn dining dollars.
A hidden gem on campus, Education Commons opened only three years ago and offers brand new facilities including group study rooms with large projectors and cozy study booths. If you are looking for a more low-key location than Van Pelt with better GSRs, this could be the study spot for you. Rumor has it there are also cozy chairs ripe for taking naps.
This building is the hub of activity for Whartonites and offers the appeal of a centrally located study space. Overcrowding can be a downside to Huntsman's great location, though. It can be hard to find a quiet space to study, but the third floor computer labs attract those looking for a 24/7 location. The lower floors also serve as good study spots if you are in-between classes. Only Wharton students can book Huntsman GSRs, though, so College, Engineering and Nursing students would do well to find a Wharton friend.
Starbucks on 34th and Walnut:
Although Starbucks may serve the drinks you love, the one across from Hill is probably not going to be your study venue of choice. With long lines, cramped seating and dim lighting, it is hardly the best place on campus to study even if you prefer a more vibrant atmosphere. This location works much better as your quick Starbucks run before heading off to class.
Starbucks under Commons:
Unlike the Starbucks on 34th and Walnut, the one located in 1920s Commons is a more reliable study location. With more table space, this could be the spot to study for those who want a more vibrant atmosphere paired with the comfort of a familiar Starbucks drink. Huntsman Hall is also just a quick walk over the bridge.
Saxby’s offers the non-coffee lover a diverse selection of drinks and snacks ranging from smoothies to frozen yogurt. The coffee shop offers fast Wi-Fi if you ever find yourself needing a break from the unreliable AirPennNet. But it's best to bring your devices fully charged — finding an outlet can be difficult. Some of the smaller tables lack elbow room, so leave your big textbooks at home.
Located near the Quad, HubBub is a great alternative to Starbucks with a delicious offering of coffee drinks. For those intimidated by the dead silence of locations like Fisher, this is a more vibrant study spot where you get the added benefit of supporting a local business — Hubbub started out as a food truck, run by a Penn alumnus.
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