Weird and Wonderful Universities

By StudyLink

We tend to focus a lot of our advice and blog articles on the more popular and well known universities, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other options available. Australia, the United States and the UK are all great destinations with many excellent universities, but from time to time it’s good to look past the headline institutions and focus on the smaller universities and colleges that offer a unique education. It is also easy to forget there is a world outside these headline destinations too; there are great places to study abroad all across the world. As such, this article is dedicated to a small sample of the places we don’t think you would have considered.
University of the Arctic
Starting off with our personal favourite, the University of the Arctic (UArctic) is a cooperative network of northern institutions. Spanning 24 times zones, UArctic embodies the idea of international education. With a variety of universities and colleges, some big, some small, UArctic has something for everybody, providing you don’t mind the cold weather. From highly regarded Danish universities, such as Aarhus and Aalborg, to smaller, specialist institutions like Aurora College, UArctic offers a diverse spread of educational and research opportunities.
Of all of UArctic’s component institutions we are particularly fond of The International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry, which aims to be a knowledge base for providing, exchanging and developing information and knowledge between different reindeer professionals. From national authorities to research and academic communities, if somebody has a question about reindeer, The International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry is where they will find the answers.
The UArctic has many other colleges and universities, many of which are also highly specialised. Whilst Reindeer Husbandry may not be what you are looking for, you should recognise the importance of such highly specialised learning environments, whether it be for business studies, engineering, or law.
Bermuda College
Situated on the North Atlantic island of Bermuda, getting to Bermuda College may involve travelling through the Bermuda Triangle, the mythical area in which a number of ships and planes have disappeared. Of course, the Bermuda Triangle isn’t actually real, in fact evidence indicates that a significant percentage of incidents reported within the Bermuda Triangle were inaccurately reported, or embellished by later authors.
So with the paranormal activity to one side, what could you expect to gain from Bermuda College? Well it provides cost effective opportunities for international students wishing to improve job skills, and helps to prepare you for university. With a student body of around 1200, and class size of just 15, the college is very student centred, creating an environment where learning and student success are top of the list of priorities for the teaching staff. Coupled with the good courses they offer in a variety of subjects makes Bermuda College a tempting destination for anybody who doesn’t mind venturing into the Bermuda Triangle.
University of the South Pacific
Where in the world would you find a university whose campuses are all a short flight away? Well one of the places is the University of the South Pacific, where its fourteen campuses are spread across twelve different islands. One of the leading providers of higher education in the Pacific region, the University of the South Pacific is also leading the way in teaching and research in the field of Pacific culture. Whilst the majority of students come from the Cook Islands, Fiji, and other Pacific Islands, you shouldn’t doubt the experience that is on offer to international students from around the world.
Offering a diverse range of courses, the University of the South Pacific may not be such an odd choice, all being taught in the relaxing environment of the South Pacific. Whilst the university doesn’t offer the same academic gravitas as there nearby Australian and New Zealand counterparts, the institution does offer a unique learning environment that will create a study abroad experience that would be difficult to rival.
International Space University
Whilst it’s not actually located in space, we think it may only be a matter of time before the International Space University waves goodbye to its current home in north-eastern France in favour of a campus outside the Earth’s atmosphere. Boasting astronauts and space agency leaders as faculty members, the International Space University must be top of your short-list if you’re considering a career in outer space.
With a surprising variety of courses available, the International Space University is suitable for not just prospective astronauts, but also for anybody who wishes to pursue a career within the field of space exploration, whether it be within a scientific or managerial role. The MSc in Space Studies also allows students to develop the necessary skills to work effectively in international, interdisciplinary, and intercultural environments. Therefore the Master of Space Studies Programme would also lend itself to those looking for careers outside of the space industry.
Deep Springs College
Perhaps one of the most remote institutions in a developed country, the Deep Springs College only has a student body of 26, although that hasn’t stopped it producing some notable alumni. Professor Raymond Jeanloz attended the college before being awarded a MacArthur “genius grant”, and Walter Isaacson, the biographer and former CEO of CNN and Managing Editor of Time magazine is also amongst the notable alumni.
Set on 50,000 acres on the arid border of Nevada and California, Deep Springs College was founded in 1917. Due to the isolated nature of the college, it currently receives it’s internet connection via satellite, which is a marked improvement over the 14.4 KB/s it used to enjoy. And whilst the nearest town is over an hour away, it only adds to the academic experience, inciting self-sufficiency and a notion of “stewardship”, something that the founder was keen to impress.
Pyongyang University of Science and Technology
North Korea is seen internationally as a pariah state and movement in and out of the country is limited. Whilst we think it’s unlikely that the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology will feature highly on your study abroad shortlist, it proves the value and power of education in breaking down barriers, whether they are cultural, economical, or social.
Aiming to provide an international-style education to North Korean students, the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) was founded, and is operated and partially funded by associations and people outside of North Korea. It is the first privately funded university in the country and has aims to contribute to the North Korean economy be producing high-quality graduates, fluent in both English and another foreign language.
In this article, we’ve looked at a number of weird and wonderful universities, and while some see them as the crazy choices, we see brilliance. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
What do you think? Have we missed any out? Let us know in the comments below.

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