Student Life

The Best Study Spots at UVA

Kyle Nguyen (M.S. in Global Commerce '22) shares his favorite study spots on Grounds and around Charlottesville.

As a new student at the University of Virginia, you’re probably wondering where the best places to study are. Well don’t fret—I got you covered! This list of my favorite study spots on Grounds and off Grounds tells you where the best places to study are and details the vibe of each spot so that you can choose the perfect place to fit your studying mood. Without further ado, here is my list:

On Grounds

Pavilion Gardens/Lawn

One of the most obvious choices to study on Grounds is right in the heart of UVA. First, the Pavilion Gardens offer beautiful and gorgeous scenery. Surrounded by trees and plants, this is a great place to find a secluded and quiet area to study. Studying becomes so easy when you just grab a spot under a tree or a bench!

For a livelier and more active environment, take a few steps out of the Pavilion Gardens to the Lawn. All you need is to pull out a blanket! Nothing matches the view of the Rotunda and being surrounded by the vast, open sky. The sounds of students walking by, small conversations, or students playing Frisbee make great ambient noise. When the sun begins to set, you’ll be in awe—it’s the perfect spot to study or hang with friends.

Clemons Library, Second Floor

Moving to an indoor study spot, a great library to study in is Clemons, or “Clem” for short. This library features multiple floors to study on, but my favorite one is the second floor. It’s very open, well-lit, and popular among students. However, it can get a bit loud, so if you’re looking for a quieter place, you can book one of the many private meeting rooms that surround the floor. I love studying in the meeting rooms because it allows me to be secluded, but the glass rooms also make the environment feel more active. The rooms even come with a little monitor to where you can hook in your laptop, so it’s also a great place for group meetings!

Rouss & Robertson Halls Courtyard

The courtyard in Rouss & Robertson Halls is a go-to place between classes for McIntire students. The courtyard helps you get away from the windowless rooms inside McIntire and lets you get some fresh air. The courtyard has high tables where you can have your lunch while studying, or you can sit in the couches for a more comfortable study session. Just make sure you find a shady area since the direct sunlight can get pretty warm. Nevertheless, the courtyard is a great place to drop by for a quick study session!

Studying in the courtyard at McIntire's Rouss & Robertson Halls

Studying in the courtyard at McIntire’s Rouss & Robertson Halls

Off Grounds

Grit Coffee on the Corner

As I move off Grounds, one of the best places to study is Grit Coffee. It’s not too far from Grounds actually—it’s just on the Corner, so Grit is only a quick five-minute walk away! This local coffee shop is a great place to get your caffeine fix. They provide a variety of drinks to choose from that all give you a boost of energy when you need it most. Furthermore, Grit has a great environment and has great music too. Grit also offers seating outdoors on a porch wrapping around the building and indoor seating. I highly recommend the second floor to study because of the plethora of tables and comfy couches.

The Wool Factory

Now, I have to say this next study spot is a bit novel, but this is a hidden gem in Charlottesville. Although a little bit farther from Grounds, The Wool Factory consists of newly renovated mills that are now restaurants, cafés, and breweries. This place is very sleek and extremely open, with indoor and outdoor seating. The couches and tables underneath twinkling lights are a vibe! And of course, the food at The Wool Factory is fantastic and a great way to reward yourself after a productive study session.

The Juice Laundry on the Corner

Moving back closer to Grounds, The Juice Laundry is right on the Corner and provides a great study spot as well! The delicious smoothies and bowls give you such a healthy energy boost for productive studying. The tall ceilings and urban-chic-farmhouse-plant décor help create a wonderful environment. Plus, the swinging seats in the window front are extremely fun to sit on! I highly recommend studying at this quaint spot on the Corner, and I also recommend getting the Coco Verde smoothie—it’s paradise in cup!

I hope that this list gives you a quick look at all the study spots Charlottesville has to offer! There are so many more places to explore, so definitely find what fits you but hopefully this list can provide you with a starting point!

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