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5 Most Scenic College Campuses Near South Florida

For those proud alumni of South Florida's internationally renowned universities, we have a question for you. Did the way your college presented itself aesthetically have any bearing in your decision to go there?

Students want to be embraced by a school that reflects who they want to be. They want to feel part of that campus. For many, choosing a scenic campus is even more important because, even in big city life, they feel the Zen will allow them to better focus and they will find more pleasure in study and academics.

CBS Local worked hard to find the most scenic campuses for your upcoming enrollment considerations. It wasn't easy. We do have many colleges in South Florida! We took consideration that most of our campuses are in the city scene.

(Source: Blue Martini)

University Of Miami

Standford Drive
Coral Gables, Florida 33124
(305) 284-2211

One of the most well-known schools in South Florida — and Florida, period — The University of Miami was recently quoted by an alumnus as having a "diverse and small university feel in a big city environment." Of course, it's Miami, and being on the outskirts of the city, the landscape, the ocean and the sunshine enhance its grace in front of a backdrop of blue. Some students claim that this is "the most beautiful campus [they] have ever been to." Most students love the fact that it is so close to the beach, because they can go out to study and catch a few waves in between classes.

(Source: Playwright Irish Pub)

Miami Dade College

300 NE 2nd Ave.
Miami, Florida 33132
(305) 237-8888

Another college that is just as sexy in the dark as it is in the day. Miami Dade College was built on an old naval air station. The way it is lit can be unbelievable, especially when reflecting off of its own glass surfaces. Miami Dade College is one of those colleges that lies right in the middle of the city. Even so, when actually on campus, there is so much open space that you actually forget you are in the city. On-campus courtyards embrace trees other than palm and almost simulate New York's Central Park.

The buildings themselves are surrounded with palm, lakes and lawns. The buildings are architected to combine a Mediterranean feel, enhanced with modern and Art Deco. And they it's done so well! Looking at the school, you feel a sense for the arts, sciences, technology, psychology and philosophy. Appropriately, this college has many departments focused on these curricula.

(Source: Blue Martini)

Florida International University

11200 SW 8th St.
Miami, Florida 33199
(305) 348-2000

Here's another gorgeous campus with Moorish architecture, starting with archways that go around the whole building. The palm trees are lined up, similar to an Egyptian consulate. In fact, that is almost exactly what this school reminds you of. Stepping on campus, you feel you are part of royalty with waterfalls and lakes surrounding an amazing campus. The large open space with great landscaping and a clear blue sky doesn't hurt with the eye candy it has become. Given the fact that this is an international college, there is no better representative to diversity than FIU.

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Barry University

11300 NE 2nd Ave
Miami, Florida 33161
(305) 899-3000

Most students immediately quote the religious aspect of the school. Because this school is Catholic-oriented, there is a chapel in front of the small campus. Considered "cozy" by many, this school is hugged in beautiful landscaping with a giant lawn leading students to the front of the campus, between rows of well-kept palm trees. Shrubs and floral arrangements enhance the décor of such a "full of life" campus when paired against a large blue sky. Far enough away from the city, Barry University is home too many who are ready to take their future career seriously.

(Source: Van Dyke Cafe)

Nova Southeastern University

3301 College Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314
(800) 541-6682

A private, not-for-profit university, Nova is known for its setting in a large suburban area. A smaller school, it is definitely one of the most beautiful in the South Florida area. Surrounded by oceans and lakes, this school is full of older architectural styles, associated with "academia," wide open courtyards, the ocean full of sailboats and even an on-campus swimming pool. To see this university from the road at nighttime is another beautiful sight in itself. Associated with Medicine and Pharmacy, the class it instills is sure to produce top-notch medical professionals for generations to come.

(Source: Van Dyke Cafe)

Bonus: St. Thomas University

16401 NW 37th Avenue
Miami Gardens, Florida 33054
(305) 625-6000

While there are many modern sections of the school that have since been added to its architecture, there are elements of St. Thomas University that remind you of old Roman, Gothic and Byzantine buildings, almost calling your name at first glance. Geometric details, courtyards and walkways give guests the feeling of being part of an elite crowd and bring them in homage to "old money." St. Thomas University is so much like the campuses of early colonization in our Northern United States; you may actually forget you are in Florida — outside the heat and palm trees, of course — for a moment.

Related: Top Scenic Drives Near South Florida

Jessica N. Abraham-Hogan is the owner of Shorty Produkshins in Orlando, Florida, and specializes in Social Branding and Public Relations for both the Professional Services Industry and Entertainment Business. Over the last 13 years, she has worked with many publications and has created branded content for multiple organizations, Globally.

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