University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

By Hollie Deese on June 22, 2011 at 9:46 pm EST


From being immersed in Japanese culture to providing medical attention to man’s best friend, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has hands-on programs to fulfill any educational interest.

The flagship school of the University of Illinois system sits on a picturesque 1,400-acre campus that spans both Champaign and Urbana, which Thomas Gaines praised in his 1991 book The Campus as a Work of Art.

UI offers an incredible selection of studies for undergraduates and graduate students alike. There’s an aviation institute, media college and veterinary school, to name just a few of the combined 250 undergrad, grad and professional programs.

One of UI’s more unique opportunities is the Study Abroad at Home program, in which students attend seminars and workshops to learn about other cultures. The Japan program is held at the campus’ Arboretum, which houses three gardens and a Japan House, where students can take classes in the Japanese tea ceremony, Zen meditation group meetings, calligraphy and a sweets-making class, to accompany the tea, of course.

Then again, you can always study abroad for real. UI has an amazing array of traditional study abroad options – more than 350, in fact, with many scholarships to help fund the trip.

In a similar program at the smaller Parkland College, students can choose to take classes overseas in a variety of cities that change every year, such as Canterbury, England, or San Jose, Costa Rica.

But many students prefer instruction right here at home. An affordable community college, Parkland also offers dozens of diverse vocational training programs, including nursing and paramedics, restaurant management, dental hygiene and elementary education.

Those looking for degrees in the beauty industry, there are a several institutions in the area. At Concept College of Cosmetology, students can learn about many fields in the growing business, and learn a skill such as hairstyling that will always be in need.

When it comes to exciting classes, lifelong learning and talents that can last a lifetime, Champaign-Urbana area schools offer all the tools one could need. And if a student can’t find it here, maybe a trip overseas will do the trick.

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