Georgetown University’s campus and the wider Washington, D.C. area have a plethora of prime study spots where Hoyas can hit the books. Whether you’re looking for an on-campus alternative to Lauinger Library and Sellinger Lounge during finals week or trying to get outside the Georgetown bubble, here are some top picks for relatively off-the-beaten-path study spots.
Bioethics Research Library
The Bioethics Research Library, located on the first floor of Healy Hall, offers a beautiful space that’s quiet enough to get some work done. The library houses the Kennedy Institute of Ethics’ extensive collection of research material, making it a popular draw for researchers both on and off campus. The space also has plenty of tables and couches for students seeking an alternative to Lauinger Library. However, be sure to check the hours before you head over, as the library often closes early and has limited hours on weekends.
We’re almost reluctant to give up this one: With floors full of spacious, empty classrooms, White-Gravenor Hall is a perfect place to study for finals. Whether you’re studying by yourself or working with a group, the seminar-style classrooms let you spread out your study materials and take advantage of wall-sized chalkboards. The natural light through the windows also gives White-Gravenor an edge over the Intercultural Center, whose many empty classrooms are relatively cramped and generally windowless. While the light might not seem like a huge added perk, it can in fact be helpful to keep track of time when you’re cramming overnight.
Starbucks in the Leavey Center
When coffee shops run by Students of Georgetown, Inc., (commonly known as The Corp) are already packed, the Leavey Center Starbucks is a great alternative. The inside boasts plenty of space and a warm, coffee-shop ambience. While not as quiet as a library cubicle, the hum of noise stays low enough to foster a surprisingly pleasant environment. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself stocked with Starbucks gift cards after the holidays, there are few better places to spend an afternoon than the far hallway of the Leavey Center. Be sure to check the hours online before you head over, as it can often close early in the day — especially on weekends.
When the weather is nice and Healy Lawn starts to filled up with students during spring finals, the Leavey Esplanade is a great place to stretch out on a blanket and get some sun while you’re studying. There’s always plenty of open green space, and some time outdoors is a great way to break up those long days of studying and paper-writing when the trials of early May roll around. The esplanade also conveniently offers an entrance to Uncommon Grounds, one of The Corp’s coffee shops, for a caffeine fix.
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is a remarkable space to get some work done off campus. You can apply in the Madison Building for a free reader card to access the famous Main Reading Room of the Thomas Jefferson Building across the street. Whether you’re there to take advantage of the library’s massive collection for research or just to do some homework, the reading room is unbeatable. Cavernous, beautiful and quiet, it’s perfect for productivity — and for a picturesque Instagram shot. Keep in mind that some larger bags are not allowed in the reading rooms and will have to be checked in one of the library’s cloakrooms. Check online for specific restrictions.
The Kogod Courtyard, which connects the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, is a beautiful open space for enjoying the sights of the District and doing some work on the weekends. With its huge overhead glass canopy, the courtyard allows visitors to enjoy the sunshine without having to bear the heat. You can also get a bite to eat at the Courtyard Cafe and enjoy free Wi-Fi while you sit, making it a perfect spot to catch up on work, enjoy some prime people-watching and take inspirational study breaks wandering through the galleries of the adjoining museums.
A Local Coffee Shop
For those of you who need caffeine constantly within arm’s reach to focus on your work, get yourself off campus and snag a table at a local coffee shop. If you don’t feel like taking a long trek, Saxbys is a good bet — though it’s often loud and crowded, and tables are hard to find. Peet’s Coffee on M Street is bright and pleasant, with a spacious second level perfect for settling in to study for the day. If you don’t have any work that requires internet access — or can’t get any work done without opening Facebook — Grace Street Coffee is an airy, cozy spot and conveniently close to South Block Juice Co. and SundeVich if you need to get a snack.