Anne's Adventures at Penn

Hitting the Books in Philly – Graduate Student Center

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I’m back with my second installment of Hitting the Books in Philly!  I hope you enjoyed my first post and are ready to read some more about where to study in this great city.  

A few days ago, I decided to stick around campus to get some work done.  So I parked myself in the Graduate Student Center, which is conveniently located not too far from GSE.

The Graduate Student Center offers all sorts of great activities and resources for grad students.  One of my favorite things that they offer are language chats.  There are a fair number of them, as you can see on their schedule.  If you look at their calendar, it’s easy to see that there is no shortage of stuff going on.  There is also a huge bulletin board right as you walk in that is filled with flyers advertising all sorts of events that are happening around Penn.

So many events!

 A few other things that are really nice about the center include the multipurpose room, the small conference room, computers and printers available for student use, the terrace, the group study room, and the Family Resource Center for students and postdocs who have children.   

While all those offerings are pretty nice, I mainly come here to study.  It’s got a pretty big first floor (a.k.a. common room) where students can sit at tables or on couches and comfy chairs to get in some work.  The setting is pretty conducive to group work, but as a friend of mine pointed out, that makes it a little more difficult to concentrate on readings if you need total silence.  It’s by no means a mad house, but it isn’t super quiet either.

One side of the common room.

There seemed to be an abundance of outlets around, so that’s a huge plus.  And of course you can access Penn’s WiFi from there.  They also have a fireplace!!  I love fireplaces, so this is a big deal for me.  Of course it wasn’t turned on yet, but I’m sure it will be by winter.  If it’s anything like my undergrad institution, people will be fighting for spots near the nice warm fire come November.  Copies of The New York Times are also avaliable for students to read.  I can picture it now – curled up by the fire, reading the latest from The Times.  Talk about a happy place.

All this sounds awesome, right?  Well, it gets better!  There’s a small cafe where you can buy some drinks and food.  And the best part is that there is free coffee.  That’s right – FREE COFFEE!! What two words could be more beautiful to grad student?  Maybe “full ride,” but I digress.  As long as you bring your own mug, the coffee (and tea!) is free.  And if you forgot your mug at home, you can purchase a paper cup for just $1.

Look at all that coffee.

Overall, I’d suggest the Graduate Student Center if you’re looking for a place to work that isn’t dead quiet and close to GSE.  You can’t really beat the location.  I’d definitely stop in and check it out if you’re ever on campus!

Where: Graduate Student Center
Neighborhood: West Philly (more specifically, Penn’s Campus)
Address: 3615 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Distance from GSE: 4 minute walk

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