My Favorite Places on Campus

Exploring Johnson & Wales’ Providence Campus was one of the first things I did during my first year here. Now, almost two years later, I have found the best places to eat, study, and hang out with friends. Whether it’s on a weekend or in between classes, you’ll never run out of spaces to explore!    

Where to eat or grab a coffee  

Providence has some amazing restaurants located right by the Downcity campus. You’ll find great Italian food, places dedicated to grilled cheese and fries, vegan options, and many JWU Culinary alumni-owned restaurants. However, if you feel like staying on campus, JWU has some great options for you. My personal favorite is Starbucks. With locations on both Downcity and Harborside campuses, Starbucks is the perfect place to stop before or after class. It’s open every day of the week, so it can make catching up on homework on the weekends a little easier. To make it even better, Starbucks is on the JWU meal plan, meaning you can use meal swipes on it. These meal swipes renew every week, so you can never run low on Starbucks!  

A close second to Starbucks is Willie’s. Willie’s is in the Bowen Center and was opened just this year. They offer flatbreads, salads, smoothies, some grab-and-go options, and — my personal favorite — soft-serve ice cream. Since it’s in the Bowen Center and is open Monday through Thursday until 8 pm, it’s a great place to get a bite to eat after class. Personally, I like going to Willie’s after the gym. The Downcity gym is right across the street from the Bowen Center, so it’s just a quick walk after working out.  

Students eating at Willie's

Where to study  

Finding good places to study has always been a priority of mine. Getting out to a new spot can make homework more interesting and maybe even a little fun. The Downcity library, located in the Yena Center, is a great choice. The comfy seats with desks attached to them are a particular favorite of mine. You can be in those seats for hours and still be comfortable while getting some work done!  

If you don’t want to leave your hall but still want to get out of your room, then the study rooms would be a good choice for you. Each floor of the residence halls has a common room. Not all these rooms are necessarily designed just for studying, but there is at least one in each hall. Here, you can either go by yourself or with friends to get some work done without having to leave your hall.   

My last favorite study spot is Starbucks. Both the Downcity and Harborside locations have couches and tables to sit and do homework. Nothing is better than being able to get coffee and a bagel while you’re doing homework! 

A student studying in the library

Where to hang out with friends  

One of my favorite things about JWU is the community. Since I have been here, I’ve met so many amazing friends and we have found some great spots to hang out on days off or in between classes.  

When the weather is warm, a personal favorite of mine is Gaebe Commons, which is located in the heart of JWU. The Commons are a lively area in the middle of the Yena Center, McNulty Hall, and Snowden Hall. Lots of students buy hammocks to hang up in between the trees to do homework in or just to hang out with friends. Especially being located right in downtown Providence, nothing is better than being out on the Commons on a sunny spring day.   

For the school days, a great spot to hang out in between classes is the multiple couches and lounging areas in the Bowen Center. Many of these couches include plugs to charge your devices, which is very helpful for between classes. They’re comfortable but also have desks to do work on, and they are big enough so many people can fit in one area to allow for collaboration or to just sit and talk.  

Lastly, for the days you and your friends want to get more active, the fitness centers offer a variety of classes to take. Some of these included yoga, cycling, or self-defense. Doing these classes as a group can be a fun way to learn a new hobby.  

These are just some of the many places that you can find at JWU Providence. As you get to know the campus and city, you’ll discover your own favorite spots. The campus is yours to explore!

Two students sitting and talking in Gaebe Commons

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