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Residential Colleges at the University of Virginia

"Learn to Live, Live to Learn"


Residential colleges are unique, on-Grounds living-learning communities that mirror the ideals of Jefferson's Academical Village where "shared learning infuses daily life". Each of the three residential colleges - Brown College, Hereford College, and the International Residential College - has Principals in residence, Faculty Fellows and strong student governance. Each has its own identity, culture and benefits and offers fun and interesting programs that range from an environmental writers lecture series to international service trips over Spring Break to regular movie nights.

Dynamic faculty-student interaction; amazing leadership opportunities; great food; a strong sense of belonging; a place to call your own; a home away from home. These are some of the benefits students extol when describing their experience living in a residential college.

Residential colleges offer:

  • the opportunity, through leadership and involvement in the life of the college, to forge connections with peers and faculty that make a big place (UVa) feel small
  • the ability to meet and participate in intellectual and social activities with faculty members outside of the classroom on a regular basis.
  • the chance to live with students from all four class years and learn from their knowledge of the university, as well as to establish connections with residential college alumni that go beyond your class.
  • common dining (both formal and informal) that lets you to socialize with community members
  • all the amenities and convenience of living on-Grounds
  • an environment that integrates academic, service and social life through exciting and diverse activities such as:
    • Running the largest food garden on Grounds at Hereford and tying those lessons to the table through a student cooking club and student prepared meals in the Principal's home.
    • Celebrating Hereford's cultural diversity through many ethnic food celebrations and its annual trip to New York City.
    • Attending field trip to local venues, such as Wolf Creek Farm, a grass-fed beef producer in Madison County, or to the Shenandoah Caves, and spring break trips abroad with the Principal of the IRC to practice cooking and living in community while exploring new surroundings and a different culture
    • Weekly facilitated dinners with distinguished faculty to discuss an array of topics.
    • Participating in short courses and film series and recreational events unique to the residential colleges.
    • Building and running Hauntings, a massive Haunted House at Brown, which raises thousands of dollars for a local charity.

If being part of a close knit community that allows you to interact with peers and faculty in meaningful ways interests you, the residential colleges might be the right place for you to live next year. We encourage you to visit each Residential College web site for complete information on the community, activities and leadership opportunities available to you in this vibrant system.