09/18/2012 11:08 am ET Updated Nov 18, 2012

The World's Most Beautiful College Dorms

A few weeks ago we rounded up some of the most beautiful and imaginative public schools in the world. To celebrate the annual odyssey that is going back to school, we decided to take a look at another equally important, but also often sub-par, educational stomping ground: the college dorm.

Canadian folk rock legend Gordon Lightfoot summed up the importance of the built world around you when he said "you just get the vibes of your surroundings and it rubs off on you." It has almost become a rite of passage to endure sterile, shoebox-size accommodations that feel more like a jail cell than a nurturing space. But what if your college dorm experience was inspiring instead of distressing or downright depressing? From ultra modern garden apartments complete with gigantic swings to gorgeous student-designed desert structures, click through to check out some of the most stimulating college housing on the planet.

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