Beyond Starbucks: Best Study Spaces Around PSU

IMG_1131Whether it is for individual or group assignments, MIM students spend A LOT of time studying during the MIM program. That means that finding a good place to study is all the more important.

What makes a good place to study a good place to study? For some people, a quiet and relaxing place is better, while others may prefer a location with a lot of activity. If you’re working with a laptop though, having a place to plug in your computer is a must. For many, good coffee, tea, or other snacks is another plus.

Here we list a few of the most popular places for MIM students to study, along with a couple that are a little farther from PSU, but are great for when you want to get away from campus.

PSU Library

IMG_1232The PSU library has 5 floors with large tables to study at, in addition to computer labs and a reference desk. There are also group study rooms that you can reserve when you have team projects to work on. The advantage is that it is on campus and has group study rooms available. The disadvantage is that the library can often be crowded, especially during exam times, and it is sometimes difficult to reserve a study room on short notice.

Park Avenue Cafe

Park Avenue Cafe (affectionately referred to by some MIM students  as Illy’s for the brand of coffee that they serve), is a locally-owned cafe that is conveniently located on the Park Blocks, just north of the PSU Campus. They have a variety of menu items such as sandwiches and wraps, in addition to coffee and pastries as well. Outdoor tables offer a great view of the large trees along the Park Blocks, and a large flat-screen TV IMG_1234inside often shows international soccer matches. The downside to this cafe for those who want to study is that there is only one set of electrical outlets available, meaning that if you are working on a laptop there, you’d better have a full battery before you go.

University Pointe Study Rooms

IMG_1229University Pointe is an apartment complex right next to the PSU campus. The building also includes classrooms and study facilities, and each residential floor includes study rooms with whiteboards, and tables and chairs for about 4 people. It is a convenient location for those close to campus, but unfortunately the study rooms are only available to those who actually live in the building.

Tea Chai Te

A cute little tea shop in Northwest Portland, Tea Chai Te is the perfect study spot for individuals in need of free wifi. It has both indoor and Tea Chai Teoutdoor seating with comfy couches and chairs, but the greatest aspect is the quiet atmosphere of the place. Not to mention the extensive tea list ranging from bubble teas to rare blends. The tea house is open from 9am-10pm everyday.


Coffee House Northwest

Situated in Northwest Portland at the corner of Burnside and Trinity Place, this coffee shop is small, but provides a great atmosphere for those looking to travel a little farther from campus. They feature artisan coffee, and display paintings and photographs from local artists. The space is limited, so it’s a better place to go when you’re on your own as opposed to a large group.


Joshua Thorpe is a full-time student in the Master of International Management program.  After graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in Japanese, he taught English in Tokyo for 3 years, before moving to China and teaching at a university in the city of Zhengzhou.  Inspired by his experiences in Japan and China, he was drawn to the MIM program because of its regional focus on Asia, as well as for Portland State University’s reputation as a leader in the field of sustainable business. He is studying Chinese in the MIM program, but tries to keep up his Japanese whenever he can.


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