AbstractIn the wake of China’s rapid urbanization and higher education reform, a large number of new urban spaces have emerged, in particular, university towns. When promoting urbanization and stimulating economic growth, the isolation of the university town from the central city has become increasingly apparent. This article defined the islandization of the university town and analyzed it from the perspective of the behavior of the main actors of the university town, the students. Taking Jinan Changqing University Town, Jinan City, China as a case study, this article used a survey questionnaire and interviews to investigate the patterns of university town students’ off-campus behavior. By constructing an analysis framework, this article discussed the characterization, influencing factors, and formation mechanism of the islandization of the university town. The results indicated that although the daily behavior of students was concentrated mainly in the university town, the student’s needs could not be fully satisfied in the university town alone. Therefore, students needed to go to the central area of Jinan City, China for important activities, which included studying, working part-time jobs, shopping, recreation, and medical treatment. The main mode of transportation for the students that left the university town was public transport, which was considered inconvenient and costly in terms of time. Student behavioral characteristics indicated that the university town was spatially separated from society, which is a significant feature of islandization. The imperfection in the spatial factors was the basis of the islandization of the university town, which further triggered the behavior and psychological isolation of the students. In addition, spatial, student behavior, and psychological factors interacted and reinforced each other, which eventually formed a vicious circle and led to the increased isolation of the university town.