10 great universities for outdoor sport fanatics


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Are you a total Sporting Loon with a constant craving to be in the Great Outdoors?

Does the thrill of Danger and Adventure make the blood heat up in your veins?

Would you describe youself as an Adrenaline Junkie?

If the answer to any of the above questions was yes, have you ever considered checking out some of the amazing outdoor and extreme sport opportunities available at Universities across the world?


Well, let us help you out a little; here are ten examples of quality universities that can provide more than a little thrill for all you ‘buzz’-seekers:

1. University of Cape Town, South Africa

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The University of Cape Town (UCT) provides plenty of opportunity for students to participate in pretty much any sport, or recreational activity, of their choice.

This university boasts a campus renowned for its beauty, located at the foot of Table Mountain’s Devil’s Peak, with breathtaking, panoramic views of Cape Town. UCT proudly holds a tradition of academic excellence and effecting social change through pioneering scholarship, faculty and students.

With more than 20 national parks, including two of the world’s most renowned nature reserves, South Africa presents a wealth of mapped-out walks, hikes and some of the most maginficent scenery you will ever experience. There are also more than 100 caves on the Cape Peninsula, ranging from small overhangs, to the deep cracks on Table Mountain, all ideal spots for any aspiring caver.

UCT offers over 40 sports clubs with a membership of more than 9,000 students. For those who are only comfortable with the more traditional sports (in other words, the safe ones) your needs are really well catered for, but UCT has some great things to offer for those in search of a little something more…

Some of UCT’s more exciting sports include:

  • Archery

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  • Paragliding

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  • Skydiving

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  • Waterskiing

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And for those of you with a bonefide death wish, a couple of hours West of Cape Town is Gansbaai, the Great White Shark capital of the world…Cage Diving is a really great way to get that adrenaline rush and get up close and personal with these fearsome creatures (it’s also a pretty good way to give yourself a premature heart attack, but you know…each to their own!)

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2. University of Hawaii, U.S.A

Hawaii is the perfect location for thrill seekers, and students wishing to soak up some rays, since it is a state that boasts near perfect weather the entire year through.

The 10 University of Hawaii (UH) campuses and educational centres on six of the Hawaiian Islands means this university can provide the ideal blend of education and recreation.

In Hawaii, outdoor recreation is not only important, it is a way of life; this is way so many who travel to the haven of Hawaii never want to stop exploring. With a coastline ranked second on the list in National Geographic Adventure‘s list of America’s Best 100 Adventures, and some of the most beautiful beaches the world has to offer, it’s not surprising that so many who go to Hawaii find that they never want to leave.

Typical Sunday morning in Hawaii #hawaii #scenic @uhmanoanews

A photo posted by University of Hawaii System (@uhawaiinews) on

It’s one of the best locations in the world for surfing, but there are also plenty of things to do if riding the waves really isn’t your bag:

  • Zip Lining

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  • Rock Climbing

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  • SCUBA Diving

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  • Mountain Biking

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3. University of Melbourne, Australia

The University of Melbourne has an outstanding international reputation for academic excellence, and is evenj ranked amongst the Top 50 Universities in the world.  It has seven campuses across Victoria, including the Parkville Campus, all of which are a short walk from Melbourne City Centre.

Melbourne’s excellent facilities, gorgeous bayside setting, as well as its unparalleled weather, leave little wonder as to why it has consistently been voted one of the world’s most livable cities.

With foaming waves and glorious white beaches conveniently nearby, Melbourne has a whole host of exciting sporting opportunities for its students, including:

  • Snorkelling

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  • Surfing

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  • Wakeboarding

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  • Caving

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4. University of Manchester, United Kingdom

The University of Manchester is located in a city with a passion for innovation and reinvention. It sets an impressive pace in industry, sport and the arts, but also offers an education that fully equips students for future success.

As a city, Manchester is dedicated to delivering a top-class quality of life for the three million people that live and work there. Alongside the cosmopolitan commotion of the city, there’s another side of Manchester waiting to be discovered; one packed full with dazzling scenery and many intriguing trails ideal for walking, cycling and horse riding.

Unlike some of the other Institutions, the University of Manchester (and the United Kingom in general) can’t really boast particularly impressive weather…but what it can boast is some really fun and unique extra-curricular activities:

  • Zorbing

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  • Bungee Jumping

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  • Abseiling

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  • Kayaking

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5. Colorado State University, U.S.A

Colorado State University (CSU) is located in Fort Collins, a location that attracts all the right elements. The result is a community that blends education, industry, hard work, recreation, tradition and progress.

Our Class of 2019 arrives this week. What’s your advice for them, Rams?

A photo posted by Colorado State University (@coloradostateuniversity) on

CSU boasts a many faceted campus with 585 acres in central Fort Collins, as well as a 1,438 Foothills Campus, a 1,575 acre agricultural campus, and 4,043 acres in research stations and Colorado State Forest Service stations. In between the town and the mountains lies the Horsetooth Reservoir; six and a half miles of crystal blue water that can be used for fishing, boating, swimming, water skiing and SCUBA diving.

All of this space sure does make for some really cool student activities, such as:

  • Jousting

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  • Longboarding

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  • Logging Sports

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  • Mountain Horse Riding

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6. University of Otago, New Zealand

The University of Otago’s main campus is located in Dunedin, a city with a varied and spectacular coastline. The University presents students with unprecedented opportunities, with a world-class education provided by dedicated professionals.

Whether you’re in search of elegant scenery, thirsting for adventure or just desperate to get up close and personal with nature, Otago is definitely the place to be. Enriched with an affluent heritage and sensational natural beauty there is always something to see, do and appreciate.

Dunedin’s mild temperatures and late-setting sun make it the perfect location for outdoor adventure, and some of this University’s most exciting offerings include:

  • Kayak Racing

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  • Spearfishing and Hunting

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  • Rifle Shooting

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  • Capoeira

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7. University of Colorado Boulder, U.S.A

The University of Colorado Boulder is located at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, making the view from campus simply breathtaking. CU-Boulder has Faculty that is both nationally and internationally recognised, and has a global reputation for providing outstanding teaching.

Boulders temperate climate and more than pleasant weather means you can walk around the creek all year round. There are too many national parks around the area to list them all, but just to name a few; Rocky Mountain National Park and the Arapahoe National Forest directly west, as well as a huge number of incredible skiing and water sport destinations.

Almost all of Boulder is located a few minutes walk away from trails leading to the Flatirons, and it’s a really great town for virtually any outdoor activity- which is probably the reason why it has thrashed competition for being the fittest town in the country for the past six years in a row. Some of the awesome sports on offer here are:

  • Inner Tubing

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  • Slacklining

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  • Sailing

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  • Ski Racing

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8. Trinity Western University, Canada

Trinity Western University, located at Langley, British Colombia is a great place both to live and study. The heart and soul of British Colombia is its thriving city and host of the 2010 olympic games.

British Colombia has ten mountain ranges pushing west from The Rockies and falling gracefully into the Pacific. Ancient, majestic trees gently break the light that falls on to a fresh and vibrant forest floor, and glacier-fed streams of only the purest water trickle through the gaping valleys and swell into the rivers. It is an abundant, nurturing landscape that has supported Canada’s communities for over 10,000 years.

Students at Trinity Western take in all that the city offers: its museums, theatres, professional sports, ethnic celebrations, and the laid-back West Coast attitude. Some of the more popular destinations include Robson Street, Stanley Park, Gastown, the Sea Wall, and Granville Island. It has some really great extra-curricular opportunities, including:

  • Skiing

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  • Snowboarding

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  • Sport Fishing

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  • Road Cycling

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9. Stanford University, U.S.A

Stanford University, located between San Francisco and San Jose in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, is one of the world’s leading teaching and research universities. Since opening in 1891, Stanford has been dedicated to finding solutions to big challenges, and preparing students for leadership in a busy, complex world.

Stanford’s campus is a gargantuan 8,160 acres, 60 percent of which is undeveloped land, slap-bang in the middle of Melo Park and Palo Alto. Just South of the campus is a natural reserve that spans over 1,000 acres, and the university uses this beautiful landscape for important wildlife research. The stunning architecture and breathtaking rolling hills that frame the campus landed Stanford the highest rank in Travel + Leisure magazine’s list of the most beautiful colleges in America.

The University presents plenty of opportunity for outdoor and indoor recreation both on and off of campus. Larger regions, such as Redwoods and  the Norcal Coast provide yet more outdoor sport activities.

Stanford’s exciting endeavors include:

  • Coastal Backpacking

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  • Rafting

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  • Wilderness Backpacking

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  • Standup Paddleboarding

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10. Bangor University, Wales

Bangor University has a long-standing tradition of exellence and exceeding expectations, for both its academic standards and its student experience. It is in the Top 40 Universities within the UK for the quality of its research, which has had a major impact around the world according to the latest assessment of research quality. Over half of Bangor’s academic schools have been ranked int he UK Top 20 for quality research.

With jagged mountains, huge areas of moorland, a dramatic coastline, picturesque beaches and gushing rivers, Wales makes the perfect playground for all your sporting dreams. No matter where you are, you’re never far from from the countryside where you can take a little break from civilization for a memorable, isolated adventure.

Bangor University’s Students’ Union offers a broad range of student-run clubs and societies; there are actually 150 to choose from! But for all of you budding adventurers, here are just a few of it’s most unique offerings:

  • Mountaineering

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  • Rowing

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  • Paintballing

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  • Canoe Polo

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Image via Shutterstock.

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