“Don’t grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.” – Michelle Held

What do you consider when looking for a place in a foreign university?

The quality of the academics? The university rankings? The program offerings?

…Living right next to the beach?

Okay, okay, so maybe beach life doesn’t define good quality education. But really, who wouldn’t love it? What if there’s a place offering you everything you need to become a successful graduate AND the opportunity to spend your days on rolling, sandy beaches that sparkle in the sun?

So if that’s not something you’ve factored into your university selection, maybe it’s something you should…


Just a few more days till its back to these views #sunsets #fit #nikon #adventure

A photo posted by Kollin Upton (@kollinwithak) on

Just imagine:

An assignment is looming, and you’re in desperate need of serious inspiration – what could be more stirring than sinking into deep thought under a palm-fringed shade, watching the blazing horizon as you curl your toes on soft sand.

It’s the end of exams and time to close those books. You want to cut loose with your mates, forge remarkable memories and toast your achievements. Where better to do this than on a sun-kissed beach?

You know we’re right – it can’t really get better than that…

So without further ado, here are 5 leading global beachside universities where you can live, learn and play by the sea:


Florida Institute of Technology (Florida Tech) is a national, doctoral-granting research university that values intellectual curiosity and urges each of its student to unleash their full academic and professional capacity. With a globally-reputed faculty committed to the pursuit of excellence in both teaching and research, Florida Tech is renowned for serving the diverse needs of local and international communities.

And that’s not all. Florida Tech also offers a beautiful, palm tree-lined campus just minutes away from some of the best beaches in the U.S. and the world.

Florida Tech is situated on the East Coast of Central Florida in Brevard County – home of the Kennedy Space Center and the iconic NASA space launches – on the Space Coast, which boasts an impressive coastline that stretches over 72 miles.

From the Canaveral National Seashore Park in the north, to Cocoa Beach in Central Brevard, to Sebastian Inlet State Park at the county’s southern tip; Florida Tech’s lucky student community has so much beachside space for fun and relaxation that it’s almost too good to be true.

But rest assured, prospective travellers – for it certainly is true!

Florida Tech is proud to provide an environment that both rivals and contrasts the crowded venues of Orlando, presenting a lively palette of activities for when you’re taking a break from the books, yet still managing to maintain a tranquil haven on the golden sands of the coast.

The county is formed by a combination of beachside towns like Indialantic and Cocoa Beach; mainland cities like Melbourne and Palm Bay; as well as quirky settlements such as Merritt Island, which is set on a long peninsula by the intra-coastal waterway.

Being so close to the water means research opportunities for the university’s many marine biology, aquaculture, meteorology, ocean engineering and oceanography majors. For all Florida Tech students, it means having the ability to surf or swim, take a stroll in the sand, or simply find inspiration in the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean, any time of day.

With access to opportunity and unlimited fun-in-the-sun, Florida Tech students become versatile and well-rounded graduates, ready for jobs of the future anywhere in the world.


University of California, Santa Cruz (UC Santa Cruz) is a public university that’s truly unparalleled, perfectly blending the intimacy of a tight-knit liberal arts college with the depth and rigor of a large-scale research institution.

Centrally located on the California Coast, 75 miles south of San Francisco and 30 miles southwest of San Jose, Santa Cruz is a stylish town filled with unique personalities.

Since the UC Santa Cruz inception in 1965, the university and the town have worked side-by-side to create a mixed population of artisans, scientists, scholars, outdoor enthusiasts, technical professionals and students.

Basking in a temperate climate with no less than 300 days of sunshine every year, Santa Cruz is one of the world’s favourite study abroad destinations.

Students traverse the length and breadth of the world to enjoy UC Santa Cruz’s 29 miles of beaches, its backdrop of mighty redwood mountains; stunning seaside vistas; and the laid-back persona of a town that has come to be known as California’s ‘Surf City’.


University of Cape Town (UCT) is South Africa’s most prominent university, boasting a proud and long-held tradition of excellence.

From its location at the foot of the Table Mountain’s Devil’s Peak, students at UCT get to enjoy both sweeping views of the city and astounding natural beauty.

For surfers, doesn’t matter whether you’re a pro or an eager beginner, Cape Town is perfect for riding the breaks with waves for every level.

From the calm shores of Muizenberg, to the crazy tides of Misty Cliffs and Kalk Bay, the Cape Coast presents an abundance of vibes and a challenge at every cove.

If you get a car and split the cost with friends, it’ll cost next to nothing to go for a spin to explore some of the peninsula’s most breathtaking spots.


If you’re in search of some gnarly waves and a world-class degree, the University of Otago could very well be your perfect choice. Otago and the Southland province host the most thrilling and rewarding breaks New Zealand has to offer, making it the ideal for the avid learner as well as the seasoned pro.

The university itself lies in close proximity to Dunedin City Centre, allowing students to enjoy a cosmopolitan buzz alongside fresh sea air.

The institution is home to diverse community of more than 20,000 students from 100 countries, building an academic environment that’s warm and culturally strong.

Tens of thousands of Otago graduates live and work successfully on each and every continent, with many of New Zealand’s most respected artists, novelists, poets and leaders receiving an Otago education, making it more or less fact that every hard-working Otago student is truly destined for greatness.


Home to more than 18,000 students, Griffith University’s Gold Coast Campus is by far the largest of the institution’s five campuses.

The university located mere minutes from Gold Coast’s enviable beaches offers courses across a large number of disciplines, and boasts a vast global network of over 200,000 Griffith graduates. On top of specialist instruction, Griffith University’s cutting-edge Gold Coast Campus also offers state-of-the-art facilities.

Students here enjoy dynamic and exciting lifestyles, thanks to the institute’s extensive sporting amenities and on-campus services like student-run cafes and restaurants.

With its sublime subtropical climate, diverse natural wonders and vibrant city life, Griffith University’s Gold Coast Campus is a flawless setting, allowing students to make the most of life outside the classroom environment.

Feature image via Unsplash

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