StudyAdvantage Magazine

5 Greatest Beach Universities

Published: March 3, 2017

Winter is finally coming to an end. Too bad that most of us will be too busy preparing for exams to enjoy Spring Break properly. Luckily for some, there are plenty of great universities right by the beach, which means you can study and holiday in the same place. We, at StudyAdvantage, compiled a list of such institutions to help you get the best of both worlds. We hope that you don’t get too distracted by the view outside your classroom…


University of West Indies, various locations in the Caribbean


First thing that comes to mind when someone mentions the Caribbean is probably pristine beaches and crystal-clear sea (or money laundering). Nevertheless, there are plenty of universities in the region, 4 in Barbados alone. The University of West Indies is the oldest and most prestigious of them, awarding both bachelor degrees and postgrad qualifications.

With over 250 courses in both humanities and sciences, as well as a dedicated Business School in Barbados, this university offers as much choice as colleges in the US or the UK. As there are campuses in various Caribbean countries, you get an excuse for an extended holiday. Just tell your parents that you really must visit all of them before you can choose. Oh, and did we mention that it is insanely cheap compared to the US (for most Caribbean nationals it’s actually free).



UCLA, Los Angeles, US


2651246127_310a9e830b_zYes, there is actually a ‘Muscle Beach’ in LA

LA is the spiritual home of Starbucks and Planet Organic, but with a buzzing film and tech industry there’s more to the city than meets the eye. Not to mention the long list of distinguished educational establishments, most of them Ivy League.

Our choice will have to go to UCLA. Located close both to Beverley Hills and West Hollywood, you’ll be right in the middle of all the action – that is if you want to leave UCLA’s impressive campus in the first place. What’s more, it’s somewhat cheaper than USC and with an impressive 31st position in QS World University rankings you’re sure to get a top-notch education. Having said that, if you want to go beaching everyday you’ll need a car.


University of Valencia, Spain

La_Ciudad_de_las_Artes_y_las_Ciencias_de_ValenciaThe futuristic City of Arts & Science with great water features is a stroll from the beaches

If you’re set on studying in Europe, there are plenty of cities that fit the bill. We can’t help choosing Valencia, one of Spain’s most popular tourist destinations. This city is buzzing with cultural activities, has a great nightlife and the weather is great. Whilst it might not be 30C (85F) all year-round, even in winter temperatures rarely drop below 15C (60F) and you should have your beach-wear for March.

University of Valencia might not be in the Top-100 worldwide, but it still offers great education in a variety of subjects and is much cheaper than universities in the US and UK. For EU students, it’s practically free. On the downside, even though some courses are in English you should probably learn Catalan before applying (they do offer Catalan courses for foreign students). Still, could be a great choice for your year abroad or Erasmus.


University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

5712395851_a904bcf277_zRanked 2nd best beach in Australia, Surfer’s Paradise Beach is a real paradise on Earth

Here’s a country that you’re sure to find on every list that mentions beaches, as Australia’s coastal areas are simply perfect for the sun-loving beach goer. High-levels of socio-economic development, high-ranking universities and an immigration policy that welcomes international students make the Land Down Under the natural choice.

Ranked 51st best in the world, University of Queensland in Brisbane is the place for nerdy/academic surfers (do these even exist?). Brisbane itself is full of lovely beaches and the truly idyllic Surfers’ Paradise Beach is only a short drive away. Still unconvinced? The temperature average is 18C (65F) or above all-year round and you’d be still saving yourself some buck compared to the US or rainy UK.

Curious what it’s like to live in study in Australia?

Check out Emma’s interview


American University, Beirut, Lebanon

14328493084_c85fe258ec_zLebanon has dramatic scenery and sloping beaches alike

Middle East is usually associated with conflict, but the region also boasts plenty of scenery and an amazing culture. Yes, in Lebanon’s case this also means great beaches and crystal-clear sea. The country itself has long been a liberal oasis of peace in a troubled region, enjoying a brief spell as the summer playground for European aristocracy and film-stars in the 1960s. Not surprising given that temperatures stay well above 20C (70F), March through November.

There is even an English-language American university in the capital. Founded as far back as 1866, it is a well-respected institution that offers all the usual courses and some less-common Arab-studies Majors that are perfect for anyone interested in the Middle East. There’s not much else to be said, apart from the fact that the food is truly amazing.

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