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Summer 2014 Study Abroad Programs for Beach-Lovers

Make the most of your summer abroad!

Studying abroad over the summer has a myriad of benefits. Usually much cheaper than semester/year long program options, short-term summer study abroad programs can still allow for complete cultural immersion. With summer study abroad, you will not miss out on any of your on-campus commitments or get off track for earning your degree (in some cases, you may even free up more space in your schedule!). If you do not have the opportunity to study abroad for a longer period of time, a summer option would be a great fit for you!

The best part of summer is the sunshine and the beaches (and the increased hours of sleep!), so beach-loving international students of the world, unite! Remember seeing the ocean for the first time? You could not help but be filled with awe and wonder at experiencing the power of the sea. Even for repeat visitors, the view of the ocean alone remains phenomenal. While the whole "studying" part of your study abroad experience is extremely important, the ample down time outside of your classes needs to be filled.

So grab your floaties and join the locals (and probably the tourists!) as they take in the sights of our eight most recommended beaches for you to stop by this summer as you study abroad.

White Beach

Soak up the sun here while studying abroad in the Philippines.

Two miles of powder soft white sands, clear waters, and one of the best tropical vacation spots in the world - what more could you want than to explore this world famous resort spot while taking a break from improving your Tagalog? The Philippines are full of (literally) thousands of outstanding islands, and have no lack of diverse ecosystems, an interesting cultural history, and tropical rainforests. Studying abroad in the Philippines will leave you wanting more, especially after you visit the scores of little sandy bays scattered around the island, which give you ample alternatives to this popular beach.

Sophisticated, spiritual, exhilarating - Asia offers a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to those who study abroad there. Every day seems to be a holiday on Boracay!

Summer school: redefined.

Malmok Beach

Soak up the sun here while studying abroad in Venezuela.

Malmok Beach, on the nearby island of Aruba, is the site of one of the largest shipwrecks in the Caribbean. During the early years of World War II, a German freighter named Antilla was ordered to surrender when it was docked on the island. Instead of letting the ship fall into the hands of the Allies, the captain decided to sink the ship. Today, Malmok Beach attracts many snorkelers, divers, beach bums, and history buffs alike - at over 400 feet long, it has become a home to many diverse marine lifeforms and is a great place to explore.

The area is also great for swimming and other water related sports. See this giant shipwreck yourself while studying abroad in the exciting country of Venezuela!

Robin Hood's Bay

Soak up the sun here while studying abroad in England.

More than 3,000 years ago, people arrived and settled in Robin Hood's Bay, England, and despite the fact that it's been a couple of millennia, you can still find plenty of fossils and treasures in its marshes. This area once served as a trade hub for smugglers, once helping contraband such as tea, silk, tobacco, and gin travel from neighboring countries into England. Today, the beach hosts a charming village with many national parks, pubs, rock pools, and beaches.

Who knows what souvenir YOU'LL discover as you peruse this lovely English coast!

Take a swing at summer study abroad.

Santorini's Red Beach

Soak up the sun here while studying abroad in Greece.

Known as one of the most picturesque beaches in the world, Santorini is a quiet village that is perfect for wandering. Surrounded by huge slabs of red and black lava cliffs, volcanic rocks, and miles of vineyards, this beach is fairly remote and difficult to access - making the journey there all the more exciting (and all the more part of the adventure!). Located in the south of Greece, this island is nicknamed the original "Atlantis," as it is slowly slipping deeper and deeper into the sea. The beach is surrounded with beautiful pebbles, making diving extra-fun!

Sipping on fruity drinks and sunbathing at this beach is a great option for students exploring the laid back life that comes hand in hand with the Mediterranean region of southern Europe.

Ipanema Beach

Soak up the sun here while studying abroad in Brazil.

Sing along to the namesakes' song and enjoy the lively atmosphere of this Rio de Janeiro gem. Ipanema is a neighborhood with a tradition of freedom and innovation - a compact, easily navigated mixture of upscale shops, nightlife, and hip restaurants to slurp down a freshly squeezed caipirinha. If the 300 foot beach is not a sight to behold alone, it is set to the backdrop of majestic granite peaks and mountains, all of which are easily accessible by cable car or footpaths for breathtaking panoramic views of the city.

Let loose in exciting Brazil while studying abroad - brush up on your Portuguese and enjoy exploring the coastlines of the fifth largest country in the world!

Clifton Beach

Soak up the sun here while studying abroad in South Africa.

The beat of African drums will be the soundtrack of your summer as you study abroad in South Africa. Clifton beach is sprawling and clean, actually comprised of four individual beaches that are separated by large granite boulders. Each individual sandy enclave has its own peculiar identity. Located at the northwest tip of the Cape Peninsula, the water may feel a little colder than you'd like (as it is winter after all!). Regardless, yachts, speed boats, and jet-skis are prevalent, giving it the beachy/fun atmosphere you may find in its warmer counterparts.

South Africa is a great location for study abroad for beach and mountain enthusiasts alike! Trade in your flip flops for your hiking boots and scale the nearby Table Mountain for extraordinary vistas. What other adventures might you have while there?!

There's no easier way to make friends than on a beach.

Repulse Bay Beach

Soak up the sun here while studying abroad in Hong Kong.

Sure, Hong Kong may have the well-deserved reputation for being a frantic and intense international city, but hop an island or two away, and you'll be faced with a peaceful stretch of beautiful soft sandy beach. The contrast is sharp, but welcomed - after all, if you spend your nights out on the town, why not spend your days lazing away seaside? The South China Sea provides spectacular views, including many nearby temples (designed to protect the fishermen) and other places of Buddhist spiritual significance.

Sun-drenched, wide, and wave-lapped, this beach is the perfect answer for relaxing a bit after your business or Cantonese classes.

Nova Icária Beach

Soak up the sun here while studying abroad in Spain.

Prepare for many a tattoo and seriously large sunglasses as you join the crowds of international students calling Spain home for the summer. A cleaner, less crowded option than the oft-recommended Barceloneta Beach, Nova Icária is a few minutes north of the city center, but still boasts the same score of delicious sea food restaurants, palm tree lined walkways, funky art work, and oodles of space on the beautiful golden white sand!

Say hola to oceanside agua this verano while you sip on Sangria and study abroad in Spain!

Megan Lee

Megan Lee is an international educator, traveler, and writer. She currently leads study abroad programs in China and the South Pacific. Keep up with her on Twitter @peglegmeg and Google+.