Villa da Luz

“House of Light”

The Cascais region is a beautiful area to be explored


From Lisbon, trips throughout Portugal, Spain and beyond are within reach

Within 6 hours

Depending on student goals, trips to Lisbon, Porto, Madrid and surrounding areas are just hours away.


Beaches, Surfing, Sailing, Scuba, Ocean Biology and Sunshine


Full lessons and certifications available to build your resume, self-efficacy and healthy lifestyles

Global Citizenship

With fast paced changing political environments...

We are all connected...

Never before has global citizenship become more important


Formal Education, Internships, Experiences

Work hard, take advantage, opportunities abound

Whatever the options that you choose, take full advantage!

The Cascais region is a beautiful area to be explored; English is widely spoken, public transportation is efficient and easy to navigate, with beaches, forest, art, history, and adventures of every kind including sports, surfing, hiking, biking, etc.

Our primary residence is located in Estoril, with its lovely sandy beaches and Cascais nearby, Lisbon is easily reached by train ride in 20 minutes or by car (20km). Sintra castle is a bus ride away. Within a short walk, there are plenty of useful services including pastry shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, baker, restaurants, and banks, among others.

The Cascais and Estoril area became famous during World War II as a safe haven for European nobility and spies. The beautiful chalets defining the landscape are a remnant from this era. Its microclimate is a constant attraction all year round, with mild winters and warm summers.

The Cascais Marina, with its boats, restaurants and buzzing night-life is a 5-minute drive or a pleasant 20-minute stroll along the seaside.

The center of Cascais is 3km away, with its restaurants, shops, marina and cosmopolitan life. The coastal area of Cascais has superb beaches, social opportunities and a charming old town with rewarding history.

Sintra, a world heritage site with its palaces, castle and gardens set in a mountainous forest with ravishing views is a scenic 15-minute car ride and also accessible via public transportation.

Within 10 minutes there are several choices of the latest films in their original languages with over twenty screens in four local cinema complexes. Summer brings international festivals; classical ballet and music in Sintra, jazz in Estoril and fireworks over the ocean in Cascais.

Lisbon is 20 minutes away. With easy access to the public transportation system, some world-class historical, arts, educational and cultural sites make repeated day trips easy. Lisbon boasts world heritage sites, and a rich cultural, culinary, arts, history and lets just say, its a really cool city.

Other day trips include the Knights Templars’ castle and chapels at Tomar and Batalha, as well as the ancient university town of Coimbra.

Beaches – The ocean is 500 meters away from our primary student housing. With public and personal transportation, there are numerous beaches and coastline. Each beach has unique and rewarding views and opportunities.

Guincho beach, world-renowned for its beauty and surfing, is eight kilometers away. Many other sandy beaches are close by, each with its individual character. Less than half an hour’s drive North along the coast several beaches are well worth exploring, as are some excellent fish restaurants.

Golf – Portugal is a paradise where the weather allows the golfer play almost every day throughout the year. Every golf course offers new and stunning landscapes, backed up by excellent services and facilities. The internationally renowned Estoril Golf course is less than 2 km away. There are six courses close by, with plenty to offer the newbie who is just learning and advanced player alike. Golf lessons and other opportunities are provided to Pacia Life students.

Weather-Portugal is a mild climate. Sunny in the summer, with a welcome and refreshing breeze off the sea and mild winters. The windier months are July and August. Spring and Autumn are mild, ideal for exploring the rich history and sightseeing. Rainy days can occur in winter, but it is rarely cold.

Living in Cascais

Daily living includes:

  • The city of Cascais
  • Two housing options
    • A beautiful, private residence with private swim pool, work out room, etc.
    • For students who are ready for more independence and long-term living, we offer additional housing options.
  • Swimming pool (seasonal)
  • Work out facilities in your home
  • Gardening boxes for a farm to table fresh foods
  • Yoga studio

Within 10 to 20 minutes

Within 20 to 60 minutes

  • Beaches, Beaches, Beaches
  • Sintra-Cascais Natural Park – A beautiful mountain forest
  • Sintra Castle
  • The city of Lisbon
  • International Universities (Some classes are in English)
  • Museums, Arts, History
  • Every type of sport, adventure, recreation

P.A.R.C. (Pacia Academic Resource Continum) Service

Pacia Academic Resource Coaches (PARC) is a college preparation, college preservation, and skills acceleration support model for traditional, non-traditional and hybrid academic programs customized to each student’s needs. PARC consist of academic coaches, life coaches, tutors, educators, high school teachers and college professors. With additional specialties of clinically informed life coaches and a network of college admission specialist, PARC Coaches are addressing the ever-growing need with college students.

Life Coaching with a purpose…

      • Experienced Life Coaches who help students translate current experiences into future growth
      • Personal growth experiences that teach solution focused and problem-solving challenges
      • Experiential learning moments designed to  increase self-efficacy that transform into real-world situations
      • Experiences designed to not just be educational and recreational, but to build a solid resume
      • A clinical health advisory team ready to assist as needed. To learn more, click here. 

Travelling abroad testimonials

“It was an awakening. I am thankful every day that I spent three months in Nepal, a month in South Africa, and two months in Peru. I was already admitted to college but these experiences made me come back and go a whole different direction with a new college and a different choice of major. I feel so more prepared, confident and directional.”

“Heyya! I go by Dave. My travels to the mountain ranches of Argentina and working the land in New Zealand taught me how fulfilling it is to sweat into another country’s soil. To let go of a piece of yourself that you thought was you, and gain some truth. Plus all the delicious goats and tasty rabbits to be to be eaten. Yum. I highly recommend finding your own place of goat and goodness through travelling and gap years.”
Dave P
“Living in Nepal with the Buddist Monks was the most powerful experience of my life. I got the opportunity to be the teacher and the giver. Life changing!”
David N
“I had taken a number of vacations with my family. The difference is on a vacation, you get to see another country, but these experiences let me live another culture.

Each of my international experience was life-changing. It’s like I finally realized what an amazing life I really have. I got to live with the people. Serve them. Learn from them. So many details. Where do I begin?”


A second housing option for students who desire more independence while living in Portugal is included in the pictures below.