The world's top 5 student cities

  • International students
Published on 2017-09-14 at 15:00 by Veedushi
Spending a year or more abroad as part of your studies is sure to be a major asset in shaping your career, but where should you go for the best experience? Which cities are best for international students in terms of quality of education, social life and affordability? gives you an insight into the world's best student cities according to the QS Top Universities ranking.


Montreal McGill University
meunierd /

As a dynamic city that provides an unparalleled quality of life, Montreal needs no introduction. As one of the world's top destinations for expatriates, Montreal has been attracting a massive number of international students from a variety of countries. In 2016, over 350,000 international students were enrolled in its prestigious universities at all levels. Choosing to study in Montreal is an excellent opportunity for you to evolve in a safe, serene and multicultural environment along with bilingual people. The affordable cost of living is another plus for international students. All these factors combined have contributed to making Montreal the world's best student city. Moreover, Montreal hosts some of Canada's best universities including McGill University, which ranks among the world's 50 best universities, as well as the University of Montreal, which is famous for medical studies, and the University of Concordia, specialising in finance, engineering and science.


Student in Paris

Nicknamed the City of Lights or the Fashion capital, Paris remains one of the most attractive cities for international students. It has been inspiring expatriates worldwide with its chic style that reflects a harmonious blend of history and modernity. Paris is home to many elite universities such as the Ecole Nationale Supérieure in Paris, Ecole Polytechnique ParisTech, Sciences Po Paris, as well as the famous Paris-Sorbonne University (Paris IV) and HEC Paris. Also, did you know that over the past century these universities have produced some of the world's most famous politicians, businessmen, philosophers and scientists? If you have chosen to study in Paris, you are also likely to enjoy a rich cultural scene thanks to numerous events held all year round, not to mention breathtaking places of interest. It is also be the ideal opportunity for you to discover more French cuisine. However, the cost of living in Paris remains very high, as is the case in most European countries.


Primrose hill in London

One of the world's most expensive cities, London also remains a top destination for international students, in spite of doubts following Brexit. Is the UK still going to attract expatriates in the long run? In the meantime, its prestigious universities four of which are among the best in the world have an international student population of over 370,000. It's worth noting that, in 2016, foreign studennts made up around 30% of the student population. University College of London and Imperial College of London specialise in research while King's College of London is popular for literature, humanities, science and law. Therefore, studying in London will be an opportunity for you to benefit from top notch higher education and to enjoy a vibrant social life thanks to its wide cultural diversity not to mention the variety of events and activities you can indulge in.


Seoul students in a cafe
Sorbis /

As one of Asia's most developed, dynamic and trendiest cities, Seoul is very much appreciated by international students not only for its quality education but also for its economic appeal. The South Korean capital city hosts many multinational companies providing a range of career prospects for young graduates. Also, did you know that Seoul hosts two of the world's best universities? The National University of Seoul and the University of Korea have attracted a massive number of international students over the years. The Korean government also aims to welcome at least 200,000 international students in the coming years by easing not only travel formalities, but also enrollment procedures. So what are you waiting for? Moving to Seoul is also a unique opportunity to see more of the different Asian cultures and traditions within a warm and welcoming population. In terms of the cost of living in Seoul, it remains lower than in Europe, for instance, in spite of a significant rise in recent years.


Victoria Library Melbourne
Julian Peters Photography /

Cool and sophisticated Melbourne has been attracting international students not only for its beautiful beaches, its pleasant climate and its multiculturalism but also for its quality higher education system. By moving to Melbourne, you can choose from among the most prestigious Australian universities, 7 of which appear among the best in the world. The University of Melbourne, specialising in humanities, arts and biomedicine, has an international student population of almost 35%. It is also associated with many Nobel prize winners. Studying in Melbourne also offers a high quality of life and the opportunity to participate in a wide range of events and other activities all year round, even though the cost of living is quite high.

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Article translated from Le top 5 des villes tudiantes