The world's best cities for international students

  • international students
Published on 2018-05-11 at 08:40 by Maria Iotova
There are plenty of good reasons to study abroad such as discovering the world, experiencing a new culture, learning a new language, building an international network, and opening your horizons to job opportunities. However, the decision of where to go as an international student isn't one to take lightly. QS ranks 100 global cities with London being the best student city of 2018. Which other cities make it to the top five and why? Let's find out together. 


students in London

London, one of the world's major hubs for global finance and international business, climbed from the third position last year to this year's number one. Student life in London is compared to no other thanks to a diverse culture, which artlessly merges history with innovation and the corporate with the entrepreneurial mindset. International students are invited to discover the society and the culture through the numerous museums, vibrant arts scene, and pulsating nightlife. London hosts the biggest number of world-class universities than any other city, including the UCL (University College London) and Imperial College London, which rank seventh and eighth respectively in the 2018 QS World University Rankings. If you are a bookworm or a dedicated researcher, you cannot resist the British Library, where some of the world's most significant books and manuscripts are to be found.


clock tower of the University of Tokyo
MMpai /

Tokyo, a city of 37,800,000 people, is one of the most densely populated urban areas in the world. Last year in the seventh place, Tokyo has climbed five positions, crossing the finish line before Seoul (tenth place), and becoming Asia's leading city for international student life. One thing students should keep in mind if choosing to study in Tokyo is the commanding presence of the local culture. Are you ready to immerse yourself in a new culture and lifestyle? Then Tokyo may well be the right place for your studies. The city stands next to New York City and London regarding international finances, and it is the number one place in the world for employer activity with many domestic and international employers in search of fresh talents and some of the highest levels of employment among the youth. Unlike London, Tokyo is a much more affordable city to lead an independent student life in.


State Library of Victoria in Melbourne
DinoPh /

Melbourne is the third most favourable city for international students, more or less for the same reasons that expats, in general, tend to choose it for their expatriation projects. Melbourne is known as Australia's cultural capital, and it hosts an ultra-diverse student community, which is open to different cultural backgrounds, lifestyles, and identities. International students in Melbourne don't have to worry where they come from and how they will adapt to their new environment, which is a big relief for both parents and students who possibly leave their home for the first time. What to expect when studying in Melbourne? First and foremost, the typical Australian lifestyle defined by picturesque beaches, relatively mild weather, and lively nightlife. The downside of studying in Melbourne is the high cost of living together with high tuition fees. However, as you may discover for yourself, the good quality of life balances out the expenses.


Campus McGill University
meunierd /

Montreal has dropped three places since 2017 when it ranked as the best city for international students in the world. This year Montreal is the only North American city in the top ten. Montreal has a lot to offer to students; it's a multicultural and multilingual society, which ranks very often among the top destinations to live in thanks a good work-life balance and high standards of living. In Montreal, students get to apply at some of Canada's highest-ranking universities such as McGill University (the second best university in Canada) and the Université de Montréal (fifth in Canada). The vibes in Montreal remind those of a European capital; the lifestyle is laid back and cafes are scattered throughout the city, yet the city has a lot to offer regarding arts and culture and creativity and nightlife.


international student in Paris

The first thing that comes to our mind when we talk about Paris is the traditional Parisian universities where some of the greatest philosophers, scientists, and politicians of the modern history have come out of to change the world with their thought-provoking questions and theories. In particular, if you wish to study the arts or literature, Paris is home to 18 world-leading universities, including the ENS Paris where one of the major modern philosophers, Jacques Derrida, was also admitted in 1952. Other eminent institutions are Ecole Polytechnique ParisTech, Sciences Po Paris, Université Paris-Sorbonne, and HEC Paris.

In which city would you like to study? Why? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. 

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