The United States is home to some of the world’s best educational institutions. But none of the US cities made it to the top ten in this year’s QS Best Student Cities in the world. QS Quacquarelli Symonds has published its 2019 report ranking the world’s best urban destinations for international students. Boston was the highest-ranked US city, occupying the 12th spot. It was followed by New York at 19th place.
QS ranked 120 cities based on a wide range of indicators such as University Rankings, Desirability, Employer Activity, Student Mix, Affordability, and Student View. The global career and education network considered only those cities with a population of at least 250,000.
According to the publication, international students preferred cities that are safe and welcoming. Cost of living and quality of education were other major considerations. Students also looked for cities that allowed them to work while studying, highlighting the importance of letting international students work on student visas.
Out of the 120 cities analyzed, 14 cities are from the US and UK each. European cities dominated the top ten list, occupying four of the ten spots. These are the top 10 best student cities in the world, as per the QS 2019 ranking.
10- Seoul, South Korea
The capital city of South Korea has a population of 25 million. It scored well in terms of employer activity, sitting on the 6th place. It is home to the prestigious Seoul National University. Seoul has a vibrant nightlife, and it’s welcoming of international students. The average tuition fee for international students is $6,100.
9- Sydney, Australia
Australia is one of the hottest destinations for international students. Sydney has been named the 9th best student city by QS for the second consecutive year. It ranks highly in terms of desirability (2nd) and employer activity (9th). Sydney has a diverse and inclusive student community. Students also have a lot of opportunities if they want to work in Australia after graduation.
8- Zurich, Switzerland
Zurich is one of the world’s best cities to live in, but it’s incredibly expensive. It ranks near the top in terms of student mix, desirability, and employer activity. Zurich offers a wonderful combination of high living standards and natural beauty. The average salary in Zurich is also among the highest in the world. The city is home to ETH Zurich, which has consistently ranked among the world’s best universities. ETH Zurich has produced 21 Nobel laureates including Albert Einstein.
7- Paris, France
The city of romance has slipped two places this year, but it remains among the world’s best student cities. Though the cost of living is a major concern for students planning to pursue an education in Paris, the city ranks highly in terms of desirability and employer activity. Paris has many internationally-reputed educational institutions including ENS Paris, Ecole Polytechnique ParisTech, Sciences Po Paris, and HEC Paris.
6- Montreal, Canada
The cultural capital of Canada is home to McGill University and the Université de Montréal. Montreal is also among the world’s best places to live in. It is the best student city in North America. The QS report describes Montreal as a “multicultural, multilingual” city that openly welcomes international students. The city is known for its “laidback yet lively lifestyle.”
5- Berlin, Germany
In the last few years, Germany has emerged as a popular destination for international students. Berlin jumped two places this year to become the fifth best student city in the world. All undergraduate and some postgraduate programs at public universities are free of cost, even for international students. Berlin is a perfect blend of art, culture, fashion, music, and technology.
4- Munich, Germany
A global survey of students conducted by QS revealed that Munich is the most popular city among students. Its popularity could be attributed to free tuition, vibrant nightlife, friendliness of locals, affordability, and the ease of getting around. Munich also ranked highly in terms of desirability and employer activity. The city is home to the Technical University of Munich and the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
3- Melbourne, Australia
The cultural capital of Australia has one of the lowest crime rates, and one of the most diverse student communities in the world. The city is home to the University of Melbourne and Australian National University. It ranks 3rd on the student view indicator, 7th on desirability, and 7th on employer activity indicator. Melbourne has beautiful beaches, a vibrant nightlife, and year-round cultural activities.
2- Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo ranks first on both desirability and employer activity indicators. It is home to the University of Tokyo, Tokyo Institute of Technology, and over a dozen other respected educational institutions. Tokyo is the place to go if you want to immerse yourself in the local culture instead of living in a “student bubble.” Since Tokyo is one of the world’s biggest business and finance centers, it offers a lot of professional and internship opportunities.
1- London, United Kingdom
London retains the title of the world’s best student city. It is home to over a dozen world-class educational institutions such as the University College London, Imperial College London, and London School of Economics. It is also the epicenter of global business, finance, and culture. It has a diverse student community, but it is one of the world’s most expensive cities.