Top 10 Cities in the World to be a Student

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What makes your student life memorable apart from the learning you take home from the classrooms? It is the time spent outside—in the campus and around the city! Students consider not just the university or college when choosing a place to study. The city is a big factor, too.

How do you identify the best student cities in the world? Take the word of higher education rating experts, QS Ranking. Their 2018 rankings for the best student cities in the world was announced in partnership with Elsevier. The rankings are based on scores on six key indicators listed below.

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  • University Rankings
  • Student Mix
  • Desirability
  • Employer Activity
  • Affordability
  • Student View

Here are the cities that made the top ten ranks in a snapshot!

Want more details on the top ten best student cities if you are an Indian student planning to study abroad? Scroll on to find out everything you would want to know.

1 London ranking snapshot

Despite Brexit and expected low appeal for international students, London tops the QS Rankings list. While rent and living costs are high, the city is still a preferred academic destination. Its pros include the number of world-class universities, professional and social opportunities, and a mix of the historical and the contemporary.

London in Numbers

Country United Kingdom
Population 13,880,000
Languages Spoken English
Average International Fees* USD 21,400
Highest Ranked Institution** University College London (Ranked 7th in the World)
Desirability Rank 18th
Employer Activity Rank 2nd
Affordability Rank 113th
Student Experience Rank 13th
Website london.gov.uk

2 Tokyo Ranking Snapshot

Asia's leading city in the QS rankings, Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, which ranks second has 13 internationally ranked universities, a proportionately low student population, and is a leading financial giant. While busy and populous, it is also great for students who prefer cultural immersion to a 'student bubble' lifestyle.

Tokyo in Numbers

Country Japan
Population 37,800,000
Languages Spoken Japanese
Average International Fees* USD 6,600
Highest Ranked Institution** University of Tokyo (Ranked joint 28th in the World)
Desirability Rank 2nd
Employer Activity Rank 1st
Affordability Rank 55th
Student Experience Rank 17th
Website www.metro.tokyo.jp/english/

Melbourne Ranking Snapshot

Home to a diverse student community, Melbourne is home to seven of the top-ranked universities in the world. With top-notch educational institutions, its popularity is also fuelled by its constant ranking in the world's most liveable cities. While the city does not score brownie points when it comes to affordability, its high standards of living and incredible vista makes it a top city.

Melbourne in Numbers

Country Australia
Population 4,530,000
Languages Spoken English
Average International Fees* USD 23,300
Highest Ranked Institution** University of Melbourne (Ranked joint 41st in the World)
Desirability Rank 8th
Employer Activity Rank 10th
Affordability Rank 102nd
Student Experience Rank 3rd
Website www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/

4 Montreal Ranking Snapshot

Since last year, the city has slipped three places in this year's edition of best student cities in the world. Its multicultural, multilingual identity makes it popular among students. It's also home to several of Canada's top universities including McGill University and Universite de Montreal.

Montreal in Numbers

Country Canada
Population 4,127,000
Languages Spoken French, English
Average International Fees* USD 13,200
Highest Ranked Institution** McGill University (Ranked 32nd in the World)
Desirability Rank 10th
Employer Activity Rank 20th
Affordability Rank 69th
Student Experience Rank 1st
Website ville.montreal.qc.ca

 5 Paris Ranking Snapshot

The one reason Paris constantly features among the top student cities in the world is the number of internationally ranked universities in the city (18 top universities in the QS World Rankings). While the cost of living is high, the low tuition fees keeps the city's desirability high.

Paris in Numbers

Country France
Population 12,405,000
Languages Spoken French, English (Minimal)
Average International Fees* USD 3,400
Highest Ranked Institution** ENS Paris (Ranked 43rd in the World)
Desirability Rank 20th
Employer Activity Rank 7th
Affordability Rank 92nd
Student Experience Rank 27th
Website www.paris.fr/

Munich Ranking Snapshot

Germany is increasingly gaining popularity as a study abroad destination and this is underlined by the fact that it has not one but two countries in the top 10 best student cities in the world. Munich ranks particularly high because it is an affordable city with minimal tuition fees, and a distinctive culture, making it an appealing destination to study in.

Munich in Numbers

Country Germany
Population 2,600,000
Languages Spoken German, English (minimal)
Average International Fees* USD 100
Highest Ranked Institution** Technische Universität München (Ranked 64th in the World)
Desirability Rank 10th
Employer Activity Rank 23rd
Affordability Rank 36th
Student Experience Rank 2nd
Website www.muenchen.de

Berlin Ranking Snapshot

Home to one of the world's coolest urban hubs, Berlin is a major centre of design, fashion, music, and art. An impressive financial market and a great artistic cultural city, it is popular among students for not only these highlights but also the low or no tuition fees at public universities and the use of English as a medium of teaching at most universities.

Berlin in Numbers

Country Germany
Population 6,005,000
Languages Spoken German
Average International Fees* USD 200
Highest Ranked Institution** Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin  (Ranked 120th in the World)
Desirability Rank 12th
Employer Activity Rank 23rd
Affordability Rank 29th
Student Experience Rank 8th
Website berlin.de

Zurich Ranking Snapshot

Home to the highest ranked university in continental Europe, Zurich is highly desirable amongst students because of its affluence. A rich city translates into a clean, safe, and well maintained city ranking it high on liveability index. This also means high living costs which are somehow balanced by the comparably low tuition fees.

Zurich in Numbers

Country Switzerland
Population 1,900,000
Languages Spoken German, French, Italian, Romansh, English
Average International Fees* USD 1900
Highest Ranked Institution** ETH Zurich (Ranked 10th in the World)
Desirability Rank 5th
Employer Activity Rank 6th
Affordability Rank 80th
Student Experience Rank 32nd
Website www.stadt-zuerich.ch

Sydney Ranking Snapshot

An inclusive student community with diverse population from across the world, constant rankings in the city desirability indices, high quality of life are some of the factors that make Sydney an extremely popular city for students. While the city does not do very well on affordability, the academic quality and the lifestyle make it a popular study abroad destination.

Sydney in Numbers

Country Australia
Population 4,921,000
Languages Spoken English
Average International Fees* USD 26,400
Highest Ranked Institution** The University of New South Wales (Ranked 45th in the World)
Desirability Rank 4th
Employer Activity Rank 13th
Affordability Rank 114th
Student Experience Rank 14th
Website http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/

10 Seoul Ranking Snapshot

Home to the highest ranked university in continental Europe, Zurich is highly desirable amongst students because of its affluence. A rich city translates into a clean, safe, and well maintained city ranking it high on liveability index. This also means high living costs which are somehow balanced by the comparably low tuition fees.

Seoul in Numbers

Country South Korea
Population 25,000,000
Languages Spoken Korean
Average International Fees* USD 6500
Highest Ranked Institution** Seoul National University (SNU) (Ranked joint 36th in the World)
Desirability Rank 38th
Employer Activity Rank 4th
Affordability Rank 76th
Student Experience Rank 23rd
Website english.visitseoul.net
* The international fees has all been mentioned in US dollars for normalization. The fee will differ when mentioned in the currency of the city in question
** The rankings of universities mentioned here are as per the QS World University Rankings.

Note: This article has been written according to the rankings released by QS Rankings in partnership with Elsevier. The attribute-based ranking is in accordance with the QS-released rankings. The detailed rankings can be checked here.

 

About Tulika Nair

Tulika Nair is a content strategist and creator with almost a decade's experience in television, print, and digital media in multiple domains including education and lifestyle. She still types her messages in complete sentences and considers incorrect use of punctuation a transgression of the highest order. If she isn't writing or doodling, you will find her with a book, music playing in the background on full volume.
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