Study Abroad: Top 10 World Best Cities For Int'l Students

Are you an international student or planning to study abroad? Then you must take a look at these Top 10 World Best Cities For Int'l Students to study abroad according to students opinion worldwide.

The survey takes into account several factors; arts and culture, affordability, nightlife, employment opportunities, diversity, tolerance and inclusion, ease of getting around, and friendliness. The indicator also considers students’ overall opinion of the city, as well as perceptions of employment opportunities after graduation− its availability and the quality of the graduate employers. It is worth noting that the student experience is different to desirability, suggesting that students’ experience may be different to their expectation of the city.

Content Highlights:
  • Munich
  • Montréal
  • Melbourne
  • Berlin
  • Amsterdam
  • Brno
  • Boston
  • Prague
  • London
  • New York
1- Munich
Study Abroad: Top 10 World Best Cities For Int'l Students

Germany’s Munich reaches the top spot this year, ranking first in the student view indicator and earning the title of students’ best student city. It has also rose by two spots in the overall Best Student Cities ranking, getting to fourth place, again overtaking Montréal as well as Paris. The city ranks well in all areas; particularly desirability and employer activity (where it is within the top 20 for both) so it’s understandable that it takes third place in the ‘staying after graduation’ category.

So why do students love Munich? One student praises the "safety and cleanliness of the city” while another admires its "great universities and career development opportunities”. It’s also undoubtedly a very fun and lively city to study in, with the Oktoberfest beer festival attracting millions of visitors every year.

Munich, Bavaria’s capital, is home to centuries-old buildings and numerous museums. The city is known for its annual Oktoberfest celebration and its beer halls, including the famed Hofbräuhaus, founded in 1589. In the Altstadt (Old Town), central Marienplatz square contains landmarks such as Neo-Gothic Neues Rathaus (town hall), with a popular glockenspiel show that chimes and reenacts stories from the 16th century.

2- Montréal

In 2018, students voted Montréal in Canada as their top student city, but 2019’s results see it drop to second place. Despite this, the city still enjoys a high score for desirability and is in the top 20 for students staying in the city after graduation. Diversity is something that students mentioned frequently when asked about their favorite thing about Montréal, and this is reflected in the student mix indicator, where it comes in at 10th place overall.

Other aspects of the city that were pointed out by students include the city’s excellent transport links, with one student stating "It’s so easy to get around”, as well as having a friendly and inclusive atmosphere.

Montréal is the largest city in Canada's Québec province. It’s set on an island in the Saint Lawrence River and named after Mt. Royal, the triple-peaked hill at its heart. Its boroughs, many of which were once independent cities, include neighbourhoods ranging from cobblestoned, French colonial Vieux-Montréal – with the Gothic Revival Notre-Dame Basilica at its centre – to bohemian Plateau.

3- Melbourne

Melbourne is the coastal capital of the southeastern Australian state of Victoria. At the city's centre is the modern Federation Square development, with plazas, bars, and restaurants by the Yarra River. In the Southbank area, the Melbourne Arts Precinct is the site of Arts Centre Melbourne – a performing arts complex – and the National Gallery of Victoria, with Australian and indigenous art.

Coming third overall in both the student view indicator and overall in the Top Student Cities list, Melbourne is Australia’s number one city in the Best Student Cities list. The city also scores well for desirability, rising one place to rank seventh worldwide.

Known as Australia’s cultural capital, Melbourne ranks top in the student mix indicator and is home to a very diverse student community. Students state that they loved the city’s “beautiful suburbs” as well as having the opportunity to “explore the hustling and bustling city life while receiving quality education”.

4- Berlin

The capital and largest city in Germany, Berlin comes in at an impressive fourth place in the student view indicator, climbing four places from last year. This city gains a high score in the ‘staying after university’ indicator, displaying the draw of Germany’s booming economy and strong graduate prospects.

An interesting fact about Berlin is that the city has more museums than it has rainy days in the year (with 180 museums, and only 106 rainy days on average)—meaning there’s plenty to entertain yourself with when the weather isn’t so good! When asked what they liked most about studying in Berlin, students told us they liked the “laid-back attitude” of the city and "the opportunities that are available in both your work and your social life".

Berlin, Germany’s capital, dates to the 13th century. Reminders of the city's turbulent 20th-century history include its Holocaust memorial and the Berlin Wall's graffitied remains. Divided during the Cold War, its 18th-century Brandenburg Gate has become a symbol of reunification. The city's also known for its art scene and modern landmarks like the gold-colored, swoop-roofed Berliner Philharmonie, built in 1963.

5- Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ capital, known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow houses with gabled facades, legacies of the city’s 17th-century Golden Age. Its Museum District houses the Van Gogh Museum, works by Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum, and modern art at the Stedelijk. Cycling is key to the city’s character, and there are numerous bike paths.

Ridden with canals, and with pieces of history dotted around the city, the capital of the Netherlands will not disappoint. Every corner of this city screams fun, and consequently it has risen two places this year to become students’ fifth favorite student city. Amsterdam also ranks highly in the desirability indicator, again coming in at fifth worldwide, indicating that it truly is one of students’ top choices when it comes to cities. And why not? With no shortage of museums, bars, galleries and nightclubs, Amsterdam is a student’s dream city!

6- Brno

Brno is a city in the Czech Republic. It’s known for its modernist buildings, like the restored Villa Tugendhat, completed in 1930 by architect Mies van der Rohe. The medieval Špilberk Castle houses a city museum, gardens and a former prison with vaulted tunnels. The Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul has baroque altars, a 14th-century statue of the Madonna and Child, and city views from its steeple.

The Czech Republic’s second-largest city, Brno rises three places this year to rank sixth in the student view indicator. At 60th place in the QS Best Student Cities this year, Brno has the highest student ratio of all the cities in this list, indicating that this is a city with a large student presence (great for meeting new people!) One student commented on Brno’s student diversity: "The exposure you get in this city is awesome - so many different people from different countries come here to study".

7- Boston
Boston: Study Abroad: Top 10 World Best Cities For Int'l Students

Boston is Massachusetts’ capital and largest city. Founded in 1630, it’s one of the oldest cities in the U.S. The key role it played in the American Revolution is highlighted on the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile walking route of historic sites that tells the story of the nation’s founding. One stop, former meeting house Faneuil Hall, is a popular marketplace.

With an eclectic array of skyscrapers, historical buildings and parks, as well as a fusion of modern features with bygone landmarks, it’s unsurprising that Boston features in seventh in the student view indicator, and also climbed one place in 2019 to 12th overall in the QS Best Student Cities. It also claims the highest score in the US for the student view indicator, beating New York by three places.

Describing itself as having ‘a small town feel with big city attributes’, Boston is home to the world leading Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as well as the prestigious Harvard University, which rank first and third respectively. Undoubtably thanks to its first rate educational facilities, Boston is a great place to be a student, with students and graduates describing it as “a beautiful and diverse city” with “a number of opportunities available for students”.

8- Prague

Prague, capital city of the Czech Republic, is bisected by the Vltava River. Nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires,” it's known for its Old Town Square, the heart of its historic core, with colorful baroque buildings, Gothic churches and the medieval Astronomical Clock, which gives an animated hourly show. Completed in 1402, pedestrian Charles Bridge is lined with statues of Catholic saints.

In eighth place according to students is the capital of the Czech Republic, Prague, which places 35th in the Best Student Cities index this year. A top European travel destination, Prague’s breath-taking architecture is known worldwide. Prague is also in possession of four top universities, which all feature in the QS World University Rankings.

It also scores highly in the student mix indicator, climbing seven places this year to 34th, reflecting the diversity in the student population. The third highest in the affordability indicator on this list, students said they enjoy the "affordability of everything and the fantastic sights”, as well as the city’s “integration of culture and diversity”, meaning that international students can enjoy this incredible city without breaking the bank.

9- London

London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom, is a 21st-century city with history stretching back to Roman times. At its centre stand the imposing Houses of Parliament, the iconic ‘Big Ben’ clock tower and Westminster Abbey, site of British monarch coronations. Across the Thames River, the London Eye observation wheel provides panoramic views of the South Bank cultural complex, and the entire city.

The UK’s capital city, and the home of many great leaders, writers and artists, London has captured the hearts and minds of many travelers with its rich cultural heritage. It is officially ranked number one in the world in the Best Student Cities 2019, and takes third place for the employer activity indicator.

This city falls down on only one indicator -- its affordability. This is due to its high cost of living and high rents compared to the rest of the UK. Despite this, the 18 esteemed universities in the UK featured in the QS World University Rankings (the highest number in any city in the world) arguably make up for this.

London shares ninth place in the student view indicator this year, with one student remarking: "It is one of the global financial capitals as well as one of the most historic places in the world. London is steeped in culture and has endless amount of things to do. Finally, there are great employment opportunities in this city."

10- New York
New York

New York City comprises 5 boroughs sitting where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean. At its core is Manhattan, a densely populated borough that’s among the world’s major commercial, financial and cultural centers. Its iconic sites include skyscrapers such as the Empire State Building and sprawling Central Park. Broadway theater is staged in neon-lit Times Square.

Known as the ‘Big Apple’, this awe-inspiring city comes joint ninth in the student view indicator this year and comes in at 19th overall in the Best Student Cities index.  Known for its magnificent display of skyscrapers, New York City is long renowned for being the land of opportunity. Proving this to be true, with no less than 10 top ranked universities, including prestigious Ivy League institution Columbia University, ranked 18th in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2020, New York is most definitely among the best cities in the world in terms of education.

 As Frank Sinatra sang in ‘New York, New York’, "if you can make it here you’ll make it anywhere”, and indeed, many international students have made it there, and when asked about what they like about the city that never sleeps, were able to sum up the city’s appeal in a very simple way; "You always have something to do - it’s New York!”.

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