Deciding where to study can be an overwhelming process, even more so if you choose to study internationally. Although the tuition fees and culture shock may be off-putting, studying overseas is an invaluable experience. The top 5 student cities revealed by The QS Higher Education Group are as follows.
- London – Although living and rent costs are high, London is the most sought-after student city, renowned for its culture, career opportunities and world-renowned universities. A study by London & Partners reveals that 41% of the city’s student population are international students. London’s cultural offering is exceptional with over 1,000 museums and galleries, and most of them are free! Internships and placements are easy to come by in London with an abundant amount of affluent industries from finance to fashion right on your doorstep. Also, a London graduate will have a higher likelihood of earning a more competitive salary, as eight of the ten universities whose graduates had the best starting salaries were based in London, according to a report from Downing Students.
- Tokyo – The largest metropolis of the world, known for its dramatic landscapes, neon lights and employer activity. Waseda University offers over 50 programmes fully taught in English. Praised for having the highest number of international students than any other university in Japan. Tokyo is renowned for its state-of-the-art technology, upscale eateries and breath-taking parks and gardens. The efficient subway system makes it easy for students to commute daily. Praised for being an internationally influential city, students are guaranteed to receive a world-class education.
- Melbourne – A city with the highest score for stability, healthcare, culture, education and infrastructure. More than 200,000 international students from 170 countries reside in Melbourne. The QS Higher Education Group, which publishes the annual World University Rankings placed 7 Melbourne universities in the top 500. As well as its excellent institutions Melbourne has exciting food, nightlife and breath-taking beaches. The city also boasts niche bars with free live music, and inexpensive eateries serving authentic Asian or fusion cuisine. Melbourne is one of the most multicultural cities with many nationalities congregating in one exciting city. There is an abundance of culture around every corner of the city with museums, music, galleries and other events taking place every week.
- Montreal – The capital of Canada Montreal has several reputable institutions, such as McGill University (ranked 32nd in the world) and Université de Montréal(130th in the world). The indie music scene in Montreal is huge with exciting venues hosting live performances from the sleekest up-and-coming artists. The city is celebrated by students for its arts and culture, as well as its unique bilingual spirit. One student describes it as
"...cultural, young and lively. It has absolutely the BEST foods, a European feel, study cafes everywhere, and beautiful people from all over.”
- Paris – The French capital has 18 internationally ranked universities to choose from, including ENS Paris at 43rd in the world. The café culture in Paris is exquisite, a plethora of choice. The tearoom at the Petit Palais and the Musee Jacquemart Andre serves up great coffee according to international student Chris Donnan. There’s no shortage of nightlife in Paris, the music is predominantly house/ trance/ techno-based. International student Chris who studied in Paris commented “My own favourite clubs and bars include Showcase, Batofar, Rex and Social Club.” If you’re a fan of jazz the rue des Lombards is the pace to go with live jazz every weekend. In addition, travelling from place to place using the Paris Metro is much cheaper than London’s tube and taxis are much less costly.
Overall, studying abroad is a decision that requires thorough research, as it is a life altering experience. While it’s important to consider the impact of a new culture and felling homesick, it is also important to consider the positive outcome of a semester abroad and the uniqueness it will add to your CV.