Which Are The 10 Best Student Cities In The World?

best student cities in the world

Written by Pareeshti Rao

It all started with an impulsive urge to befriend Enid Blyton and be a part of the famous five! Writing since then has been my magic wand and I've used it to sprinkle words like fairy dust and express myself thereat.

April 9, 2021

Here’s a quick question for you: Has it ever occurred to you that the city you study in will greatly influence your life as a student? That’s true. Student-related characteristics in a city such as education, living conditions, diversity, university rankings, cost, culture, and many more tend to have an impact on your lifestyle. If your university is located amidst the city’s hustle-bustle, you’ll have a busier schedule with so many things to do and adventures to complete. On the other hand, if you are studying at the quieter end of the city with a comparatively relaxed atmosphere, your lifestyle will be the total opposite. We have compiled the 10 best student cities in the world for you and we hope you enjoy the blog.

Indicators For Ranking The QS Best Student Cities 

As per the QS best student cities rankings, a particular city falls under the ‘best’ category based on a diverse range of indicators including:

  • University rankings
  • Student mix
  • Desirability
  • Employer activity
  • Affordability and
  • Student View

List Of The Top Student Cities

best student cities in the world
Photo taken in Seoul, South Korea

#10 Seoul, South Korea

Standing tall as Asia’s pride, the city of Seoul ranks as number 10 among the best student cities in the world. The average international fees here are valued at US$6,100. As the new ‘Korea wave’ has begun to surface with the trending K-Pop, K-Dramas and Korean fashion, Seoul has made it to the top 10 student friendly cities. Influenced by a mix of Chinese, Japanese and American modern cultures, Seoul widely attracts an international crowd. It is best known for its innovation in digital technology.

Top Universities: Seoul National University, Korea University,  Sungkyunkwan University, Yonsei University, and Hanyang University.

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# 9 Sydney, Australia

Ranked 1st in Australia for graduate employability, Sydney hosts some of the world-leading universities. It is considered one of the most livable and beautiful cities in the world. While it scores weak in terms of affordability where the average tuition fees are valued at US$23,600; Sydney offers many budget-friendly options for international students. Why Sydney is one of the best student cities in the world is that in addition to its exceptional education facilities, students also get to spend their leisure time at the beaches, green wide spaces, at the iconic opera houses, and many more.

Top Universities: The University of New South Wales, the University of Sydney, Macquarie University, University of Technology, Sydney, and Western Sydney University.

# 8 Zurich, Switzerland

If you are going to study in Zurich, then rest assured that you will be leading a high quality of life. Also considered to be one of the poshest cities in Switzerland, the city is filled with breathtaking mountain landscapes. It is a country of financial abundance and the average tuition fees at the universities of Zurich are valued at an amount of US$900. Zurich falls under the favourite student cities because of its clean, safe and immaculately maintained environment.

Top Universities: ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), University of Zurich

best student cities in the world

# 7 Paris, France

Paris is considered to be one of the best student cities in the world not just because of the iconic Eiffel Tower but also because of its elite Parisian universities and schools. Some of the world’s leading philosophers, theorists, scientists, politicians, business leaders and mathematicians were known to graduate from Paris. So you know where you want to go if you’re thinking about getting famous! It costs around US$2,100 on average for international students to study in Paris.

Top Universities: Université PSL (Paris Sciences & Lettres), Ecole Polytechnique, Sorbonne University, and the University of Paris

# 6 Montreal, Canada | Top Student Cities In The World

Montreal is considered to be the highest-ranked city in North America. This cultural capital of Canada is home to some of Canada’s highest-ranking universities and many students vouched for it as one of the best cities to live. If you are studying in Montreal based universities, you will be paying US$12,200 as your average tuition fees.

Top Universities: McGill University, Université de Montréal, and Concordia University

# 5 Berlin, Germany

Educating yourself at a public university in Berlin means that you do not have to pay tuition fees. You read it right! Most of the universities in Germany offering undergraduate and masters’ programmes provide free education to both domestic as well as international students. That is why it ranks amongst the top 5 best student cities in the world. The growing culture, design hubs, and liberal atmosphere are attracting an international population. Because of the nil tuition fees, students will find it easy to manage the cost of living in Berlin

Top Universities: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Freie Universität Berlin; Technische Universität Berlin

best student cities in the world

# 4 Munich, Germany

An increasing number of students have begun to choose Munich as their preferred study abroad destination. Ranking 4 amongst the best student cities in the world, Munich comes into the limelight due to its affordability, ease of getting around, nightlife and friendliness. Like most cities in Europe, education is free in Munich. As per student views, Munich tops the list so if you want to blindly go after a co-student’s opinion, Munich is the city for you.

Top Universities: Technische Universität München; Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München 

# 3 Melbourne, Australia

Internationally diverse, student-friendly, vibrant culture, and friendly nature. All these characteristics make Melbourne rank as number 3 amongst the best student cities in the world. While it doesn’t score well when it comes to affordability with the average tuition fees valued at US$24,500; the other factors overpower its weakness to an extent where it has fallen amongst the top 3 cities for students.

Top Universities: University of Melbourne, Monash University, RMIT University, La Trobe University, and Victoria University

# 2 Tokyo, Japan

Asia’s leading city Tokyo comes next to London in the list of the best student cities in the world. For someone with a keen interest in the local culture of Japan, Tokyo is the ideal city. It provides many professional employment and internship opportunities to students and has consistently ranked as the best city in the world in terms of employer activity. If you choose Tokyo as your study destination, you will find yourself paying an average amount of US$5,700.

Top Universities: The University of Tokyo, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Waseda University, Yokohama City University, Hitotsubashi University

best student cities in the world

# 1 London, United Kingdom | Top Student Cities In The World

London has been ranked as the best student city in the world for 2 consecutive years. It is one of the best student cities in the UK. With about 18 internationally ranked universities, London is an academic hotspot with a large international community, providing a multicultural environment, lush greenery around and a buzzing nightlife. On average, you will find yourself paying US$21,200 if you’re studying in London. 

Top Universities: Imperial College London, University College London, King’s College London, London School of Economics and Political Science, Kingston University.

I hope this blog on Best Student Cities In The World was useful to you. If you wish to read more, these blogs will be of interest to you:

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