Top 10 Cities for Students Around the World

You want to study your ideal degree abroad but can’t decide where? QS has issued its annual ranking of the world’s best student cities, based on student reviews and statistics on safety, cost of living, and population.

QS aggregates these statistics to evaluate 150 cities based on six student-friendly criteria: institution rankings, student mix, student experience, desirability, employer activity, and affordability.

For individuals who prefer a fast-paced lifestyle on well-worn streets brimming with history, London is the best location to pursue your education.

Since 2015, the UK city has been ranked first for its renowned universities and diversified student population. However, the country’s increasing immigration restrictions may lead to a fall in international students.

This year’s second and third places go to two Asian cities: Tokyo and Seoul, both of which provide excellent employment prospects in technology and finance.

Munich ranks fourth as the second European city on the list, followed by Melbourne and Sydney, Australia’s two major urban hubs.

Paris is home to premier institutions such as HEC. Paris—Zurich, Berlin, and Montreal are also in the top ten, with Berlin leading the list in terms of student life.

Though not among the top ten, the Turkish seaside town of Izmir wins the prize for the most cheap student destination.

However, if you’re attempting to decide where you want to study, overall ranking places only provide a partial view. Here’s a breakdown of the top five, as per QS.

Source: QS Best Student Rankings 2024

Five Best Student Cities:

1. London

This historic metropolitan hub is not just Europe’s cosmopolitan capital, but it is also an excellent destination for business students. London Business School is consistently ranked in the top 10 of the Financial Times’ MBA global rating, while Imperial College London, founded by Prince Albert, is among the top 50.

Despite its lack of affordability, prominent consulting firms like McKinsey, Bain, and Deloitte continue to hire in the area, offering high pay and intriguing employment opportunities.

2. Tokyo

Tokyo, located just a two-hour flight from Seoul, ranks second on this list of the top student cities. This future metropolis is more desirable for students and employers than London.

Similarly, Japan is one of the most interesting countries to be for people seeking to launch a successful business career. Not only is it the world’s third-largest economy after the United States and China, but it also houses 181 Forbes 2000 firms, including significant auto and technology companies such as Tokyo Motors, Mitsubishi, and Sony.

Are you convinced by the opportunities? The archipelago also has a number of prestigious business institutions to which applicants can apply, including NUCB Business School and KEIO Business School.

3. Seoul

Seoul ranks third as a popular East Asian destination. The South Korean metropolis, known for its K-Pop singers and neon-lit city life, is highly ranked for its schools and appealing job prospects, including a career with Samsung, a trillion-dollar tech behemoth that employs over 270,000 global workers.

Seoul National University and Korea University are among the top business schools.

4. Munich

In fourth position, the charming German city of Munich is well-known for its bustling student life, professional options, and desirability; it is also the most affordable of the top five. BMW, Siemens, Allianz SE, and Munich Re are among the international corporations headquartered in the Bavarian town.

Not to mention that Munich is home to numerous top European business schools, including IESE, which has one of the world’s top five MBA programs, according to the Financial Times.

5. Melbourne

The Australian city of Melbourne rounds out the top five, known for its picturesque laid-back culture. Students rated it highly for university experience, student diversity, and desirability.

Melbourne Business School offers a quality degree program and employment prospects with large firms like Accenture and EY.


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