Flying the nest and setting off to university is an exhilarating and pivotal time in anyone’s life. While furthering your education is top of the agenda, making new friends, gaining life experience and exploring life away from your parents are all essential parts of being a student. What better way to truly spread your wings than studying not just in a different city, but an entirely different country?
Travelling overseas to study will boost your education in so many ways, so prepare to have your horizons broadened, your social circle expanded and your language skills stretched. Here, according to a recent study by higher education experts QS, are the top 10 places in the world to study.
Paris’ rich culture, incredible history and wide variety institutions place it firmly in the top spot in our list of top 10 places in the world to study. The city boasts some of the best universities in the world such as the École Normale Superieure, which has produced no fewer than 12 Nobel Prize winners as well the École Polytecnique and Sorbonne. Off campus, you can experience some of the best restaurants, galleries and museums in the world. With low tuition fees and good safety record, there’s nothing to stop you getting out and exploring this beautiful city.
On the other side of the planet, Melbourne has leapt up three places to nab second place in our guide to the top 10 places in the world to study. The eclectic mix of students from around the world and warm, welcoming ethos make it an inviting and safe place to study abroad. This attractive city has so much to offer students from some of the best art and music venues in the country as well as spectacular beaches and idyllic weather. The city’s best known institution, the University of Melbourne, is the best in Australia and respected around the world. If Melbourne could be just the place for you, have a look at our Moving to Melbourne guide.
While it may not seem as exotic as other cities in the top 10 places in the world to study, London’s vibrant and multicultural social scene and high score for employer activity makes it one of the best places in the world to be a student. There are endless sights to see, museums to visit and restaurants to sample as well as enough concerts, plays and club nights to keep you busy every night of the year. On a more practical note, London is home to some of the best universities in the world including University College London, Kings College, Imperial and the London School of Economics and has plenty of exciting and rewarding job opportunities if you decide to stay.
The traditional image of sun soaked beaches and glittering harbours has clearly helped Sydney’s ranking as it rates extremely highly for ‘desirability’. The University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales are both in the top 50 in the world, offering challenging and valuable courses in beautiful surroundings. From picking up surfing at Bondi Beach to furthering your musical education at the Sydney Opera House, you are sure to learn a lot outside of the lecture theatre too.
5. Hong Kong
The dazzling city lights and skyscrapers of Hong Kong make it an attractive prospect for expats, tourists and, of course, students. The historic links with Britain mean that English is still widely spoken and western culture is more visible than in the rest of China, there’s even a Disneyland! Hong Kong University ranks in the top three universities in Asia and the majority of teaching is conducted for English, so no scary language barrier. While the dense population keeps accommodation costs higher than average, this is offset by the relatively low cost of food and travel. Hong Kong would be a great places to study abroad so more than deserves its 5th place position in our top 10 places in the world to study ranking.
The land of opportunity is an obvious choice for any international student, whatever they want to achieve and Boston boasts renowned institutions such as Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Known as ‘the Athens of America, it is a city that celebrates and values learning making it a definite entry in our top 10 places in the world to study list. It is one of the more expensive places on the list to live but alongside London, is joint top for employer activity, so will ultimately offer value for money. Boston itself is an attractive, traditional New England city with a beautiful waterfront. People travel from all over the country to see the spectacular autumn foliage and you will have a front row seat from your beautiful campus dorm.
Next in our list of top 10 places in the world to study is the capital of Japan. If you’d like to study in a big, bustling city, they don’t come much bigger or more bustling than Tokyo. Although there are no fewer than 10 world ranking universities in the city, a relatively low percentage of the population are students which is ideal if you are looking to totally immerse yourself in a new culture. You can study in this vibrant, tolerant community and maybe pick up a new language along side your degree. Tokyo is also one of the top three financial centres in the world and offers excellent prospects for graduates.
Home to the prestigious McGill University, Montreal is known across Canada as a centre of culture and learning. As a French speaking city in an English speaking country, Montreal is a place that embraces multiculturalism and a great place to learn a new language. This cosmopolitan city is a fascinating place to expand your horizons, making it a certain entry in our list of top 10 places in the world to study. Unsurprisingly, the city rates well for varied student mix and has an equally varied mix of festivals, shows and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. There is even an underground city of shops, cafes and bars that sprawls beneath the central downtown area, perfect for exploring during the chilly winters.
Toronto is not only Canada’s main centre for both commerce and finance, the University of Toronto is also the country’s highest ranking institution. This booming city rates highly for desirability in our top 10 places in the world to study ranking thanks to its winning blend of vibrant nightlife, cosmopolitan culture and exciting job opportunities. Toronto’s social scene is as diverse and welcoming as its inhabitants and the student community is particularly friendly and well used to international arrivals. As one of the world’s top five ‘most livable cities’, Toronto is a clear entry for our top 10 places in the world to study ranking, you may find you never want to leave. To find out more, check out our guide to Moving to Toronto.
South Korea’s fast paced, up and coming capital climbs firmly into the top 10 places to study in the world thanks to its extremely high scores for employer activity. A qualification from one of the city’s 14 prestigious institutions will impress employers both at home and abroad. Seoul National University is world-renowned and ranks highly in international tables. The city also has much to offer beyond academic life with streets that come alive at night with enticing night markets and bustling cafes and teashops. For a more calming experience, head to one of the many spectacular temples or you could even visit a relaxing, traditional spa.
Studying abroad can enrich your education and give you invaluable life experiences. As well as boosting your language skills, a qualification from overseas could kick-start an exciting international career. With so many cities to choose, the only difficulty is deciding which of these top 10 places in the world to study will best suit you. If you are looking to take the next step, some further information about studying abroad is available on the Prospects website: Study Abroad.