Long since labelled as an up-and-coming Asian city, Seoul is South Korea’s capital and one of its most exciting study destinations. In the QS Best Student Cities 2015, Seoul has climbed a total of four places, nudging into the world’s top 10 cities for students.
The city’s continual improvement comes from its high scores in a number of indicators, most notably in the “employer activity” category, which reflects the reputation of universities in Seoul amongst domestic and international employers. The city also scores brilliantly within the “university rankings” category, gaining the highest score in the top 10 outside of Paris and London. This score is explained by the impressive fact that there are 14 universities in Seoul that feature within the QS World University Rankings® 2014/15, the highest ranked of which is Seoul National University, at 31st in the world.
But it’s not all about superb rankings and reputation. Seoul is a 24/7 city in which things are never dull. Whether it’s the sounds of night-market sellers, the atmosphere of the all-night tea houses or the cries of gamers at a ‘PC bang’ (gaming center), Seoul is as alive at 3am as it is at 5pm. The magic of this city is that boredom is an impossibility, with culture, history and creativity anywhere you turn.
For some down-time from your studies, Seoul offers many opportunities to find your inner Zen, whether at one of many Buddhist temples or in a traditional sauna or spa. Further tranquility can be found less than one hour outside of the city walls, where you can explore South Korea’s mountainous landscape and charming, historic villages.
QS ranked universities
More about Seoul
Number of universities ranked by QS
Top ranked institution
Seoul National University (31st in the world)
Students (% of total population)
1.1% (based on ranked institutions)
12.0% (of students at ranked institutions)
Average tuition fees
Global Liveability Ranking
58th (out of 140)
Mercer Cost of Living rank
14th (out of 214)
Cost of a Big Mac
Cost of an iPad
Numbeo safety rank
30th (out of 372)
Numbeo pollution rank
87th (out of 299)
Transparency International score
46th (out of 177)
Sources: QS World University Rankings; Global Liveability Ranking (The Economist’s Intelligence Unit); Big Mac Index (The Economist’s Intelligence Unit); iPad Index (Commsec); Cost of Living Survey (Mercer);Corruption Perceptions Index (Transparency International).