Where to Study

Choosing a Study Location

As more countries around the world develop world-class universities, there have never been so many attractive possibilities for international students. Find your own ideal student destination with our student-focused country guides, each covering all the essential information you need to make your decision – from university admissions, fees and visas, to the local culture and student life.

QS Best Student City Rankings

QS Rank City
Rankings
'Rankings' is intended to take a read of the collective performance of a city’s universities in the QS World University Rankings®. The indicators have been designed to take into account the magnetism of the large numbers universities found in large cities as well as lending recognition to the locations of the world’s elite institutions. All indicators in this category carry equal weight.
Student Mix
Student Mix is designed to look at the student make-up of the city, both overall and from an international perspective. Cities with higher proportions of students are likely to be better equipped with the facilities students need. Cities with high numbers of international students are more likely to have the facilities to welcome more.
Quality of Living
A score based on the results of the Mercer Quality of Living Survey 2011. Since Mercer only lists 50 world cities, those not listed are automatically assigned a minimum of half the available points in lieu of further data which has been requested.
Employer Activity
Domestic Employer Popularity A score based on the number of domestic employers who identified at least one institution in the city as producing excellent graduates International Employer Popularity [x2] A score based on the weighted count of international employers who identified at least one institution in the city as producing excellent graduates. Since all our work is focused on international students and opportunities for mobility, this indicator carries twice the weight of the domestic alternative.
Affordability
Tuition Fees [x2] Usually the most substantial outlay for a student, particularly for an international student, global trends suggest that tuition fees are likely to play an increasing role in shaping international student mobility trends over the next ten years. This carries twice the weight of the other two affordability indicators. Big Mac Index A score based on the well-known index of retail pricing in cities worldwide, compiled and published by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Mercer Cost of Living Index Hong Kong is a great example of why two third-party indices of affordability have been selected. In Hong Kong, property is at a premium but food is inexpensive. Hong Kong places as the world’s 9th most expensive city in the Mercer index but is the second cheapest country in the Big Mac Index. The two working together form a more appropriate read for students.
1 Paris 95 85 91 96 54
2 London 100 87 88 89 41
3 Boston 98 85 89 83 44
4 Melbourne 91 100 94.5 84 28
5 Vienna 47 99 99.5 81 62
6 Sydney 87 94 97 81 25
7 Zurich 66 84 99 81 51
8 Dublin 79 92 91.5 70 43
8 Berlin 72 81 95 57 71
10 Montreal 80 85 93 68 46
11 Barcelona 75 76 87 71 61
12 Singapore 64 78 92 100 35
13 Munich 58 79 98.5 63 69
14 Lyon 67 88 87.5 43 81
15 Chicago 93 62 85.5 72 44
16 Madrid 67 73 85.5 64 66
17 San Francisco 80 67 91 72 43
18 New York 97 63 83.5 73 35
19 Hong Kong 93 74 50 92 42
19 Tokyo 95 43 84 83 46
21 Milan 58 63 86 89 54
22 Brisbane 73 94 88.5 63 30
23 Seoul 93 67 50 82 53
24 Buenos Aires 67 54 50 93 75
25 Perth 67 95 93.5 53 28
26 Toronto 60 70 95.5 75 35
27 Stockholm 62 66 94 79 34
28 Beijing 82 48 50 87 62
29 Adelaide 69 88 91 45 34
30 Washington DC 79 60 85.5 55 45
31 Vancouver 55 78 98 54 37
31 Mexico City 71 38 50 68 95
33 Helsinki 51 58 89.5 53 69
34 Taipei 84 49 50 59 78
35 Manchester 55 82 50 66 64
36 Amsterdam 56 62 96.5 57 44
37 Moscow 77 57 50 78 52
38 Brussels 44 71 93 40 60
39 Shanghai 75 43 50 70 68
39 Copenhagen 57 64 97.5 56 31
41 Santiago 67 33 50 89 63
42 Philadelphia 79 56 50 64 52
43 Kyoto 64 60 83 44 47
44 Kuala Lumpur 56 58 50 45 86
45 Sao Paulo 78 27 50 79 58
46 Toulouse 43 86 50 26 81
47 Birmingham 51 64 50 55 64
48 Cairo 34 47 50 55 96
49 Bangkok 71 27 50 63 68
50 Glasgow 54 68 50 43 63