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Rio de Janeiro

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QS Best Student Cities ranking: 102nd

Rio de Janeiro (or Rio for short) is Brazil’s second-largest city and is known as the Cidade Maravilhosa (marvelous city). One of Latin America’s most iconic cities, think of Rio and you’ll probably picture the famous Christ the Redeemer statue which overlooks the city atop the peak of the Corcovado Mountain.

Sports fans are likely to feel right at home in Rio, with football especially popular. Rio has hosted a number of major sporting events in recent years – it was a host city in the 2014 World Cup, and also hosted the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

If you’re into the outdoors, Rio’s Tijuca National Park allows you to escape from the city’s hustle and bustle and explore lush tropical rainforest. Another popular escape for students could be found at one of Rio’s many famous beaches, with the Copacabana beach attracting thousands of revelers for New Year’s Eve celebrations and spectacular fireworks.

As well as sport, the city’s residents (“cariocas”) are also enthusiastic about music and dance, with the annual Rio Carnival (Carnaval) attracting thousands of visitors with its samba floats and euphoric atmosphere. A major tourist destination, Rio is also an important LGBT destination, with a million LGBT tourists visiting every year.

Unsurprisingly, the city has proved a hit with students, with one respondent to our student survey saying that it’s “…very incredible. The culture, art and the people are marvelous” while another said “Rio offers amazing opportunities to make friends and enjoy the city as well. If in the right place, there are no boundaries for our personal and professional growth.”

Rio de Janeiro is home to one of the largest libraries in the world, the Biblioteca Nacional do Brasil (National Library of Brazil) as well as some of Latin America’s most prestigious universities, including the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.

Internationally ranked universities in Rio de Janeiro

More about Rio de Janeiro

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To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, view the methodology.

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Sabrina Collier's profile image
Written by Sabrina Collier
The former Assistant Editor of TopUniversities.com, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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