10 most popular cities for international students

  • 5 min read
10 most popular cities for international students

Studying overseas is a priceless opportunity to combine earning a world-class degree with exploring the globe.

As an international student, you’ll experience an array of professional and personal benefits. However, it’s vital to find a study abroad destination that fits your goals.

Thankfully, the world is full of sensational student cities. Here’s a shortlist of the ten most popular student cities across the globe, and some of the reasons they’re so in demand.

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1. London, UK

In recent years, London has cemented its position as the world’s most popular study abroad destination, and it’s not tricky to see why. The English capital is home to the globe’s highest number of top-ranked universities.

Such academic excellence, combined with outstanding career opportunities, rich culture, and diverse communities, has seen London twice crowned the world’s best city for students too (QS, 2019).

2. Sydney, Australia

The Australian city is one of the world’s most renowned academic hotspots. Sydney’s selection of prestigious universities offer an impressive range of academic programs and work experience opportunities.

Outside the classroom, students enjoy basking in the sunshine of the southeastern coast and exploring world-famous attractions like the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

3. Melbourne, Australia

Not only is Melbourne renowned as an academic superpower, but it’s consistently celebrated as one of the world’s most liveable cities too.

Known as Australia’s cultural capital, Melbourne boasts a relaxed lifestyle, countless visitor attractions, and a friendly, multicultural society.

4. Manchester, UK

Located in northwest England, Manchester is another top-rated student destination. The city’s universities are acclaimed for their teaching quality and globally-significant research projects.

Manchester is an important hub of international business and industry, providing students with a variety of promising career opportunities. The city’s thriving music scene, buzzing nightlife, and elite sports history attracts pupils from far and wide.

5. Glasgow, UK

Glasgow’s distinctive mix of Scottish culture, architectural style, dazzling nightlife, and world-class shops make it an international-student paradise.

You won’t be disappointed by the quality and variety of Glasgow’s educational institutions either. As well as traditional four-year universities, the city is home to a handful of internationally-respected art and business schools.

6. Liverpool, UK

Famed for its maritime history, competitive sports scene, and unbeatable selection of bars and restaurants, Liverpool is the perfect place for an unforgettable student experience.

As well as gaining a top-class academic education at one of Liverpool’s esteemed universities, the city’s museums and galleries ensure that you’ll gain an enriching cultural education too.

7. Nottingham, UK

Nottingham is a friendly city in the English Midlands with a longstanding reputation for educational prestige. The city’s prized universities welcome enthusiastic students from almost every corner of the globe.

There’s so much to explore outside of the university campuses too. Catch an elite cricket, soccer, or ice hockey match, explore the world-famous Sherwood Forest, or take a waterfront stroll along the banks of the River Trent.

With more pubs, bars, and eateries per square mile than any other European city, Nottingham is the perfect place to enjoy an authentic student experience.

8. Sheffield, UK

Located in northern England, Sheffield is a lively city that’s centered around student life. The unlimited supply of study options at Sheffield’s world-leading universities grabs the attention of pupils from countless countries, while the city’s numerous attractions and amenities create a fantastic student experience.

Unlike lots of other major cities, Sheffield manages to strike a balance between urban convenience and beautiful scenery. As well as having access to an array of shops, bars, and festivals, you’ll have the stunning views of the Peak District National Park on your doorstep.

9. Los Angeles, USA

Los Angeles is the second-largest city in the US and is one of the country’s most culturally-diverse too. Known as the City of Angels, Los Angeles provides a heavenly lifestyle for international students.

Located in sunny southern California, Los Angeles is a higher-education powerhouse. You’ll have several stellar universities at their fingertips, including the California Institute of Technology and the University of California, Los Angeles.

LA is a bustling city and you’ll never be short of things to see or do. Enjoy a hike through the San Gabriel Mountains, cheer on the LA Lakers, or explore the world-famous Natural History Museum after class.

10. Birmingham, UK

Located right in the heart of England, Birmingham is a vibrant, dynamic, and diverse city. The city is a celebrated melting pot of different cultures and nationalities, so you’ll be warmly welcomed into its international community.

Birmingham is home to over 650 places of worship and hosts an impressive collection of cultural events across the year, including Britain’s largest Eid celebration, a Caribbean festival, and German Christmas markets.

Thanks to its central location and excellent transport connections, Birmingham serves as a gateway to the rest of the UK and much of Europe. As the youngest major city in Europe, international students also love the youthful vibe of Birmingham.