So, you have decided to study abroad and you feel very motivated and ready to take this big step. If only it were that easy! There are many factors you must take into account, from the university, study programme, career prospects, to the city where you are going to spend the next couple of years.
If Europe is your dream destination, the choice is not easy at all, as possibilities are countless and there are so many cities worth your attention on this culturally diverse continent. But no worries! The 2015 QS Best Student Cities Index has been published to give you a hand when looking for the perfect European study destination. The index lists the best 50 student cities across the world in terms of desirability, employer activity, affordability and student mix. And guess what! 20 of these cities are to be found in Europe, which comes as no surprise.
Curious to find out what the best 10 student cities in Europe are? Here you have them:
Charming, romantic, art, La Tour Eiffel, city lights, these are probably the first words that spring to your mind within seconds of hearing the name of the French capital. It’s true, the best student city in Europe is a culturally vital and charming place, but there’s more to it than that. Excellent universities with long traditions, small-class intensive teaching systems, and relatively low tuition fees are other essential ingredients that have secured Paris the first place on the list.
The second best European student city is a wonderful combination of academic excellence, professional and personal development opportunities, cutting-edge facilities and rich history. One of the main financial hubs of Europe, London is the place to be if you are career-oriented and willing to work hard to enter a thriving and highly competitive labour market. If you have your mind set on business, there are plenty of business-related Masters programmes you can choose from in London.
The largest city of Switzerland is considered to be the wealthiest European city. Also renowned for its orderliness, impeccable public administration and safety, Zurich is a major attraction point for international students across the globe. No wonder, since the Swiss quality also applies to the educational system. Do we need to mention the famous Swiss Alps are within a day-trip reach and the breathtaking natural landscapes?
A beautiful and culturally rich city in the federal land of Bavaria in South Germany, Munich is the third biggest German city and a top combination of academic excellence, cultural opportunities, metropolitan vibrancy and students mix. The cherry on top is that tuition fees at undergraduate level have been abolished, and even at postgraduate level they are very low in international terms.
Still sticking to Germany, but moving a bit more towards the east-northern part of the country. The story with the tuition fees applies on the whole territory of Germany, which makes it the fourth most desired study destination for international students worldwide. Offering more and more academic programmes taught in English, Berlin is the ideal place for any art and history lovers, which attracts more and more international students thanks to the relaxed liberal atmosphere and its affordability.
The cosmopolitan Spanish city of Barcelona is a dream come true for any international student longing for sunny weather, cultural variety, and exquisite cuisine. Barcelona boasts a significant international student community due to its international reputation as a city with top educational facilities and plenty of leisure activities.
Mercer has been ranking Vienna as the world’s most liveable city by Mercer for six years already. And if you get the chance to experience the Viennese lifestyle you will also understand why. It’s almost impossible to go to Vienna and stay indifferent to its imperial charm, beauty in all its forms all around you and the relaxed way of living. Besides, tuition fees are either very low or non-existent, and alongside Berlin, Vienna is one of the most affordable European cities.
The Scottish capital is a real hype among international students, who make up 38% of the total student population of the city. Even if tuition at international levels are higher than in London or Manchester, undergraduate students from the EU can benefit from some financial aid offered by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland.
The best student city in Northern Europe, the Danish capital is world-renowned for the high living standards, which makes it also a rather expensive study destination. Nevertheless, tuition fees are either non-existent or relatively low and the atmosphere and student life offered by Copenhagen really pay off the invested effort.
Manchester has gained its reputation among prospective international students thanks to its cultural mix and the excellent academic instruction. The best student city in the UK after London and Edinburgh, is home to numerous music festivals and prides on endless spare time possibilities. Besides, it is a more affordable alternative to London if you want to experience the UK student lifestyle on a budget.
Now that you’ve refined your search criteria, the choice is not that hard to make, is it? Get informed about the study opportunities these cities have to offer and start looking for your dream course today. For a user-friendly hassle-free research, have a look at the QS Course Directory and check out what European universities have in store for you!
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