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10 Best Places to Study Abroad

Benjamin Franklin said, “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest”. No words can be truer for those aspiring for an international education that offers a great quality education as well as priceless exposures, personally, professionally and culturally.

As the world currently comes to a stand-still due to COVID-19, it may seem like forever before you can think about travelling. But it won’t be long before everyone gets back on their feet. So, while you are confined to your home, why not read about the best places to study abroad? Prepare yourself now so that when the time comes, you will be all set to give wings to your dream of a global education.

Choosing a country (and a university) to study in is a mammoth task as many factors come into consideration. To help you with the task, we have listed out ten best places to study abroad.

1. Melbourne

Why Melbourne?

Ranked as the third best student cities in the world by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Best Student Cities® 2020, Australia’s cultural capital is one of the best places to study abroad. With seven of its universities being featured in the QS World University Rankings® 2020, Melbourne offers world class institutions, the highest ranked university being the University of Melbourne at 38th in the world.

When it comes to medical research, Melbourne offers superb opportunities – it hosts five of Australia’s largest independent medical research institutes are located in Melbourne, i.e.

  • Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute,
  • Burnet Institute,
  • Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health,
  • Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, and
  • Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.

Among the top ranked universities that have also excelled in other subjects include-

Melbourne provides one of the largest (cultural) mix of community (students) with over 140,807 international students with Monash University and Swinburn University with the highest intakes of the same.

Lifestyle

Quality of education clubbed together with an appealing lifestyle; you will never run out of things to do when in Melbourne. From Italian to indigenous dishes, the street food in the city should be on your to-do list, not to miss out the Peking Duck which one of Melbourne’s traditional dishes with exotic and indigenous spices! You could take a walk at Melbourne’s laneway which is a hub for coffee shops, cafés and unique shopping boutiques.

Work while studying

What’s more you can also take up a part-time job up to 40 hours per fortnight while studying, and work full time during your semester breaks. And guess what? You will have the same rights and protections under the law as any other employee in Australia.

Melbourne can be your home away from home.

2. Montreal

Why Montreal?

Multicultural, multilingual and cosmopolitan, Canada’s Montreal is in our second-best city to study in. Montreal also made it to the list of QS Best Student Cities® 2020 at the 6th rank, ahead of Toronto. Canada has also been ranked among the top (2nd) safest country in the world by USA News based on a study that surveyed more than 20,000 global citizens from four regions to assess perceptions of 73 countries on 65 different metrics! For a start, this in itself proves the suitability of Montreal as your study destination.

Among the 26 Canadian universities featured at the top QS World University Rankings® 2020, three universities are from Montreal-

  • McGill University: Ranked 35 in Global world ranking;
  • Université de Montréal: Ranked 137 in Global world ranking;
  • Concordia University: Ranked 462 in Global world ranking;

McGill University and University of Montreal are among the top 100 global universities in Life Sciences and Medicine ranked at 27th and 75th respectively.

With a staggering 642,000 international students enrolled in Canada, it is now the world’s third-leading destination of international students where 34 per cent of Canada’s foreign students come from India.

Lifestyle

Studying in Montreal offers more than just quality education but also gives you an exposure to diverse culture. You can also indulge in several sporting activities- sledging in winter or go to Ile Bizard and Cap-Saint-Jacques nature park beaches, enjoy the splendid green spaces at Mount Royal Park or Parc Maisonneuve, and meet new people among others. Montreal is also the largest French-speaking city in the world outside Paris. Très sympa, oui?

Work while studying

For those who want- to take up a part-time job, you can do so for up to 20 hours per week while studying and full-time during scheduled breaks!

3. Tokyo

Why Tokyo?

As one of most technologically advanced cities in the world blessed with a picturesque landscape, Tokyo has etched a place among the best places to study especially for those who are looking to experience and immerse in local culture. Placed as the second-best student cities under the QS Best Student Cities® 2020, a total of 12 universities from Tokyo have been ranked among the QS World University Rankings® 2020. The University of Tokyo is among its highest ranked universities, also ranked 23rd in the top leading universities for Social Science and Management. Among the top universities are-

  • Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech): Ranked 53 in Global World Ranking
  • Waseda University: Ranked 196 in Global World Ranking
  • Keio University: Ranked 200 in Global World Ranking

As an international student in Tokyo (Japan), you can be admitted in any of the following five categories, i.e


For those who are fascinated by Japanese Architecture, Tokyo poses as the ideal city to pursue the field, as the University of Tokyo ranks as 4th top universities in Asia for studying Architecture, and ranks 16th worldwide.

Not lacking universities/institutes to pursue higher education by international students, Tokyo- one of the leading financial centres of the three in the world- offers an opportune professional and interning opportunities to international students. Based on QS’s annual survey of employers worldwide, Tokyo ranks 1st as one of the cities that are most highly sought-after as recruiting grounds among graduate employers.

Lifestyle

On days you are less occupied with universities, you can visit shrines in Tokyo including Atago Shrine, Kaneiji Temple or take part in their never-ending festivals such as such as Setsubu, Hatsumode and Fukagawa Matsuri. If you’re keen on cooking, you can bring out the chef in you and try out Japan’s famous cuisine starting with Edomae-zushi (sushi), Ramen, unagi no kabayaki to name a few.

Work while studying

Like other cities, you can also work part-time in Tokyo for up to 28 hours per week (and up to 40 hours during long holidays) after getting a permission from the immigration office “Shikakugai-katsudokyoka”. Here’s an interesting fact – About 76% of privately financed international students in Japan work part-time.

Offering you a perfect mix of modern and traditional, Tokyo is sure to blow your mind! So long, Ja ne!

4. Munich

Why Munich?

One of the best-known reasons for choosing Germany as a study destination is that its public universities offer free tuition-fee for every student irrespective of nationality, except the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg (where earlier it was free until it got amended in 2017). That’s a big, big reason why Germany is a preferred place to study. Munich, which is Germany’s most popular student city, is also home to centuries-old buildings like Nymphenburg Palace and the New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus), and numerous museums including the famous Alte Pinakothek (art museum). Ranked among the best student cities by QS Best Student Cities® 2020 Munich has attracted the international student community, home to more than 15,000 foreign students.

Its largest public universities – Ludwig Maximilians University Munich (LMU) and Technical University of Munich are ranked among the top QS World University Rankings® 2020. These are recognized as two of Europe’s premier academic and research institutions, and ideal for students looking for research-intensive universities. Among its popular universities are:

  • The Academy of Fine Arts
  • The College for Television and Film.
Lifestyle:

Living in a historic city such as Munich, aside the sight-seeing, you can also indulge in leisure activities like- the world-famous Oktoberfest and the alternative cultural festival Tollwood, or take a ride at the biggest mobile giant Ferris wheel in the world! There is so much this city can offer.

Work while studying

Munich is considere as one of the most expensive cities in Germany so if expenses are your concern, you can take up part-time jobs. For international students, you are allowed to work 120 full days or 240 half days per year.

With large corporations such as BMW, Siemens and Linde calling Munich their home, the city may seem great for your career planning. For instance, at BMW you can join the workforce through internship, a thesis or as a working student employment. How about that?

5. London

Why London?

Home to over 50 universities offering over 10,000 courses (undergraduate and postgraduate degrees), London is one of the most exciting cities in Europe and definitely a great place to study. With the city hosting more than 118,145 international students, you will be living among a global and diverse community, with students from over 200 nations. Are you an Indian student? Don’t sweat as there will be no time to be home-sick with as much as total 26,685 Indian students are studying in the UK!

The QS Best Student Cities® 2020 ranking placed London at the top as the best student cities. The city has a fleet of internationally ranked universities, a total of 18 universities being ranked in the QS World University Rankings® 2020 with UCL (University College London) being ranked 8th in the world. Universities in top 50 include-

  • Imperial College London: Ranked 9 in Global World Ranking
  • King’s College London: Ranked 33 in Global World Ranking
  • The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE): Ranked 44 in Global World Ranking

Don’t take our word for it, take a look at these 10 facts about studying in London and be inspired yourself-

Lifestyle

From the Historic Tower to the London Eye, there are endless iconic places to visit in London. You could also take a quick stroll to visit the Queen at Buckingham Palace or immerse yourself in art at Trafalgar Square’s National Gallery. While in London, be sure to indulge yourself in a scrumptious English Breakfast!

Work while studying

London is also an attractive destination because of its great work opportunities -, from work placements to internships. For the tech-savvy and IT driven students, London can be your dream city as 19 of the top 25 European software and IT companies have their HQ here, and there are 17,000 companies in the environmental technology sector.

Moreover, there are also opportunities to take up part-time jobs, where you can work for 20 hours a week during session and full-time during the holidays. Now you will be able to manage your own expenses!

6. Paris

Why Paris?

Paris, the fashion capital and the birthplace of haute couture is not just a tourist destination, but is also one of the best cities to study in. Twelve of the globally ranked universities (QS World University Rankings® 2020) are in Paris. Among these, the highest ranked is the Université PSL (Paris Sciences & Lettres), which is ranked 53 (out of 500 global universities). The city is also the 7th best student cities as ranked by QS Best Student Cities® 2020. With 1,200 courses being offered in English, nothing can hold you back from studying in Paris!

France is also known to be one of the world’s most research-intensive country. There are nearly 285,000 researchers, 74,000 doctoral candidates and more than 14,500 doctorates are granted each year. You can be part of this statistic if you decide to make Paris your global ed destination!

France is also the world’s fashion capital, with most of the major French fashion brands being headquartered there – including Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Lacroix. Did you know that Louis XIV became the first fashion influencer by focussing on textile (artistic industries) in his attempt to improve economy? And that is how the best fabrics and garments were found in Paris!

Lifestyle

Offering great sight-seeing places from Eiffel Tower to Arc de Triomphe, the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Paris is also the perfect place for a gastronomy enthusiast. If feel like indulging yourself, there are over 110 Michelin-Starred restaurants for you to explore, and also myriad of cafés, wine bars and bistros.

Work while Studying

With so many activities you can take up while in Paris, you can manage your expenses by working part-time. With a student permit, you can work for 964 hours during the year at a minimum wage of 9.76 Euros gross per hour.

Excited yet? Allons-y!

7. Zurich

Do you know that ETH Zurich is the highest-ranked university in continental Europe – and the best performing university from outside the US and UK? In our list of best places to study is Zurich, home to this impressive university. It is also the largest city in Switzerland and among the wealthiest in Europe.

Why Zurich?

Mercer’s 2019 Quality of Living Ranking puts Zurich as the second-best city with highest quality of living. As Switzerland gets voted as the safest country by Insurly in its “2020 Ranking of the World’s Safest Countries”, choosing Zurich as your study destination is going to be one of the best decisions in your global ed journey.

What’s good to note is that Zurich’s education system has been ranked among the top education system in the world by the World Economic Forum. The QS Best Student Cities® 2020 has also ranked Zurich as the 8th best student cities. Two of its universities (which is also among the largest universities in Switzerland) made it to the QS World University Rankings® 2020, i.e.

  • ETH Zurich: Ranked 6 in Global World Rankings
  • The University of Zurich: Ranked 76 in Global World Rankings.

In Switzerland, there are three different types of universities (as shown in the figure), and based on the course enrolled for, i.e

Lifestyle

Situated on the banks of picturesque Lake Zurich, you will never run out of activities to keep you occupied in Zurich. Given its prime location, you can take day trips to metropolises such as Milan, Munich and Paris with public transport. For the adventurous ones, you can always take outdoor trips in any of the 80 peaks (above 4,000 metres) of Switzerland, starting with Flumserberg, Mount Rigi, Mount Pilatus, among others.

Do not miss to try out the Cheese fondue, Swiss’ most favourite dish. With the first recipe written down in Zurich, wouldn’t it be a shame not to try this out when in town?

Work while studying

Wondering what you could do during breaks? International students are permitted to work for up to a maximum of 15 hours per week during their studies, and full-time during semester breaks.

8. Seoul

More than the glamourous K-pop and K-drama, South Korea has also established itself as a country that excels in education. It ranks at the top of OECD countries for scholastic achievement and educational competitiveness. So, if you are looking for a place with great living standard and quality education, Seoul is a preferred option.

Why Seoul?

Seoul, the capital of South Korea has 18 universities that are ranked in the top QS World University Rankings® 2020 – with Seoul National University (SNU) taking the lead at 37th rank. Seoul is also one of the best student cities according to the QS Best Student Cities® 2020.

South Korea has begun attracting international students with its latest recorded number being 160,165 international students in its 430 South Korean universities and colleges. About 84 per cent per cent of international students were reported to be (very) satisfied with the education system. (in figure)

Good environment and educational quality for studying and also high standard of living were among the reasons for the students’ satisfaction in South Korea.

For Indian students who want to explore Seoul as their study destination, you can start with these Seoul universities which have Indian students enrolled

  • Seoul National University,
  • Yonsei University,
  • Korea University
  • Ewha Women’s University
Lifestyle

Korean cuisine traditions go way back to the 13th century – there are dishes like Kimchi, Kimbab, Kimchi, and the hearty soup Haejangguk, which you can relish while living in Seoul. One of the Korean’s favourite activity is Norebang, Korean karaoke where you get to sing your fav songs and one shouldn’t miss this when in Korea. As they say, l, when in Rome do as the Romans do.

Work while studying

If you fulfil the criteria laid down by the Korean government, you can take up part-time job. You are allowed 20 hours to 30 hours of work per week based on your level of education.

Fighting!

9. Hong Kong SAR

Why Hong Kong?

Located on the South-east mainland of China, Hong Kong, one of Asia’s economic giants is a fusion of Eastern and Western culture. A bustling metropolis, Hong Kong SAR is one of the best places to study. The city is no stranger to international students as it hosts around 37,298 international students in its soil.

Home to world-class universities and quality institutions, a total of seven universities from Hong Kong are ranked in the QS World University Rankings® 2020, including three universities in top 50 – the highest ranked being the University of Hong Kong at 25th rank.

As a premier business hub in Asia with over 8,000 businesses and companies, Hong Kong holds special attraction to those who are interested in business management because Hong Kong universities host the world’s best executive business management programmes. Seven of its universities are ranked highly in the QS Business and Management Studies® 2020. Among the list, five universities are in top 100, while two are in top 500.

Lifestyle

There are various past-time activities you can indulge in while in Hong Kong. You could be Cruising at Victoria Harbour in the evening or take a tour of the city with Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour bus. One of the best sight-seeing in Hong Kong is the view of its incredible skylines through famous viewpoints such as Sky Terrace 428 at The Peak, Monetary Authority Viewpoint on the 55th floor of IFC Tower 2 and more!

Work while studying

In Hong Kong the cost of living can be on the higher end for students. The good news is that international students can take up part-time jobs confined to on-campus employment for not more than 20 hours per week during session and during breaks, you can work full time without restriction on the location or nature of work.

10. Sydney

Why Sydney?

Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, is one of Australia’s most popular destinations for higher education international students, hosting around 178,000 international students with a large, diverse and inclusive student community. Ranked as the 9th best student cities (QS Best Student Cities® 2020), it is a close contender with Melbourne. A total of five universities from Sydney have been ranked in the QS World University Rankings® 2020, i.e.

  • The University of Sydney: Ranked 42 in Global World Ranking
  • University of New South Wales (UNSW): Ranked 43 in Global World Ranking
  • University of Technology Sydney: Ranked 140 in Global World Ranking
  • Macquarie University: Ranked 237 in Global World Ranking
  • Western Sydney University: Ranked 468 in Global World Ranking

NSW also has the largest research sector in Australia, which reflects in the QS Statistics & Operational Research ® 2020 top universities. Four universities from NSW (including two from Sydney) make it to the list out of the ten Australian universities.

Did you know that out of the top 500 Australian companies, 45% are based in NSW! This means that there will be wide range of employment opportunities available during and after you have finished studying in Sydney provided you fit into the criteria set down by the Australia Government Department of Home Affairs.

Lifestyle

If you have leisure time, Sydney has a lot to show you. For one, you can discover Australia’s most famous stretch of sand – Bondi Beach, or spend the day at the Sydney Opera House or, if you are the adventurous type, you can explore the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. From fine dining to exploring the nature, you will never run out of things to do in Sydney.

Work while Studying

Before you graduate, you can also apply for internships, which are a great way to gain professional experience. If you want to earn while you learn, you can Work part-time while studying for up to 40 hours every two weeks during sessions, and unlimited hours during holiday breaks.

That was quite an exhaustive list but it should be enough to help you read up more on the country/universities you wish to study in. Often, studying abroad exposes you to a different way of learning (and teaching) which not only opens your mind but also helps you gain a world-class education. The cultural mix and the professional gain are, undoubtedly, among its many offerings.

Are you ready to move away from your comfort zone and grab this exciting challenge?

Let’s get set, global!

Date added
30.03.2020

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