It’s official: London has done it again. In the QS Best Student Cities Rankings 2019, the capital has held onto the number one spot as best city for international students.
The QS rankings identify the best student cities for study abroad, taking into account a range of indicators including student mix, employability and the performance of their universities. But in case you need a little more convincing, here’s why London is the best city for international students.
1. Students in London have access to a world-class education
For a city on a fairly teeny island, London punches above its weight in the international rankings. There are over 30,000 courses on offer in the capital, and SOAS ranks 17 in the world for International Faculty and International Students. London has also produced over 70 Nobel Prize Laureates – studying here means following in some impressive footsteps.
2. London is an international city
A wise SOAS student once said, “Being a student at SOAS is being part of the world,” and the same is true for London. The city is a melting pot of different languages and cultures and no one is an outsider here. In the academic year 2016/17, 112,205 international students chose to study in London.
3. You’re in good company
London is in many respects a student city. There are over 40 higher education institutions in the capital and many clustered together in Bloomsbury. This means even better access to study spaces, student socials and societies.
4. The best place for bookworms
Whether you’re a sucker for an academic library or love browsing old book shops, London is the place to be. Many universities offer libraries with unique specialisms – SOAS is home to one of the most important libraries in the world for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East – while the British Library houses a staggering 150 million volumes. Bloomsbury is also the ideal place for book browsing, catering from the LGBT specialist to the spiritual.
5. The social life’s not bad either
Let’s face it, a bit part of student life is what you do when you’re not in lectures, and where better to spend your free time than London? Home to over 100 cinemas and 350 live music venues, there’s plenty to do that won’t break the bank.
6. Transport For London will be your best friend
London may be a sprawling city, but it’s surprisingly well-connected. As well as night buses, the night tube means that it’s easy to get home at any time of day or night, and students are able to get a discount on travel round the city.
7. London is great for green spaces
No matter how hectic city life can be, you’re never far from a green space and some rest and relaxation in London. SOAS is right next to Russell Square garden, but travel further afield and you could be walking among the deer in Richmond or swimming in Hampstead Heath Lido.
8. There’s plenty to do for free
Living in London isn’t the cheapest option around, but you can save a lot of money by embracing the free activities in the capital. Some of London’s most popular museums and galleries, including the British Museum, the National Gallery and the Natural History Museum, have free entry, while there’s plenty of outdoor markets and gardens to explore for free too.
9. London is a the perfect place to start your career
While your university experience is important, you want to be sure that it’s setting you up for a great career afterwards. Studying in London gives you access to an enormous range of job opportunities, from part time cash earners to graduate schemes. It’s also home to creatives and tech start-ups, meaning there’s something for everyone to explore.
10. You will never. Ever. Be bored.
It sounds cliche, but London is truly a city that has something for everyone. As well as the unmissable tourist spots, London is full of hidden gems that mean there’s always something new to discover. Whether that’s a stroll through a secret garden or tasting liquid nitrogen ice cream, it’s a city that keeps on giving.