A peninsula of peninsulas, the beauty of Europe is the diversity of these predominantly landlocked nations in all things – history, economy, culture, and education. As an influential region for both the arts and cutting-edge technology, international students naturally flock to Europe for a unique educational experience both in and out of the classroom. Check out some of the best cities to study in Europe for international students.

Top Cities to Study in Europe

1. London

London is the capital of the United Kingdom and contains a culture all on its own. As the center of economy and culture for the world, the city features both the old and new side by side – from majestic castles to modern-day skyscrapers. Its multicultural nature makes for easy integration for foreigners, and its exemplary standards of living make for comfortable student life.

Take a ride on the tube and explore traditional sights such as Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, or shop the day away from luxury Oxford Street to quirky Borough Market. Catch the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, or maybe sneak a peek of the world’s favorite royal family. Get on a River Thames cruise and watch the London Tower Bridge open up before your eyes. Relax and stroll around Hyde Park and Kew Gardens. It’s true – the London list is endless.

The city’s glowing reputation extends well to its educational institutions. Being one of the best cities to study in Europe, London has the most universities in the UK, many of which reach high-ranking positions on global charts. Some of its top universities include:

2. Munich

Munich is the third-largest city in Germany, exercising much influence as a global center for art, science, technology, finance, and business. Multinational giants such as BMW, Siemens, and Allianz are headquartered in Munich, making it a key hub for students that wish to further their expertise in these disciplines.

Alongside economic prosperity, Munich is also applauded for its excellent quality of living at affordable prices. Moreover, education in Munich public universities remains free for all students as mandated by law, so long as they fulfill German language requirements. This allows international students to access top-notch education without breaking the bank.

Moreover, Munich’s many attractions are sure to keep students entertained outside the classroom. Be enamored by the city’s plethora of Baroque churches, museums, and art galleries. Nature lovers can also take a walk in the city’s 370-hectare English Garden or a challenging hike in the Alps. And of course, catch the legendary Oktoberfest beer festival and Christmas markets at the city square.

Check out quality education and culture for less at these institutions:

  • Technische Universität München
  • Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

3. Zurich

Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland, a small country in the center of Europe with vast international significance. The city may not be the capital, but it is dubbed a top banking and finance center worldwide as it houses famous global banking conglomerates such as UBS and Credit Suisse. It is also known to be an excellent city in Europe for international students to study.

Zurich is a favorite among international students as it combines both the old and new in one place. The city flawlessly integrates the old town charm of its districts along both sides of the Limmat River with modern lifestyle areas. Zurich is also a place rich in art and culture, home to museums such as the Swiss National Museum, Kunsthaus, and the Schauspielhaus Zürich theater. Let your hair down at the end of a busy day at the city’s buzzing nightlife at Zurich-West, or you can get away from it all – literally – by taking a train to Uetliberg and watching the beauty of Zurich from above.

Studying in Zurich will cost you a pretty penny, but as a city that provides safe and quality living, it’s well worth it. Check out these universities to find out why:

  • Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich
  • University of Zurich
  • Zurich University of Applied Sciences

4. Paris

There are so many iconic things about Paris that reflect its vast global influence on art, architecture, and science. It can be its world-renowned tourist attractions such as the Eiffel Tower or the Palace of Versailles. It can also be the streets of the luxurious Champs-Élysées, covering the best fashion brands money can buy. Or it can be the multitude of Parisian cafes and patisseries lining the streets for anyone looking for an authentic French cafe experience. Whatever it is, the Parisian way of life is one that students all want a piece of.

More importantly, Paris is also known as the City of Light as it possesses a long tradition of intellectual contributions during the Enlightenment period. This quest for excellence remains true today as Paris is home to top universities on the global stage. Universities in the city specialize in courses ranging from business to the arts, in key institutions such as:

  • Université PSL
  • Institut Polytechnique de Paris
  • Sorbonne University
  • Université Paris-Saclay
  • Université de Paris

5. Vienna

Vienna is the capital and most populous city of Austria and also stands as its political, economic, and cultural center. While many European cities have a long tradition with the arts, none have quite the same as Vienna, especially in the realm of music. Vienna is the birthplace of famous composers such as Beethoven and Mozart, and many classical theaters and opera houses remain open to date to celebrate this musical legacy. It is also home to traditional Baroque architecture, as evidenced by its well-preserved palaces, gardens, and museums.

However, Vienna has also kept pace with the present. Demonstrating Vienna’s priorities on research and technology, The Vienna Life Science Cluster was established as the city’s hub for studies on science, education, and business. It is also home to pharmaceutical companies Boehringer Ingelheim and Takeda. The city has also developed specializations in IT, growing to one of the biggest sectors in Europe. Students wishing to develop in these disciplines would do well with a Viennese education.

Coupling quality education with high quality of life for less, it’s clear to see why Vienna is among the best cities to study in Europe. Check out the top universities in this growing city below:


We hope that you found this article on the best cities to study in Europe for international students informative and helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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