When we talk about the most influential and leading countries on the globe, the country that comes to the majority’s mind is the United States of America. Home to 341 million inhabitants with about 50 different states, the USA has a highly diversified economy and the second-largest industrial output in the world; the country leads the world in terms of industrial output. Furthermore, the USA’s economic growth, technological advancement, and acclaimed education institutes have made it popular among the international community.

With 3,200 institutions catering to both local and international students, the USA is ranked the third most concentrated country in terms of the number of universities. Furthermore, the QS World University Rankings 2024: Top global universities have three universities from the USA in their top five; that speaks volumes about the quality of education and academic turnover of USA institutes. Academic excellence, topped with diversity in ethnicity and a fusion of cultural mix, makes the USA an ideal destination for international students.

Read below to learn about the top seven best cities in the USA for international students. The article focuses on each city’s best universities, study programs, and affordability.

Top Cities to Study in the USA for International Students

We have picked the top seven cities in the USA for international students to consider when shortlisting their education institutes abroad. When making their choice, students must take into account the universities available in each city, the most reputable study programs being offered, and the total expense they will incur.

1. Boston

Boston, the capital city of Massachusetts, is easily the top pick among international institutes globally. Ranking#10 among the QS top student cities, Boston is the most prominent and top-ranked educational destination in the USA. With two of its universities among the top five Universities globally, Boston has been a well-known name in the education scene for quite a while.

Boston’s educational institutes offer a variety of study programs, such as Biotechnology, Computer Science and Information, Social Sciences, and Business Administration. Boston is also home to world-renowned Universities like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University. All universities have IELTS/ TOEFL and DET requirements to ensure that students have substantial proficiency in the English language. Since the academic institute’s primary language is English, these tests ensure that international students have some level of English Fluency so that they can quickly grasp the courses offered.

Studying in Boston is a costly affair, as most top universities’ tuition fees exceed US$56,000 per year. The cost may vary among universities, but we have quoted the average cost among the top-ranked and most sought-after universities. Similarly, the accommodation can cost around $12,000 to $25,000 or more, depending on the type of accommodation (student housing or private apartment) you choose. Food expenses can cost around $6000-$8000 per year and depend crucially on what kind of lifestyle you maintain. For transport cost estimation, the One-way ticket cost on the subway is $2.40, while the buses are cheaper and cost $1.70.

2. New York

Ranking 17th in the QS Best Cities, New York is the next destination among our seven best student cities in the USA. The city’s fast pace and diverse culture make it a famous destination for many international students from across the globe. Prospective students can choose from 12 universities in New York, two of which are ranked among the world’s top 50.

The education institutes in New York offer programs like Engineering, Biomedicine, Business Administration, Computer Science, etc. In addition, the two universities among the top global rankings are Columbia University and New York University (NYU), among other institute options offering quality education to students. English proficiency tests like TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo may be required on the student’s part. Students should follow their respective university’s admission protocol when going through the enrollment process.

The tuition fee can vary depending on the education institute you choose. However, the top-ranked universities charge tuition fees of around $62,000 to $68,000.Students can get further information by visiting the official website of their desired institute. The food and housing costs, according to the data gathered from the prominent universities in New York, are approximately $16,000-$24,000, which may vary for on/off-campus students.

3. San Francisco

The city of San Francisco is a center for commerce, finance, and culture in Northern California and is known for the reputation of its universities in the global rankings. Taking the 20th spot in the QS top student cities ranking, San Francisco has two universities among the top ten globally ranked universities, which is a testimony to the city’s educational repute.

The education institutes in San Francisco offer a variety of promising programs, such as Engineering, Education Data Science, Computer Science, etc. The top universities in San Francisco include the famous Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley (UCB). For international students, English proficiency tests like IELTS, ITEP, TOEIC, etc are required.

The tuition fee requirements for the institutes in San Fransico can vary from the national average cost of $43,477 and can go up to $59,920 -$62,484 per year, depending upon the institute you enroll in. The accommodation cost can total up to around $1,500 – $3,500 /month, depending upon the type of housing students choose. At the same time, transportation costs can be around $121 / Month.

4. Los Angeles

Our next recommendation for the top student cities in the USA is Los Angeles. Ranking at number 27 in the QS best student city ranking, Los Angeles is a destination to consider for international students. With four prestigious universities ranked globally, the educational institutes in Los Angeles depict diversity and provide quality education to a large number of students every year.

Some of the top study programs offered at LA institutes include Economics, Business, Environmental Science, etc. The top institutes include the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), among others. Furthermore, the city is home to numerous private universities and colleges, many of which specialize in creative arts fields. Students applying to LA for higher education are required to take English proficiency tests like IELTS, Duolingo, and TOEFL.

The tuition fee is determined by the institute you enroll in. For example, at prestigious institutes like the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), there is a tuition fee of $46,326 for out-of-state students. This is more than the national average cost for out-of-state students, which accumulates to $27,320. The rent expenses for students are around $1,162 – $2,614 / Month, while the transport can cost students around $117 / Month.

5. Chicago

Chicago, a place of eye-catching architecture and art displays, ranks#39 in the QS top student city ranking 2024. The city of Illinois offers excellent academic facilities to a diverse population of students every year. Two of its prestigious universities, the University of Chicago and Northwestern University are renowned globally and are also ranked among the top global universities.

The universities in Chicago offer a variety of in-demand study courses, such as public affairs, Law, Medicine, Social Science, and humanities. International students need to monitor the admission requirements closely and appear in any test made compulsory by their selected institute, like TOEFL iBT, etc.

Furthermore, the average tuition fee across Chicago universities is estimated to be $43,477. In contrast, higher-ranked universities are more expensive, with tuition fees reaching up to $63,000 to $64,000. Students also need to manage food and accommodation expenses, which can be around $19,221. On the other hand, the traveling charges can be around $108 / Month-$120/month.

6. Atlanta