Situated in the continent of North America is a country comprised of 50 states and it is none other than the United States of America. As of 2021, there are around 334,655,000 individuals residing in the “Land of the Free.” In line with this, the USA has also been called a melting pot due to its cultural diversity. Moreover, in 2020, it was estimated that 1,075,500 international students were pursuing their higher education in the country.

When it comes to languages, the most widely spoken one is, of course, English. Aside from this, there are also a lot of Spanish and Chinese speakers in the country. As for religion, the most common ones in the US are Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism.

The USA is one of the most visited countries in the world, and it is easy to see why. There are lots to see, do, and try in all of its 50 states. When it comes to tourist destinations, some of the best include the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, Statue of Liberty, Walt Disney World Resort, and the Las Vegas Strip. On the topic of food, the list of must-try dishes is a long one but a few of these are Reuben sandwich, clam chowder, Buffalo wings, Maryland crabcakes, and key lime pie. In this article, we will be looking at the top cities in the United States for international students!

Top Cities in the United States for International Students

1. Boston

Massachusetts’ charming capital is none other than Boston. Boston is one of the best cities in the United States for aspiring international students and also the most populous city in the state, having a population of around 693,400 as of 2022. Furthermore, it is known for a lot of things such as Fenway Park, New England Aquarium, Quincy Market, Boston baked beans, and also Boston cream pie.

In Boston, there are many colleges and universities to choose from. There is the Boston University, Northeastern University, University of Massachusetts Boston, Berklee College of Music, and Emerson College. Aside from this, some of Harvard’s schools are located in the city such as Harvard Medical School and Harvard Business School.

Students who are looking to pursue studies in the field of arts and communication should consider Emerson College, a private college that was included in The Hollywood Reporter’s Top 25 American Film Schools.

2. New York City

New York City is a world-famous city also nicknamed the “Big Apple” and “The City That Never Sleeps.” In addition to this, it is very much well-known for Wall Street, Times Square, Broadway, and a lot more. NYC is also recognized for its food, as there are lots of iconic restaurants around the area such as Katz’s Delicatessen and Joe’s Pizza. With a current population of 18,867,000, it is the most populated city in the US.

On another note, NYC is not just a tourist hub, it is also a good choice for international students in the US as there are numerous prestigious higher education institutions in the city. Such institutions include New York University, Columbia University, The Juilliard School, Fordham University, and Pace University.

The Juilliard School is perfect for individuals who dream of pursuing dance, drama, or music. It is a world-renowned performing arts conservatory that was founded in 1905 and many of its alumni have gone on to become successful personalities like esteemed actress and singer Patti LuPone, playwright, screenwriter, and theater director David Auburn, violinist Cho-Liang Lin, award-winning actress Frances Conroy, and choreographer and dancer Henning Rübsam.

On the other hand, Columbia University is an Ivy League school, which means that it is a competitive and selective institution. Formerly called King’s College and then Columbia College, it is now known by many as a top-ranking center of excellence. As a matter of fact, the US News Best Colleges placed it as the second-best national university in the country.

3. San Francisco

Located in the state of California, San Francisco is also a great city in the US for international students and is a city with a population of around 876,100. It is popular for the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and Fisherman’s Wharf. Besides this, the vibrant city is also famed for the breathtaking fog often observed around the Golden Gate.

In the city, some of the best centers of learning include San Francisco State University, the University of San Francisco, the Academy of Art University, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the Cinta Aveda Institute.

More on this, the Academy of Art University is an excellent institution for students who are planning to get into arts and design. Additionally, aspiring beauticians and estheticians are advised to check out the Cinta Aveda Institute.

4. Chicago

Chicago is another excellent destination for international students in the US that is situated in the US state of Illinois. The exciting city prides itself on Chicago-style hot dogs, deep-dish pizza, jazz music, Lake Michigan, and of course, its astonishing architecture. As of 2022, there are approximately 2,740,000 people residing in the city.

The University of Illinois Chicago, The University of Chicago, Loyola University Chicago, DePaul University, and Illinois Institute of Technology are among the city’s prominent tertiary education institutions. In line with this, DePaul University is a top-notch choice for international students, especially for Catholics, as it is the US’ largest Catholic university. Other than this, the University of Illinois Chicago is also an outstanding option as it specializes in many fields: architecture and design, arts, business, dentistry, education, engineering, law, medicine, social work, public affairs, and the like.

5. Washington, D.C.

Best known for being the capital of the United States of America, Washington, D.C. is a city known for having lots of historical landmarks like the White House, United States Capitol, Library of Congress, Lincoln Memorial, Smithsonian Institution Offices, among many others. On a separate note, the city’s population as of 2022 is approximately 657,200.

Furthermore, the city is famous for international students in the US as it is booming with acclaimed colleges and universities. These include Georgetown University, Howard University, American University, The University of the District of Columbia, and The George Washington University. Most of these are old universities and have been consistently recognized for utmost excellence in education and research over the years. For instance, Georgetown University, which was founded in 1789, was named the 32nd best university in Times Higher Education’s US College Rankings for 2022.


We hope that this article on Best Cities in the United States for International Students was helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students.

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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