The United States attracts more international students and exchange visitors than any other country in the world. The number of highly ranked universities and world-class STEM programs make it a natural choice for prospective students, especially if they’re interested in eventual H1B visa or Green Card sponsorship.
However, the US is a massive country with a lot of schools. If you’re thinking of applying to colleges in the US, where should you look? Luckily, the QS Best Student Cities list was just published for 2024. The annual list by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) examines 160 cities worldwide with a population of 250,000 or greater and at least two highly ranked universities.
The following are the top five US cities on the QS list for 2024, and where they rank worldwide.
10. Boston, Massachusetts
Home to legendary academic institutions like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, Boston has plenty of academic might, and numerous academic employers as well. On the downside, Boston is quite pricey, with universities that are among the most expensive in the world.
17. New York, New York
It should come as no surprise that one of the world’s most influential cities is also one of its top education destinations. The list of top universities that call New York home is vast, but it includes Columbia University and NYU just to name a few. Of course, every employment opportunity imaginable is available here. But once again, the high cost of tuition and extremely high cost of living can be a deterrent.
20. San Francisco, California
With prestigious universities like Stanford and UC Berkley, San Francisco has long been a top choice for international students. And the fact that the Bay Area is home to many of the world’s top technology companies only bolsters its position. Once again, high living costs and tuition fees can put San Francisco out of reach for some, though to a lesser degree than a city like New York.
27. Los Angeles, California
If the mountains, beaches, and great weather weren’t enough to attract international students to LA, the high concentration of great schools certainly will. Caltech and UCLA represent just a few of the many choices. Plus, the city has been a creative hub for well over a century, and is ground zero for those interested in working in entertainment.
39. Chicago, Illinois
The Windy City is home to the University of Chicago, which is ranked as one of the top 10 universities in the world. However, there are many other choices here, including Northwestern and Loyola University of Chicago. Plus, Chicago is a cultural melting pot with varied neighborhoods and numerous influences. On the downside, tuition costs in Chicago are extremely high, and may price some international students out.
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