Study Abroad: Which Major City Should I Pick?

Study Abroad: Which Major City Should I Pick?

Study Abroad: Which Major City Should I Pick?

When it comes to choosing where to spend your study abroad year, where do you start? Some students can stick a pin in a map and pack a case, but most struggle to even narrow their search down to a continent, Whether you are picky on whether you want to share student accommodation in America or what your own more affordable student rental in Prague is, there are so many options for students that narrowing it down to one can be tricky.

The answer to the best city to study abroad is: it depends. It depends on what you like and what you’re looking for. Factors to bear in mind when choosing a study-abroad city can include a whole host of things, so we’ve narrowed it down to cost, climate, lifestyle, nightlife and education.

Best City To Study For Low Cost of Living: Prague

For those wanting to carry on with the student lifestyle, by which we mean living on a shoestring and getting the ABSOLUTE MOST out of your budget, consider Eastern Europe. This way, all of your spending money isn’t just being thrown at student accommodation in Prague; you have so much more to play with.

Budapest, Krakow and Bucharest have long been favourites with Europeans in the market for a cheap city break, but it’s the Czech Republic capital, Prague, that seems to be a hit with students looking to keep costs down whilst taking their studies abroad.

For those looking to live outside of University accommodation, you’ll probably want to look at Prague’s most popular student areas, which include:  

• Malá Strana

• Nové Město

• Smíchov

• Vinohrady

• Žižkov

In the above areas, you’ll be looking at around €400–€600 a month for your rent. In terms of getting around, public transport is extremely affordable for students. A 365-day student ticket (valid for trams, buses and the metro) will set you back around CZK1,280 (around £43.50).    

But the best news for students considering studying in Prague, the city offers one of Europe’s cheapest pints. A beer in a typical Prague pub will cost you around £2.40—not bad when you consider the esteemed reputation of Czech beer! 

Best City To Study For Climate: Barcelona

One of the biggest motives for studying abroad is escaping to warmer climates, and there’s no shortage of options if you’re seeking a bit of sun while you study. Malta’s Valletta offers one of the highest daily average temperatures in Europe, Greece and Cyprus are safe shelters from the rain; and parts of southern Spain offer scorching summers. This is also a great option for those who don’t fancy staying in their student rentals all day long, here in sunny Barcelona; you will always be outside.

However, for a combination of dryness, all-year sun, and warmth that’s not too warm, Barcelona is an excellent choice to study abroad.

The best thing about Barcelona is its mix of beauty and beaches; you could say you’ll need to pack your binoculars as well as your bikini sets! One minute you can be exploring Basílica de la Sagrada Familia and the next you could be retiring to San Sebastian Beach. 

Don’t be put off by your lack of Spanish either, the University of Barcelona offers a range of courses taught entirely in English.

Best City To Study For Lifestyle: Sydney

The dream lifestyle differs from one traveller to the next. But when it comes to providing something for everyone, look no further than Sydney

There’s a reason why backpackers and gap-year students flock in their droves to Sydney. In fact, there are a few reasons: climate, beaches, nightlife, harbours—the list goes on!

It’s also huge, and if you don’t find what you’re looking for in one part of Sydney, you’ll likely find it in another region. Sydney’s unique makeup sees it formed of 658 suburbs across 33 government areas, so narrowing your search down to Sydney is only the start. The upcoming suburb of Parramatta is a popular choice among students due to its thriving array of cafes, bars and restaurants.

As you’d expect, being many people’s dream city, Sydney doesn’t come cheap. The University of Sydney’s website estimates the monthly cost of living, including essentials and entertainment, to be around AU$2,000 (£1,049).

Best city to study for nightlife: Amsterdam

On almost every student’s study abroad checklist is, of course, a bustling nightlife scene. But if this is your number one priority, look no further than the popular tourist city of Amsterdam. 

With some of the best nightclubs in the world, iconic coffee shops and one of the biggest LGBTQ+ scenes in Europe, which is great for both upcoming generations, you will feel accepted at any bar, university and even student accommodation in Amsterdam, It’s easy to see why the Netherlands’ capital is considered a party hotspot.

In terms of Amsterdam nightlife, the notorious Red Light District features a host of bars and shows, while areas like Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein are also common with the tourists that flock to “The Dam’.

However, there’s a good chance that the novelty of the aforementioned, tourist-heavy areas will wear off. If not, you’ll certainly get fed up with the prices charged in the centre of Amsterdam! If you’re aiming to become an adopted local, try venturing out of the centre or even jumping on the ferry to NDSM to enjoy a drink by the water in this dockyard come hipster spot.

Best City To Study For Education: Boston

With all the talk of nightlife and beaches, we almost forgot about the reason you’re going abroad: to study! When it comes to education, you’ll be hard-pressed to find somewhere with more prestigious offerings than Boston, Massachusetts.

When it comes to universities (or colleges, as they’re known in America), it doesn’t get much more famous than the world-renowned Harvard, which has one of three main campuses located in Boston. The other two campuses, Allston and Cambridge, are easily commutable from downtown Boston, however.

It’s fair to say Harvard claims most of the spotlight when it comes to American colleges, so it might come as a surprise to know that America’s top-ranked university in 2024 is another Boston-based establishment, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In addition to this, Boston University comes in at 25, making Boston the home of three of the USA’s top 25 universities. 

Don’t assume education is the only thing Boston has to offer, though. Picturesque parks, an endless selection of shops and some of the United States’ finest sporting franchises mean you won’t be short of things to do outside of your studies. Not to mention, you’ll be living a legally blond life where you are going to frat parties, sharing student rentals in Boston with a roommate and doing all the best American dream things!

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