8 Best Student Cities in Asia in 2020

Whether you think of China, Japan, Hong Kong or Singapore, as world leaders in terms of economic development and with great investments in education over the last years, Asia has been welcoming thousands of international students.

When you say Asia, the first things that probably come to your mind are the scientific and technology advances and innovations, so naturally, most universities are research-oriented and mostly dedicated to students who are interested in sciences. On the other hand, you can be sure you’ll find plenty of study programmes in almost any field you can think of.

Surrounded by a multicultural environment, anywhere in Asia, you can explore and immerse in a rich culture, where you can admire from sky-towering buildings to Buddhist temples and palaces, including breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

If you just can't wait, here is a list of ranked universities in China, created by World University Rankings 2019, and Shanghai Rankings 2018.

Check the list below of the top ten best cities for students in Asia according to QS World University Rankings from 2019.

1. Tokyo

As one of the world’s largest urban agglomeration economy and with the world’s busiest rail station, Tokyo also offers numerous natural landscapes, with Mount Fiji as the top of the iceberg.

Tokyo is home to ten universities featured in the QS World University Rankings, with The University of Tokyo as the highest ranked, in the top 40 universities worldwide. Tokyo Institute of Technology is also a leading university in Japan, reputed for the excellent academic offers, especially in the fields of science and technology.

Tokyo is an economic powerhouse, as you will find headquarter of over 50 of the top richest 500 companies worldwide. The local stock market is the third largest of its kind in the world.

While in Tokyo, you can enjoy delicious food, vibrant nightlife, great shopping malls, friendly locals and the neon lights that will really catch your eye.

Recommendations of great universities in Tokyo

2. Seoul

Perfectly combining Asian old traditions with urban culture that encompasses innovative technology, Seoul offers plenty of leisure activities, whether you want to have fun in the city centre or want to engage in hiking in the nearby surroundings.

As an international student, you can enrol in over twenty universities, out of which fourteen have been present in the QS World University Rankings. Seoul National University and Korea University are among the top-ranked universities and robotics and ITC are some of the most popular fields that draw a large number of international students.

Rated in top ten of the world’s most developed cities, in terms of economic growth, Seoul has a large GDP, supported mainly by the following major industries: manufacturing (electronics, printing and publishing machines), finance and commerce.

As unique attractions, in Seoul, you can visit Lotte World – the world's second largest indoor theme park, the Moonlight Rainbow Fountain – the world's longest bridge fountain and the Sevit Floating Islands.

Recommendations of great universities in Seoul

3. Hong Kong

Known as Asia's "world city" and also as the place where "East meets West", Hong Kong was voted as one of the most popular places to follow a degree abroad, by international students worldwide.

In Hong Kong, universities deliver many English-taught degrees, and you can also benefit from high quality of living and low daily expenses. Although it adopted several elements from the British culture, Asian heritage is still present in the locals' everyday lifestyle. However, you will be surrounded by a high cosmopolitan environment.

In terms of career opportunities, Hong Kong is certainly an interesting and appealing spot, as the city is in the world’s top ten in terms of GDP (PPP) per capita and was stated as one of the three most important financial centres after New York and London. The major and most important sectors are: finance, trade, services sector, logistics, and tourism.

Compare Masters in Asia

Recommendations of great universities in Hong Kong

4. Singapore 

Singapore is appealing Asian study abroad destination, due to education, research and innovation resulted from the combination of top-ranked universities, multicultural environment and a high quality of life.

With two universities within the top 40 worldwide, Singapore counts thousands of international students each year also due to the lower tuition fees compared to other Asian nations and the numerous scholarship opportunities.

Singapore is a cultural melting-pot, a mix of the old, traditional and the new, urban and technological Asia, known for its efficient infrastructure. Named the "Global city with the best investment potential", Singapore is a large foreign exchange and financial centre, covering plenty of career opportunities.

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Recommendations of great universities in Singapore

5. Osaka 

Occupying the third place on the list with best student cities in Japan, Osaka welcomes over 10,000 international students annually. Covering a significant number of higher educational institutions, the highest ranked according to QS is Osaka University.

Top reasons to study in Osaka include: low tuition fees charged by universities, welcoming academic environment, hospitable locals, tasty cuisine and plenty of cultural and entertainment venues.

Osaka covers for plenty of incredible sites, such as the impressive Osaka Castle, the Open Air Museum of Old Japanese Farmhouses and the connected towers of the Umeda Sky Building, with its top “floating garden”.

Recommendation of a great university in Osaka is the Osaka University.

6. Taipei 

Taipei is a bustling, global and high-tech city, home to over twenty universities; eight universities are featured in the QS World University Rankings, with University of Taipei, National Chengchi University, National Taipei University as the most popular.

An amazing place for a degree abroad, in Taipei you can benefit from low tuition fees and low tuition costs as well.

Taipei is the perfect place to study if you really like to party, you’re a person who appreciates Asian culture with all its uniquely strange habits and places.

In Taipei, you can attend plenty of festivals, such as The Taipei Lantern Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival or the annual Beef Noodle Soup Festival.

Recommendations of great universities in Taipei

7. Beijing 

The capital of the world’s largest thriving economy, Beijing is also the cultural and political centre of China, the ideal place for international students who are interested to see and experience the bustling mix of old and new.

Home to some of the world’s top universities, international students can choose from thousands of university programmes in any field, with many of them available in English. Explore the dynamic city of Beijing, with its seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Beijing is home to over 30 higher educational institutions (universities, academies, colleges), most of them are specialised in a certain field. Some of the best and top-ranked higher educational institutions include: Tsinghua University, Peking University and Beihang University. International students can choose from thousands of university programmes in any field, with many of them available in English.

Explore the seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Beijing and other fascinating places, like the Forbidden City, the enormous palace that was the home of the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Recommendations of great universities in Beijing

8. Shanghai 

Nicknamed the “Pearl of the Orient” or “Paris of the East”, Shanghai is China’s most populous city and one of the most bustling cities in the world.

Home to over thirty universities and colleges, seven universities in Shanghai feature in the QS World University Rankings 2014/15, famed for the cutting edge education they offer. Among the prestigious institutions in Shanghai is Fudan University, placed among the first world universities.

Shanghai is known for the cyberpunk culture, visible on many buildings across the city and in terms of nice places worth visiting, you should check out Shanghai Museum, the Power Station of Art or the National History Museum.

Recommendations of great universities in Shanghai

Asian education is known worldwide to be high-standard and extremely competitive. The Asian study experience will surely help you out distinguish yourself in terms of professional opportunities.

In addition, you will develop an international network of friends and immerse in a different, but interesting culture. You will learn so many new things not only about the Asian country where you will live for a while, but you will also learn more about you as a person.

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