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10 Best Cities to Study-Abroad for International Students in 2023


The mother of all trending topics is here – that's right, the updated list of the top 10 study-abroad destinations is out and you can start putting out the travel checklist because, why wait? Now, there are some destinations that are known for global education and there are other destinations that have set the standards for the best education and a rewarding career globally.

We'll be discussing these destinations that have made studying abroad a rewarding career choice – so if you have a course or career in mind, we'll tell you why you should consider these cities for a terrific study-abroad experience.

Let's get started then. But before we do, make an internal checklist of the focus points you need to consider while choosing the ideal study destination.

Top 10 Picks of the Best Study-Abroad Destinations in 2023

What comes to mind when you think of doing a course abroad? Among other things, it's usually the quality of education, infrastructure, training, practical experience, career, and affordability, right? Based on these, let's simplify these requirements into 4 aspects which we would consider to assess the student-friendliness of a particular study destination.

  • Affordability - This includes the cost of accommodation, tuition fees, scholarships, transportation, and living costs.
  • Infrastructure - Socio-economic infrastructure including research facilities, virtual learning, blended learning, practical exposure, etc.
  • Career Prospects - Career opportunities in the destination and globally
  • Acceptance Rate - Inclusivity, student support, career support, and counselling

Based on these aspects, we bring to you the following list of the best cities to study abroad for Indonesian students:

1. London, UK

One of the popular top 10 study-abroad destinations and world's most important financial centres and a melting pot of global lifestyle and cultures, London is a fairytale we have all grown up to and the best part is, you can study your favourite course in London and pave the way for the future you've dreamed of in this city.

Here's why London is the top pick for 2023:

  • Given the growing popularity and ease of pursuing higher education in the UK, there has been a 35% increase in Indonesian students studying abroad, especially in the UK, compared to the last decade.
  • With over 40 higher education institutions in the city, London is a teeming city with multiple study spaces, student socials and societies for an enriching learning experience.
  • For bookworms, movie buffs, foodies, and history enthusiasts alike, London has something for everyone and with cheap and seamless connectivity, you can explore every nook and cranny of the glorious city. 

2. Munich, Germany

Oktoberfest, of course. But also scientific museums, football, and Bavarian cuisine. Munich has a lot to offer, especially if you want a truly memorable educational experience with an exceptional quality of life.

Here's why we love Munich as a best cities to study abroad:

  • According to the Numbeo Safety Index, Munich, ranked #12, is one of the safest cities globally. Not only is it the safest, but it is also one of the cleanest cities in the world.
  • BMW, Siemens, Infineon, Telefonica (O2), Allianz, and a few other technological giants are headquartered in Munich, making it the biggest technological hub of Germany.
  • Munich is known for its perfect blend of laptop and lederhosen, striking a balance between modernity and tradition, making it an ideal study destination for international students. 

3. Seoul, South Korea

One for the K-drama fans! But there's more to South Korea than meets the eye. Known for its vibrant culture and beautiful landscapes, South Korea is becoming increasingly popular in the higher education sector – with some of its universities making it to the top 100 universities rankings.

Why choose Seoul among the top 10 study-abroad destinations?

  • Seoul is home to top universities, including Seoul National University (ranked 29th in the world) and KAIST - Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (ranked 42nd in the world).
  • With museums, hole-in-the-wall food outlets, parks and markets, Seoul is a fine blend of endemic and exotic, offering you a window to the rich, culinary and cultural landscape of Seoul.
  • Over 10% of Seoul's population are international communities, and it's increasing rapidly owing to its safety, friendliness and inclusivity making it one of the much-preferred Asian destinations. 

4. Zurich, Switzerland

One of the greenest, cleanest and wealthiest cities in Europe, studying in Zurich would be a dream come true. Boasting a high quality of life and satisfactory work-life balance, it isn't surprising that Zurich is one of the top study destinations in the world.

Choose Zurich if the following aspects appeal to you:

  • Tuition fees are lower compared to other destinations like the USA, Australia and the UK, with many universities offering scholarships and bursaries to help manage your study costs.
  • Because of its high employment rate after graduation, it's easy to find work in Zurich and abroad, especially because the degrees obtained in these universities are globally recognised and highly valued.
  • Although the high standards of living might be difficult to manage at first, with support from scholarships and part-time work it would be manageable. Once you find a suitable job in Zurich, these standards would prove useful in helping you establish a good work-life balance. 

5. Melbourne, Australia

With excellent connectivity, affordability and entertainment choices, Melbourne is ranked high for its liveability. And true to acclaim, Melbourne is one of the leading student citiesand also one of the best cities to study abroad in the world because it is home to six of the world's best universities. How cool is that?

Here are more reasons to choose Melbourne as your study destination:

  • With creativity, culture and memorable study experiences, Melbourne sets the standard for holistic development and lifelong learning.
  • From arts and culture to engineering and biotechnology, Melbourne is home to some of the top universities that are pioneers in engineering, IT, biotechnology, ICT, medical research, environmental, energy technologies and more.
  • Universities in Melbourne offer excellent support for international students, including language learning services, accommodation, social connection and finance. 

6. Berlin, Germany

A global hotspot when it comes to music, art, and fashion, Berlin is truly one of the coolest cities in the world, in close competition with Paris, London and New York.

Here are more reasons why Berlin is the ideal destination for international students:

  • Vibrant and multicultural, Berlin is an affordable country to live in because of its low cost of living compared to other study destinations. With free intra-city travel and discounts at several retail and departmental stores, galleries and libraries, Berlin offers ample scope for entertainment for international students.
  • High-quality education, a wide range of courses, scholarship programmes and high employability make Berlin a lucrative study-abroad destination. 

7. Tokyo, Japan

One of the leading financial centres, Tokyo is the perfect ensemble of high-life and old-school charm. From Ikigai to Oubaitori, Japanese ideologies and customs have influenced many schools of thought worldwide on the ideal way of life and living.

Let's discuss why Tokyo is one of the best student cities in the world:

  • A city of contrasts, Tokyo is a glorious blend of old and new. With Buddhist monasteries, high fashion and uber-modern, advanced technology, Tokyo is rich in culture and convenience.
  • The second-best student city in the world, Tokyo offers a truly memorable study experience for international students with its affordable living, welcoming neighbourhood and enriching culture.

Sakura Matsuri - the Cherry Blossom Festival y'all. Now, what could be a more appealing reason that?

8, Paris, France

Passion, poetry and beauty - Paris is an experience that you cannot miss. Situated at the heart of Europe, Paris is constantly rated as one of the most livable cities in the world.

What makes Paris one of the top 10 study-abroad destinations:

  • Art, music and expression acquire a fresher and a more vibrant meaning in Paris and the art scene in the city is unparalleled compared to any other city in the world. For students interested in creative arts, literature and photography, Paris would be your best muse.
  • Tuition fees in Paris are comparatively affordable than other top cities, with many universities offering scholarships to deserving students, particularly in fields like engineering, PhD and master's programmes.
  • From local restaurants to the Eiffel Tower, inspiration is everywhere to pursue your dreams and follow your passions. 

9, Sydney, Australia

Home to six Australian universities and world-class resources, educational institutions in Sydney are recognised globally for their research facilities and high employability rates. 

Let's understand why Sydney is one of the best places to study abroad:

  • Universities in Sydney provide cutting-edge research facilities and course programmes on multiple on-demand fields to enable international students make the most of their education abroad.
  • With flexible working conditions, professional development courses and competitive salaries, Sydney has great employability ratings.
  • Beaches, efficient local transport, a global lifestyle and multiple entertainment options make the harbour city an unmissable study-abroad destination. 

10. Edinburgh, Scotland

Picturesque Scotland is a visual, sensory and gastronomical treat with rolling meadows, snow-capped mountains and famous Scotch Pies – making it a truly magical experience.

So, what's special about Edinburgh among the top 10 study-abroad destinations?

  • A very safe student city with a low crime rate, many universities in Edinburgh are ranked high in the International Student Barometer survey.
  • With over 4,500 courses in 150 subject areas, universities in Edinburgh provide multiple research-led programmes available both on-campus and online in subjects including History and Architecture.
  • Excellent connectivity, affordable living and clean living spaces make Edinburgh one of the top picks in 2023! 

How Does AECC Help?

AECC provides all the support you need - from course counselling, drafting your SOP to choosing the perfect study destination suitable for your course, AECC is here to be your friend, philosopher and guide all the way! Get in touch with our expert counsellors at AECC to help you decide on the ideal study-abroad destination for you!


3. Which countries have the best quality-of-life rankings?

According to the Quality of Life Rankings 2022, Sweden, Denmark, Canada, Switzerland, and Norway are the top 5 countries with the best quality of life.

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