Student Life: 5 Reasons London is an Attractive International Student Destination

The United Kingdom has long been an appealing destination for international students. As of the academic term 2017 to 2018, over 450,000 international students were attending university in the country, with 56 per cent of them enrolled in an undergraduate course.

In 2018, its capital, London, was named the best student city in the world. The rankings were released by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), which releases the annual World University Rankings.

For the student city rankings, the organisation surveyed 50,000 students about their experience in the city on which they are studying. London topped the list, beating Tokyo, Melbourne and Montreal.

The rankings were based on factors such as the cultural experience, desirability, chances of employment after graduation, quality of life and top universities in the city.

Top Universities

London is home to many top universities in the world. Imperial College London, UCL, King’s College London and the London School of Economics and Political Science are all in the QS’ top 50 universities of the world. This is a huge factor in making London an attractive city for international students.


Two university students talking

Higher education in the UK is a strong draw for international students who are looking for quality education. According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 91 per cent of undergraduate international students are satisfied with their education in universities in the UK and would actively recommend a higher education in the UK over other English-speaking destinations such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States. As London is the capital, it plays the most significant role in the UK’s appeal.

Employability after Graduation

According to the National Statistics Office, graduates in the UK were more likely to be employed than non-graduates. Over 40 per cent of graduates in the country are employed in industries such as administration, education and health. Graduates from top UK universities, which are mostly in the British capital, tend to earn more than graduates from other universities in the country.

Quality of Life

Although London is an attractive destination for international students, it ranked poorly in affordability. Despite this, the city offers access to cheap student accommodations, easy transport and countless options for dining and shopping. Many establishments in London, from bookstores to clubs, also offer student discounts, making it more affordable for students to stay in the city.

International students will likewise find it easy to open a bank account in London, as all they need to submit are a passport, proof of address (from both the home and current accommodation) and proof of student status. Student accounts offer generous benefits such as joining bonuses and interest-free overdrafts.

Cultural Experience

Big Ben and Westminster Bridge at dusk

Students in London have easy access to cinemas, museums, theatres, nature attractions and nightlife. The city also draws students from different parts of the world, such as China, India, the United States and Italy.

London is an excellent place for international students, as it’s a diverse city where some of the top universities in the world are located. The city boasts an array of cultural and historical attractions, various options for living arrangements and numerous opportunities after graduation.

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