You may already be well acquainted with the QS Best Student Cities index, which lists the top cities for students the world over. But how many great student cities can you name outside of the US, UK, Australia and Western Europe? How about top student cities in countries classed as emerging economies?
Looking at the QS university rankings dedicated to Latin America, Asia and the BRICS countries, this list aims to give the great student cities within emerging economies – such as the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and the MINT nations (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey) – the credit and attention they deserve!
If you think we’ve missed any great student cities within emerging economies, tell us in the comments below.
Top attractions: The Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City
One of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China and also sometimes romantically known as Peking, Beijing is the current capital city of China, well established among the world’s fastest-growing emerging economies of the last few decades. As an ancient capital, dating back three millennia, it’s hard to find a building or landmark in Beijing that isn’t of historical and cultural importance. Cycle through the city like a local, discover the city’s imperial history and try some great Peking duck.
Top attractions: The Oriental Pearl Tower and Shanghai Museum
Shanghai, Beijing’s southern rival, may not be the capital but is in fact the largest city in China and the largest city by population in the world. Native to Shanghai is the Chinese dialect of Shanghainese and the largest bus system in the world (with 1,424 bus lines). Shopping is another draw to the city, and some of the best shopping centers in Asia are in Shanghai, as well as popular markets such as the Nanjing Road Market.
Top attractions: St. Basil’s Cathedral, Peter the Great’s statue and the Lenin Mausoleum
Whether it’s the architecture, political history or current culture you want to marvel at, life in Moscow will be an incredible experience. The city gives never-ending opportunities to rediscover its own history, whether within the numerous museums or looking upon the tombs and shrines of historical figures, both political and cultural.
Top attractions: Angel of Independence, Pyramid of the Sun and the National Museum of Anthropology
When thinking of Mexico City you might be inclined just to think of smog and bureaucracy, but the Mexican capital makes up for this with a thriving economy and a prominent dedication to arts and culture. Mexico City has 160 museums (the most of any city in the world), 100 art galleries, 30 concert halls and the fourth highest number of theatres in the world after New York, London and Toronto. Weren’t expecting that, were you?!
Top attractions: Cerro San Cristobal (for the view!) and Parque Quinta Normal
Although often overlooked amidst the plethora of exotic cities in Latin America, the capital of Chile, Santiago, is one of the cleanest and safest of Latin American cities. Santiago’s location between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean makes the city a great place for adventurers and fans of great views. The city has no shortage of arts and culture either!
Top attractions: The Cementerio de la Recoleta and Casa Rosada
Despite the heated passion suggested in the local language, national dance and football fanaticism, Buenos Aires benefits from a much milder climate that you may think (the annual average temperature is 18°C/64.4°F), making the Argentinean capital warm but not stifling. Wine, beef and milongas (tango nights) are staples for porteños (the name given to locals).
Top attractions: The National Palace Museum and Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall Park
Where can you shop for books, drink coffee and sing karaoke 24/7? Taipei, that’s where. It’s this eclectic, never-sleeping lifestyle that makes the capital of Taiwan a brilliant city to study. Whether you’re drawn in by the free WiFi, the annual Beef Noodle Soup Festival, or the fact that there are toilet-, prison-, Barbie- and hospital- themed restaurants, Taipei will welcome you with strange, open arms.
Top attractions: Table Mountain, Cape Point Nature Reserve and the Castle of Good Hope
Cape Town is packed with adventure both within its own boundaries and in the opportunities to explore the local vicinity. Visitors are able to discover secret beach coves, marvel at the penguins on Boulder’s Beach, explore apartheid history on Robben Island, sift through markets for traditional South African art, all the while getting to know Cape Malay and African cuisines. Cape Town is also one of the most multicultural cities in the world.
Top attractions: Mercado Publico Municipal, Marco Zero and Pateo do Collegio
Brazil, the nation of carnival, football and nightlife, offers up São Paulo, the biggest city in South America. This city throbs with 24-hour clubbing, vibrant live music and terrible traffic. Of São Paulo’s cultural attractions, the mixed architecture of downtown, the shops of Rue 25 de Março, the greenery of Parque Trianon and the art of Museu Afro Brasil are all must-sees.
Top attractions: Humayun’s Tomb, Bahai Temple and Jama Masjid
Regardless of the chaotic streets and madman traffic, Delhi remains a city renowned for its spirituality. Delve into the rich culture of India’s National Capital Territory by snacking on Dilli-ki-Chaat (local street food) and getting lost in the bazaars of Old Delhi, before winding down and listening to qawwalis (religious songs) at sunset, and ending the day taking in the tranquility at the Tomb of Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi
With more than 12 years of experience in career guidance, student counseling, visa guidance and scholarship assistance. Beatrice is charged with the general administration of the company and with providing specific input to any tasks that may require the utilization of the extensive experience and expertise that she has regarding higher education abroad or in Uganda. She has been providing counseling services for the last 12 years and assisting students to acquire admission, visa guidance since 2012.