When it comes to choosing a city on the globe for the purposes of study and work, there are many divergent choices that emerge.A city that may be considered a haven for students might not have the best employment opportunities, while a city with the best job and quality of life may be too expensive for students and not have a popular university within its limits.


This is the reason why we try to combine these two lists to find the common cities that qualify as the best for both study and work. Our methodology for choosing a city for study focuses on indicators like affordability, desirability and student view. For the purpose of work, we look at the median salary, quality of life and workplace stress.

Here is the list of the most attractive cities for both study and work

New York

Hailed as the financial capital of the world, New York boasts of high salaries, living costs and some of the best universities the continent has to offer. Cornell University, NYU and Columbia University constitute the bulk of popular universities for students in the city.

For professionals, the finance capital, which is also quickly becoming the second Silicon Valley, has a rapidly increasing compensation profile and talent pool.

Students can live to explore the diverse culture of the city and its excellent educational institutions, not to mention the high prospects of bagging a lucrative job offer after graduation.


London comes across as the most popular city to move to for study, with more than 40% of its student population coming out of the UK. Thanks to the presence of Imperial College and University College along with many other institutions, the city ranks number one in student perception index when it comes to education.

For the purpose of work, London remains Europe’s foremost financial hub and a nerve center for the world’s derivatives and commodity trade. Professionals in the city can look forward to pleasant weather, free healthcare and education for their children.


For students and workers alike, Zurich can be one of the most beautiful and fulfilling cities in the world when it comes to catering for their needs. Universities like ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich are the most popular destinations for students in the city.

The largest city in Switzerland, Zurich is surrounded by mountains of snow and ranks best in the world for overall quality of life. Zurich has a burgeoning financial district that commands higher salaries than the median salary of 6,500 CHF per month for the rest of Switzerland.

For students, the city might just be worth their time and money, despite high living costs.


The capital city of Germany has been growing steadily as a good destination for studying abroad, staying in the top 10 of the QS Best Student Cities ranking. The city has grown and developed itself into a modern hub of urban life, replete with centers of fashion, design, art, and music.

Not only is the city a living entity full of culture, but also a budding financial district. Educational institutions like Humboldt-Universität Berlin and Frei Universität Berlin find mention among students who wish to pursue their study in the city.

The city offers a high living quality, liberal atmosphere, and affordability, along with the most enthralling music and party scene across Germany. This makes it a perfect choice for students and professionals alike.


The city with the best food scene, the feel of Europe, the varieties of study cafés with young, lively and beautiful people from across the world – that is the idea of Montreal for you. The city climbed many spots in the student view indicator of the best city to move to for studying abroad.

Institutions like McGill University and University de Montréal, which are among the highest-ranked universities in Canada, find mention among students for their excellent curriculum, student life, and employment prospects.

Also known as the cultural capital of Canada, Montreal also keeps itself in the radar of café enthusiasts, art and live performance fanatics and a host of individuals who want to live a laidback lifestyle amidst beautiful boulevards.


The perfume capital of the world has a unique charm associated with its name in people’s hearts. The ‘city of lights’ also offers rich cuisine and a selection among its 18 internationally recognized and ranked universities.

Currently ranked at fifth place in the best place to study, the city was historically the first choice of students from across Europe and the world. École Poly technique and the Paris Sciences et Letters Research University is ranked among the top universities in the city.


The city of beaches, harbor, and parks, as it is called, Sydney is the apple of everyone’s eye, at least for everyone who has set foot in the city. A vibrant cultural hub and liberal ethos make Sydney among the most beautiful and iconic cities in the world.

For students, institutions like the University of Sydney, University of New South Wales and the University of Technology, Sydney make up for the chunk of their population. The QS Graduate Employability rankings put the University of Sydney at the top spot in Australia for 2018 and at the fourth spot globally.

Students moving to study in the city can look forward to an enriching educational experience without missing out on the fun and frolic associated with its vibrant nightlife and party zones.


According to the Mercer report on Quality of Living, Melbourne ranks as the number one city to live all over the world. With its pleasant climate, pristine parks, numerous museums, cultural destinations, and galleries, living in Melbourne is like a dream come true. This had led to the migration of a lot of people from outside Australia, which forms a part of the city’s multicultural identity.

Melbourne has also established itself as an emerging destination for business and industry, not only in Australia but in the larger Asia-Pacific region. The University of Melbourne, Monash University and RMIT University are the top 3 institutions of repute in the city.

While the cost of living for an average student is on the higher side, Melbourne compensates that with excellent job prospects and a stronger national currency to boost the income of the working population in the city.

Muhammad Usman

Research & MEXT Scholar  at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan) with Graduate Major in Global Engineering for Development, Environment and Society


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