AUP graduation ceremony at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.

Paris

Paris is the #1 City for Students in Europe

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The QS Best Student Cities Index for 2017 has been published and Paris has been ranked as the best city in Europe for students for the sixth year in a row. Among the numerous criteria used in the ranking process, the QS Index cited the unparalleled access to a number of world-leading institutions in Paris, as well as the demand for graduates from Paris-based programs in the job market.

Paris is known for housing world-class museums, such as the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay, though the QS Best Student Cities Index also takes into account student access to libraries – such as the 7-story, 4-tower, mammoth François-Mitterrand National Library of France – as well as concerts, festivals, lectures and a number of other academic and student-life oriented activities.

The Index also looks at the success of graduates who have attended university classes in each city. Today, graduates from programs in Paris are targeted by a vast range of employers, as evidenced by the three criteria listed in the Employer Activity category of the ranking (Domestic Employer Popularity, International Employer Popularity and Youth Employment Bonus). The International Employer Popularity section of this ranking was weighted heaviest as all of QS’s work is focused toward “supporting international students and opportunities for mobility.”

While Paris does carry a higher cost of living than some of the other cities appearing on the list, there are a number of initiatives that make student living less expensive than one might think. Students in Paris often benefit from free museum admission, free concerts, free access to world-class libraries (as mentioned above) and heavily discounted student menus at many restaurants and cafés around the city.

The annual QS rankings use a number of factors to come to their findings, including the mix of the student body, desirability of the city, affordability, and student surveys and opinions. Everything from “tolerance and inclusion” to a city’s “pollution score” and “safety score” is taken into account in compiling the rankings.

From 2012-16, Paris was ranked not only first in Europe, but also topped the overall world list for student living. In the latest QS ranking, the French capital is just behind fellow francophone city, Montreal in Canada. Trailing Paris in the top ten are fellow European cities, London (3), Berlin (6) and Munich (9). Boston (8) was the lone US city to crack the top ten while only three other French cities made it on the QS Index: Toulouse (68), Montpellier (90) and Lille (97).

For a full look at the rankings, read more here.