Switzerland’s largest city is tied with Melbourne, Australia for fifth place in a ranking of 50 cities that places Paris at the top, followed by London, Singapore and Sydney.
“Renowned for its prosperity, orderliness and low taxes, Zurich may sound more like a place for millionaires than international students,” QS says in its Best Student Cities report for 2014.
“But look a little closer and you’ll see it certainly deserves its place among the world’s top 10 student cities.”
Zurich is home to ETH Zurich, the highest ranked university in Europe —12th worldwide according to the latest tabulation by QS — and the top educational institution outside of the US and the UK.
The University of Zurich, meanwhile, is among the world’s top 100 universities, ranked 78th in the 2013-14 list from the consultant.
QS notes that living expenses in Zurich can be “eye-wateringly high” but this is offset by low tuition fees (averaging $1,000 a year) so overall costs for studying in the city are likely to be considerably cheaper than cities in the US, UK or Australia.
With the Alps close by and a picturesque location on Lake Zurich, the city “would suit those who want to combine the attractions of city life with close proximity to some of Europe’s most beautiful natural landscapes”.
Among other factors for students to ponder, QS notes that an iPad in Zurich costs $617.58, while a Big Mac sells for around $6.56.
QS developed its best student cities ranking by based on 14 indicators covering factors such as university rankings, student mix, quality of life, employer activity and affordability.
No other Swiss cities featured in the list.
For more information about the QS rankings, check here.