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The 7 most popular cities for international students in the USA

Amelia Carruthers
Last Updated: 19 January 2022 • 5 min read

Studying abroad is a priceless opportunity to explore the globe, experience new cultures and meet new friends – all whilst developing your academic skills and earning a degree from a world-leading institution. 

There are so many benefits to studying abroad, so it’s vital to choose a location that fits your goals and allows you to enjoy student life to its fullest.
Today, we take a look at the best cities for international students in the USA. As the “home of the free”, America is full of fabulous cities, prestigious universities and vibrant student communities.

So whether it’s the hustle and bustle of New York Streets, the beaches of Miami or the centre of political life in Washington DC – here are the seven best US cities for international students.
 
It’s time to turn that American student dream into reality…

The 7 best cities for international students in the USA 

  1. Boston
  2. Chicago
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Miami
  5. New York
  6. San Francisco
  7. Washington DC

1. Boston 

Did you know that Boston is dubbed the “student capital” of the United States!? Over 20% of students in the city are international – and for good reason.
 
Boston has a fantastic and economical metro system, some of the most exciting arts and culture institutions in the country and a multitude of colleges and academic institutions. From the Museum of Fine Arts to the Boston Ballet and the Isabella Gardner Museum, there’s plenty to explore.
 
Employers are well aware of the prestigious institutions based in the city (as well as the nearby town of Cambridge MA, home to Harvard and MIT), making it a great place for post-graduation job prospects.
 
Nearby universities:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Harvard University
  • UMASS Boston

2. Chicago 

If you’re searching for the best cities for international students in the USA – then Chicago’s got to be high on your list! It’s the third-largest city in America and home to many renowned universities.
 
Don’t be put off by the epithet of the “Windy City” – it’s a fast-paced, high-rise metropolis that’s known for its many blues and jazz clubs.
 
As an economic hub, Chicago is a fantastic location for anyone studying finance, economics and related degrees, as well as searching for internships.
 
Nearby universities:

3. Los Angeles 

The “City of Angels” is America’s most culturally diverse city, with a massive variety of entertainment, bars and restaurants on offer. With friendly communities and plenty of sunshine, it’s certainly heavenly for international students.
 
Located in California, you can expect a lively city with stunning surroundings and natural landscapes. Whilst you’re in LA, why not cheer on the Lakers, take in the sights of the world-famous Natural History Museum or the iconic “Hollywood” sign? On weekends-off studying, beautiful beaches, forests and mountains are just a short drive away.
 
Nearby universities:

  • University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • University of Southern California
  • California State University

4. Miami 

Compared to many of the largest American cities, Miami feels very laid back and relaxing. It’s less well-known as an international study location, but this is starting to change!
 
Miami is a cultural melting pot with strong Spanish and Cuban influences – making it a great place to study if you’re working on your Spanish and English language skills.
 
As a coastal city of Southeastern Florida, you can expect near year-round sunshine and a great balance between study and socializing. Despite this, the cost of living in Miami is significantly cheaper than in other large cities such as New York and Los Angeles.
 
Great beaches, an exciting mix of cultures and low costs of living? Miami’s got to be one of the best cities in the USA for international students!
 
Nearby universities:

5. New York 

In terms of the most iconic and best US cities for international students, you can’t go too far wrong with New York! Known as the “City that never sleeps”, there’s always something exciting going on for adventurous students.
 
From skyscrapers to towering monuments, the legendary shows of Broadway to New York’s famous delis and street food, there’s so much to take in. Hop on a boat tour to check out the Statue of Liberty, explore trendy Williamsburg or grab a bite to eat in Chinatown or Little Italy – the possibilities really are endless in this global city.
 
Nearby universities: 

6. San Francisco 

As another city based in the sunshine state of California, San Francisco is one of the coolest and most cultural US cities. It’s close to two of the world’s most prestigious universities (Stanford and Berkeley) as well as the tech and innovation hub of Silicon Valley. This makes San Francisco a particularly great location for anyone interested in IT or cybersecurity.
 
Whilst living costs are reasonably high, it’s certainly worth the investment. From steep streets and cable cars to public parks lined with palms and the iconic golden gate bridge, there’s a lot for international students to see and do.
 
Nearby universities:

  • Stanford University
  • University of California (Berkeley)
  • San Francisco State University

7. Washington DC 

Last but not least on this list is the political home of the USA – Washington DC. As well as the heart of American history and politics (the White House and the Lincoln Memorial anyone?), it’s also a hub for arts and culture.
 
With a high proportion of politicians and journalists in the city, there’s some great nightlife with trendy bars, clubs and restaurants hidden all over the city. The Smithsonian Museum (the world’s largest museum complex) is also situated in Washington DC – so what are you waiting for!?
 
Nearby universities:

With this list of the best cities to live in the USA for international students, you can pick an American study destination with confidence! Edvoy specializes in simplifying the study abroad process and partners with hundreds of fantastic institutions all over the globe. Why not get started today and see where your study abroad journey could lead?

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Amelia Carruthers
Written By
Amelia Carruthers

With a background in academic publishing, education and digital marketing, Amelia Carruthers is a freelance writer with a love of history, philosophy and the written word.

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