Montréal, THE best student city in the world

August 14, 2023

At I choose Montréal, a Montréal International initiative, we’re always on the lookout for new rankings that make Montréal stand out internationally. Which is why today, as Project Manager in the Marketing Communications team, I’m proud to share with you that our beautiful metropolis has officially been recognized as the best student city in the world! Congratulations Montréal… and congratulations to all those who have chosen this destination for their studies and made their dreams come true!

You might think that Montréal is used to this kind of ranking, but this one stands out from the rest… Let me explain. Helpful Professor, a specialized academic support website, listed over 1,300 universities and then conducted a detailed analysis of the 339 best student cities in the world. Montréal came out on top, beating other cities such as Boston, Tokyo, Melbourne and Paris!

To celebrate this victory, we thought a short video was in order. Enjoy!

A big city with a warm welcome

To rank the different cities, the Helpful Professor website analyzed a set of seven factors most often taken into account by international students.

  • Number of universities
  • Quality of institutions
  • Presence of international students
  • Cost of living
  • Freedom of expression
  • Safety and security
  • Hospitality

The study is based on criteria that allow us to evaluate the overall student experience. After all, being a student is more than just getting good grades! It’s undoubtedly an unforgettable social experience. And for international students, it’s also a remarkable change of scenery. This makes the choice of where to study all the more important. Thank you Helpful Professor for making our job easier!

Montréal is at the top of the ranking, where it stands out above all for its freedom of expression and hospitality, with scores of 9/10 for these two specific criterias. It goes without saying that the city’s DNA is extremely diverse, with over 120 cultural communities. This is not surprising when we consider that more than one in four people are immigrants, according to the Statistics Canada’s 2021 census. This cosmopolitan environment creates a unique dynamic where everyone can make a home for themselves.

Security, one of Montréal’s strong points

We might think that Montréal, as Canada’s second most populous city, has a high crime rate. Yet Numbeo’s 2023 rankings put the metropolis in 6th place among the safest cities in America. Now that’s a great statistic – and a reassuring one – to share with your parents when you move to Montréal. I’m just saying. On a more serious note, expect to be able to travel at night on public transport with complete peace of mind. Isn’t that great?

Québecers are known for their courtesy and kindness, but watch out if you dare ignore a queue. Here, it’s first come, first served. Skipping the line is not acceptable. So don’t be surprised and get to the end of the queue. Don’t worry, your turn will come.

Affordable cost of living

The cost of living in Montréal has risen in recent years, yet, the city remains one of the most affordable in North America, Western Europe, China and Japan. That’s quite something! To give you an idea, you can use this budget comparator. It will give you an approximate budget for your stay in the metropolis.

International students also have access to a range of financial aid options:

  • Scholarships offered by your educational institution;
  • Scholarships for research students;
  • Bilateral government agreements to waive tuition fees;
  • Financial aid in your own country;
  • And many others.

Take a good look at all the options. I’m sure you’ll find the one that’s right for you.

50,000 international students

Montréal is more than just a cosmopolitan city, with 24-hour security and an affordable cost of living. It’s also a lively city known for its gastronomy and culture, with some 120 festivals a year… but let’s not forget the main one. Montréal is also – and above all – a city renowned for the quality of its educational institutions.

So why not indulge in the student experience of a lifetime? Join the 50,000 international students currently studying in the Québec metropolis.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Montréal International.