We are more than used to reading rankings of universities and business schools, but it is not frequent those that are also made about which are the best cities to live and study abroad, with the purpose of guiding university and postgraduate students.
And the pleasant surprise that the ranking that we are going to comment on next gives us, is that Madrid is positioned in 4th place after London, Paris and Moscow.
Regarding the methodology that has been used for this study carried out by EduBirdie, which they called STUDY ABROAD INDEX, of which the following points should be highlighted:
1st) Several common destinations to which students go to study abroad were analyzed.
2nd) The number of international students was obtained from the Cultural Forum of World Cities.
3rd) The number of Instagram posts that mention each city with hashtags, obtained from April 9, 2021, have been taken into account.
4th) The number of fast food bars and restaurants was obtained through business lists on Google Maps.
5th) The number of vegan and vegetarian restaurants come from Tripadvisor.
6th) The estimated monthly cost of living was obtained from Numbeo and refers to the average cost of living of a single person, excluding rent.
From the AEEN we are very interested in this ranking because it is very favorable to Spain and especially to Madrid. But we must be fair and before pointing out the benefits of our capital, we are going to summarize which are those of the other three cities that occupy the podium of this list. As for London, which occupies the first position, it is undoubtedly one of the cities in the world most in demand by students to carry out their studies outside their respective countries. London’s annual choice is backed by no less than 100,000 students who annually decide to study in the UK capital, known as one of the most diverse cities in the world, as well as one of the most important financial centers in the world.
In this ranking, London was the city with the highest score for three different factors: the number of top-ranked universities (22), Instagrammability (147 million posts) and the number of vegan and vegetarian restaurants (4,163).
Let’s look at the case of Paris, which has long been an attractive destination for foreign visitors, especially those from the United States seeking to live the quintessential Parisian lifestyle. Undoubtedly, it is an attractive city that has been helped by all that special promotion that both Hollywood cinema and television have done for decades, but beyond its fame, it is an extraordinary city to study and that is reflected in the fact that it was the second most instagrammable of all the cities in this ranking, appearing in more than 127 million publications on the platform, in addition to having scored very high for the average ranking of its universities and the number of international students.
The city that came in third place, Moscow, is a huge, fast-paced city with many opportunities for those looking for a place to study. Along with the city’s cosmopolitan skyscrapers, Moscow is also full of cultural and historical treasures.
The importance of Moscow in this ranking is that it is also among one of the most affordable cities to study, with an average monthly cost of living of $ 561, and it also obtained a high score on Instagrammability and has 13 universities that are among the best classified.
But Madrid, capital of the Kingdom of Spain, shows very good indexes, such as some 18,000 foreign students, an instagrammability of 42,773 posts, 243 bars and 264 fast food restaurants, these two factors being Instagram and bars and restaurants, very similar in quantitative value to the numbers shown by London, Paris and Moscow.
But we are going to introduce other factors that we believe are decisive in choosing Madrid as the ideal city to carry out both university and postgraduate studies. For example, in terms of culture, 7.7 million visitors in 2019 walked through the rooms of the three main art galleries in Madrid, the Reina Sofía, Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Prado museums, all three of which are considered among the museums most important in the world.
An app developed by GVAM and promoted by the Madrid City Council puts 24 of his works at a click of a button. In addition to sharing a location (the axis of the Paseo del Prado, a large boulevard with gardens and fountains created in the 18th century as a space for recreation and enjoyment for locals and tourists), they also share visitors and the same metro station.
Popularly known as “Paseo del Arte”, it contains within its limits more than 4,000 works by great universal masters, from Velázquez and Goya to Picasso and Dalí, to Van Gogh, Hopper and Joan Miró. To the permanent cultural offer of Madrid represented by museums, galleries, theaters and others, temporary exhibitions, national and international festivals, concerts and much more are added. A good example of this are the Teatros del Canal, the Teatro Real or the Teatro de la Zarzuela.
In November 2020, Madrid was awarded as the best European 2020 MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) destination, in the whole possible range of congresses, conventions and incentive trips. But it is also recognized as the best meeting tourism destination for the third consecutive year, having won the award in the ‘Europe’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination’ category of the World Travel Awards 2020.
And the professionals in this sector opted for Madrid compared to other large capitals such as Copenhagen, Barcelona, Vienna, London, Paris or Berlin.
It is quite evident that Madrid offers a number of advantages to students, which can also be seen, such as:
a) It has good accessibility
Madrid is very well connected with the rest of Spain thanks to the high-speed train (AVE). Also, if you want to go sightseeing, this city is the best starting point, since the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport offers cheap flights to the most important cities in Europe and the world.
b) High labor projection
If you want to work in Spain, you should know that Madrid is — along with Barcelona — the Spanish city with the best job opportunities. In addition, salaries are generally higher than in other parts of Spain, especially in jobs that require more experience and preparation.
c) Quality of public transport
In Madrid you can optimally move around the city thanks to its excellent public transport system. The Madrid metro is one of the best valued in all of Europe, since it is a fast, cheap and easy-to-use means of transport to be able to move around its many neighborhoods.
d) It is a cosmopolitan city
In Madrid it is practically impossible to get bored, since the leisure offer that the city offers you is almost unmatched. In addition to the many cultural aspects, you can enjoy the incredible nightlife of the city.
e) The food is delicious
Madrid gastronomy offers food rich in flavor for all budgets. The tripe, the stew, the garlic soup, the fried eggs or the squid sandwich are some of the typical dishes that you can order in bars and restaurants.
For all that we have described, without a doubt Madrid will always continue to compete in the coming years as one of the favorite cities to live and study abroad.
It is possible that the capital of Spain will soon snatch the third position from Russia and it is necessary to take into account in terms of conventions and congresses, that it has already positioned itself as the best in the world. And this data is important because it also attracts investments, job offers and more possibilities for students who want to come and live the Madrid experience while they study and / or study and work.