Attention students: the U.S. offers so many great cities, it’s tempting to switch states without considering other countries. But don’t rule out studying abroad just yet! After all, international study is an unforgettable experience, and a great way to show prospective employers you’ve got the communication skills, adaptability and international experience they want.

Below is a breakdown of how top US cities compare to leading overseas destinations, based on the latest edition of the QS Best Student Cities, compiled by the company behind the QS World University Rankings® and the QS World Grad School Tour—coming soon to San Francisco on Sunday, September 18th.

Top student cities in the US:

1. New York City
This truly 24/7 city really does have something for everyone—and that applies to its choice of universities (think Columbia, NYU and more).

2. San Francisco!
Have some home-town pride: your iconic West Coast city combines high-tech innovation with a laid-back coastal lifestyle, along with several of the US’s leading schools. But of course, you know that.

3. Chicago
Home to four internationally ranked universities—including the University of Chicago (10th in the world) and Northwestern (32nd)—Chicago is known for its vibrant music scene, metropolitan feel, and lakeside views.

4. Los Angeles
The world’s ‘creative capital’, LA is strong across a broad spectrum of fields—business, science, technology, media, fashion, you name it—and claims the famed UCLA among its universities. But of course, you know that.

5. Washington, DC
No future policy wonk could resist the chance to study in the nation’s buzzing political center. Take your pick from Georgetown University, George Washington University, American University and more.

Other US student cities in the index: Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Baltimore, and San Diego.

Top student cities abroad:

1. Paris
Home to no less than 18 internationally ranked universities—including the famous Sorbonne group—the French capital competes with the US’s best in its academic offering, cultural riches and iconic status. Plus, tuition fees are surprisingly low.

2. Melbourne
Australia’s ‘cultural capital’ is packed with activities both indoors and out. The University of Melbourne is joined here by six more internationally ranked institutions.

3. Tokyo
It doesn’t get busier or buzzier than Japan’s colossal capital. The University of Tokyo (“Todai”) is consistently ranked among Asia’s best, and the city has 12 more entries in the international tables.

4. Sydney
Australia’s financial hub, Sydney is another global icon—with its striking harbor, bridge and opera house—and (like most Australian cities) boasts close proximity to some of the world’s best beaches.

5. London
Home to 19 internationally ranked universities—including famous names such as Imperial, UCL, King’s and LSE—the UK capital holds its own even against NYC as a global hub for arts, finance and multiculturalism.

Other top student cities abroad: Singapore, Montreal, Hong Kong, Berlin, Seoul, Munich, Zurich, Toronto, Vancouver, and Vienna.

Ready to choose your destination?
Meet leading universities and grad schools from across the US and worldwide at an upcoming QS World Grad School Tour event. As well as attending free seminars and face to face meetings with admissions directors, you’ll get a complimentary copy of the QS Top Grad School Guide (first 100 attendees) and be eligible to apply for exclusive scholarships worth a total of US$1.7 million.

Register now for the San Francisco event taking place on Sunday, September 18th.

This post is brought to you by the QS World Grad School Tour.