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The Best Universities to Study Economics for International Students

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Economics is a highly competitive field of study, and finding the right university program can be a challenging task for international students. To make this process easier, we have compiled a list of the best universities around the world that offer exceptional economics programs. In this article, we will explore the top universities for studying economics, highlighting their strengths and unique features.

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT is ranked 1st in the world for economics according to the QS rankings. Both their undergraduate and graduate programs in economics are highly renowned. MIT provides a strong foundation in economics through introductory courses taught by senior professors. Students are encouraged to develop their research skills through programs like the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, which connects them with a network of graduate students and faculty members. With 34% of its student body being international, MIT attracts students from across the globe. Its graduates often find employment in international and national organizations, making it a desirable choice for international students.

2. Harvard University

Ranked 2nd in the world for economics, Harvard University has produced numerous Economics Nobel Laureates. The department offers a wide range of seminars conducted by top international and American scholars. With 9,851 international students in 2016-2017, Harvard truly attracts talent from around the world. The university provides extensive support to international students, including assistance with employment, visas, and taxes. Their host program, which matches international graduate students with Boston residents, helps students acclimate to their new home. Harvard also offers internships and research assistant positions to undergraduate economics students, along with funding opportunities for research.

3. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

LSE boasts one of the largest economics departments in the world and is ranked 1st in the United Kingdom and 5th in the world for economics. With a student body that is 71% international, LSE offers a truly international experience. Located in the heart of London, a highly diverse capital, LSE’s campus provides a vibrant and multicultural environment. The economics department focuses on research related to global issues such as climate change and economic development, making it an excellent choice for economists seeking a global perspective. LSE also supports its international students with a student visa advice team, ensuring a smooth transition into their studies.

4. University of Oxford

Ranked 7th in the world for economics, the University of Oxford has a long history of welcoming international students. The university has an international student population of 38% and offers an equal application process for both UK and international students. International students receive support for immigration services, interviews, course admission tests, and English evaluation. Oxford’s Economics Department plays a significant role in advising international and national organizations. In the UK Research Assessment, REF 2014, Oxford was ranked top in terms of overall research strength in economics. Their research output is world-leading in terms of originality, rigor, and significance.

5. Erasmus School of Economics, The Netherlands

Erasmus School of Economics is ranked 44th in the world and 12th in Europe for economics and econometrics. International students make up 30% of their student body, and the school offers dedicated scholarships for non-EEA students. Erasmus School of Economics understands the challenges faced by incoming international students, particularly concerning visa processes and finding housing. To address this, Erasmus University has launched a virtual experience that allows students to tour the campus, classrooms, and student housing online. This is especially beneficial for students who are unable to visit the campus before applying.

6. University of Melbourne, Australia

The University of Melbourne is ranked 1st in Australia and 25th in the world for economics. With 40% of its student population being international, the university provides a diverse and inclusive environment for international students. The university’s Economics program has a long history, dating back to 1855. The University of Melbourne offers specialized research centers, including an experimental economics laboratory for testing theories in a controlled environment. International students are provided with a free airport pick-up service and receive support for housing, finances, and well-being during their transition to Melbourne.

7. ETH Zurich, Switzerland

ETH Zurich is ranked 35th in the world and 1st in Switzerland for economics. The university offers a Master’s program in Management, Technology, and Economics, which emphasizes cross-sector collaboration and entrepreneurial thinking. Students have the opportunity to combine their economics studies with an industrial placement of at least 10 weeks. With an international student population of 38%, ETH Zurich conducts research in various fields, including management, economics, innovation, and system dynamics. The university is committed to innovative teaching methods and continuously seeks feedback from students to improve their programs.

8. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, China

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is ranked 24th in the world and 2nd in Asia for economics. HKUST offers a lively student lifestyle and serves as an excellent gateway to China for international students. The Economics department focuses on economic growth and development, the Chinese economy, industrial organization, econometrics, and international economics. HKUST hosts regular workshops with top global scholars. As an elite research-based university, HKUST provides experiential learning opportunities, with 70% of their graduates participating in internships.

9. University of Toronto, Canada

Ranked 21st in the world and 1st in Canada for economics, the University of Toronto offers an internationally recognized degree in economics. The faculty members at the University of Toronto research and teach a wide range of economics fields, spanning theory, applied data analysis, and econometric methodology. The university encourages collaboration and interdisciplinary studies with faculties such as Law and Management. With a student body originating from 168 countries and regions, the University of Toronto values international students and awards the Lester B. Pearson International scholarships to exceptional scholars worldwide.

10. Bocconi University, Italy

Bocconi University is ranked 16th in the world and 1st in Italy for economics. The university actively recruits top international faculty members, and some members of the Economics Department serve as consultants for international organizations such as the IMF, UN, and World Bank. Despite having 11% international students, Bocconi University is committed to providing an excellent study abroad experience. They offer a range of services and activities to help new international students, including crash courses in Italian, assistance with securing housing, academic counseling services, and orientation activities.

These universities represent some of the best options for international students looking to study economics. Each university offers unique advantages, including strong research programs, diverse student bodies, and support services for international students. When considering where to study economics, it is crucial to research each university’s specific offerings, faculty expertise, and opportunities for internships and research. By choosing one of these top universities, international students can embark on a rewarding academic journey in the field of economics.

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