Sabrina Collier

Updated January 16, 2020 Updated January 16

QS Best Student Cities ranking: 100th

An up-and-coming study destination, Montpellier is one of the largest cities on France’s southern coast, and has a significant student population – of the 590,000 residents, around a third are students, giving it a youthful student vibe. 

Unlike many other large French cities, Montpellier doesn’t have any Roman heritage, having been founded in the 10th century by counts from Toulouse. Although it has a comparatively shorter history, it’s nonetheless full of charming, narrow medieval streets and attractive 18th and 19th century architecture, found at spots such as the Place de la Comédie square.

The nearby gorgeous white-sand beaches mean you’ll need to be prepared for an influx of sun-worshipping tourists in the summer months, but as a student you’ll also get the chance to enjoy the beaches and surrounding area during the quieter times of year.

One of the fastest-growing French cities, Montpellier has an excellent café culture and laid-back, multi-cultural Mediterranean atmosphere. Cultural events include the Festival de Radio France et Montpellier, an annual summer music festival devoted to classical and jazz music. 

The city has also gained a reputation as an education center, and is home to the Université de Montpellier, one of the oldest institutions in the world (established in 1289), which houses the oldest medical school still in operation.

Montpellier is a great option if you want to study in France without the eye-watering living costs of Paris. Most courses are taught in French, but there are a small number of English-taught courses (you can search for these here).

Are you one of the many students currently calling Montpellier home? Share your experience!

Internationally ranked universities in Montpellier

Université de MontpellierUniversité Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3

More about Montpellier

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

Université de Montpellier (joint 498th)



Average international fees (at ranked unis)


Desirability rank


Employer Activity rank


Affordability rank


Student View rank


To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, view the methodology.

This article was originally published in February 2017 . It was last updated in January 2020

Written by

The former Assistant Editor of, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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