South Asian students’ migration to, within and from Finland and Sweden: connecting the dots to arrivals and departures
Much of the current research on international student migration is focused on home-to-host and stay-or-leave migration behaviours. However, there is a possibility that international students might migrate within the host country before making their final stay-or-leave migration decisions. This paper adapts stepwise migration theory as an analytical tool with which to investigate the migration behaviour of Indian and Pakistani students. Based on 57 interviews and extensive participant observation, it analyses the factors that prompt South Asian student migration to, within and, subsequently for some, from Finland and Sweden. The findings support the argument that international student migration is multistage. Initial origin-to-destination migration is often insufficient to meet the high-set ambitions of talented young migrants. Disappointment with perceived missing opportunities in the university city or town lays the basis for subsequent intercity and stay-or-leave migration stages. Subsequent migration within the destination country impacts on the students’ stay-or-leave aspirations, while the origin-country situation influences return-or-onward migration decisions.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Zain Ul Abdin
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