Life satisfaction among inbound university students in northern Sweden


  • Per Anders Nilsson Umeå University
  • Britt-Marie Stålnacke


Will life satisfaction among international students change after having an experience of studying abroad? Some previous studies indicate inequalities and issues of social mobility embedded in international student mobility. International student mobility implies physical movement and new experiences gained while studying abroad. The ubiquity of international students and their generally successful adaptation makes it necessary to understand how they manage to turn a seemingly difficult situation into satisfying adaptation. One area of such concern that this study sought to explore was the students’ level of satisfaction with life. This study investigated the self-reported life satisfaction of inbound university students upon arrival to a university in northern Sweden and at follow-up six months later. After the study period abroad, the students’ levels of perceived satisfaction with their somatic health and activities of daily living had significantly increased. Higher levels, while non-significant, were found for the domains life as a whole, study situation and economy. These findings may indicate that studying abroad could have an impact on students’ reported life satisfaction, which highlights the value of a period of studying abroad. However, when exploring life satisfaction outcomes among internationally mobile students, it seems pertinent to study student mobility within a context. This study mostly targets international student mobility in a Western/European context.

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How to Cite

Nilsson, P. A., & Stålnacke, B.-M. (2019). Life satisfaction among inbound university students in northern Sweden. Fennia - International Journal of Geography, 197(1), 94–107.