Geografie 2017, 122, 45-63

Migration plans of the international PhD students

Dana Rakovcová

Charles University, Faculty of Sciences, Department of Social Geography and Regional Development, Prague, Czechia

Received March 2016
Accepted October 2016

Within the concept of transnationalism and global development, migration decisions of international students play a vital role. This article draws on 21 in-depth interviews with PhD students coming from 16 different countries across the world, who are studying at the Wageningen University in the Netherlands. The study explores the diverse factors influencing migration decisions and potential intentions of return. The results suggest that there is a specific influence of the life-cycle phase and the family considerations on the predictability and direction of respondents’ future migration steps. Migration decisions of the interviewed PhD students with children tend to be strongly driven by responsibility towards their families and institutions, while a permanent return is very likely. The single and childless PhD students expressed individual freedom and professional opportunities as essential driving forces in their temporal migration decisions with their future migration destination being less predictable.


30 live references