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Bielefeld Graduate School

in History and Sociology

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Alexandra Nitz



Why Study in Latin America? - International Student Mobility to Colombia and Brazil

The number of international students enrolled at universities in study destinations outside Europe and the main English-speaking countries has been continuously increasing during the past few years. However, previous studies that explain why international students choose a specific target country for their studies abroad have rarely concentrated on these "nontraditional" study destinations. The number of international students has, in particular, multiplied in Latin America, making this region a promising case study. Focusing on Colombia, this doctoral project aims to uncover why international students decide to study in this Latin American country. In order to address this question, a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods was adopted in this research. On the basis of a pilot study with face-to-face interviews, a standardized questionnaire was created for an online survey. With the data from this survey, various descriptive and multivariate analyses were carried out, resulting, for example, in a typology of international students. Furthermore, two models of motivations for choosing Colombia as the international study destination were developed, comprising diverse reasons, such as career opportunities and living environment. In order to broaden the scope of the project, a case study of a second Latin American country was included in addition. In this connection, personal interviews with international students were conducted in Brazil. With these findings, the Colombian models were adapted to the Brazilian context, providing a pathway for future research. Based on a new empirical data set, this doctoral project contributes to the understanding of motivations and determining factors for choosing to study in a region where international student mobility is enjoying increasing importance.

Download der Dissertation im Publikationsverzeichnis der Universität Bielefeld

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Initiative for Excellence
to Promote Institutions of
Higher Education
(First Funding Period 2007-2012,
Second Funding Period 2012-2017)

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