Footloose transients: International students in Australia and their aspirations for transnational mobility after graduation | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2040-4344
  • E-ISSN: 2040-4352



Work on the sociocultural aspects of international students tends to largely focus on their experiences within the host country. Research points to the desire of these transient migrants to stay in the host nation through permanent residency rather than return immediately to the homeland once they graduate. While studies in Australia on the sociocultural experiences of international students are necessarily localized and accurate in their assessment of the intentional trajectory of these students post-graduation, my study suggests that a new pattern is emerging that shifts beyond home-host nation connections. Although international students desire Australian permanent residence, they do not necessarily want to remain in Australia. Likewise, neither do they seek to immediately return to their home nations. Through interviews with 60 international students in Melbourne, my research reveals that these students hold aspirations for transnational mobility with ambitions to live and work in the big cities of Europe, North America and Asia, and with plans to return to the home nation eventually or possibly in the future. Their aspirational mobility is encouraged by their experiences in Australia in terms of their ability to form friendship networks with fellow international students rather than with locals, and their sense of belonging to the home nation through rapid developments in communication and media technologies.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error