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Feb 23, 2017 07:07 AM EST

International Students’ Concept of ‘Home’ Influence Future Career Plans, According To Study

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International students in the campus
A study by the University of British Columbia has found that the international students' concept of home influences their future plans after graduation.
(Photo : Getty Images/Marco Di Lauro )

A study conducted by the University of British Columbia has found that the perception of international university students about home has a significant impact on their future plans after graduation.

Cary Wu, the study author and a PhD candidate in UBC's department of sociology and an international student from China, said that a lot of research has already been done which is focused on where international students go to study but very few give emphasis on where they go and what their plans are after graduation. He also said that their research goes beyond the study of whether these students will stay or return, Science Daily reported.

The researchers have analyzed data from the interviews conducted among 200 international students from more than 50 countries. These students have attended UBC from 2006 to 2013. What they found was that students actually have four ways of thinking about home. They perceive home as a host, as ancestral, as cosmopolitan and as nebulous. These concepts or perceptions of home are the factors that shape their decisions to stay, or return or be open to the possibility of moving to a new place or to a place where they have already lived.

Wu's team believe that people tend to migrate because of a single factor, which could be a job offer or a family obligation, according to Phys.Org. Although these factors are important, he said that these are not enough because one of the major influences in their decision making process is the way they think about home, as it helps them determine where they will be looking for career opportunities and where they can establish connections and relationships.

Wu said that their study only goes to show that international students are not a monolithic groups, which means that they are diverse because their ideas of home are also diverse.

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