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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Publication details

Moskal, M. (2020). Gendered differences in international graduates’ mobility, identity and career development. Social & Cultural Geography 21(3): 421-440.

Author(s) from Durham


Although there is an abundance of research on international students’ experiences of adapting to a new learning and living environment in their receiving countries and at universities abroad, their post-study transitions have rarely been studied. This paper reports primary research on Asian international postgraduate students, following their graduation and return home and their considerations of how their study experience and feelings on return relate to their imagined future plans. In theoretical considerations of the role of the students’ mobility and their identity capital in the broader process of becoming and personal development, Côté’s identity capital model helps identify notable resource differences among international postgraduates. The analyses focus on how the postgraduates perceived the role of their educational mobility, what their experiences meant to them as well as their range of passive and active approaches to personal growth and life projects. The gender perspective seems to be particularly important in relation to post-study transitions, career development and trajectories. The discourse of return is related to becoming an adult, but this process is different for females and males. Male postgraduates seem to enjoy greater freedom in developing professional careers, whereas females more often face greater challenges to career development, curtailed by family pressures and social conventions.

School of Education