The motivation of studying abroad among international students under COVID-19 : a literature review

Ching Yi Cherry CHEUNG (Presenter), Guoguo KE (Presenter), Pui Yee SIU (Presenter)

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsPresentation


The global pandemic has dramatically impacted numerous exchange programmes and international studies in the higher education sector, and it has also brought severe disruptions to mobility worldwide. According to the UNESCO study (2021), international mobility has taken a significant hit and severely affected international students.
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the interest of international students in studying abroad is varied among different countries. Recent studies from Lingnan University (2021) and IE University Mobility Research (2021) reveal Chinese and European students’ interest in studying abroad has remained low in the current global scenario. Contrary, studies conducted by Zoom Abroad (Nakhate, 2021) and Leverage Edu (Stacey, 2021) have shown that a relatively higher percentage of Indian students are still keen to go abroad to pursue their higher education for a better career future. To better understand the motivation of the international students to study abroad under the pandemic, this study adopts a systematic literature review to examine and compare the factors that influence the motivation of studying abroad before and during the COVID-19. This study reviews over 100 pieces of literature regarding the motivation to study abroad among international students and finds that health, safety, and career development are the key three factors affecting students’ motivation to study abroad under COVID-19. Recommendations of improving disease prevention measures and strengthening internship programmes are provided to the higher education administrators and policymakers to optimise the study abroad experiences that create additional value for students.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2021
EventChina and Higher Education 2021 Conference - Hong Kong Session: Education and SDGs: Promoting Quality Education for All - Lingnan University , Tuen Mun, Hong Kong
Duration: 6 Dec 20216 Dec 2021


ConferenceChina and Higher Education 2021 Conference - Hong Kong Session
Abbreviated title#ChinaHE21
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
CityTuen Mun
Internet address


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