Push-pull’s factors influencing exchange student’s destination choice for study abroad : A case study of the students at JIBS

University essay from Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, Företagsekonomi; Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, Företagsekonomi; Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, Företagsekonomi


‘Internationalisation of higher education’ is considered a significant issue in many countries.One effective way to achieve internationalisation is by having an exchange study program. Thisis something which has been promoted by universities all around the globe. It has been foundthat the experience of studying abroad is beneficial to the students. There has been a trend ofincreasing number of students going to study abroad. In Sweden, Jönköping InternationalBusiness School (JIBS) is one of the most internationalised business schools that promoteexchange studies extensively. To promote study abroad it is important to know what motivatesand influences the students to go on exchange. There has been previous research oninternationalisation and push-pull factors of student mobility which acted as a guideline for thisthesis. Thus it was appealing to study the reasons behind the phenomenon of students goingabroad for exchange studies.The purpose of this paper is to explore the push-pull factors influencing student’s destinationchoice for exchange study abroad. JIBS is the institution where the case study was conducted.The empirical data have been gathered by using a qualitative approach combining face-to-faceinterviews and focus groups with international exchange students and Swedish students. Toanalyse the findings, theories relating to marketing communications in service and productattribution were used.The results derived from the empirical findings show the push-pull factors which motivatestudents to go on exchange. The initial push factor is the promotion and encouragement tostudents for studying abroad by the university. Exchange studies helps to enhance students’personal development with intercultural communication, practicing language skills andtravelling. These skills and experiences add value to their CV.On the other hand the pull factors which the students take into consideration for deciding ontheir host countries and institutions are geographic location, weather, culture, and the economicand social position of the country. Living cost and the education system which includeslanguage used, courses offered, perceived image, communication and cooperation andrecommendations are factors influencing the choices of a student’s decision on the destinationfor studying abroad. The authors in this thesis summarised their findings in a model of pushpullfactors which is specialised only for exchange students. The process of considering thesefactors leads to the outcome of choosing the destination for studying abroad. The authorsbelieve the results of this study can be applied on other universities for further research andmay be appropriate for its own case to focus on areas where it needs to improve.ii

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