Why study abroad?

I’ve just had a conference paper proposal accepted and so have been thinking in some detail about study abroad, the subject of my paper. The conference is called ‘Micro-level analysis of well-being in Central Asia’ and will be held at the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin next May.

My paper will be looking at the impact of studying abroad on the well-being of Tajik nationals. ‘Well-being’ can be defined both as an ambition to make one’s life better, as well as the steps a person takes to help them achieve their ambition.

My interest in study abroad tendencies has two roots:

  1. In particular, from observing study abroad motivations and trends, as well as the impact studying abroad has on colleagues and friends from Central Asia;
  2. More generally, from working with international students at universities in London and Oxford.

So when I found out about the conference it seemed like a great opportunity to explore study abroad in more detail. I will shortly start doing interviews to examine the lifecycle of the educational experience:

  • Motivations for study abroad
  • Prior to departure, perceptions of the impact of study abroad on well-being
  • Experiences gained whilst studying abroad (e.g. process of studying, living in and adapting to a new country)
  • Post-study abroad decisions: do students return to Tajikistan? Why/why not? What qualities/experience/skills/values do they take from their experience of studying abroad and how does this impact on and change their level of well-being?
  • The impact and perceptions of the educational experience of individuals for their families and communities

If you are from Tajikistan and you are studying abroad now, or have studied abroad, and would like to be interviewed for this study, I’d love to hear from you! Please leave me a comment here, or contact me via Facebook or LinkedIn.

I’ll be posting occasional updates on my study as it progresses. If you’d like to discuss any aspect of it in more detail, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

3 thoughts on “Why study abroad?

  1. Géza

    Hello Emma,

    Your blog have been mentioned by a friend of us and I’m happy to read your positive and optimistic post about CA. Although, maybe I do not share all the same feelings I saw in your writings, I am curious where you head and what your assumptions and conclusions are. Keep on!

    I am also interested in your research. Have you had any replies after you posted the above?
    I spent two years in Tajikistan and returned recently, and among other things I organized two researches/surveys during this period. If you are interested in any experience or you need some contacts or directions to find your interviewees, I would be happy to have a conversation.

    I didn’t find your email address, so I contact you here.

    Have a nice day,


    1. Dear Géza,
      Thanks for your message; it’s good to hear from you. I’m not sure I agree that the posts are positive and optimistic, especially with the Russia-Tajikistan power struggle going on at the moment!
      I will contact you by email so you have my address, and it would be good to learn more about your research and surveys.
      Thanks again for your interest!


  2. Pingback: Well-being in Central Asia conference « Emma Sabzalieva

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