Accepted paper:

Chasing a global life: female educational migration from Russia to Vienna


Asya Zaitceva

Paper short abstract:

The present paper critically examines female educational migration from post-Soviet Russia towards Western European countries (as exemplified by Austria).

Paper long abstract:

One of the least discussed legacies of communism refers to the memory of how bureaucratically difficult it had been to change one's place of residence. By turning relocation "abroad", with reference to so-called developed Western countries, into an exclusive privilege, communism made it desirable and synonymous with a prized social success (Krastev and Holmes 2019). For present-day Russia, incorporation in transnational migration flow is a new trend as the country commonly experiences domestic move. Even though travelling "abroad" has become less privileged, a Russian passport still provides little space for international mobility. Under these circumstances educational migration, i.e., relocation to a target country by means of a student visa, performs as an opted-for option mostly for Russian middle-class households and prones to assume a "feminine face", implying an increasing number of married and single women with children who not only trigger decision-making process but oft serve as mediators towards family legalisation in the desirable context. In order to investigate this I will focus on the case of Russian female students who come to Vienna with their families (or just with children) not only to study but also to settle down there. In the shed of empirical data on female student visa holders in Vienna, I would assume that it is an imaginary of residence "abroad" as a life-changing enterprise extending a personal "space of possibles" (Marginson 2014) both for a woman and for the children which could perform as crucial in understanding present-day transnational migration from a postsocialistic context.

panel P071
Facts, myths and multi-realities on female migration