an exploration of the educational strategies of mobile students choosing to attend lesser known universities abroad
Over the past ten years the number of students who go abroad to pursue tertiary education has more than doubled, from 1, 9 million in 2000 to 4.1 million in 2010 (OECD 2012). This growing number of students studying abroad contributes to the overall flow of individuals and ideas across borders, and to the development of transnational elites. This is especially true for mobile students who attend “elite universities” in the USA, UK and France. As pointed out by sociologist Michael Börjesson (2005), an investment in an education at one of the American Ivy League universities or France’s Grand Ecoles, is not only an investment in a significant educational capital with global applicability, but also an investment in an institutionalized transnational social capital that stretches across most of the world. It is less clear to what extent this also applies to students who go abroad to attend international programs at lesser known universities in smaller European countries such as Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands where the national language is not one of the major world languages but where courses and educations are increasingly offered in English and where the educational structures are adapted to the Bologna model in order to ease mobility (at least within Europe). This paper which is based on some very preliminary findings from an ongoing research project exploring internationalization of university education in Denmark, discusses educational strategies of students attending internationalized English-medium educations at Denmark's second largest university.