Back to

The Effects of Transnational Mobility on Youth Transitions

The Effects of Transnational Mobility on Youth Transitions

Young people increasingly migrate abroad for work and education, and Australia is a significant hub for sending and receiving. Migration and education policies encourage this mobility, which is expected to provide youth with enhanced life chances and competitive skills. However, very little research examines its effects on young people’s transitions: that is, its impact on their establishment of ongoing social and familial ties, capacity for engaged citizenship and sustained belonging, and efforts to make adult identities and imagine and enact longer term plans and life trajectories.

This project thus investigates how transnational mobility affects young people’s ability to not only achieve desirable qualifications and livelihoods, but to be connected and engaged in their social and civic worlds as these become more dispersed spatially and less predictable temporally. It suggests that youth and migrancy are no longer straightforward states of transition, and proposes that old frameworks of sequential passaging towards adulthood and settlement need to be rethought with conceptual tools that can capture more complex and less fixed routes that characterise young lives on the move.

Through a mixed methods longitudinal study, including 3 waves of surveys with a large sample of mobile youth, and supported by biographical case studies, the project explores how youth (aged 18-30) from various cultural backgrounds (including British, Chinese, Indian and Italian) moving in and out of Australia manage mobility and develop economic, social and civic benefits for themselves and the broader community.​


Associate Professor Loretta Baldassar, University of Western Australia

Dr Shanthi Robertson, Western Sydney University


This project is funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant Scheme: DP170100180


Looking to partner with Australia's leading social sciences 
and humanities research institute?

If you are interested in partnering or studying with us – we're keen to hear from you.