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School-aged children and decisions for studying abroad in Canada

Merli Tamtik (Department of Educational Administration, Foundations and Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 8 July 2019




The purpose of this paper is to examine parental and students’ decisions regarding participating in K-12 level study abroad programs in Manitoba, Canada.


The study reports on data collected through document analysis and semi-structured interviews with 18 international students and 14 parents.


The findings suggest that the key factors influencing decisions are perceptions of enhanced career prospects, changing global environments and broadened post-secondary education choices. Country-specific factors include quality and safety of the learning environment, multiculturalism and reputation associated with the country and people.

Research limitations/implications

The participants were primarily students and parents from the EU countries associated primarily with horizontal mobility. Experiences of students from the main sending countries (China, South Korea and Japan) might differ.

Practical implications

The results are relevant to educational managers in designing high-quality international programs and recruitment agents.


The study adds important empirical evidence to the limited research that has been conducted on study abroad experiences at the K-12 level. It is one of the first in the Canadian context. It provides unique perspectives in USA and Canada comparisons for study abroad of school-aged children.



The author would like to thank research assistants Donovan Alexander and Erin Mitchell for their contributions to the data collection.


Tamtik, M. (2019), "School-aged children and decisions for studying abroad in Canada", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 33 No. 5, pp. 1052-1064.



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