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Abstract

Studying in Hungary has become a new trend among Chinese students under the Belt and Road Initiative. The spectacular tripling of the growth of incoming Chinese students has influenced the number of international students in Hungary. In this paper, 26 in-depth narrative interviews with Chinese students in Hungary were conducted and analysed, employing the grounded theory method. This research reveals that beyond considerable uncertainty regarding future plans and career trajectories, three paths are open for Chinese students in Hungary. The largest group intends to return to China after graduation, although they have doubts concerning whether their acquired skills and knowledge can be utilised. The second group aims to find niche jobs, in which they can utilise their in-betweenness. Finally, a small proportion consciously builds their network and aims to remain in Hungary or Europe, engage in further studies or seek employment. The findings contribute to policymakers who support Chinese international educational mobility and to individual Chinese students that wish to widen their horizons and find alternative career paths.

Open access

Abstract

Studying in Hungary has become a new trend among Chinese students under the Belt and Road Initiative. The spectacular tripling of the growth of incoming Chinese students has influenced the number of international students in Hungary. In this paper, 26 in-depth narrative interviews with Chinese students in Hungary were conducted and analysed, employing the grounded theory method. This research reveals that beyond considerable uncertainty regarding future plans and career trajectories, three paths are open for Chinese students in Hungary. The largest group intends to return to China after graduation, although they have doubts concerning whether their acquired skills and knowledge can be utilised. The second group aims to find niche jobs, in which they can utilise their in-betweenness. Finally, a small proportion consciously builds their network and aims to remain in Hungary or Europe, engage in further studies or seek employment. The findings contribute to policymakers who support Chinese international educational mobility and to individual Chinese students that wish to widen their horizons and find alternative career paths.

Open access