The Motivations of Exchange Students at Scandinavian Universities

Tim Caudery, Margrethe Petersen, Philip Shaw

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapport/proceedingBidrag til bog/antologiForskning


In Europe, exchange students increasingly travel to countries where they will use English, rather than the national language, as the medium of their instruction. Previous research has largely focussed on students of languages learning the language of their host countries. Here we report on a section of a project[1] on non-language students, intended to identify the motivational factors associated with exchange visits. A total of 194 exchange students spread across four host institutions, two in Sweden, two in Denmark, were interviewed. Language learning motivation varied, with high motivation generally for improving English but only three in ten expressing any interest in learning a new language. It is striking, however, that around four in ten subjects did not mention improving English as part of their motivation, even when prompted, suggesting that they think their English skills are already adequate for their needs. The motivations of the various actors in the exchange situation - students with different motivations, the EU, national governments, and educational institutions - are discussed, and it is suggested that they are not necessarily in harmony. Policy decisions need to reflect the needs of the various parties involved.

[1] Partly funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

TitelStudents, Staff and Academic Mobility in Higher Education
RedaktørerMike Byram, Fred Dervin
Antal sider17
ForlagCambridge Scholars Press
ISBN (Trykt)1-84718-603-3, 978-1-84718-603-4
StatusUdgivet - 2008


  • udvekslingsstuderende
  • Skandinavien
  • motiver
  • sprogindlæring


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