Decoding the educational travel decision: destinations, institutions and social influence

Catherine Lejealle, Brian King, Jean Michel Chapuis

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In a globalized world, the connection between studying abroad and career development has been widely recognized. This study analyses how students contemplating overseas study evaluate prospective destinations and institutions. It fills a knowledge gap by finding that students are pulled by both institutions and destinations and are subject to an internal push–destinations and hence tourism plays a mediating role in study abroad decision-making. The authors gathered primary data from inbound and outbound graduate students in Paris, France and used Structural Equation Modelling for the analysis. Drawing upon social influence theory, it was concluded that subjective norms are primarily derived from friends, family and online comments, rather than experts and rankings and influence internal push and destination pull, though not institutional pull. The strength of the mediation depends on whether the level of the pull motivation is higher or lower. The implications are discussed for multiple stakeholders including destination management organizations, higher education institutions and students and families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3107-3120
Number of pages14
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Decision process
  • push–pull theory
  • social influence theory
  • study abroad

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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