Educational Migrants, ICTs and Socio-Spatial Relationships: Establishing Presence from a Distance

Hilje Van Der Horst*, Jarkyn Shadymanova, Chizu Sato

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Previous research on transnational migration and information and communication technologies (ICTs) demonstrated how ICTs shape transnational social relationships. What remains less explored is how ICTs shape spatial dimensions of such relationships. Also, international educational migrants constitute a substantial part of transnational migration flow, yet their everyday lives are not well studied. Building upon material semiotic scholarship, we examine how ICTs shape socio-spatial dimensions of transnational relationships in the lives of educational migrants and the impacts that such relationships have on their everyday lives. This research is based on the empirical exploration of 21 in-depth interviews with educational migrants who came from Central Asian and African countries to the Netherlands. We show that spatial relationships, such as co-presence and distance, are not naturally ‘given’ but instead enacted in heterogeneous communication practices of educational migrants and these relationships produce both enabling and constraining effects on their everyday lives.
Original languageEnglish
Article number002190961882527
JournalJournal of Asian and African Studies
Issue number4
Early online date1 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


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