/ WP4

Lived Experiences of Migration


WP4 focuses on the ‘lived’ experiences of migration. Migration analyses usually provide a cross-section of the outcomes of migrants once they have reached their destination. Mobility is, however, a complex and dynamic process and many decisions are made before and along the journey from sending to receiving country. Yet, our knowledge of these decisions and how they are influenced by individual, contextual and institutional factors is currently limited (Bauer et al 1999).

In reality, migration is driven by a combination of motivations. These attendant challenges need to be met by a variety of policy approaches (Penninx, Spencer and Van Haar 2008). Mobility experiences could be of particular relevance to the study of the labour market choices and adaptation of female migrants who typically consider a greater variety of factors both pre and in the process of migration than male migrants (Curran and Saguy 2013, Kofman et al 2013) which further strengthens the gender focus in GEMM.


Using qualitative methodology of focus groups and in-depth interviews, WP4 fills this important gap. Considering the importance that is placed on the competition for highly-skilled migrants, it is necessary to seek a better understanding of the assessments that migrants make of the receiving context – in terms of the climate of reception and levels of discrimination by employers, of the transferability of their own human capital and the success with which they will be admitted and encouraged to stay.

We provide much needed insight into the migration process that carries significant policy implications about managing mobility successfully. It builds on the trends overviewed in the other work packages and comments on the salience of climate of reception and institutional provisions for prospective and current migrants. This analysis will further our knowledge of the competitive edge that European Union countries can offer compared to other regions in the world.

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