Card image cap
Card image cap

Migration for Studies Among Quebec CEGEP Students: Adaptation Challenges, Desire for Autonomy, and Parental Attachment

Éric Richard, Julie Mareschal

This text concerns Quebec Cégep students who migrate for study purposes. Its aim is to determine the role played by the migrant’s family and original environment throughout this migration process, involving as it does a fourfold adaptation to a new educational system, life away from the family home, city life, and a constantly changing social network. For these young people, who face new adaptive challenges, underlined by an obvious desire for independence, their family and original environment continue to be indisputably important anchorage points. To fully understand this phenomenon, one needs to determine the migratory path trodden by these young people, paying particular attention to the transformation of their social network and to the structuring of the relationship between their original environment and their host territory. One then realizes that mobility is an integral element in the lifestyle of these young student migrants. They see such mobility as part of a socialization process, as a rite of passage to adulthood, initiated when they move into higher education. The loss of spatial cohesion with their family and their original environment, confronts them with the concerns and responsibilities of adult life, and thus of autonomous development. One has no choice then but to realize that their identification and attachment to their host territories, even though they will permanently affect their lives, are not absolute and, therefore, these student migrants will develop a range of socio-affective, temporary and labile anchorages.