International graduate student retention: A study of international graduate/post graduate students in their 20s and 30s to identify the factors behind staying in or moving from Fredericton upon completion of their studies

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


University of New Brunswick


The number of international students coming to Canada has been increasing especially in bigger cities such as Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. This study aims to understand the reasons why international students in their 20s and 30s choose to stay or relocate from Fredericton to bigger cities in Canada upon completion of studies. The idea behind this study is to evaluate the mismatch between retention rate of international students and the role of various factors such as their age and marital status behind this decision. The primary research question is: Why do international students in their 20s and 30s stay or move away from Fredericton upon completion of their graduate studies? The literature review examines the reasons behind immigration and the experiences of students in bigger as well as lower population areas in Canada and elsewhere. The interview questions examine the career aspirations, family and community related ambitions, impact of local infrastructure, service facilities, and overall expectations of international students to stay or move away from Fredericton. The data collection consists of semi-structured interviews with international students aged between 20-39 years from nine different countries in seven different graduate degree programs. The results indicate a strong relationship exists between the age and the decision to settle in Fredericton. These findings provide key inputs for public policy in Canada and elsewhere on immigrant recruitment and retention.