‘You Need to Know Someone Who Knows Someone’: International Students’ Job Search Experiences

Keywords: Learning & Competencies, Employment, Wages, Unemployment & Rehabilitation, Gender, Ethnicity, Age and Diversity


The article analyzes how 31 international students (IS) entered the Finnish labor market as they graduated from Finnish universities. Despite a growing interest in international student migration (ISM), there are few studies that analyze the firsthand experiences of IS as they seek to enter the receiving-country labor markets as they graduate. This article contributes to the topic by showing how the interviewees of this study managed to enter the receiving-country labor markets, which are embedded in national, cultural, and institutional contexts that require context-bound knowledge of particular recruitment patterns.The contribution of the article lies in (1) providing new insights on an understudied topic: IS’ experiences of finding jobs in the country of graduation, and, in (2) constructing a theoretical framework for analyzing IS’ job search in the countries ofgraduation. More broadly, the article contributes to the studies on highly educated migrants’ labor market integration by shedding light on the experiences in a Nordic setting.

Author Biography

Rolle Alho, University of Helsinki


Academy of Finland’s postdoctoral researcher

How to Cite
Alho, R. (2020). ‘You Need to Know Someone Who Knows Someone’: International Students’ Job Search Experiences. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, 10(2). https://doi.org/10.18291/njwls.v10i2.120817