Location and Education: Transnational Strategies among Swedish Students in New York in the Late 1990s

Mikael Borjesson
On the basis of a survey and a series of interviews carried out in 1998, this article atlempts to sort out Swedish students' educational, professional, social, economic, and cultural gains associated with type of educational institution and geographical Location of their studies. The region which was studied, the Northeastern U.S., includes a large number of vel)' distinguished educational institutions as well as if is one of the most economically, culturally, and politically importa/1f regions
more » ... in the world. The types of institutions attended by the Swedish studentsfo/low certain logics. The most sought-after and prestigious institutions had an overrepresentation of students with large amounts of different types of capitals (cultural, educational, econorn.ic, and social), while the most dominated institutions on the American educational market, such as the least competitive universities and the community colleges, ath·acted students with significantly smaller resources. Howeve1; we do not see the same degree of ho111ology between the concentration of resources in the geographical space and the different characteristics of the students. In fact, the students with fewer resources most strongly preferred the most important and powerful region, the New York Metropolitan Area. Thus it seems that the more resourceful students invested in relatively safe options, that is, the most prestigious seats of learni11g, while students from more modest backgrounds and with less successjitl educational careers were referred to more uncertain alternatives, either in the form o.f studies at institutions with less prestige, where the value o,f the diplomas are limited, or at places where the competition is severe.