HomeFrom pre-professional mobility abroad to international professional mobility

HomeFrom pre-professional mobility abroad to international professional mobility

From pre-professional mobility abroad to international professional mobility

Des mobilités pré-professionnelles à l'étranger vers des mobilités professionnelles internationales ?

Dalla mobilità preprofessionale all'estero alla mobilità professionale internazionale?

Von der vorberuflichen Auslandsmobilität zur beruflichen Mobilität auf internationaler Ebene?

De la movilidad preprofesional en el extranjero a la movilidad profesional internacional

Issues, courses and strategies from various key players

Enjeux, parcours et stratégies des divers acteurs

Sfide, percorsi e strategie dei vari attori

Herausforderungen, Wege und Strategien der verschiedenen Akteure

Retos, recorridos y estrategias de los distintos actores

*  *  *

Published on Wednesday, March 04, 2020


The multidisciplinary peer-reviewed Journal of International Mobility, published by PUF and led by Agence Erasmus+ France / Education Formation, brings together scientific papers related to all aspects of international mobility in the context of education and training in Europe and around the world. The journal aims to improve understanding of the issues, conditions and impact of mobility in order to encourage its consideration by the researchers and political decision-makers who have the authority to support it. The special edition will focus on: “From pre-professional mobility abroad to international professional mobility: Issues, courses and strategies from various key players”


Journal of International Mobility – Moving for Education, Training and Research


The multidisciplinary peer-reviewed Journal of International Mobility, published by PUF and led by Agence Erasmus+ France / Education Formation, brings together scientific papers related to all aspects of international mobility in the context of education and training in Europe and around the world. The journal aims to improve understanding of the issues, conditions and impact of mobility in order to encourage its consideration by the researchers and political decision-makers who have the authority to support it.

The agency is launching its eighth call for papers for a special edition coordinated by Yamina Bettahar (Research professor at the University of Lorraine) and Aline Gohard-Radenkovic (Research professor at the University of Fribourg).

The special edition will focus on: “From pre-professional mobility abroad to international professional mobility: Issues, courses and strategies from various key players”

We are also accepting miscellaneous articles about international mobility for education and training in Europe and around the world. These proposals can pertain to several disciplinary fields: sociology, education sciences, history, geography, anthropology, economics, language teaching, etc.

Two other sections are also open to proposals for papers: reading notes and a section on case studies (see details below).


  • Yamina Bettahar (University of Lorraine, France)
  • Aline Gohard-Radenkovic, (University of Fribourg, Switzerland)


The phenomenon of international pre-professional mobility 1 , in the form of internships with companies or industries, is relatively old (Caspard, 1998)2 and yet little research has been carried out in this area (Tyurina, 2017). However, this type of mobility is continually increasing. It involves study programmes during preparatory studies and Master’s degrees (in grandes écoles and universities), as well as international3 mobility programmes for PhD and post-doctoral students, which is of great interest since they should prepare these audiences for professional mobility.

Without going back as far as the founding periods, in the 1980s we observe the emergence of new forms of international trips while the 1990s marked the unprecedented expansion of new types of mobility, including pre- professional mobility4 within higher education institutions and international organisations. While within the context of globalisation, we still see traditional mobility for work, study abroad periods, escape from natural disasters or political persecution, we can see that new types of individual mobility have taken shape since the 2000s, which go hand in hand with the introduction of new migration policies and the assertion of new approaches to mobility (Gohard-Radenkovic and Veillette, 2015 and 2016).

Pre-professional mobility and transnational professional mobility are an integral part of these new approaches.

Today, these types of mobility are affected by the need for international professionalisation. This means ensuring that those who have completed the higher training system are prepared to adapt to the different types of skill sets they must use and the new work situations that now go beyond the national framework of pre-employability and employability. In light of this, professional communities point to a set of needs and skills. These types of mobility have now emerged as the “key lever” for economic development and “a career accelerator” both nationally and internationally. They are designed to be the meeting points par excellence for people, the circulation of goods and products, as well as exchanges of knowledge and expertise, processes referred to as “professionalisation” (Barbier, 2001, Brucy, 2013) and “interculturation” (Guerraoui, 2009). In this sense, these types of mobility represent a critical issue for the public action of national, European and international leaders. In an increasingly globalised world, they have become a major concern for companies that relocate abroad.

According to Marc-Henry Soulet (2008), specialists who study migration and mobility have observed unprecedented intensification and diversification of travel, multiplied by virtual technologies and the acceleration of transport and further strengthened by a “mobility injunction” that seems to apply to all levels of society. We are all potential candidates for mobility.

Professional mobility has also not been a favourite topic among researchers5. A few studied the topic in the late 1990s and early 2000s, including Yanaprasart (2002, 2006, 2007) and Stalder (2010), focusing on the underlying aspects of professional immersion abroad and communication with foreign counterparts in the context of international companies. These researchers sought to identify issues, motivations, backgrounds, representations, practices, strategies, relationships with others and oneself that introduce intercultural and sociolinguistic challenges in corporate environments and international organisations, which are de facto plurilingual and pluricultural settings.

In the midst of a diversification of situations, the same observation is made: the bipolar journey between here and there is becoming less common and the initial university mobility leads to a second, third or more professional mobility experience. To describe this phenomenon of multiplurality, Zarate and Gohard-Radenkovic (2004) proposed the term “grammar of complexity” in their analysis not of mobility situations or mass migration in the singular, but “mobilities” in plural form (Gohard-Radenkovic, 2007), thus creating more porous limits between migration, expatriation and mobility.

Furthermore, two concepts emerged to improve our understanding of this complexification of the journeys of individuals and groups. The first was “mobility capital” from Murphy-Lejeune (2003)6 referring to prior linguistic and cultural capital7, educational background, psychological profile, past and present mobility experiences, skills acquired during this mobility (Eyebiyi, 2019), reinvestment or failure to reinvest these skills, etc. The second was that of “journeys” rather than “trajectories” (overly predictable paths from one point to another), because it retraces these journeys in the form of “maps” that are symbolic and identity-based, as well as geographical and spatial (Zarate and Gohard-Radenkovic, op. cit.).

Finally, another operative concept emerged, that of “co-actors of mobility” (Gohard-Radenkovic, op.cit., 2007), which are often ignored or even hidden, yet must be taken into account because they are a part of mobility. These co-actors are all those that work with these mobile audiences by welcoming them, providing assistance, advice, resource “management”, social integration (especially through language), helping them settle in with their stay, departure and return, providing information, training, remuneration, protection, (re)integration into the school environment, academic and professional setting, etc.

The role of these co-actors is just as essential in organising pre-professional internships.

Again, we find little research on mobility aimed at developing students’ professional skills8 despite the fact that these immersion internship practices in a foreign company or industry have existed since the early 20th century (Bettahar, 2009, 2019; Bettahar and Guthleben, 2019). The recent surge in the topic of international mobility and the internationalisation of the academic market as a structuring element for higher education policies led to the issue of scientific circulation for young or experienced researchers becoming an essential part of the long-term process of pre-professional and professional integration. These new types of mobility can take on a variety of forms and can be addressed using an array of approaches, whether it be during the major stages that mark the process of socialisation, training and academic learning (studies, internships) or during post-doctoral employment, since in the example of French higher education institutions, “professionalisation before professionalisation” undeniably exists (Aghulon, Convert, Gugenheim and Jakubowski, 2012).

Many universities, motivated by the recognition for their degrees, diversify their training programmes (often in English!) and strongly advise students to undertake an internship abroad to ensure an “added value” for their professional integration. These pre-professional mobility policies, advocated by European institutions and international organisations since the late 1990s and early 2000s9, were intended to ensure the flexibility and employability of younger generations (and future elite), helping to develop their skills, expand their networks, with a view to future professional mobility in optimal conditions.

In numerous sectors (e.g. engineering sciences), internships therefore became a mandatory (and inevitable) step in the training programme, whether through worker internships during the preparation cycle for grandes écoles, as introductory work placements, or at the end of university studies (Master). This work placement allows students to discover the company, and put the knowledge and soft skills they have acquired in class into practice. Experiential learning in an international company offers an excellent opportunity for students to build their social and professional capital, as well as network and facilitate their professional integration at the end of their studies (Giret and Issehnane, 2012). These types of mobility also attract researchers at the start of their careers, encouraged by their institutions and academic policies, to create bilateral inter-university agreements and international networks for scientific collaboration supported by agencies that fund projects or programmes10.

The reality, however, give less cause for optimism. The other side of the coin is already visible for these “all- mobility” policies, which can lead to inconsistent processes, such as the immobilisation of candidates for mobility (Gohard-Radenkovic, 2017). The proliferation of fixed-term contracts is becoming a significant feature of contemporary academic markets. The French example is an emblematic one, since French workers are the most mobile in Europe. However, this is also the case for other countries such as Italy and Switzerland, where studies have been carried out in this area in recent years (Goastellec, 2016), through the study of post-doctoral jobs (Bataille and Sautier, 2019). Over the past twenty years, the number of researchers employed via post-doctoral contracts rapidly increased in European and even North American higher education and research institutions. PhD graduates seeking employment, or young “postdocs”, move to other European countries or elsewhere in the world to find work they cannot find in their home country or to take advantage of a first international mobility experience before finding a more stable position. In reality, we must realise, along with others, that “this proliferation of postdoctoral contracts is part of a general trend towards the ‘de-standardisation’ of academic careers” (Enders and Musselin, 2008).

Therefore, these mobility policies cannot be separated from a more global phenomenon, that of a scarcity of stable positions offered by various organisations, illustrated in the proliferation of fixed-term contracts and lower job security in general for these graduates. The research cited above on these new key players clearly demonstrates the academic journey and paths to employment. The gaps between the euphoric depiction of mobility and socio- economic realities have been analysed by Ferreira (2015), Capuroscio, (2015), Keller-Gerber (2016), Bolzman and Guissé (2017a and 2017b), Olatuyo (2017), Bernela and Bertrand (2018), Guissé and Bolzman (2019)11.

We ask that contributors address one or more of the issues mentioned above related to medium or long-term immersion through internships with a company, industry or research & development laboratory that is mandatory for the training programme (Master, MBA, PhD and post-doctoral), carried out as part of Erasmus+, or within the framework of inter-university agreements or projects funded by national or international scientific bodies, such as research centres or institutes.

Since we are dealing with complex and unprecedented processes, we ask that authors define the pre-professional mobility, placing it in its context, including specific political, social, linguistic, cultural and economic issues, and identify the new mobility dynamics of the key players and co-actors in the professional circles created by these processes nationally, internationally and across borders. We also ask contributors to identify the issues and implications of this mobility for the future careers of participants and the mobility’s impact and return on investment (or lack thereof) for the institutions, organisations, and the overall economy and society. We suggest investigating existing links between pre-professional and professional mobility, the connections, roadblocks, exchanges back and forth, profits and losses, contributions, gaps, etc.

In order to analyse the diverse range of situations, issues, individual journeys, difficulties, and strategies, the methodology for contributions can target or combine specific expertise from the authors’ fields: quantitative approaches (questionnaire-based surveys, statistics, etc.), qualitative approaches (textual or discursive analysis of regulatory and legislative documents, semi-structured interviews, ethnography of communication, real-life accounts, etc.) or hybrid and multi-modal approaches combining several methods and perspectives.

Procedures for submitting articles

Please email your papers (full text) (Word document) to revue@agence-erasmus.fr

before 15 May 2020.

Each paper will be reviewed anonymously by two members of the reading committee and each applicant will receive a response. Following assessment, four responses are possible: article accepted, article accepted with request for minor changes, request for major changes, article rejected. In the event of a request for major changes, you will be asked to return the article with a page explaining the changes.

Languages accepted: French, English, Spanish, Italian and German. Deadline for submitting papers: 15 May 2020

Response sent to authors: July 2020

Publication: December 2020

Article format

Number of characters: Maximum of 33,000, including footnotes, spaces, the abstract, keywords and biographical references for the article.

Font: Times New Roman 12. Line spacing: Multiple 1.15 The proposals must include:

  • First and last names of the author or authors (capitalising only the first letter of the first and last name),
  • A descriptive title, centred
  • A summary in the language of the article (French, English, German, Spanish, Italian) and a translation in English or French (approximately 1,500 characters including spaces)
  • 3 to 5 keywords,
  • a short biography of the author in the language of the article and an English translation,
  • the bibliographical references for the article

Bibliographic and digital references:

They should be listed at the end of the article, in alphabetical order.


They should appear at the bottom of the page with a footnote reference in the text. They must be typed in size 10 Times New Roman font.


Quotations (author or excerpt from interviews) must be inserted in the text using quotation marks.


Italics should be used to emphasise foreign words or expressions.

Iconographic documents

Iconographic documents may be attached to the articles. Images must be in JPEG format.

Ongoing calls for papers

The journal also accepts papers for a variety of categories, outside the call for thematic papers:

Miscellaneous category

This category features articles on a wide range of topics related to the study of international mobility for education and training. The papers can come from a variety of disciplines: sociology, economics, geography, learning sciences, anthropology, semiology, history, etc

“Case studies”

The “Case studies” category helps strengthen links between theory and practice through papers from experts in the field of mobility for education and training. This category can include presentations of case studies, teaching experiments, specific tools, etc.

Maximum of 33,000 characters, including footnotes, spaces, summary, keywords, and bibliographical references. The format of the article must comply with the journal’s editorial standards.

“Reading notes” category

The “Reading notes” category gives contributors the possibility to summarise and review a recent book. The notes must describe the book’s contributions and limits.The purpose is not only to present a summary of the content but to offer critical analysis of the positions presented, the problematisation of the subject, the methodology chosen and the results. The notes must also compare the book with the existing literature and topics featured in JIM.

Maximum of 10,000 characters, including spaces and footnotes.

The format of the text must comply with the journal’s editorial standards.


1 This refers to temporary periods of training, work placement or internships conducted in the European Union or abroad. During these periods, students can apply knowledge acquired during their studies, gain experience and practical knowledge daily tasks in the workplace, and strengthen their linguistic abilities. Pre-professional mobility should also allow students to diversify their educational path in a customised manner, gain a multicultural perspective, become open to transnational issues and develop a professional network. After completing a university degree or equivalent, graduates should be able to take part in circulatory mobility opportunities. However, the goals of these immersion experiences may of course vary from one context to the next.

2 See Caspard, P. (1998). Les « changes » linguistiques d'adolescents. Une pratique éducative, XVIIe-XIXe siècles. SIHFLES – document 21. These internships took place over long immersion periods (one year) at factories, with craftsmen, or shopkeepers, where the trainee learned professional knowledge and skills in the language of their neighbouring region, either in German-speaking or French-speaking Switzerland.

4 We will return to their definition later.

5 They are primarily economists, sociologists, managers, human resources directors, and statisticians.

6 E. Murphy-Lejeune created the concept of “mobility capital” based on the sociology of Georg Simmel.

7 See the article by Hugues Draelants and Magali Ballatore (2014): https://journals.openedition.org/rfp/4430, which analyses the links between cultural capital, the fragmentation of the school system and the internationalisation of mobility.

8 Since the late 1980s, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been aware of the importance of preparing these foreign students and young researchers who apply for academic and pre-professional mobility, by providing them with scholarships and sending specialists trained in French with specific objectives (FOS language programmes) and intercultural communication in international settings to the countries requesting this professional training. See Gohard-Radenkovic, A. (2002). Furthermore, these pre-professional trips abroad have long existed for students in North America and northern Europe. They are part of a university tradition that inspired the Erasmus+ programmes.

9 Implemented via new human resources management methods.

10 Examples include France’s Agence Nationale de Recherche (ANR), the European Science Foundation (ESF), the EU’s Erasmus-Mundus or the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

11 See JIM volume no.°5 (2017), in which the authors specifically address the uphill battle of graduates from foreign universities who want to remain in the country where they completed their studies and become integrated in the local socio- economic fabric.

Bibliography (only authors cited in the description)

Aghulon, C., Convert, B., Gugenheim, F. et Jakubowski, S. (2012) (dirs.). La Professionnalisation pour une université, Paris : L’Harmattan.

Barbier, J.-M. (2001). La Formation des adultes : crise et recomposition, coll. « Questions de recherche en éducation », Paris, INRP.

Bernela, B., Bertrand, I. (2018). « Faire carrière ici ou là. Les trajectoires d’accès à l’emploi des jeunes docteurs », Géographie, économie, Société, 4, Vol. 20, pp. 395-421.

Bettahar, Y. (dir.), (2019). Les Circulations internationales étudiantes d’hier à aujourd’hui, Nancy : PUN-MSH Lorraine.

Bettahar, Y. (2009). « La formation des élites techniques du Maghreb dans les écoles d’ingénieurs françaises depuis les années 1960. L’exemple des élèves marocains à l’ENSEM de Nancy », in Bettahar, Y. et Birck, F. (2009), Étudiants étrangers en France. L’émergence de nouveaux pôles d’attraction au début du XXe siècle, Nancy, Presses Universitaires de Nancy.

Bettahar, Y. & Guthleben, D. (2019). « Les circulations scientifiques depuis le début du XXe siècle : nouvelles perspectives d’étude », Philosophia Scientiæ, 23-3, novembre 2019.

Bolzman, C. et Guissé, I. (2017a). Étudiants du Sud et internationalisation des hautes écoles : entre illusions et espoirs. Un parcours du combattant vers la qualification et l'emploi, Institut d’Études sociales à Genève : Collection du Centre de recherche sociale t. 13, Format Kindle.

Brucy, G. (2013). « L’apprentissage ou… les apprentissages », Revue française de pédagogie, 2013/2, (n° 183), pp. 15-25.

Capuroscio, M. L. (2015). « Portrait d’un nouveau type de migrant au XXIème siècle. Parcours de trois jeunes femmes en Suisse : quand le pays d’études devient un pays d’immigration ou vice-versa », in Gohard-Radenkovic,

A. et Veillette, J. (dir.), De nouveaux espaces dans de nouvelles logiques migratoires ? Entre mobilités et immobilités des acteurs, Cahiers internationaux de sociolinguistique, 2015/2 (Vol. 8), pp. 181-200.

Caspard, P. (1998). Les « changes » linguistiques d'adolescents. Une pratique éducative, XVIIe-XIXe siècles. SIHFLES

– document 21, pp. 111-129.

Draelants, H. et Ballatore, M. (2014). « Capital culturel et reproduction scolaire. Un bilan critique », Revue française de pédagogie - Recherches en éducation n° 186, pp. 115-142 : htpps://journals.openedition.org/rfp/4430

Enders, J., Musselin, C., 2008. “Back to the Future? The Academic Professions in the 21st Century”, in Centre for Educational Research and Information, Higher Education to 2030, 1, Paris: OECD, pp. 125-150

Eyebiyi, E.P. (2019). « Des pôles d'excellence dans les Suds ? Mobilités étudiantes et spécialisation des médecins béninois au Sénégal », in Bettahar, Y. (dir.), (2019), Les circulations étudiantes internationales d’hier à aujourd’hui, Nancy : PUN-MSH Lorraine.

Giret, J. F. et Issehnane, S. (2012). « L’effet de la qualité des stages sur l’insertion professionnelle des diplômés de l’enseignement supérieur », Revue française des sciences sociales – Formation Emploi, 117 / janvier-mars, pp. 29- 47.

Goastellec, G. (2016). « La mobilité internationale : une qualité des carrières et des marchés académiques en Europe ? », Journal of international Mobility, n° 4, pp. 171-188.

Gohard-Radenkovic, A. (2002). « Quelles compétences pour le futur médiateur culturel en contexte professionnel international ? », Revue du CERELC, Culture et communication en milieu professionnel interculturel, dir. ISANI, S. Centre de recherche appliquée à l’enseignement des langues et des cultures, Uni Grenoble III, pp. 65-78.

Gohard-Radenkovic, A. (2007). « Comment analyser les processus identitaires dans la mobilité », Igitur, Roma3, Arnica Editrice, pp. 43-58.

Gohard-Radenkovic, A. et Veillette, J. (dirs.) (2015 et 2016). De nouveaux espaces dans de nouvelles logiques migratoires ? Entre mobilités et immobilités des acteurs, Cahiers internationaux de sociolinguistique, 2015/2 (Vol. 8) et 2016/1 (Vol. 9).

Guerraoui, Z. (2009). « De l'acculturation à l'interculturation : réflexions épistémologiques », L'Autre 2009/2 (Volume. 10), pp. 195-200.

Keller-Gerber, A. (2016). D’étudiant étranger à travailleur étranger hautement qualifié en Suisse. « Être dit » dans la presse et « (se) dire » dans les récits d’établissement, Bern : Transversales / Peter Lang,

Murphy-Lejeune, E. (2003). L'Étudiant européen voyageur : Un nouvel étranger, Paris : Essais/Crédif

Olatuyo, A.O. (2017). “Money drain, the diaspora remittance issues and higher education in Nigeria”, Journal of International Mobility n° 5, Mobilités internationales: brain drain, brain gain ? Évolution des situations et des conceptions, pp. 13-42.

Soulet, M.-H. (2008). « Contre-point », dans Chap. 3 Mobilités et parcours (coord. Par Gohard-Radenkovic et Murphy-Lejeune), in Zarate, G., Lévy, D. et Kramsch, C. (éds), Le Précis du plurilinguisme et du pluriculturalisme, Paris : Éditions des Archives contemporaines.

Stalder, P. (2010). Pratiques imaginées et images des pratiques plurilingues. Stratégies de communication dans les réunions en milieu professionnel international, Bern : Transversales / Peter Lang.

Tyurina, A. (2017). « Complexité des dynamiques professionnelles et individuelles de familles françaises en Russie », Journal of International Mobility n° 5, Mobilités internationales : brain drain, brain gain ? Évolution des situations et des conceptions, pp. 115-132.

Yanaprasart, P. (2002). Dimension socioculturelle dans la communication professionnelle. Le cas du contexte franco-thaï, Bern : Transversales / Peter Lang.

Yanaprasart, P. (2006). L'expatrié, un acteur social de la mobilité internationale. Cadres entre la Suisse et la France, Bern : Transversales / Peter Lang.

Yanaprasart, P. et Gohard-Radenkovic, A. (2007). « Le rôle des conjoints dans l’intégration socioprofessionnelle des expatriés », in Guenette, A-M., Giauque, D. et Sardas, J-C. (coord.) Comprendre et organiser : quels apports des SHS ? L’Harmattan, pp. 197-208.

Zarate, G. et Gohard-Radenkovic, A. (dirs.), (2004). « Introduction : Identités cartographiées », Reconnaissance des compétences interculturelles : de la grille à la carte, Sèvres : Cahiers du CIEP.


  • Friday, May 15, 2020


  • éducation, formation, mobilité, education, training, mobility


  • Laurence Liégeois
    courriel : revue [at] agence-erasmus [dot] fr

Information source

  • Laurence Liégeois
    courriel : revue [at] agence-erasmus [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« From pre-professional mobility abroad to international professional mobility », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, March 04, 2020, https://doi.org/10.58079/14kq

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