In today’s world, international educational student exchanges are becoming increasingly important.Most researchers evaluate such exchanges as a positive phenomenon that allows young people to travel, get to know other countries, their culture, economy, and traditions, gain experience of socialization in another country, establish personal contacts. Such exchanges help to bridge the gap in the level of educational development in the world. In many countries, attracting international students brings significant benefits, which stimulate the improvement of education in general and individual universities.
It is believed that such exchanges also help establish a positive opinion about the recipient country, creating opportunities for it to spread its own social values in the world. Thus, international student exchanges are becoming an instrument of “soft power” in the foreign policy of states, and are a kind of manifestation of public diplomacy called educational diplomacy. All the above factors determine the fact that most of the world’s leading countries attach great importance to the internationalization of education, for which appropriate educational foundations have been established.
Ukraine has been a participant in the process of internationalization of education for about two decades. The country has a number of educational student exchange programs, organized and sponsored by the European Union and individual countries. Participants in international education are also those who study at their own expense. At the same time, it is known that for many countries, international education is a way to attract talented young migrants to the country, who, studying or graduating from a university, become a quality addition to the labor market. Some countries with demographic challenges are trying to fill demographic gaps through international education.
The study was conducted to establish the importance of international educational exchanges for Ukraine and its young citizens, especially in external programs for Ukrainian students. For us, the motives of studying abroad, choosing a country to study, including possible migration intentions. Also, the aim of the study is to find an answer to the question of the importance of international student exchanges as educational diplomacy for Ukraine.
Keywords: international student exchange, soft-power, educational exchange programmes, internationalisation of higher education, foreign students and creating a benign framework for their stay abroad.