Identity construction in a transnational environment: the case of young Ukrainian migrants in Poland



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After the political crisis struck Ukraine in 2014 and led to deterioration of its relations with Russia, new migration trends emerged in Ukraine. Within the following years migration of people from Ukraine to Poland has been growing exponentially. Along with growing number of workers arriving to Poland annually to find job on Polish job market, Poland gradually became Ukraine’s #1 education destination. From 2010 to 2019 the total number of Ukrainian students in Poland grew by 703%, whereas they constitute up to 50% of the total number of international students that come to Poland for study purposes. As young Ukrainians migrate to Poland at a very young age and enter their adulthood in migration, it is still unclear how they experience the migratory process, what factors pushed them into migration, how their identity and sense of belonging is formed within transnational spaces. This research makes an attempt to study the process of formation of identity and sense of belonging among teenagers based on the case study of young Ukrainian migrants who moved to Poland at the age of 14-17 years old to study at Polish education institutions.