Abstract: This article provides new evidence on how students choose a country of destination to conduct their academic studies. Based on a multinomial logistic model, it examines the contribution of the quality of education, institutions and the host country’s economic factors to the choice of the destination country. The results indicate that quality education and institutions in the host country are the reasons why students show preference for Western countries—North America and the EU. On the other hand, China is chosen as a destination country for its quality of education—compared to Benin—and not because of its institutional infrastructure. Furthermore, the results do not confirm the hypothesis that African student migration is poverty-driven, as economic factors do not affect the choice of any destination country.
Keywords: academic life; Benin; China; economic opportunities; education; European Union; migrations; North America