In this paper, through narrative interviews and thematic analysis, I argue that highly educated Eritrean migrants arrive in the UK due to inhospitable circumstances in their home country. They come to the UK with the hope of receiving asylum and starting their lives anew within a very short time. However, the circumstances they find do not meet their expectations. Delays in the decision over their asylum applications, the cultural differences they find between their lives in Eritrea and the UK, and the loneliness of the newly arriving migrant makes them vulnerable. This leads to anxiety and psychological distress. The paper begins with an introduction which describes the background and rationale of the study. Second, I briefly state the methods used to conduct the study. In the third section, I explore the background of the Eritrean migrants who participated in my research project. I discuss the causes that led them to migrate, and the routes they took to arrive in the UK. As I show in this section, most of the Eritrean migrants are “vagabonds” who flee from war, human rights abuses and economic hardship. Besides, they take long, costly and dangerous routes to arrive the UK. Finally, I analyse the Eritrean migrants’ hopes and vulnerabilities. Hoping to find a welcoming home, instead they meet a hostile environment which is confusing and distressing. Drawing on the experiences of migrants, their joy and vulnerability, this study fills a lack of research regarding the experiences of migrants in their host country.
2019 Special Focus—Border Crossing Narratives: Learning from the Refugee Experience
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Samson Maekele Tsegay
PhD Student, School of Education, University of Roehampton, United Kingdom
Samson Maekele Tsegay is a PGR student in the School of Education, University of Roehampton. His research interest focuses on globalization, migration and education with a special focus on socio-cultural integration experiences of highly educated migrants.