The International Handbook on Gender, Migration and Transnationalism
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The International Handbook on Gender, Migration and Transnationalism

Global and Development Perspectives

Edited by Laura Oso and Natalia Ribas Mateos

The International Handbook on Gender, Migration and Transnationalism represents a state-of-the-art review of the critical importance of the links between gender and migration in a globalising world. It draws on original, largely field-based contributions by authors across a range of disciplinary provenances worldwide.
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Chapter 21: Transnational mobility and family-building decisions: a case study of skilled Polish migrant women in the UK

Anna Cieslik


Krysia says that her decision to migrate was spontaneous. In 2005 she and her husband bought two plane tickets and moved to the UK. She explains that the timing of their departure was important: ‘[I]t was this moment when you don’t have children yet, you don’t have an apartment, you don’t have a mortgage – this is the moment when you can leave and do something’. Krysia studied marketing in Poland and was determined to find a job in her profession. She managed, and now works as an executive marketing coordinator in a publishing company. She is planning to return to Poland within a year or two because she misses her family and the feeling of stability. She and her husband are planning to have a baby and she believes that her mother’s help would be essential. Magda migrated for the sake of her husband’s job in 2006. In Poland she worked for three years in marketing and she felt that her company would ‘squeeze her like a lemon’. She says she believed that she had to work those three years, ‘to sacrifice’, as she put it, in order to find a better job afterwards.

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