The last decades have witnessed a tremendous increase in the number of international students around the world. Scholars in various disciplines have therefore begun to study issues surrounding international student mobility/migration, including its macro-level determinants, as well as student motivations, experiences, practices, and personal relationships. This presentation will look first at the higher education and migration policies of the major receiving countries (Germany and the US) and sending countries (China). It will further focus on the personal networks of international students and the ways in which these networks influence decisions to study abroad in general and where and what to study in particular. The goal is to shed light on the relationship between educational mobility and social networks and to explore the regional dynamics of the phenomenon.