To Return or Not to Return

A Dilemma of Two Overseas Vietnamese Students in the Netherlands Amidst the Coronavirus Outbreak


  • Thai Quoc Cao Center for Education Research and Development Edlab Asia, Vietnam
  • Quynh Kim Chieu Radboud University, the Netherlands



academic mobility, coronavirus, expected utility theory, the Netherlands, risky decision-making, Vietnam


Amidst the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus, many overseas Vietnamese students have decided to return to Vietnam to seek protection from illness. However, the decision to return in such a risky context requires intensive thinking about the outcomes of each possible choice. The aim of this reflection paper is to explore the personal considerations and dilemmas during the decision-making process of two Vietnamese students in the Netherlands using the expected utility framework. The experience of applying a systematic approach to assess risky situations not only informs decisions more comprehensively but also provides an opportunity to look deeply at one’s values and interests.

Author Biographies

Thai Quoc Cao, Center for Education Research and Development Edlab Asia, Vietnam

THAI CAO, BS, is a master’s student in behavioral science at Radbound University, The Netherlands. He also works as an educational investigator at Edlab Asia, Vietnam. His research interests include risky decision-making, education, and research policy.

Quynh Kim Chieu, Radboud University, the Netherlands

QUYNH CHIEU is an undergraduate student in the Faculty of Arts at Radboud University. Her major research interests lie in the area of second language acquisition and English linguistics. 


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How to Cite

Cao, T. Q., & Chieu, Q. K. (2021). To Return or Not to Return: A Dilemma of Two Overseas Vietnamese Students in the Netherlands Amidst the Coronavirus Outbreak. Journal of International Students, 11(2), 527–535.



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