This study takes a qualitative approach to exploring the factors that motivate Icelandic students to study abroad in Norway. This study also investigated any influence originating from the 2008 financial crisis experienced in Iceland. Prior to the financial crisis, the Icelandic higher education sector was experiencing significant growth. However, following the financial crisis Icelanders began looking for opportunities abroad to gain employment or for educational opportunities to increase their chances of becoming employed in the increasingly difficult job market. Therefore, this study presents a push-pull analysis of the factors that motivated Icelandic students to study in Norway after 2008. Through interviews with students, motivating elements from their home country (Iceland), host country (Norway) and respective higher education institution were analysed. The results from this study indicate that the most influential factors in students decisions to study abroad were educational, economical and social motives.