Student mobility is increasing worldwide, and Kyrgyzstan is no exception. This study looks at students who returned after their degree and highlights the increasing transnational, networked character of professionals, emphasizing not only the physical presence of migrants, but also the value of knowledge transfer. Transnationalism can be maintained without moving physically, for example through interaction with international donor agencies in the country or through an in-depth application of the knowledge gained abroad. However, it is not just the education or cultural capital abroad that allows these students to make a successful return and position themselves in the labour market, but also their network or “place-based social capital”. The study also highlights the structural settings and socio-economic and political environments that influence the way skills and knowledge can be applied.