This research project examined the reasons of highly-qualified young people from developing countries, especially from Africa, for leaving their country. Excessive emigration whereby young, talented individuals do not return to their native countries has an extremely negative effect known as the brain drain. The study aimed at gaining a better understanding of the expectations relating to migration that are cited by young people: What are the reasons for leaving their country, but also what are the reasons that could lead them to stay? The research carried out allowed to refine migration theories by identifying the factors that persuade or dissuade individuals to leave. Three options have been studied: long-term emigration (leave), local anchoring (stay), and commuting between several spaces (move around). The research team has investigated the reasons for migration and alternatives among students at Niamey University (Niger), Cocody-Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and in Gaston-Berger - Saint-Louis (Senegal). Through the involvement of geographers, sociologists and architects, the individual and collective economic, social and spatial dimensions of the phenomena were taken into account.