This paper summarizes findings from qualitative research conducted in Slovakia in early 2018. One of the main research questions was related to factors attracting foreign-born academics to Slovak higher education institutions. This data supplements limited knowledge derived from the official statistics. Using individual in-depth interviews (IDI), six types of foreign-born academics were distinguished: family-tied academics, commuters, socioeconomic migrants, transnational scholars, local enthusiasts, and last resort scholars. The paper includes a detailed characteristic of each category supported by extensive excerpts from the interviews. It facilitates a discussion regarding another dimension of the distinction between global academic centres and peripheries.