Mexico is the main Latin American country sending students abroad for international education. In 2020, 34,781 Mexican students were enrolled in higher education institutions (HEIs) outside their country of origin. From those, 37% studied in a European country. The National Science and Technology Council (CONACYT) has funded international student mobility (ISM) for Mexican students since 1970 for the training and consolidation of human resources. Some debates suggest these scholarships mainly benefit students with privileged backgrounds and reproduce inequalities in HE. This paper examines the socio-demographic profiles of CONACYT scholarship doctoral awardees who studied in Europe between 1997 and 2005, along with their different previous HE trajectories and decisions to study abroad. This paper is drawn from my doctoral research using transformative learning theory concepts and the capability approach, exploring the transformative nature of ISM associated with individual meanings of the mobility experiences, capabilities developed, and implications for social change. This paper presents findings from the socio-demographic data collected in 2017 and 2018, from 85 survey respondents who studied in seven European countries. Moreover, it focuses on the qualitative data gathered from in-depth semi-structured interviews with 25 participants who carried out their doctoral studies in the UK, Spain, Germany, France, and the Netherlands. The findings show significant participation of students from less privileged backgrounds and a complex mix of drivers for outward mobility linked to previous educational opportunities and future life aspirations. This paper brings insights from a human development approach, showing how these scholarships are instrumental in increasing ISM opportunities, contributing to social mobility, and facilitating career development. These findings suggest that investment in these types of scholarships contribute to the democratisation and widening participation of international mobility in the European context.